One More Time in 2011

Holey moley! Its Saturday, December 31, 2011, this post is a day late, and this is The Side.  This post is late because I overslept yesterday, and got up just in time to check a couple things and go to work.  Hate oversleeping, but at least I wasn't late for work.  Besides, it seemed fitting that I do my year in review bit on the last day of the year.


YEAR IN REVIEW!
So much has happened this year that is feels like a blur.


I think the biggest personal thing was the loss of my Uncle Buddy.  He was a great man and an an inspiration to many, and it sorely missed.


This was the year that DC Comics did their massive reboot, and also the year i stopped reading DC Comics.  It seemed for a long time that they were trying to show me the door.  Still books like Miller's BATGIRL, Morrison's Batman work, and Paul Cornell's stuff kept me on board.  Those are now gone and so am I.  I'm reading less comics now, but am really liking what I'm reading.


The Nozz Compound discovered Netflix instant streaming and quickly dismissed any urge to get pay TV.  What I really love is that because of it I've been able to share HEATHCLIFF, SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS, X-MEN EVOLUTION, JOHNNY TEST, and  JACKIE CHAN ADVENTUREs with my kids.  That's before i get into all the shows I can watch.  Still got plenty of episodes of SCRUBS, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and  BURN NOTICE to watch.


I finally beat FINAL FANTASY VIII.  Don't hate me because I'm retro.


This was also the year Google Plus came out.  I've taken pretty well to it.  I've gotten a nice little group on there to discusses fun stuff.  I've continued the monthly tournies I used to do on Google Buzz, but are now much easier.  I've even started doing a little webcomic on there using the picture sharing and album features.  Really digging it.
COMIX!!
ANGEL AND FAITH #5 was waiting for me in my bag this week.  Christos Gage continues to nail the characters pitch perfectly.  Phil Noto handles the art this issue.  I love his cover work, but typically don't see much of his sequentials, so this was treat.  "In Perfect Harmony" is an one-issue story dealing with Angel's former secretary and the current most popular vampire in the world, Harmony.  During BUFFY Season 8, vampires went public and Harmony became a media darling including her own reality TV show.  She still just as much of an annoying pain as she was on the TV show.  Bad for Angel and Faith, but great for us readers.  The previous storyline was pretty heavy in dealing with the attempt to resurrect Rupert Giles.  This story gives us a little break, much like Whedon would do in the series give us that wink that we are supposed to be having fun here.  Their utter exasperation with Harmony is apparent on every panel and its awesome because I think everyone is utterly exasperated with Harmony.Its an utter exasperation party, and everyone is invited! OH, and Clem is here as Harmony's personal assistant.  Good ol' Clem.  He's one of the most likable characters in the Buffyverse.  This issue was really fun.  The only thing I didn't dig was how Noto illustrated vampires getting dusted, but I can look past that easily.  Great stuff.

MUSIC!!
Last year, for the final post of the year, I posted the song that rocked my socks the hardest. Seemed like the thing to do with year. I picked "Angela Surf City" by the Walkmen. First heard it in Local Heroes and was blown away. The great thing about this video is you can see the drummer really going to town. I wish I had half his stamina.





That's it for me for the year. No post tomorrow, so we'll pick things back up on Wednesday. Happy New Year everyone!

Light of the Nozz

Its Wednesday, December 28, 2011, I'm frakkin' beat, and this is The Side.  Spent the last couple days working the floor I mentioned last post.  It was a valuable lesson to me about speaking up.  I should have gone with my gut, instead I spent a day scrubbing floor stripper on a floor.  My fingertips are feeling a bit funny at this point, but I figure when you get enough chemicals on them, that's what happens.


Not enough chemicals to keep me from typing though.


GIFTS!!
We've all gotten gifts over the years where we've wondered "what were they thinking giving me this?"  I can't actually recall one right now, but I'm likely repressing the memory.  I do remember getting one particular item that absolutely drove me nuts.  It wasn't something that was dumb of someone to get me.  In fact it was actually something nice.  It was a lamp.


I had a pretty big bedroom when I was in high school.  Having a drum kit and a drawing table took up a lot of room so I actually had the biggest bedroom in the house.  My folks got me one of those lamps that shines the light on the ceiling and illuminates the room.  You've seen them.  The tall skinny deals.  It was horrendously bright, but had a really sweet dimmer control, so it could be adjust ed to one's comfort level.  Perfect, or so I thought, and it went right next to the drawing table.


The problem grew from how I used the lamp.  I did my homework at the drawing table, so I'd be in the room in the evening, playing some music and getting things done.  I'd have the lamp adjusted so that I'd have enough light to see, but it wouldn't be too bright.  Never liked have lighting too bright.  Hurts my eyes a bit.  Unfortunately, this was deemed the incorrect way to use the lamp and my father would come in, fuss at me, and then turn the thing up to full.  the lamp was supposed to simulate sunlight.  Last I checked, we built a house so I would be able to get out of the sun.  That, and I don't think we're supposed to be looking at the sun directly.


So this persisted for months.  I'd be in my room with the light at a comfortable level.  Dad would come in and crank the sucker.  He'd leave and after a view minutes of squinting at whatever I was doing, I'd turn the light back down.  I'm not sure why the message of "When the light it turned up all the way it hurts my eyes" did not reach his brain, but it didn't.


Then I got the bright idea of removing the lamp entirely from my room.  I had other lamps in there that did the job alright.  Hell, I had a lava lamp that was much more pleasurable to my eyes.  I removed the lamp from my room.  I resisted the urge to chuck it out the window.  My folks weren't home from work yet, so I took the lamp, picked out a nice spot in another room and placed it there.  Then I went back in to do my homework.


In sit-com like fashion, my father upon arriving home discovered the lamp in the room which i placed it and brought it back into my room, plugged it in, and cranked that sucker up to the point which I then required a stronger glasses prescription.  All the while, reading me the riot act about how they had gotten me that lamp and I should use it properly.


The matter was finally resolved when I started making good use of the lock on my bedroom door.  When anyone knocked, I immediately cranked the light up as high as it would go.  Once business has concluded I'd turn it back down to my comfort level.  Some teenagers use the "Just a minute" bit when their parents knock on their door to hide the porn or whatever else they had that would get them in deep dip with their folks.  Not me.  I had to make sure the light was on.


Not a very traumatic story of youth, but we do have a moral: you can't tell people how to enjoy their gifts.


MUSIC!
I really hate this song, but it seemed appropriate.





That's all for me today. see y'all Friday.

Merry Christmas

Well that floor I was worried about ended up being quite worrisome, but that can wait until tomorrow.  Today is all about some peace on Earth and good will towards men. Not to mention the hopefully final day of everyone's holiday stress. 


 Travel safe my friends, and Merry Christmas!  I'm going to start the coffee and light the tree now.   I think Santa showed up. Fooled him again.   HA!   Thinks he's so clever with that "naughty or nice" list.


Peace on Earth and Whiskey in my Belly.

Its Friday, December 23, 2011, my heart is growing three sizes, I should probably see a doctor about that, and this is The Side.  I've still got one more item I'm hoping to get and then I'm declaring my shopping done.  Got my fingers crossed on that.


Moreso, I'm hoping that floor I'm supposed to be finishing up turns out alright.  Last thing I need is a job to go sideways on me right before Christmas.  Its one of those "we're not supposed to be even doing this one" kind of job where we kind of got roped into it.  Not cool.  Ah well.  On to something more pleasant.


NOT SO LONG AGO
How I spent Christmas changed quite a bit one was a grown.  My folks had divorced.  My dad had remarried a wonderful woman.  I lived with my Mom to help her out a bit.  My stepmother is from Maryland so her and my Dad would go to see her family on Christmas, and since they had pets I would be the one to watch their house.


Its amazing how differently I viewed Christmas.  When I was a little kid I couldn't wait to get up and go open presents.  As an adult with a physically demanding job I was more than happy to sleep in a bit.  Nothing crazy like sleeping until noon, but I certainly wasn't in competition with the sun to see which of us would be up first.  This was especially true if I had to work the night before at the bar.  While I usually got out of there early if I had to work Christmas Eve it was typically still pretty late by the time I got into bed.


I'd tend to Dad's house and his pets.  The first thing that got put on was TNT since they were showing A CHRISTMAS STORY over and over again all day.  Even when I was dating my girlfriend who went on to be The Missus I still had the run of the place since she would typically be visiting her folks in Kansas.  I'd grab a shower and get dressed to head over to Mom's for brunch.


Brunch at mom's was pretty much the big Christmas Day thing.  I usually had seen everyone in the family before Christmas day as since we'd all grown up, the logistics of getting everyone together was much trickier.  So the family Christmas gatherings were spread out.  I didn't get much by way of gifts at the time.  The things I wanted were pretty easy to come across.  I'd maybe get a game for my Playstation 2.  The food was always great as I love my mom's brunches.  She makes a breakfast casserole that I always eat too much of.


After that I typically spent the afternoon at my father's watching movies, playing video games, and drinking whiskey.  No binge drinking or trying to see how hammered I good get.  I enjoy a nice whiskey from time to time, and knowing I wouldn't have to work the following day could allow myself the indulgence without having to worry about being fully on my game.  Occasionally a buddy would come over seeking refuge from the holiday madness of his family, but mostly Christmas became, for me personally, a day quiet personal peace.


What was funny was one year every felt so bad that I typically spent the holidays alone that no one went anywhere that year.  So I spent the day running around like a lunatic trying to get everywhere I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there.  I couldn't very well say, "Its Christmas, why aren't you people leaving me alone?"  Fortunately, the Missus also stayed in town that year, and helped me stay sane through it.


I think its that way for a lot of people once they grow up.  The magic of the season and shininess gets a little difficult to enjoy when you have to worry about scheduling everything and making sure you're everywhere you need to be.  When you're a kid, its a lot easier.  Your parents take care of all that.  You're just along for the ride.  You can look at things through the wonderful lenses of youth.  At an adult, you appreciate things like the end of A CHRISTMAS STORY when everything is done and the parents can sit quietly with a glass of wine and relax.
MUSIC!!
 These guys who made this video are hilarious. My favorite Christmas parody song.
  That's all for me. Going to wrap up a bit of work and then start to enjoy my weekend. Don't expect a huge post this Sunday, but I'll have a little something for you. See y'all then.

Merry memories

What's that under the tree?  Its seems to be Wednesday, December 21, 2011, wrapped horribly, but yes indeedy, its The Side.  And shame on you for shaking me to see what I am!  I'm all dizzy and stuff now.


Yes, the big day is fast approaching.  I'm not done with my shopping, but fortunately my wife has handled the majority of that.  Pretty much I just have to shop for her.  That can be tricky.  Fortunately a lot of stuff she likes, like video games and movies are things I like, so its kinda like getting a gift for both of us.  I'm not going to pull some Homer Simpson bit and get her a bowling ball drilled to my fingers or anything like that.


Actually, if going bowling wasn't so expensive, she might like a bowling ball.


Hm.  OK, got to go ponder stuff now.  In the meantime, you enjoy some memories.


BACK IN THE DAY
When I was a kid Christmas was pretty much about two things: presents and family.  Yeah, I did come up a good Methodist kid, and we'd go to candlelight service on Christmas Eve and sing song and enjoy fellowship.  On Christmas day, it was a whirlwind.  I never slept well the night before.  Looking back, the night before was pretty miserable.  The anticipation actually made me sick a few times.  I had a clock in my room and knew I wasn't going to be going downstairs to open presents before six in the morning.  I remember often waiting at the top on the stairs with my brother while my folks made sure Santa had come.  Thinking back now I'm pretty sure they were stalling until the coffee was ready.


My folks weren't wealthy, but they made sure my brother and I got pretty much everything we wanted for Christmas.  For me that was mostly action figures and comic books.  I did get a drum set one year, which I think is the most expensive thing I ever got.  I was pretty decent about practicing on it, but didn't really have much in the way of talent.  I was always pretty content as a kid on Christmas morning.  It was a flurry of wrapping paper and playing while taking a break in there somewhere to eat breakfast.


Sometimes my mom's parents would be staying with us, which was always great for me.  They were a lot of fun.  That brings me to family.  The majority of mine live in the area.  There were two stops to be made on Christmas.  My dad's parents, and we'd see them and whoever else was there at the time.  There'd be food, but I tended to eat light there.  I hang out a bit with my cousins.  Looking back I wish I had spent more time talking with my Gran'dad.  He's a neat old guy.  I found out all this stuff about him later, so I do wish I had taken the time to hear the stories he has to tell.


The other stop that day would vary.  My folks would rotate hosting the family Christmas gathering with my aunts and uncles that live in the area.  So either we'd be back home with everyone coming to us, or off to see everyone.  My aunts can cook like nobody's business.  We're talking about all the trimmings, and a bunch of fat and happy folks by the end of things.  This is my mom's side of the family.  So, we're talking about a bunch of very sharp, witty people who love to laugh and have a good time.


At a certain point we'd sit around and exchange gifts, but I think I liked hearing everyone carrying on best.  These were the people who put up with my nerd nature with a smile and laugh.  The jokes were always there, but never really at anyone's expense.


I had it really good growing up at Christmas time.  Not because of heaps of gifts being dumped on me, but because that was a time for family, and I'm lucky enough to have a great one.
 
MUSIC!!


This is my favorite Christmas song. This version is pretty jazzy. I'm digging it.
 
That's it for me today. Time to get to work and hopefully pick up a gift or two. See y'all friday.

Merry Comix?

Hey howdy.  Its Sunday, December 18, 2011, I'm still struggling a bit with the new blogger interface, and this is The Side.  I think I've got a bit of this figured out.  Before when I put these together I operated entirely from the HTML mode, which I'm not claiming to have a good working knowledge of HTML, but I know how to spot certain things, so I was able to make it work for me.  Now, things are working differently, but as much as I'd like to be stubborn about things, sometimes you have to change.  So, I'm doing pretty well on the learning curve and hopefully will find my groove again soon.


Things are moving right along this season.  Took the girls to go see Santa at the Hunt Club last night.  One of them managed to summon up the guts this year to actually sit in his lap.  It was a different fella in the suit this year, as the guy who had been the Hunt Club Santa for year passed away, which is a shame because that guy was awesome.  Not that this fellow wasn't good, but the previous fellow was truly a treasure and will be missed.  We still had a nice evening, and roamed a bit around the petting zoo which was beautifully decorated.  The goats and sheep were all quite friendly and the kids had a blast playing with them.


Before we get on to our next bit of business I should say that while it is a week before Christmas all the books I ended up with this week would be better suited for Halloween.  These things happen sometimes.


COMIX!!
THE WALKING DEAD #92 starts us off this week.  You hear hype about certain issues from time to time about "Everything changes here", well this time around, its no joke.  The mysterious figure we saw at the end of last issue plays heavy here as he goes up against Michonne and Abraham as they're out on a patrol.  I've talked about that there's a bit of grumbling from readers about how slow the last storyline was.  This issue makes up for that with a really cool fight scene.  There's been some talk from Kirkman that there was going to be some big changes coming up and this issue gives us a hint as to the direction he's planning on taking.  The ending really has me itching to get my hands on the next issue to see where we're going with this story.  Top notch work.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON NINE #4  wraps up the "Freefall" storyline which has kicked off this latest season.  Sev is the Siphon who has been killing vampires all over San Francisco and leaving a trail of bodies that has police hunting Buffy.  Sev's powers involve him draining magical energy from beings and charging himself up.  In the case of vampires, they revert back to humans, and since they're already dead, we've have a corpse instead of a pile of dust.  Sev's looking for revenge against Buffy blaming her for his girlfriend's becoming a vampire not going as planned since Buffy destroyed Earth's link to magic last season.  This issue does a great job of not only delivering a great fight, but setting a lot up for this season.  We see how Buffy is interacting with the police force.  We get a new player with Koh, who's pretty cool.  Buffy's roomies also discover she's a slayer so we'll see how that plays out.  Great issue, and lots of fun.


THE STRAIN #1 is based off the novels from Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  I haven't read them, but am considering remedying that soon.  This issue starts us off nicely with some old folklore to set the tone and them a transition to modern times in which we meet Ephraim, a divorced guy who works for the CDC.  One thing that really caught me was how well they handled the characterization of Ephraim.  Who really get a good idea of who this guy is.  There's not a ton of action in this issue as the pacing is more like that of a novel.  When doing storytelling in a comic you usually get to the action quickly and try to work in exposition when you can.  With prose, you typically work the other way letting exposition set up your action.  This book is taking the latter route, but does well in setting in the hooks and giving us a bit of mystery to sink our teeth into.  The airplane scene in does remind me quite a bit of the ship in Bram Stoker's Dracula, which i though was a really cool nod.


MUSIC!!
He better be ready to run next weekend.  Here's the classic from Chuck berry.


 


That's all for me this time around.  See y'all Wednesday!

Merry Movies

Bleh. Its Friday, December 16, 2011, I'm sick as a dog, and this is The Side. The kids were a bit under the weather earlier this week. That got passed onto the missus. Not its on to me. I've been chomping cold medicine to keep me going. It makes me functional, but doesn't make for the best blogging. 


 Also, I'm still getting used to the new Blogger interface, so please bear with me. I think I've got a little bit of a handle on it. Of course, if you aren't reading any of this, then there's the distinct possibility that I've completely bollocks up the thing. Guess we'll have to see.

MOVIES!

Sure, there's a few of action flicks that I could list and call them Christmas movies. As much as I love DIE HARD and LETHAL WEAPON, they're not really Christmas movies. 

A CHRISTMAS STORY. Love this movie. Have to watch it every year. Used to drive my family nuts because TNT would play it for 24 hours in a row and I'd have it on the TV all day long if given the chance. Since I don't have cable anymore I do have the DVD to fill the void. One of these years I'm going to get my kids to ask Santa for a Red Rider BB gun. So many great lines and moments in this film. From the furnace fighting, to the Chinese restaurant, the Ralphie beating the snot out of the bully. I love this movie from beginning to end. 

HOME ALONE. This movie was so huge that it nearly caused a backlash. Some people were really hating on the kid and hoping Joe Pesci and his pal would one day get him. I do like this one. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays it almost understandable that some folks would actually forget a kid at home. Of course, there wouldn't be the feel good story at the end. Most likely a visit from CPS. 

THE SANTA CLAUSE. Whoever thought to cast Tim Allen as Santa was a clever guy. I do think having the previous Santa falling off a roof and dying is a bit morbid for the kids. That's probably why I find the sequel on TV a lot more than the first film. Still, Tim Allen and the rest of the cast really sell this flick and make it a good time.

THE REF. Put the kids to bed, Denis Leary is in the house. And this is the "No Cure For Cancer" Denis Leary, and he's playing off of Kevin Spacey. That alone gets my butt in the chair. This movie has one of my favorite lines ever: "Your husband ain't dead, lady. He's hiding."

MUSIC!

He does indeed have a brand new bag, and I hear its full of toys.
That's all for me. See y'all Sunday.

Season's greetings and pass the remote.

Ho ho ho. Its Wednesday, December 14, 2011, I have no idea what's going on with blogger, and this is The Side. Something's up with the interface, so the next few postings may be a bit odd as I figure everything out. Most likely, its due to me using the old interface which I like and I don't think its going to be around much longer. Looks like I'm back on the learning curve.

Last year, I did two weeks of posts about Halloween, which was a lot of fun. Starting off today, I'll be doing the same for Christmas. Starting things off with what usually gets me into the holiday spirit: TV specials!

TELEVISION!

MERRY CHRISTMAS CHARLIE BROWN. Got to start off with this classic. Sure, I've seen it nearly every year, but its cute story and message about the meaning and spirit of Christmas is timeless and fun. I'm a bit bummed out that they've already showed this on TV and I wasn't home, so I'm hoping they'll show it again.

RUDOLF THE RED-NOSED REINDEER. I'm a big fan of Yukon Cornelius. He's the person who taught me that Bumbles bounce. The abominable snowman used to scare the heck out of me when I was a kid, especially the part when he looked over the mountain range. There was actually a news story that this special promoted bullying. Seems some folks haven't seen this special in a while.

GARFIELD CHRISTMAS. I can't remember the last time this was on TV, but its great. Garfield, Jon, and Odie go see Jon's family on the farm. The writing is sharp and clever. It was a great fun. There were a bunch of really great Garfield specials back when I was a kid and I'm pretty sure they'd hold up just fine. Now, if only they'd get shown on TV.

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. "Ker-plunk?" "Ker-plooey." I absolutely loved this one. A town builds a clock that plays music in hopes of getting Santa to come, and a little mouse breaks it because he wanted to see how it works. There's a big effort to fix the clock in time. I'm pretty sure this was one of the Rankin/Bass specials, and those were always great.

THE GRINCH THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS. Can't forget this one. Songs everyone remembers. That dog with the big antler tied to his head still amuses me. Never really watched the Jim carrey movie of this because the cartoon captures everything so well in a short, well done, and nowhere near as obnoxious package.

MUSIC!

Starting us off with one of my favorites from when I was a kid.



Time to head out to the kids' Christmas show at show. See y'all Friday.

Should have swept the leg

WHERE'S MY DRUGS?! Its Sunday, December 11, 2011, its going to be an 800 mg kind of day, and this is The Side. Yep, was a good weekend of beatings, but more on that in a second.

The neighbor girl, sure enough, came over to the house while I was out and asked if we still had those cards. I freaking knew it. I've returned this cards and when she goes to that shop to buy some she's going to be coughing up a $1 bitch tax for each pack.

BEATING!

And this time, they were on me! Karate and other martial arts are about learning, and hopefully always continuing to learn. Guys like me always like going to seminars and hopefully gaining a new perspective or learning a new technique. The problem with that is these are often expensive and require travelling quite a ways. That's difficult for a guy with bills to pay, and who can't really afford to take off work for long. So, when my cousin was was hosting a Koryu Uchinadi seminar with Darrin Johnson Sensei here in town I knew I had to leap at the chance.

The majority of what we went over were techniques I knew, but the seminar offered a really fresh perspective on those techniques. I did pick up a really cool Gi choke that I didn't know. Of course I learned that choke by getting it put on me. Education has a price. This weekend's price was getting choked, stretched, pummeled, removal of hair from my arms and the back of my neck, and getting my head stepped on.

I also want to take a moment to say that Facebook is indeed evil. Yes, there are a few people that read this that have heard my repeated rants against Facebook, and are pretty sick of them, well you're going to hear it again, dammit! Darrin Sensei posted a few picture for the morning workout on his Facebook account including one of myself and my cousin, Scott, looking like our typical pleasant selves. He tagged my cousin, which set off a ping on my wife's Facebook account. Now, the Missus is sick this weekend, but still gave me my kitchen pass for the weekend, which I'm very grateful for, and will be making her breakfast shortly. However, she did see the pictures and commented on those pictures that those were no fun, and she wanted to see some beatings. At which point, Darrin Sensei asked Scott, "Who is Meagan Nozz and why is she giving Marty such a hard time?"

I'm sure this has nothing whatsoever to do with me spending some quality time on the floor with my face sandwiched between the thinly carpeted cement and Danny Sensei's knee. Fortunately the rug burn is hardly noticeable.

And here you see that I have no problem throwing the big elbow, but unfortunately for me Danny Sensei has no problem blocking it.



I then made the mistake of calling Danny Sensei a wine drinker, which is a horrible insult to true Australians. The end result was an impromptu nap.



There's a lot of people I need to thank here. Darrin Johnson Sensei for coming down and offering so much great information. Danny Sensei and his wife Kimmy Sensei for making the trip from Maryland to help with a seminar. All three were really great and a lot of fun to hang out with all day. My cousin, Scott, for holding the seminar and inviting me on out despite our vicious (and imaginary) blood feud. DJ and Derrick from my dojo who came out as well to support the seminar. We got the info on kind of short notice, but these guys came out and represented us well. Most of all, I have to thank my wife, Meagan, for letting me go. This was a great early Christmas present.



If you want to learn more about Koryu Uchinadi, check out Darrin Johnson and Koryu 360 on Facebook. Yes, i did just plug something on Facebbok. That's how good this stuff is.

MUSIC!

Quite sorry I missed UFC 140 last night. Sorry to hear about Big Nog getting his arm broken by Frank Mir. Probably a case for thinking "How do I get out of this?" then SNAP, and then thinking, "Whoops. Guess I should have tapped out there."



That's it for me. Its going to be an 800 mg kind of day, so I'm going to make some coffe, and breakfast and gobble down some anti-inflammatories.

LA Prison Blues

OSU! Its Friday, December 9, 2011, I'm ready for a good beating, and the is The Side. Got a Karate seminar that starts this evening and goes all day tomorrow. Really looking forward to it because it should be really great, and I don't have to travel and miss a bunch of work for it.

Quick addendum to Wednesday's post. I did indeed return the cards to Joey at Kings who gave me a refund. He pretty much thought it was BS that anyone would have the cards cheaper in this area, and looked shocked that someone would helm me up over $1.25. When I got home the Missus said that the girl in question claims that she knows Joey and would get the cards from him at a cheaper price. I'm doubting that. I'm going to be having a very good conversation next time I go to the shop.

On to current business. There's a guy I know on Google Plus, Ryan Drewery. We don't agree on a lot of things, but he's a good guy. I respect him. It seems some people who were arrested at some Occupy LA thing were still in jail even though people that had been arrested for worse crimes weren't held that long. Ryan posed the question: why is this? Its a good question, and deserves an answer.

10 of them.

REASONS WHY THE OCCUPY LA DOOFUSES ARE STILL IN JAIL: THE TOP 10!


10: Less chances of getting sexually assaulted in jail as opposed to their camp site.

9: Gives them something else to bitch and moan about.

8: Technically, they are still on public property.

7: Less homeless people milling about.

6: They're changing their focus to Occupy Jail to confuse people.

5: The jail had wi-fi, so the they can use their iPhones and iPads to go online and gripe about how bad off they are.

4: Jail smells better than their camp site.

3: All they really wanted was three hots and a cot.

2: They refuse to leave until they finish the game of Monopoly they started. Unfortunately every time someone starts winning the game the other players take all his money and redistribute it evenly to all the players. This is immediately followed by all of them yelling, "SEE? SEE?! IT REALLY DOES WORK!"

1: The line "I've done time" doesn't mean shit until you've been in longer than Henry David Thoreau.

MUSIC!

You just know those folks sipping coffee and smoking big cigars are those pesky 1%ers. Great cover of a great song. Hail the Rev!



That's all for me today. Hope to still be in one piece by Sunday. I'm sure i will be, and that piece will likely be bruised. See y'all then.

Nozz: Errand Boy?

It Wednesday, December 7, 2011, I'm gonna tap some fool right upside his mana, and this is The Side. I lucked out since last week and got a new car since the last one got detonated. Looked just like the old one. The CD player in this one only works half the time too.

Getting ready to send out some cards for the holidays? This ain't about those kinda cards.

CARDS?!

I like to be helpful, especially around the holiday season. I thought I had a nice opportunity to do so last week. My neighbor's daughter wanted to get some MAGIC: THE GATHERING cards for a friend for Christmas. Keep in mind, she's 23. They've got them over at Comic Kings, and I was going there anyways, so I figured I'd save her a trip. The Missus got the specifics of what she wanted me to get: $20 worth the latest packs of cards.

I role up into Kings. Federali is behind the counter. I only had one comic waiting in my pull bag. I grabbed the latest copy of PREVIEWS. Federali rings me up and I say, "And I need $20 worth of Magic card." At which point Federali laughs right in my face. Then he asks, if I'm serious, and I let him know I was getting them as a gift. So, I'm Mister Nice Dude, running some errands. I get five packs at $3.50 each coming to $17.50.

Now, if the girl who asked for them only wanted to give me $17.50 back, that's fine. It wasn't out of my way. I was going there anyways. I wasn't going to haggle over gas or what have you.

I give the packs to the Missus who was going to take them over to her the next day. I get home from work only to find out the neighbor girl wasn't going to take the cards because she says she can get them $3.25.

Now, I'm pissed.

I'm not going to say I know what's a good deal as far as price on Magic cards. I do know that they move a lot of those cards over at Kings, and they aren't in the habit of screwing me over since I write reviews and stuff for their website. So, I figure its a safe bet that $3.50 is a good price. Now, even if she could get them at $3.25, and save $1.25, we delivered those packs to her doorstep. The lazy broad didn't even have to leave her house.

She's apparently in the habit of being shiftless and useless, so most likely she didn't even have the money to pay me back. The packs are back in my hot little hands, and as much as I did trading card games in theory, I won't be breaking open those packs to try my hand at the game. I'll be returning them to Kings. Odds are the person she was getting the cards for will end up with no gift from her at all.

Moral of the story: when someone is doing you a solid, don't be dick, especially over $1.25.

MUSIC!

I still haven't made it through season one of THE WALKING DEAD of Netflix. I did really dig this tune at the end of the second episode though.



That's a wrap. I'm off to work and possibly Kings to return some cards. Later.

Nozz versus the Weekend

Is it Monday yet? Its Sunday, December 4, 2011, weekends are out to kill me, and this is The Side. I remember when Saturday was all about sitting around all morning watching cartoons, and maybe having to mow the lawn in the afternoon. Now its work all day (which I'm glad to have the work) and maybe some TV.

It sucks when both conspire against me.

WORK!

Saturday didn't start off well. I go out to find that I had a flat tire. That sucks. So i was a little late getting to work because I got to spend some quality time kneeling in the dirt changing my tire. That was possibly fate telling me I should have stayed home. I'm still waiting for fate to tell me I should be very wealthy and provide my with good lottery numbers. i was hoping getting my tie fixed wouldn't be too expensive.

It was supposed to be an easy day, it really was. We were knocking jobs off the laundry list of stuff to do. We were actually looking to finish early, which is nice on Saturday. We split up to tackle the last few jobs. My first one was supposed to be simple. Check out a leak in a rental property. The tenant was supposed to have checked out already. There was no car in the driveway. I rang the doorbell and knocked, and there was no answer. I used the key I had gotten from the rental company to get in and announced myself, "Hey, its the IRS! I'm here to take all your shit!" No answer, but I wasn't expecting one and I checked my work ticket to try to help me find the leak.

I went upstairs and was heading towards the bedrooms where they said the leak was. I heard a noise coming from one of the bedrooms, and that's exactly what you don't want to hear. Best case scenario is that there's cleaners in the house, and they didn't hear me because they were listening to their iPod or something. Worst case, I figured, is that the tenants were still there and taking a nap or something and didn't hear me. Not good. I figured it would be best for me to announce myself.

Didn't get the chance.

The door swung open and there was some crazy looking sum'bitch wearing overalls, a work apron, work gloves, and goggles. I have no clue what the hell he was holding, but it looked like a freaking cannon and there was smoke and sparks coming off of it and it sounded like a lawnmower that had been beaten half to hell. I imagine I looked pretty surprised. He didn't, because he leveled that whatever the hell it was at me and screamed, "SCIENCE WILL HAVE YOUR ASS!"

I dove to the side, and that thing went the hell off. The wall that had been behind me had been transformed into a more rubbly state. I looked to where the crazy bastard had been standing and he was gone. The kickback from the shot had launched him back into the room. He came back out quick enough with the cannon, still screaming, "YOU CAN'T HAVE MY SHIT! MY SHIT WILL HAVE YOU!"

I let loose a few profanities as I dove through the hole he blasted in the wall. He let loose another shot. I made for the window, and really regretted saying I was with the IRS. I don't know if he built that thing but he was crazier than a toad-licking squirrel.

I opened the window and scrambled out onto the porch roof. A second later the window was gone, because that nut blasted it out. Glass rained all over the side yard. I ran across the porch roof and got cut short of the edge by the house wall getting blasted out in front of wee send debris flying past my face. I looked into the house through the large hole to see the goggled kook stumbling around inside the house. "DAMNED LEE HARVEY GACY BASTARDS ALWAYS TRYING TO STEAL MY SHIT!! THERE YOU ARE!!"

I can count on one hand the number of times I've jumped off of a roof. This was, by far, the best reason. I hit the lawn and rolled. Getting my feet under me I sprinted around the house towards my car. I saw my car, and had the keys in my hands when it exploded. At that point getting the tire fixed didn't seem like that big a deal.

"MY CAR!!"

The lunatic was hanging out a second story window still aiming his cannon at the smoldering wreckage that had previously been a 2006 Ford Focus. I glared at him with a burning, seething hatred. I had a Coke, a bag of Cheetos and a copy of CHECKMATE: PAWN BREAKS in my car. I was now determined to kick that crazy prick's ass. He looked a little taken aback. "Uh oh."

"UH OH?" I raced to the front steps as he pointed the cannon at me. He fired and missed and the kick knocked him back, making him disappear from the window into the cloud of nasty looking smoke the thing was spewing out.. I heard him cursing as I went back in the front door. I grabbed a piece of decorative pottery from a little table in the downstairs living room. I turned the corner towards the staircase and chucked it up the stairs as hard as I could without looking. I knew full well he'd be waiting at the top of the stairs with that thing waiting for me.

I heard the pottery hit something as the blaster went off. I stormed up the stairs as bits of drywall rained down on me. When I got to the top the stairs, he was sitting on the floor holding his face with both hands. I could see a little blood.

"I think you broke my nose."

When I managed to get a hold of my buddy to pick me up we went immediately to the rental agency. I felt the burning need to inquire about their policy as to renting beach houses to mad scientists.

TELEVISION!

The Missus is having a battle of wills with the TV. Since the move to digital television, which does suck, TV has been trying to curry favor by spontaneously growing new channels at random. The most recent addition is "Bounce" which has been described by the Missus as "wanna-be BET".

They're showing Soul Train. Not the old school awesome Soul Train. Its the new skankarific Soul Train.

What's really sinister is that if you're scrolling through the channels and hit Bounce, you can't scroll any further. You are stuck there until you input a different station in your remote. This may be the beginning of a TV ghetto black hole in which the next step is that once you get to bounce you're stuck there. It may possibly result in the TV coming on of its own accord and showing skanky Soul Train 24/7.

The Missus has tried repeatedly to delete the station. It keeps coming back. We can't delete it. If any of you know how to decapitate a TV station, please let me know in the comments.

MUSIC!

All the insanity this weekend and then I get asked why there's a story on the news about a PETA operative who was beaten about the face and head with a flank steak. May I give my response in the form of a song, officer?



I'm out of here. I'm going to go hide under a blanket until its Monday. See y'all later. I hope.

On the funny book redemption train

Its Friday, December 2, 2011, it feels like I just did this, and this is The Side. By this I don't mean doing a comic review, or posting the blog. It feels like I just got done with Christmas. That might have something to do with my not taking down the lights or putting tree away until October. I'm not knocking Christmas, I love it. However, i was thinking yesterday about taking the girls to go see Santa, and it really felt like it was something I just did last week.

Feels like this year is one big blur, which is probably a good thing. Not a banner year.

COMIX!

ANGEL AND FAITH #4 was waiting for me this week. This wraps up the "Live Through This" storyline which had Angel and Faith on a quest to resurrect Rupert Giles whom Angel killed at the end of the BUFFY SEASON NINE series. This comic has handled itself very well in acting as a first episode and letting us know who these characters are, where they're at now, and what's gone one before to get them here. Fortunately, they manage to do with a good amount of fun and action and don't beat the reader upside the head with the exposition stick. Angel's got plan to bring back Giles, which Faith thinks is probably a bad idea, and would rather use Angel's plan to restore his humanity. There's a bunch of demons to contend with, but the big problem are Nash and Pearl, who are very evil. We can tell they are evil by their pointy ears and extremely arched eyebrows. They've got a big beef with Angel, and are as powerful as all get out. That's a recipe for plenty of action. This story does have an excellent twist in the resurrection mission as well, and one that I didn't see coming. This series is a good read and not just for big Joss Whedon fans.

MUSIC!

Here's some upbeat redemption music.



Yes, it was another short post. Shame upon the house of Nozz. I'm looking to try to reorganize some things and make a little more time to get more content out. We'll see what how that goes, and I'll see y'all Sunday.

WINNING and losing

Blah. Its Wednesday, November 30, 2011, I'm needing some caffeine and this is The Side. had a nasty headache all day Sunday. Monday I had the headache hangover and felt like i was walking through cement all day. I'm still feeling out of sorts. However, there is work to be done, and work doesn't wait until you feel like doing it.

Neither does a blog.

Well, OK, yeah it does, but its a lot more dramatic if it didn't.

GAME TIME!

Competition is a good thing. While some people can get too into it, if pursued in a healthy manner in can serve to bring out the best in people. It can drive them to try harder. People like to be the best. I played sports growing up, mainly Soccer. I've trained in Karate since I was a kid. I've gotten plenty of first place trophies. I've come in dead last. I've been part of soccer teams that won their league championships, and I've been on teams that never won a single game. I was even in a bowling league and my team won the championship. I've been a loser, and I've been a winner.

Winning doesn't suck.

But its really easy to not like winners. And that has me wondering about the blow back from a really lopsided basketball game. Here's the quick version. Two middle school teams were in a basketball tournament. One school is bigger and is really talented. The other is kinda lucky to be able to field a team. The bigger school broke out to big lead very quickly. The coach pulled out the starting players. By half time the score was 70-0. The coach told his team to stop playing defense to give the other team a chance to score some points. The end score was 100-2. Now there's talk that the winning team might be forced to forfeit their season, because they won by such a huge score.

So, the message is: do your best, unless you're a lot better than that other person then you better not or you can't play anymore.

This is stupid. I deal with kids and competition. In the dojo the main competition is against yourself, and making yourself as good as you can be. When the gloves go on, we are training each other and trying to push each other to become better. If i have a brown belt fighting a white belt, then that brown belt controls his skills and techniques fighting down to a lower level but still pushing that lower ranked student. In open tournaments students are separated by rank and age. You go out, give it everything you've got and see what happens.

For years I fought one particular guy on the local tournament circuit. It seems like whenever we were in the same tournament we'd be matched against each other in round one. He nearly always beat me. He's a very good fighter, and excellent at point fighting. Every year, I'd just have to try harder. The last time we fought each other, I still lost, but everyone who saw that fight applauded. We were to the point that there was nothing left to prove to each other. We both knew and respected each other. There was only the application of our techniques and a demonstration of control and precision that impressed those around us. He made me a better fighter.

A sensei in the dojo is a lot like a coach. When I watch my students its my duty to point out mistakes and also the things they did right. The whole point is to make the kids better. When they compete, I'm thrilled if they win, but just as proud of them when they and if they don't, because they still went out there and gave it their all.

The focus in the instance of the basketball game is in the wrong place. The team that won did so because they were flat out better than the other team. That other team deserves the credit in going out there as underdogs and competing and doing their best. Hopefully the coaches will be able to use the experience to teach the team a few things and make a better team of them.

I know people seem to like to punish winners. It can't be "fair" that someone wins so big. That's life. If you want "fair" go play Candyland.

MUSIC!

A fair fight? That would be the one I win.



That's it for me me. See y'all Friday.

Drawing to a close

Its Sunday, November 27, 2011, the end is drawing near, for my beard anyways, and this is The Side. Yes indeed, I did the whole "No Shave November" bit, and while I've gotten quite a few compliments about my chin whiskers I'm ready for it to go. Indeed, I am looking manlier than ever, but it feels like I'm wearing a mask, and while masks are great, its nice to take them off too.

That and the amount of grey in there is making me look and feel a bit old.

ENDINGS!

There are somethings that we wish would go on forever. Four of these I kind of wish could. One of them could go away and never ever come back and I'd be a happy camper. Still, its tough giving some things a proper send off. So, for any of those producers out there who might need a little ghost writing done, I've got your back!

In the finale of THE BIG BANG THEORY it is discovered that Penny is really a Russian spy and the entirety of the time she'd been involved in Leonard and Sheldon's lives she had been reporting back to her superiors and subverting the scientists' efforts. Sheldon puts the pieces into place noting that Penny has always had an amazingly sharp memory. Paranoia sets in as Sheldon tries desperately to reveal Penny's real motives without tipping his hand. Its spy versus nerd until Sheldon finally confronts Penny, only to discover that the entire thing was ruse to lure Sheldon to his surprise birthday party. Leonard finally proposes to Penny. The episode ends with Penny reporting to the Russians that everything is going according to plan.

THE WALKING DEAD concludes with Rick waking up from his coma only to discover that the entire zombie apocalypse had been a dream. This is immediately followed by every fan around the world simultaneously wailing and gnashing their teeth.

SUPERNATURAL comes to an end in their final season when the Winchester boys find themselves up against C'Thulu. Its pretty much a descent into madness, which isn't anything new to the show, but the in an unexpected twist, Sam and Dean actually get along for the entire season. This is completely groundbreaking for the show. The series ends with Dean reciting a spell from the Necronomicon, but he messes the words up and sends himself and Sam to another dimension where both of them have chainsaws for hands.

In the new final installment of the TWILIGHT series, it vampire guy (played by that weird looking dude in the movie) and the werewolf guy (played by the former Shark Boy in the movie) reveal that they were sitting around watching IN THE COMPANY OF MEN and thought Aaron Eckhart was a complete boss in that film. They went to find a really stupid girl to do the same thing to, and everything just got really, really out of hand from there. Both guys get the heck out of dodge. The stupid girl then spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out what she's going to do with her half vampire kid and thinking community college would have been a much better idea than trying to live out her gothic fantasy.

And finally, CASTLE wraps up when Castle and Beckett begin to penetrate the whole conspiracy behind who tried to take out Beckett with the sniper rifle. The person responsible hired the serial strangler that got away from Castle and Ryan to lead Castle through a series of challenges testing his deductive powers to save people. Meanwhile, this is all a ruse while the figurative noose tightens around Beckett. She's in the cross-hairs and knows it, but the team can't stop those behind that and keep up with supporting Castle against the killer. Castle breaks ranks and ditches the others for a lone confrontation with the killer, freeing Ryan and Espesito up to aid Beckett in taking down the people who tried to kill her. Castle has a whole Holmes/Moriarty battle thing and if he survives finally get together with Beckett. He also gets made an honorary police captain, because its Nathan Fillion and he'll always be a captain to us.

MUSIC!

Let's keep it simple today.



That's all from me for today. I'll see y'all Wednesday.

Turkey's on Ice.

Its Friday, November 25, 2011, BLACK FRIDAY, which i don't think is considered racist yet, and this is The Side. I actually still feel full from yesterday. Food was great. The Missus is a hell of a cook. Watched DUTCH last night. Most of the entertainment came during the day when I stopped in at NWA HQ to say howdy as John was deep frying some turkeys. His cell phone rang, which was answered with John blast his turkey caller into the phone. So the caller got to hear an automated gobble as we yelled in the background.

"He's getting away! Darren, tackle him!"

"OW! It freaking pecked me!"

"Dinner's in a couple hours! Get his feathers off!"

"I'll wring his neck!"

COMIX!

I only got one book this week, and fortunately for me it was USAGI YOBIMBO #142. "Ice Runners" is a stand alone story in which Usagi comes across delivery men besieged by bandits. They're delivering ice as a tribute for a lord from the lord of their clan. This isn't easy since its the dead of summer. Lots of things at play here. Making the delivery in those conditions alone is difficult enough. Even being a delivery person for a lord in and of itself was treacherous. The political aspects here are also a factor. If the ice is delivered Lord Ito will gain favor and honor. If the runners fail, then he's in a position to be disgraced by a competing lord. There's also a good chance that the bandits may be agents of the competing lord. Usagi offers his aid, especially once he learns the runners are from Lord Ito. You really get the sense of how important the honor of the clan is to the runners. I do have to wonder about men who did stuff like this back in history. Right now, the U.S. Postal Service is looking to cut back on deliveries due to financial reasons. This story gave me a bit more appreciation for how easily things can be delivered. As always, elegant storytelling from Stan Sakai with a great story and beautiful art.

MUSIC!

These guys have come a long way from the Dude Ranch.



That's it for me. No shopping for this guy because I like to wait for the week before Christmas before I get started on such things. However, there is a hardwood floor that needs putting down, so off to work for me. See y'all Sunday.

Got your ears on?

Here we go. Its Wednesday, November 23, 2011, I'm preparing for turkey, and this is the The Side. Yep, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Its one of my favorite holidays. I will be in town for it still year. As much as I'd like to be heading up to see my dad in West Virginia, that's a pretty expensive trip. Hopefully next year.

As for what I'm thankful for, I've still got a roof over my head. Been a tough year at the Nozz Compound, but we're still hanging in there.

LISTEN UP!

Its been an interesting week so far as there's been a bunch of cases of people listening. This shouldn't seem like such a big deal, but often it seems like everyone is so wrapped up in their own stuff that hearing someone else, and actually doing something seems kind of weird, but very cool.

I think the most high profile case was this past weekend when Mila Kunis went to the Marine Corps Ball with a Marine who asked her. I almost types 'had the guts to ask her', but that would be redundant, because he's a Marine. Of course he has guts. That's one of the really cool things about social media in that growing up when there was a big star, like Kunis, it seemed impossible for a regular person to contact them and get a real response. Sure, you could send fan letters and the like, but you always had that feeling that your letter was just one in a huge pile and might not even get read.

But now, I person can make a video, or send a tweet, and if the celebrity can see it and respond. In the case of the marine, the video went viral and word about it got to Kunis. She agreed to go and was good on her word. There were a couple of pictures taken, but she didn't turn it into some big publicity stunt. She looked very classy. I was going to hunt down a sexy picture of her from some photo shoot to put on there, but it seemed lame to do that when talking about a lady doing something classy. That and the fact all she has to do is smile to look sexy.

What's even cooler is when an institution listens to you. I got a dose of this when I went to the bank this week. The credit union I belong to has been expanding and opening new branches, which they've been really needing to do. They have one right up the road from the church I teach at now. Very convenient, however you couldn't see the tellers. They had these little booth things with a video screen and phone and the transaction was handled via a vacuum tube. One my first visit I asked about this, and was told it was for security reasons. I understood that. This set up made it very difficult to rob the place. Still, I didn't like this set up at all. If I'm giving someone my paycheck, I want to be able to see them. That and the area is a very low crime area, so the extra security precautions seemed a little silly. I still went to that branch, because of the location, and time and gas are precious things.

On Monday I went in right behind an old fella. We got to where we were to line up and the little booths were gone. Over the weekend, they had remodeled and there were three tellers behind the counter. The old fella and I were looking at each other and we were just stunned. What finery was this? I was kinda operating under the suspicion that they were really using the other set up because tellers didn't like to wear pants. To the side of the line was a veggie platter and other assorted snacks and goodies under a banner that read: "You spoke. We listened."

It absolutely made my day.

Cool things can happen when you speak clearly and reasonably. No need for protests and stupid stuff like that Occupy tomfoolery. You don't need a giant rabble around you.

Sometimes you just need a good point and the guts to express it.

MUSIC!

Decent band. here's a song of there's that doesn't get played nearly enough.



Alright, gang. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. If you're traveling, stay safe. We'll see y'all back here Friday.

Dead Swiss Glory

Howdy! Its Sunday, November 20, 2011, I'm beat for no good reason, and this is The Side. I really wish I was tired from going to watch the fights last night. I read that Hendo and Shogun went all out, and the Silva/Le fight was incredibly exciting. I was already exhausted last night, so I probably would have passed out driving if I had gone to watch them, and then there'd be nothing for you to read this morning.

Hey, speaking of reading...

COMIX!

For anyone who is looking to me to tell them what to think about the new JUSTICE LEAGUE book. Stop looking. I don't read it. I do however keep up on it via the handy-dandy abridged version.

MORNING GLORIES #14 is the perfect comic for you if you think your high school is or was the worst place on Earth. This book continues on with its touching after-school special teen drama. Hunter is still upset that Casey told him they should just be friends. Casey feels really bad about hurting Hunter's feelings. Then there's Zoe, who is trying to put on a brave face, but the girls on the cheerleading squad are saying really nasty things about her, especially concerning the three dead people. But all that's OK, because its time for P.E.! That's right, good old gym class where a stressed out student can blow off some steam. Of course, when the faculty have tried repeatedly to kill you, weird stuff happens at every turn, god only knows what the hell is going on in the basement, and a psychic woman seems to be predicting all this from the Puritan days as the man she loves is being pressed to death in front of her, a jog through the woods may not go as well as one would hope. Things get weird of Hunter, Zoe, and Jun real quick. This book is completely freaking nuts. I mean that in the best way possible.

We jump ahead a few weeks in THE WALKING DEAD #91. The last storyline caught some flack for being "slow", but its still been very good reading. The uprising got quelled and Nicholas is in seeming good standing with everyone, although they're still kinda keeping an eye on him. Abraham doesn't seem too happy with not being in charge, and that's scary. If he turns on Rick its going to get ugly. The food supply is dwindling and that's bad in the dead of winter. Carl's adjusting to his injury as best he can, and we get a very good little scene between him and Sophia. Its fascinating to see how these kids cope with the ending of civilization as we know it. We also get the big fallout from the Rick/Andrea kiss. Those who didn't like the previous story might have some gripes here with it being slow, but the last two pages promises something on the horizon. This book is incredibly consistent in its quality. Kirkman writes the hell out of it and Charlie Adlard's art is just amazing. Great book.

MUSIC!

Always nice to see a band from my hometown making some waves. There's been so many bands from around here that have been absolutely amazing and were good enough to be big national acts, but never were. Locals who follow music here know Luther's Fall, and everyone close to my my age remember the Waxing Poetics. Let's see how far these guys get, because they definitely have the chops to go far.



That's it for me today. I'll be seeing y'all Wednesday.

Boys will be girls?

Wasabi? Its Friday, November 18, 2011, I'm going to get beat up tonight, and this is The Side. I'm holding a women's self defense class tonight. These are one night crash courses which usually include me ending up very sore for the next few days. The things I do for a good cause. Ah well, I could certainly use the karma.

KIDS!

Anderson Cooper was talking to family on his show that are raising their six year old son as a girl. I didn't see the actual show because there's no power on earth that could make me sit down to watch Anderson Cooper's show. However, this show got some new traction because apparently its like a Transgender Memorial Week or some such. The Missus is actually the one who spotted this story, and it caught her eye because the kid was being picked on for being a boy who brought a princess backpack to school. Of course the solution was simple, raise the boy as a girl.

Does this mean that if a child likes something that we typically consider to be preferred by the opposite gender that this kid is transgender? Is my daughter transgender because she's a little tomboy and likes Spider-man and Ironman stuff and refuses to wear cute, "girly" clothes?

Perhaps, and this is just me going out on the limb here, its just a phase and the kid will grow out of it. My kids are four. The kid on the Cooper TV show was six. Kids change. They can be totally into something one week and the next its something different. What these parents are doing to their kids is completely nuts. All this is going to lead to is serious therapy down the road. I'm not talking about teenagers or older who have done some serious introspection and seen therapists. They know what and how they feel. They can hopefully articulate it. I'm talking about pre-sexual kids.

What happens when they get older and hit puberty? Let's leave the complications of what could happen in a public school out for right now, because it doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to realize the special hell that would be. Let's say this little boy who is now being raised as a girl gets older and starts liking girls. Does that make him a transgender lesbian, or just a straight guy who maybe likes to wear a dress on occasion? I do hear the air flow this those is quite nice. Back to topic, once you slap this label on a kid, its not something you can take off easy peasy.

It just seems like some people have lost their marbles when it comes to gender roles. There's couples who are actively trying to keep everything "gender neutral". There's been couple who give little boys dolls for whatever reason. There's been this weird movement to try to make guys more "sensitive". So if there's a little boy who actually likes some things girls like he's supposed to be treated like a girl? That's stupid. The Missus actually looked at a few stories about transgender kids and the vast majority of them were little boys who were going to be raised as girls.

I know transgenderism is the vogue cause right now with Lady Gaga rambling on about it and Chaz Bono being on Dancing with the Stars. Chaz Bono is an adult and can make his own decisions. Lady Gaga is a vapid caricature who shouldn't be asked about her opinion on anything aside from piano playing. Leave the kids out of it. People want to say that they're wanting these kids to be able to just be themselves. Bullshit. They're slapping a label on kids because they can't grasp the concept of just letting kids like what they like, and that's just flat out wrong.

MUSIC!

Yeah, they editted this version. Damned Vevo.



That's the ballgame for today. Have a good weekend and I'll see y'all Sunday.

Go, Ninjago!

Good morning, spawn campers! Its Wednesday, November 16, 2011, I have a mighty beard, and this is The Side. Yes indeedy, I'm doing the No Shave November, which is very useful in reminding me why I like to remain clean shaven. Yes, I am talking about my face, you pervos. Its pretty much the consensus that I do indeed look good with a beard. It is nice to not have to deal with keep my face shaved, because like most dudes, I don't like going through the hassle. The itching that tends to go along with growing a beard doesn't really bother me. Still, it feels like I'm wearing a mask and its not really me. Oh well, we're past the half way point in the month, so I'll be staying ruggedly good-looking for a couple weeks yet.

In other news, I've been asked to review something that isn't software, or a pheromone based cologne. Its early review time. PARTY!

COMIX!

Having two little rugrats who like comics, I'm always on the lookout for something that they might like. So, when I was asked to check out the LEGO NINJAGO graphic novel, I jumped at the chance. Its from Papercutz, the same company that's released the SMURFS comics, so that's got my attention. Before reading this I had no clue about anything with Lego's Ninjago line of toys. In fact, those who know me know that my stance is mostly anti-ninja. This book already had an uphill battle ahead of it in winning me over.

The book is a solidly written piece. Going in with no knowledge of the Ninjago mythos, I got a quick and painless crash course in everything I needed to know. In fact, I've fairly confident that I can now execute some basic Spinjitzu techniques. The story itself from Greg Farshtey is nice and straight forward. The artwork by Paulo Henrique and Laurie E. Smith is well done and managed to bring a lot of life and character to the little Lego dudes running around. It's a simple book, but a fun one. After reading it, I'm completely comfortable in letting my little girls read it.

The big question is: will my little girls want to read it? As far as Legos go, their main experience with the line is the LEGO BATMAN game for the Wii. They love that. I showed them the book, and they eagerly flipped through it. They liked it. One of them wanted to take it to bed with her so she could read it a bit before bedtime. Of course, she couldn't because mean, old daddy has a review to write, so maybe tomorrow.

Bottom line: if you've got kids who like fun and action in their stories, then this is a great book for them.

MUSIC!

Today, we're gonna party like its Windows 95!



That's a wrap for this go around. I'll see y'all Friday.

Buffy Enters The Octagon?

Hey gang! Its Sunday, November 13, 2011, I've got a ton of chores to do, and this is The Side. That's right kids, chores don't end when you grow up. They just get more in depth. Mowing the yard and cleaning your room, pail before fix the plumbing, sand down the floor, and fix the oven.

Oy vey.

Last post had a bit of traction and a lot of page views. Had a really great response over at Comic Kings. Maybe it was due to having picture of women all over the post. Well, I'm equal opportunity for my fans, so I've got a dude picture for ya, ladies!

BEATIN'S!

The UFC made its network debut on Fox last night. Unfortunately they only showed on fight. I say unfortunately because Benson Henderson and Clay Guida also fought that night and put out three rounds that earned both fighters a standing ovation. However, Fox said they only wanted to air one fight, so Dana White delivered what they wanted. The heavyweight championship bout between two undefeated fighters. The result: Junior Dos Santos defeated Cain Velasquez and is the new champ.

There was a lot of build up on the one hour show, which is completely understandable. This is the first showing of the UFC on network TV. Yes, there have been other MMA promotions on network, but the UFC is the biggest MMA promotion out there. If you have someone who hasn't checked it out before and this was their first time they needed to know who these guys are and what exactly is going to be going down here. I think the broadcast did an excellent job of that.

For those of us that do follow MMA, these guys are no strangers. These are the two toughest heavyweights around. My buddies and I couldn't even make a prediction on this one. This is also extremely gutsy of Dana White, the UFC president. Both of these fighters are capable of ending a fight in 30 seconds. What if it turned into the Mike Tyson thing and everyone gets all eager for a big fight and its over in the blink of an eye?

The fight itself was a quick one, but it did last longer than 30 seconds. There was some feeling out going on with some hard striking. Dos Santos snapped a front kick into Velasquez, who countered with an immediate takedown attempt. Dos Santos expertly slipped out of the takedown attempt. Soon after Dos Santos threw a bomb right hand catching Velasquez right behind the ear and sending him to the floor. Dos Santos capitalized with some ground and pound and referee John McCarthy smartly stepped in when one of the blows made Velasquez's arms go limp. It was a brief fight, but a really great one.

Congratulation to Junior Dos Santos.

COMIX!

Only had one book this week, and fortunately it was a good one. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON 9 #3 does what I like to see with a good Buffy story. Set things in motion, give you a good idea of where things are going, and then turn everything over in a very intelligent manner. There's a key move when doing this. If you add one piece of information that alters the context of everything you've read up until that point and it doesn't make everything before it pointless, then you've got a good turn around. We've been moving in a fun direction so far. There's vampires popping up that are more feral and stronger than usual. Bodies are being found all over the city. Something is after Buffy. Got it. Things got more interesting when Buffy meets a guy with the power to touch vampires are turn them back into humans. Of course, these humans died to become vampires, so they're dead. Still is pretty big news since the world has been cut off from magic. We get a bunch of answers as to what's been going on. The great thing is that these answers lead us to new interesting questions. I'm really liking this story, and combine that with great understanding and use of the characters are this book is a real winner.

MUSIC!

Wait! You mean this song isn't really by Dingoes Ate My Baby!



I guess i better get on those chores I mentioned. See y'all Wednesday!