I'm a happy little camper...

I just picked up two books, Patriot Acts and Walking Dead, by one of my favorite authors--Greg Rucka. Both books feature my favorite Rucka character, Attacus Kodiak. 

Rucka has written some outstanding comic books, like Whiteout, but I personally prefer his novels. If you're not a fan already, give him a shot. I think you'll be hooked like me. 

Spending too much time in the gutter...

Hands down the most popular game console in our household  is the Wii. This could have something to do with the fact that we haven't gotten around to getting an XBox 360 or a Playstation 3, but still I have nothing but praise for the Wii. 

We've purchased a number of games for the Wii, but I spend most of my time playing the Sports games which I'm pretty sure came free with the console. My wife and I play a lot of tennis, but the current fave is bowling. I just can't get enough of it. It's fun and maddening difficult at the same time. This past weekend I got my rating up over 1000 to the pro end of the chart and I was rewarded with a sparkle bowling ball (until you hit pro you play with a single color plain ball). Of course as soon as I got it I bowled a bum game, lost twenty-five skill points and lost my pro status and my sparkle bowl. I quickly worked hard to get back over the pro line. My current skill level is around 1045, which means if I bowl a couple of weak games I go back to a plain ball. 

I wonder if there are any other perks if I can get my skill level really high. Time will tell

My wife and daughter refuse to play with the straps attached to the controller. They won't play with the rubber condom-like sheath that's designed to give you a really good grip. I guess in the early days of the Wii they had people losing their grip on their controllers and would send them flying into their plasma t.v.'s and Ming vases. I would like to at least have the strap on my controller, but after Val and Dakota took them off they got lost. The cats probably have them hidden somewhere. Our cats do things like that. If you leave something like a pill bottle out on a table, they'll knock it down and roll it under the couch or in some corner. Sneaky bastards.

I want to be a better bowler but I seem to have hit a glass wall. I've been fighting the urge to look for tips online for fear that I'll find some cheat codes and then I'll be rolling 300 games and the fun will fly out the window. 

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...

Wait. That's not entirely true. The fact of the matter is that I don't have a single coconut; what I do have is a sore knee that feels like I have a toothache in it. It hurts so much that sometimes the pain goes up to my hip and down to my ankle. I think the medical term is 'presenting'. All I know is it hurts like hell.

I shouldn't be shocked that my knees are shot. I've been overweight for the past fifty years or so (actually forty-nine--but who's counting?) and I've put them through a lot.

The first sign I was going to have trouble happened when I was working at Stan Lee Media. My right leg locked up on me--plain and simple. I could bend it but it was pure agony. The doctors put me down for bed-rest and kept me drugged up to the gills. A week later it was all better. The same knee was bugging me around a year ago so I saw a different doctor and he said I needed to have the joint replaced. I scoffed at him and forgot about his prognosis--until now.

The fact of the matter is that I'm probably going to need to have both done. I wonder if they'll do both at the same time? I keep wondering what would happen if they took my knee(s) out and then found that they didn't have a replacement knee big enough. Aside from being a fatty, I have really big bones. Seriously. With my leg bent my knee feels like the size of a coconut. I don't want to come out of this with skinny kneecaps. I'll be the laughing stock at the beach.

I see a specialist in a couple of weeks to see what there is to be seen. Until then I'm in bunches of pain and nothing but over the counter crap to put a band-aid on it. I might as well be taking M&Ms.

Sorry my pipe is full of gripe but I'm missing a family reunion right this very minute. It's being held on the family ranch and the ground there is so rough there's no way I could handle it--even with my cane. Plus I don't want to be seen walking around with a cane. Everyone will think I'm an almost fifty-year-old fat guy with bad knees. 


Here's a nice Christmas present...

Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson. That should go down good after Christmas dinner. 

The saddest story of the day...

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Colby Curtin, a 10-year-old with a rare form of cancer, was staying alive for one thing – a movie.

From the minute Colby saw the previews to the Disney-Pixar movie Up, she was desperate to see it. Colby had been diagnosed with vascular cancer about three years ago, said her mother, Lisa Curtin, and at the beginning of this month it became apparent that she would die soon and was too ill to be moved to a theater to see the film.

After a family friend made frantic calls to Pixar to help grant Colby her dying wish, Pixar came to the rescue.

The company flew an employee with a DVD of Up, which is only in theaters, to the Curtins’ Huntington Beach home on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie. 

The animated movie begins with scenes showing the evolution of a relationship between a husband and wife. After losing his wife in old age, the now grumpy man deals with his loss by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, flying into the sky, and going on an adventure with a little boy. 

Colby died about seven hours after seeing the film.

The kicker is that the little girl was in so much pain she had to sit through the movie with her eyes closed. Her mother described what was going on screen for her. 

Anyone who sees any humor in this story--so much so that the Diet Pepsi they were drinking comes squirting out of their nose--should be ashamed of themselves.

Seeing UP was a nice dying wish. Mine involves Megan Fox and a can of creamed corn.


I wish my newspaper carried the B.C. strip...

I've been a B.C. fan forever, but that relationship was cemented when I wrote Johnny Hart a fan letter and he sent me a Sunday strip.

It’s almost noon—this is what I’ve done so far this morning..

For starters I only got up around ten o’clock. Sleep eluded me last night and my eyes didn’t close until Valarie got up this morning at seven. The meds that I’m currently on serve to exasperate my occasional twitchy leg syndrome. Val says that now my leg beats regularly like a big fleshy metronome.

 While I was up last night I did play a little Mario Kart on the Wii and I bowled for around an hour—long enough to reach Pro level. My reward was a shiny new bowling ball that has stars and sparkles on it. It must have been Irwin Allen night last night because I watched a good chunk of both Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure. Say what you want about Poseidon Adventure—it’s 35 years old and most of the effects are as creaky as the lead actors, but in ten minutes you get more characterization and gravitas than in all two hours of the remake, Poseidon. In the same vein, I make no excuses for Earthquake. I could live to be a happy old Fred if I never see it again. When I was watching I always root for the earthquake to kill them all.

 So, back to this morning. I got up, cleaned the remnants of the Sandman’s from my bleary eyes, and fell to the floor and did some cat wrestling. I always beat them and then they go off to lick themselves and sulk. They all did this except for Oliver, a big sausage of a cat, who automatically rolls over on his back whenever anyone is within fifty feet of him so he can get a belly scratch. He’s a sausage.

After playing with the cats I went and cleaned the litter boxes out. One of our cats, Ozzy, has the whole litter box concept backward. When he perches on the edge of one of the two boxes we have he always does it in the wrong direction and he poops on the floor. Every single day. Thankfully, for some reason when he empties his bladder he does it into the litter.

After scooping the poop and washing my hands I poured myself a healthy bowl of Apple Jacks. I turned the television on and watched the second half of Speed Racer while I ate. This movie bugged the crap out of me when I saw it in the theater and the first couple of times I caught chunks of it on cable. But I think I finally get it. I was reminded of George Lucas’ response to people who thought the first three movies weren’t as good as the original second trilogy. To paraphrase him, in essence he said “Hey, these are my movies. I hope you like them, but if you don’t that’s too bad—go make your own!” The way I see it, Los Bros Wachowski got the chance to make the Speed Racer movie they saw in their heads, and we can like it or not. Long ago I wrote some issues of the Speed Racer and Racer X comics and I screwed around with some established concepts just because I wanted to, because that’s what was in my head. I’m sure some people hated my take, but I know some folks liked it very much.

After eating I gathered up the laundry and started a load in the washer and dryer. Then I played with the cats some more.

I finally set foot in the office, chased our youngest cat Rocket out of my chair and fired up the computer. After checking email I did some research for a project I’m writing for Liquid Development.

Then I rearranged my Mighty Muggs figures. Somehow Mace Windu and Darth Maul had gotten mixed in with the Marvel characters. What goes on in here during the night. The telephone has been ringing off the hook. It’s mostly sales people (I have to figure out how to get on the DO NOT CALL registry. We were on it at the old house and since we moved it’s been hell on wheels. The other calls have been about my out standing hospital bills from my two stays. I keep telling them to continue adding on the interest and I’ll pay it when I can pay it. (You’d think they’d be happy with the hundreds of thousands of dollars the insurance company has given them so far) 

Well, it’s noon. I need to go switch over the laundry and come back here and do some real work. 


Think it through--before you tattoo. Really, think about it. It's going to be on you for a long, long time.

Japan will always be ahead of us...

Wanna know what time it is in Tokyo? Be sure to let it load.

I have a little peccadillo…

For some reason I find myself really bugged by hardcover books that are missing their dust jackets.

Last night Valarie finished the latest Lee Child novel, which I had read last week, and I noticed she put it on the shelf minus the dust jacket. I was silently appalled. I would have said something to her but with Val you have to choose your battles very wisely.

I found the cover this morning and everything is as it should be once more. I don’t have any clue why the lack of a dust jacket bugs me. I think it might have to do with the fact that I myself take the jacket off when I start reading a new book. I always wind up getting the book cover full of fingerprints from the natural oil that we all exude. The dust jacket hides these grubby little flaws. Plus, some dust jackets are just plain beautifully designed and illustrated. I wish I knew how to do that plastic coated library covering over the jackets. That would be cool. 


R.I.P. Fred’s PSP…long live the Wii!

It was time to face facts. I’m not getting younger and my eyesight sure the heck isn’t getting any better.

The PSP is a great little machine and I had a lot of good times playing with it, but The tiny screen just wasn’t cutting it—especially when there’s Wii in the living room hooked up to an obscenely big screen television.

So Dakota and I went to GameCrazy and handed them the PSP and all the six or seven games I’d purchased used. The resulting credit was enough to buy Mario Kart Racing and a couple other Wii games, along with a spare steering wheel. Dakota and I really dig playing Mario Kart on the GameCube and I hope it’s just as much fun on the Wii.

Val and I are nuts for playing tennis and bowling, so if Mario Kart turns out to be fun we can pick up an extra steering wheel for the game. A long time ago the three of us used to have fun playing Beetle Bug racing on the N64. Of course when you talk about the N64 you have to talk about James Bond in Golden Eye. I’m still waiting to have more fun than I had playing that game.

I was a pretty good this weekend...

I only bought two Mighty Muggs figures.I have to stop this obsession. No more for me...unless I find a Hulk.. Now THAT could seal the deal. In the meantime I have bunches to admire and dust everyday.