Monday, March 9, 2009

Save the Earth...

Is it too much to ask to get some recyclable dispensers at every major gas station?

I spend a lot of time on the road, and I don't know about you, but I do a lot of emptying the trash out of my car at gas stations or other pit stops on the road. I happen to notice that all they have at these places is garbage cans and nothing to dispose of recyclables. And most of the trash in my car is plastic or aluminum soda bottles/cans and various types of paper (receipts and whatnot).

Is is that hard to implement a scheme to allow one (only one, that's all I really ask, I'll walk over to one in any parking lot or gas station) recyclable dispenser in these areas? I don't think so. Who do I have to punch to get this thing started?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My first comic convention experience

Okay, so today I experienced my first comic convention, the New York Comic-Con. I'm 27 years old and an avid comic book lover, and I've never been to a convention. Sad? Depends how you look at it, I guess.

Anyway, here's a step by step process of how my day went:

5:15am Woken up to some generic classic rock song. Can't even remember.

6:00am Nearly missed the bus to New York. I shit you not, we ran up to the bus as the door was being shut and I could hear the driver shifting gears. I literally knocked on the door to get in. Cue semi-rude remarks from bus driver who was having none of my early morning jokes. Good start.

6-8:00am (roughly) Bus drive. Passed the time with twitter and iPod.

8:00am for the next hour and a half or so, we just passed the time until the convention opened. We went to Times Square, got some breakfast, spent some time in Virgin Megastore.

10:00am (again, roughly) Saturday's NYCC 2009 opens. We waited in line for a while, but pretty much from 10:30ish to 12:00, we just wandered the show floor. Perusing random booths, taking in the scenery, getting our bearings. To be honest, I was a tad overwhelmed at first. It's a pretty big show with lots of exhibitors and things to see. We hit some of the bigger booths and areas, DC, Marvel, Artist Alley. There were panels and seminars and signings all day. Now I'm not much for someone writing their name on a piece of paper or comic for me to have, so I didn't hit too many of the signings. That being said...

12:00pm Got Brian Wood to sign my copy of Local #1. It's the only signing I went to all day. Thank you, Brian. Swell guy. As is Jason Aaron, who was signing with him.

12:30pm Cup O' Joe panel. I'm sure you can read about it on Newsarama. They announced some things. There were fan questions. The usual.

1:30pm Wildstorm After World's End panel. I'm a fan of the Wildstorm books. Didn't get a whole lot of new information at this panel, but I got to ask Jim Lee what was happening with the Grant Morrison revamps of Wildcats and Authority. Good news, they actually plan to finish them at some point. That made me happy.

2:30pm The panel ends and it is desperately time for some lunch. Found a local Subway a few blocks up the street. Sandwich artist, my ass. My friend's 17-month old baby could make a better sandwich than the guys at this Subway. Still, sustenance was needed.

3-3:15pm We head back in. We wander the floor some more. Checked out the CBLDF booth. Had a little chat with Livio Ramondelli (sic), a concept artist for DC's MMO game coming out in the near future. He used to shop at the comic shop I worked at in State College. He didn't remember me, but I wouldn't have expected him to. I only met him once while I was working there. A really nice guy, and a great artist. I wish him the best of luck.

Around 4:00pm We're bored with the floor and need time to kill until the 5:15 panel I wanted to go see. So we went down the area where the panels were held and sat in on Marvel's digital comics panel. It ended up being one of the most interesting panels at the show. Brian Bendis, Alex Maleev, and Joe Quesada all showed up. Discussions were held over their webcomics subscriptions, piracy issues, and a new announcement was made for motion comics (based on the original artist's real art, and when I say "motion comics" I mean just that... these things are like mini movies complete with real movement and voice acting). They showed a trailer for their Astonishing X-Men one. Pretty cool looking. The new Spider-Woman series is involved with this motion comics initiative as well.

5:15pm Vertigo Crime panel. This was actually the panel I was most looking forward to in the day and am now subsequently most excited about. DC/Vertigo are doing an entire line a original graphic novels devoted entirely to the crime/noir genre. Well, that is right up my alley. They announced the first six or seven they're planning, all of which sound really cool, including work by Brian Azzarello (on-panel), Christos Gage, Peter Milligan (both also on-panel), Ian Rankin, and Denise Mina among others. An entire line a crime comics, hardcover, digest-sized for under $20. It's like someone at DC is reading my mind. Thank you Will Dennis and the other editor guy whose name I cannot remember. John something? Maybe?

And at 7:00, we caught the bus back to Allentown, PA. A Memorable experience, if I must say. Something I'd like to do again in future years. Learned a few things about what not to do. Example: NYCC has this whole online show planner thingie to help you plan out which booths and panels you want to attend. So I spent some time in the weeks leading up to the con to do just that. Needless to say, I had a complete iPhone shutdown once I got inside the convention center and could not access anything I had saved to this nifty little planner. So, I won't do all that again.

But the show was pretty cool. Weirdos dressed up as different comic/video game/anime/cosplay/film characters, hot chicks in next to nothing promoting some booths, one-on-one interactions with some of your favorite comic creators. Everything a comic convention should be.

We arrived at home a little after 9:00, slightly exhausted. I decided to unwind with some whiskey and an episode of Heroes on the DVR.

A good day, I'd say.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I'm pulling out of this parking lot right near where I live. I'm taking a left onto a busy road (particularly at rush hour), but it's one of those parking lot exits that bear to the right. There's no sign telling you it's illegal to turn left, it's just assumed everyone turns right. Well, it's out of my way to go all the way around the parking lot to the other exit, which has two lights on my way home too, so I turned left out of this other one. Wrong choice? Maybe, but screw it, nothing saying I can't.

Now, I don't even make a complete stop yet, and this asshole behind me lays on his horn. I look in my mirrors and these two guys are giving me all sorts of hand motions to turn right and whatnot (while on the horn, I might add). I do nothing. As is my nature, I'm naturally a pretty nice guy and non-confrontational. They waited maybe, MAYBE two minutes. At the most. Until I could make my turn and they could go right. And they would've had to wait at the next light anyway.

On my thirty second drive home, I am just fuming. I'm all anxious. About them being assholes, thinking about what I should've done (like flipped them motherfuckers off), whatever. These two insignificant motherfuckers nearly give me a panic attack. I get into my house and my heart is racing, I'm all shaky 'cause I'm nervous or anxious or something. From what? Two dipshits in an SUV. Well, fuck that. I wasn't going to allow it. I haven't had one in a while and these two jackoffs were not going to be the catalyst for my discomfort. I went straight to the fridge and chugged a beer. Now I'm writing this post.

I'm good now. I feel better.

Christ, why do I let this kinda shit get to me so much?

New no. 23!!!

Arsenal signed Andrei Arshavin. He'll be wearing the no. 23 shirt.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

No Arshavin deal... yet.

Well, I must have been a little drunk when I posted that last entry because I contradict myself all over the place.

Alas, the transfer window is closing in about 25 hours and still no progress on the Arshavin deal to Arsenal. Speculation abounds, but we'll just have to wait and see if anything develops overnight or tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Midfield help...

I tire of this transfer saga for Arsenal to sign the Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin. I really just wish it would happen so we (the fans) could be done with it. I know Arsene Wenger thinks his squad is complete as is, and is really only looking to strengthen at this point in the season, but we all know that's bullshit. The injuries to the frist team squad have taken too much of a toll, and we need some help to get back into the Premier League title race.

Can Arshavin be our savior? Surely not. But with Fabregas, Walcott, and Rocicky out in midfield, we need some creative spirit at the heart of this team. Arsenal's midfield is depleted, and although it's against Wenger's tendencies to sign experienced players rather than develop youth players, now is the time to bring in some real talent. It's been too many years since any silverware (Carling Cup, FA Cup, league title, or Champions League) has been won, and the fans are becoming restless.

They will shatter their transfer record if a fee is agreed for Andrei Arshavin (believed to be in the region of 15 million British pounds at this point), but something must be done to save the season. The Gunners currently sit 5th, behind Aston Villa in the table. I, as a fan of one of England's top four teams, just will not be happy with anything less than a fourth place (and Champions League qualifier) finish. The club needs to focus on being in that tournament next year, among other things.

Now personally, I'm not entirely sure another creative midfielder is just the thing Arsenal needs at the moment, what with Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Ramsey, Walcott, and Rosicky all filling that role. A quality holding midfield player could be the key to the future for the club, but with key playmaker Cesc Fabregas ruled out until April, maybe an experienced attacking midfielder is the correct decision. If only Arsene could sign Arshavin AND Miguel Veloso in the January transfer window, I'd feel comfortable closing out the season with that team, considering the injuries already. But there's just no way the club can afford both top talents in this market, especially with Zenit St. Petersburg's inflated asking price of Andrei Arshavin.

I just want all the speculation to be over. I understand the widespread dislike of the January transfer window, but as a fan, it really is an exciting time of the season. Sure, there are entirely too many unfounded rumors of players switching clubs that never materialize (Kaka to Man City?), but it can be exciting. And with a club like Arsenal, with the injuries incurred this season, the transfer window is in place to bail them out. So all I really would like to see is some move, any move, on the transfer market by Arsene Wenger. Lord knows we can can use some help in defense (with constant knocks to Gallas, Toure, and Silvestre, who are all less than impressive) and like I highlighted above, in midfield (with the many injury problems and Flamini, Hleb and Gilberto Silva leaving this past summer).

The Gunners need help. The Champions League will miss us next year if we don't improve.

Thanks for reading. Even if you don't have any clue what I just went on about.

PS I apologize for the excessive use of parentheses.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Internet connoisseur?

I'm in danger of becoming someone who actually knows what they're doing on that interweb thing.  Just joined and linked it to my twitter account.

Heh... what?