Essays, Poetry, Observations, Etc.

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What a Marvel-ous Age!

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2015 at 12:32 am

This is the age of the comic book movie. This is the age when the 2-D heroes of 50 years ago become the 3-D superheroes of today.

In the 1960s, Stan Lee and Marvel comics set out to deliberately create superheroes that fit specific markets. Specifically, the comic book buying male audience between the ages of 11 and college. It was almost counterintuitive. Comic books were like Westerns. You made them with likable stars and hoped the audience liked them. If not, you made another. But to actually design a hero and build in flaws that connected to the reader, that was different.

In 1964 I was 11. Up till then I comic book tastes were the usual DC fare. I could quote you Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Batman, Flash, etc. chapter and verse. DC comics published 25¢ collections of previously published comics in the 50s.

Then along came The Fantastic Four. The first four issues were, how can I put this, meh. Then came issue five, the introduction of Dr. Doom. And then it seemed to take flight.

Spiderman. ‘Nuff said. It was as if it spoke to nerdy junior, now middle school, boys who were smart enough to be wondering what high school, life and love, oh, let’s get real, sex, were going to be like when we became “men”. In the fifth and sixth grade, both of which were in elementary school back then, I became very adept at drawing profiles and depictions of the female anatomy, particularly the mammary aspects, ahem, if you’ll pardon my gradeschool bluntness. It may not be politically correct, but your average pubescent male is not the least concerned with politically correct behavior, if they even understood the concept as applying to them!

Marvel comics became the comic book of choice right as the peak of the baby boom past o’er these hallowed shores. They did quite well for themselves. And they kept trying to replicate the development structure throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. And it worked. X-Men and many others kept the enterprise profitable.

Pushing the 2-D format into the 3-D world, or at least the simulated 3-D world of movies, was always problematic. Special effects are the killer and comic books are, if nothing else, about the special effects, the boldness of the form. They tried. Nick Fury, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spidy, never were quite belivable beyond animated form. Just moving comics, but still unreal.

And then came Columbia/Sony who showed the way with the best special effects they could afford for Spiderman and the X-Men series. Marvel took notice and set about establishing their own corner of the universe.

First they needed money and backing. As long as the original investors in creators only increase their income they were fine with Disney buying them out, as long as they retained creative control. It worked.

Marvel/Disney have created an entertainment juggernaut. And, just as in the past, the fans, the new generations of fans, both young and old, create the backbone of this forms profitability.

Every age has its Jules Verne, its Sherlock Holmes, its popular fiction that grabs the attention of people starved for excitement and adventure. The Marvel series, the MCU, is this age’s answer to that.

At 61, if I have properly understood their plan in creating their movie series, I should be able to enjoy the completion of this particularly enjoyable entertainment cycle.

Excelsior!

Perchance to Dream – as haiku

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2014 at 9:31 am

Detailed dreams torment
with clear yet obtuse visions,
meanings beyond reach.

* * *

#haiku
#poem
#poetry
#budalla

Mighty Hunters

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Eyes sharp, the cat stalks.

Its quarry lies motionless.

Pounce! The lap is filled!

* * *

#haiku
#poem
#poetry
#cats
#mightyhunters
#budalla

Osborne 1 & Toshiba T-1000, Houston area

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

I am looking for a good home for an old Osborne One, injection mould series, and a Toshiba laptop, T-1000.

I am not trying to sell them, just trying to place with someone who may collect old computers.

The O1 has all the manuals, add on modem, monitor adapter, and original software packages, along with application software from the day, and several issues of FOGHorn magazine. At over 30 years of age, however, I suspect the disks may have demagnetization issues.

The T-1000 uses DOS on 3.25 disks. Do not have disks. Battery needs replacement, but it not a proprietary battery. Batteries+ can take care of that.

They are both in their original, if aging, boxes.

Comment and I will respond.

Update: They have found a home! Yay!

Truth in perspective

In philosophy, reflections, Uncategorized on February 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm

What is truth? This is one of the oldest questions in existence. We tend to take it for granted. We think we know what truth is. Except what we often think of as truth is merely opinion.

My truth may be different from your truth. And yours different from someone else’s. Every single person on the planet has a variation of what is the truth, even babies. And truth can be hurtful, even destructive when treated dogmatically.

One person’s facts are just opinions and speculation to another. To someone locked in on the truth, that statement will often cause tempers to flair with much huffing and puffing about what truth is… to them and often with complete disregard to what you might believe. It is one of the many reasons we are so polarized politically in this country. Both sides are wedded to their own “truths,” unwilling to even consider the other’s viewpoint.

Think of it this way, my favorite is the “fact” that the sun rises every morning. It’s what we grew up with. Everyone knows it to be true. Except it isn’t, except from our perspective. The earth rotates to face the sun every morning. The sun stays put, the earth moves.

Perspective, that what ends up defining our “truths.” It ends up defining what we perceive to be good or bad.

So, what is truth? That may be unanswerable. Maybe a better question should be, what is your perspective?

A Post Election Observation – 2012

In Uncategorized on December 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I wrote this in the days after the election when I realized my daughter was 4 years away from her first vote.

My daughter is now 14. Her first chance to vote will be in November, 2016.

She has, with every idiotic, borderline racist, and misogynistic comment that has been put forth by various and sundry Repubs, become staunchly Democratic. That’s right, GOP, you have managed, almost 4 years out, to secure a Democratic vote in every race she can cast a ballot, to ensure she will be voting for anybody that is *not* a Republican. Way to go!

Better still, she is not the only one they alienated. Many young women that had ever so slight conservative leanings have been repulsed by what some have described as “creepy old men.” And given Republican demographics, a goodly number of their older voters will have passed on through the heavenly vestibule. Yep, in appealing to the basest of the base, the Repubs may have enabled their own decline.

Note: For the record, I am a Centrist at heart. I vote for people, not parties, but lately votes tend to be for Democratic type people.

the accident/repair story

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm

(This is not really poetry, but I am cross-posting it here, as well as my bio-blog.  It goes to show how to deal with a crisis deliberately and effectively, using every means available and without pausing to waffle in indecisiveness.  Think Jimmy Cagney in Billy Wilder’s  1, 2, 3)

.

I was on my way to work/school.

I hit a curb avoiding getting hit by another car. Car changed lanes into my passenger side. I accelerated to squeak out ahead of it, while steering into the curb minimize the collision. Almost controlled the re-entry… almost. *sigh*

Smashed the driver’s side wheel. Bent a a cast rim, shattered the control arm, broke the steering tie rod, bent a strut tie, and destructed the CV axle.

Car would not drive forward, but could move in reverse. Backed up and across Telephone road into a Kroger, then an O’Reilly Auto Parts parking lot where the car became undrivable 6 feet from the parking space.

Waited for the the store to open. My brain was swirling with the rush of adrenaline and irritation at not avoiding the accident better.  Started making plans and executing them, dealing with and surmounting each issue as it came up. My original plan was to buy the parts and replace on site, if they let me. I figured it was a 3 hour job.  But I am getting old and hoped for something better.

Went inside. Negotiated, er, schmoozed the parts store staff. The Something Better came up as I flirted with the clerk.  She was married, but very nicely recommended a small repair shop store personnel and friends used for personal work.

Bought the parts, $240, and then paid the mechanic $150 to tow and install the parts. After school, I went to PepBoys for a new tire, $100, then $80 to realign. Had an old Volvo 850 rim, exact same size, which has some minor cosmetic damage in storage. New tire went on passenger side rim, moved the old tire to the old rim, moved it to the driver’s side rear, and moved the rear tire to the site of the destruction.

Some minor cosmetic damage to bumper and a bit of plastic. No noticable body damage.

Accident happened at 6:45am Thursday morning. Bought parts at 8:15, arranged repairs by 8:30. Student’s grandmother picked me up, got me to school by 9:15. (My student’s mothers manned the school till I got there.) Picked up the car after school. Discovered one last problem, outer control arm. Replaced it in my ex-wife’s driveway. Back to PepBoys and had car aligned by 8:15pm Thursday night. 13 hours from accident to finish. Missed 2 hours 15 minutes of school. (Who da man? lol)

If I dealt with the insurance company, it would have cost me a $500 deductible, and I’d still be trying to get an estimate, driving a rental, and the car wouldn’t be ready till late next week… and cost about $1200 to $2000, including rental.

All told, it was a typical I-am-going-to-plan/negotiate/execute-my-way-out-of-this operation. I can be hell on wheels when I have to save my boney ass, money, and time! LOL!

And that’s the accident/repair story.

Consistency

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm

If you don’t love all,

then you don’t love at all.

Thought of the Day Redux

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2012 at 12:25 am

Thought for the day.  Something I wrote once and  based on the second of the Two Great Commandments:

 

Accept the preferences of others, and acknowledge they have the same rights you enjoy, just as you choose to accept and enjoy your preferences, be what they may.

 

Love and accept others as you would have them love and accept you.

 

Accept them and love them as they are.

 

There is no other way.

 

Then, love or love not.  It’s your choice.

 

But you can’t make the choice for other people.  You can only have love for yourself and others.  You can’t force others to love, you. anyone else, or anything.  There can be no expectation on the part of others to love you or return it.  You can only have it within yourself for yourself and others. 

 

What most can’t accept, or even believe, is that you have to love and accept yourself before you can love and accept others. For how can you love others if you have no loving reference point for yourself?

 

All you can do is love and hope it’s returned.

 

That’s the best we poor souls can do in this life.

Thought for the day (and for life)

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I wrote two versions of the following after trying to write an entry on some issues. I junked everything and distilled it down to this:

Accept the preferences of others, and acknowledge they have the same rights you enjoy, just as you choose to accept and enjoy your preferences, be what they may.

(Okay, I could probably lose the “be what they may”, too)  lol