I Had That! #42: Godzilla, King of the Monsters

I didn’t really start reading comics until my teens. Unlike a lot of my peers, I didn’t grow up with Superman or Spider-Man comics. I had very few comics as a kid, mostly due to lack of interest. The Time Saver on the corner where I bought candy and
stuff had a spinner rack, and I sometimes looked it over, but for the most part I was unmoved. Even the Star Wars comic lost my interest once it went beyond the movie, which is very odd. I don’t know why comics didn’t grab me.

One notable exception was Marvel’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Basing a comic around a giant radioactive lizard who regularly destroys real estate and doesn’t talk is an odd choice, to say the least. Placing it in their usual universe is somehow even odder.

As I’ve said before, I fancied myself a bit of a Godzilla fan, even though I didn’t have the patience to really sit through the movies when giant monsters weren’t on-screen. I guess the comics were a chance to get my giant monster fix without having to deal too much with non-monsters.

Since this was before the direct market, the only way to get these was to bike up to Time Saver and hope I hadn’t missed anything. That wasn’t always the case, and there were definitely holes in my collection. Still, the ones I had I read over and over, and I believe I still have some of those ragged issues stored away.

For me, the decision to set the book in the Marvel Universe proper was a detriment. Having SHIELD go after the beast with their absurd technology was fine, but when actual superheroes walked in, I lost interest. Towards the end of the run, as sales waned (and Godzilla neared New York) Marvel brought in the Avengers and the Fantastic Four and that didn’t seem to bring in superhero fans and it seriously turned me off. But since the arc of the book has Big G traveling across America from west to east, the bulk of it is superhero-free. And there are some surprisingly touching and human stories among the monster rampage, such as the story that takes place in Nevada. But there are also some just plain fun slugfests with a giant Bigfoot, Red Ronin the robot, and Devil Dinosaur. The three-part story where Godzilla fights giant alien monsters on the Moon was one of my favorites.

I eventually completed the run as an adult, but I haven’t revisited it recently. As much as I loved this, I never picked up the later Dark Horse Godzilla comics, nor did I pick up Marvel’s Shogun Warriors book.

When did I get it? Marvel’s run lasted from 1977-1979 and I bought them fairly regularly until the end.

Do I still have it? Yep, plus the black-and-white omnibus Marvel released, though I would rather read them in color of course.

Posted in Comics | Tagged ,

This Sort-Of Delicious Week

Delicious still isn’t working right, but here are the links I’ve saved there since it broke.

When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia
It’s always nice to know what our best friends in the region are up to.

This is your brain on money: Why America’s rich think differently than the rest of us – Salon.com
No duh, but still interesting, especially how we enable it.

IT HAPPENED TO ME: I’ve Been Forced Out Of My Home And Am Living In Constant Fear Because Of Relentless Death Threats From Gamergate – xoJane
Developer Brianna Wu vs. the idiots of GamerGate

3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland’s depiction of Islamabad – The Week
But we NEED the brown people to be superstitious filthy savages for the magic to work!

Real Human Beings: Shadow of Mordor, Watch Dogs and the New NPC :: Games :: Features :: Paste
Here’s the kind of videogame writing we could use more of.

Computer generated running
A video of #GamerGate

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Supreme Court (HBO) – YouTube
I oppose any idea that could somehow result in Antonin Scalia being a sympathetic character.

The Top 10 Reasons to Ban Me from Bay Area Science Festival | Skepchick
“I don’t know anything about this, but I’m against whichever one is the chick.”

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion
No, all opinions are NOT equal.

TED talks are lying to you – Salon.com
Americans love a good Capitalist fairy tale.

Rock On! How to Throw a Punk Rock-Inspired Party | Martha Stewart
Nothing says “punk rock” like Martha Stewart.

The ethics of firms paying to be honored for ethics – LA Times
Buy your way to respectability!

The Internet Arcade puts 900 classic games right in your web browser | The Verge
They have Bosconian! Blast! Off! Aloit! Aloit!

Should the Duggar Girls #FuckFirst? by Dan Savage – Seattle Features – The Stranger, Seattle’s Only Newspaper
Of course they should. Everyone should.

The Bouletcorp » It’s a kind of Magic
I seriously don’t understand the appeal of the Harry Potter world. I don’t know why anyone would want to live in it.

Brittany Maynard Didn’t Commit Suicide (What We Can Learn From 9-11’s “Falling Man”)
I’m tired of folks calling people cowards because they don’t want to die plugged into a machine and sitting in their own shit.

Ask Chris #219: If You Haven’t Read ‘Jack Staff’, Do it Now
Chris Sims talks about one of my all-time favorite comics.

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare | Rolling Stone
The people who destroyed the economy will never be brought to justice, just slapped with cost-of-doing-business fines. And that’s under Obama.

Girardi’s Frozen Yogurt – YouTube
I’ve posted this before but it deserves a repeat.

Comedy doesn’t belong to the a**holes anymore
Yeah, I’m done with “comedy” whose only schtick is “look how offensive I am! I’m trangressing social mores!”

The Truth About Anonymous’s Activism | The Nation
Wait, a group that came out of 4chan isn’t on the up and up?

Barbie Girl Scout, Cartoon Network App, Mini Mall Lead This Year’s List Of Worst Toys — Consumerist
Hooray for buying crap!

Shakesville: Wil Wheaton Gets It Wrong on Harassment & Anonymity in Gaming
I don’t care anything about Wil Wheaton, but the author opened my eyes on the value of anonymous accounts.

State lotteries and truth in advertising
State lotteries are a “game” where everyone loses, including people who don’t participate.

Twin Peaks parody by Saturday Night Live (1990) – Vidéo Dailymotion
I wasn’t watching TP at the time but I was watching SNL and couldn’t believe how much of this spoof I remembered. Takes you back to a time when Mike Myers was funny, Victoria Jackson was sexy, and Phil Hartman was alive.

Pamie » Barbie Fucks It Up Again
Barbie is not clear on what a computer engineer does.

Wall Street is Taking Over America’s Pension Plans – The Intercept
It’s not right to say no one learned anything from the financial crisis. Banks learned they can do whatever the hell they want.

Alien | Typeset In The Future
Some amazing details from the movie Alien.

Wonolo, Temp Worker App, Shows Scary Future of Sharing Economy | New Republic
Behold the future of employment.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ Fall Finale Secrets Revealed: Head Honcho On The Big Shocker And What’s Next
(Spoilers) Welp, this explains why Sleepy Hollow has gone off the rails and why you shouldn’t expect it to get any better.

The 2014 Good Gift Games – The Morning News
Matthew Baldwin’s seasonal suggestion of boardgames worth considering as gifts.

Posted in Delicious

My Proposal for a Post-Racial America

Recent events have aggravated the constant open would of race in America. They haven’t ripped off the bandages or the scab because neither has ever been really applied. There is a deep racial divide in this country, and its effects reach through every area of society.

In the wake of the Mike Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions, we are not only hearing from a black America that is crying against injustices imposed upon it, but also a white America that feels it is not being treated fairly. In an effort to begin a healing process, I’ve come up with a plan that I think addresses the major concerns being expressed.

I’m proposing a trade. From now on, only white people would be allowed to use the n-word. In addition, November would be declared “White History Month”. And one cable channel will be set aside for a White Entertainment Television network. I think these are reasonable provisions.

In return, 98.8% of all Fortune 500 CEOs will now be black, as will 99% of the Senate and 91% of the House of Representatives.

I think this is an equitable trade, as it gives white people what they seem to want most — access to a certain word and specialized history months and television channels — and black people what they want — economic and political power. I’ve actually tilted it a little in favor of whites, since they currently just want equal access to the n-word but I’m proposing they can have it completely. I hope black folks are okay with that.

I’m forwarding this proposal to President Obama, who incidentally will be the first of 43 black presidents we’ll have until we let a white guy again have a turn.

Posted in Politics | Tagged ,

Watch a Man Be Killed, Then Watch a Child Be Killed

Watch these videos. Make yourself sit through the end. Don’t skip through them or turn away. Watch every second.

My lily white safe ass has nothing to add here, but I couldn’t say nothing.

Posted in Argh! | Tagged ,

NoVVember 2014: The Pit Viper

As has been sadly customary, this year I figured I was going to skip NoVVember (the annual Lego monthly “event” in which people build spaceships based on the “Vic Viper” from the videogame Gradius, which I’ve been doing since 2008) since I didn’t have any good ideas. I had thought about an all-black VV, concentrating on texture, but I couldn’t get any traction on that. Coming back from Florida I wanted to try an Art Deco VV but it was already November 29 and I knew I’d need more time for that than I had. Suddenly I had a flash of inspiration and started work on this year’s model.

Behold: the Pit Viper. As in pit bull, not pit…er…viper. Same idea of a mostly black ship, though with some white accents in a familiar shape. The fuselage is somewhat barrel shaped, the white bits form a familiar stripe, the wings are akin to flippy ears, and the tail…is like a tail.

I’m not sure how effective this space fighter is, given its namesake. I’m sure it’s very brave, but in battle one doesn’t usually approach the enemy and demand butt scratches. Also it’s sometimes too cold for it to bother leaving the hanger.

This was a quick build, probably two hours from beginning to end. Getting the head just right was tough, and I went through about three different body iterations. There’s nothing particularly clever in the technique here, and no interesting part usage, just straight-up basic Legoing, which is fine.

You can go here for the entire gallery.

Here’s the Pit Viper next to its inspiration, who is trying to take a nap.

Previous Vic Vipers: 2013 2012 2011A 2011B 2010 2009 2008

Posted in Lego | Tagged , ,

Thanksgiving in Florida

For Thanksgiving we headed down to Florida! Specifically Ft. Lauderdale, where Becky’s sister’s family lives. We had a very nice time enjoying the sunny weather (it snowed here while we were gone), visiting with the Rozmans, and seeing some of the sights. We went to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, walked along the edge of the Everglades, and briefly took in part of Miami.

Here we are hoping to see alligators (and failing to):

The bit of Miami we saw was South Beach, where we gaped and gawped at the incredible Art Deco architecture. We both love Art Deco and were just reeling at the amazing designs. Check out this gallery!

This is a Walgreens.

Posted in Travel | Tagged , ,

I Had That! #41: Radio Shack 150 in One Electronic Projects Kit

It’s possible that folks of the current generation can’t even parse this thing. Today’s electronics don’t open up, even for a fleeting glance at a circuit board while replacing a battery. No one takes apart their TV or radio or telephone for any reason. So a box full of raw electronics is probably a puzzling artifact.

These were sold by Radio Shack, back when that name meant something. It was a collection of mounted electrical components: resistors, transistors, a speaker, an LED display, even an integrated circuit! Each one had springs next to it, and you used wires to connect the spring of component A to component B, then B to C, and so forth, until you had a completed circuit that did a thing. An included book featured diagrams on how to hook the wires up.

A lot of folks who grew up when I did and are into electronics and engineering will point to this kit and say it’s what they cut their teeth on and got them interested in their field. Me, though: I would dutifully follow the instructions in the booklet but I was just connecting dots. I never absorbed any actual knowledge of how electronics work from this. What I know about electronics came from — ha ha, I kid, I don’t know anything about the topic!

I don’t know if the instruction book included information I just didn’t bother to read or what, but this didn’t spark any interest in me at the time. It wouldn’t be until later, when I saw my friend Gene being able to design circuits on a breadboard that I wished I’d gotten more out of this toy, but even then, prior to college, I didn’t take the opportunity to, like, learn the skill.

I’ve often thought that this would make a cool “retro” iPad app. It seems like it shouldn’t be too hard to program up a simulation of one of these kits and how it worked. If it’s been made I haven’t found it. And to be honest, I know so little about the topic, I’m not sure if it would have any value to anyone other than nostalgic.

When did I get it? It looks like they made their debut in 1977. Based on my memories, I probably got one not long after that.

Do I still have it? Nope, which isn’t surprising. If I had one now, would I try to learn from it?

Posted in Geek Stuff | Tagged

And Now a Message From America’s Rulers

Remember “Occupy Wall Street”? Yeah, well that shit’s not going to happen again.

Posted in Politics | Tagged ,