Friday, November 30, 2012

Frolf Underground

Some friends of mine introduced me to a wholly unique experience: Underground Disc Golf. Basically, an old mine has been converted into two 18 hole golf courses, sand volleyball courts, a party barge cruise and live music venue. We played a round and it was both bizarre and a blast. Best of all, you play in a relative darkness that requires you to attach glow sticks to your discs--good luck if the power goes out. And it's pretty inexpensive at just $5 a round, plus whatever beer you purchase.

Check out the details here:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Humbled and Honored

The Riverfront Times is featuring a little doodle of mine inside its first-ever Comix issue. *Blush*.

Check it out (and the other artists who put me to shame):

Monday, November 26, 2012

El Gordo Grande

A friend recently reminded me about a time when we were at a trivia night and the question was “John Adams had a nickname related to his substantial weight. What was it?” The answer, of course, is “His Rotundity”, but we preferred our answer, “John Fat-ams”.

It is with this in mind that I give you, “The names I figure the neighborhood kids are calling me behind my back after gorging myself on all manner of Thanksgiving delights”.

1.     His Abundance
2.     Mr. Squishy Tushie
3.     That Fat Guy
4.     Fatty, fatty Tad Guy
5.     Slovenly in Motion
6.     Seconds
7.     Clean plate captain
8.     Gravy blood
9.     Gross misdemeanor
10. 24-never fitness
11. White men can plump

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Things I'm Thankful For (Again)

·      Moderately good health
·      Substantial facial hair
·      Innate fashion sense
·      No actual zombie sightings
·      Afternoon naps
·      Bacon brittle
·      Swimming lessons (retro active to my childhood)
·      Seaweed sushi wraps
·      Goofy friends
·      The return of bowling
·      Readers of blogs
·      Skimmers of blogs
·      Friends who cook too much food and give me the overflow

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Humor in random places

For some reason, this made me laugh. I like how every word starts with a capital letter except the last word. The last word is ALL CAPS.

"Guys, I know we added the arrows, but I really feel like people aren't getting that they need to also pull down. Like DOWN down. Y'know?"

Monday, November 19, 2012

Retro Tech

What if I told you there was a magical machine that could record the sounds and images broadcast over the air? What if this machine was ridiculously easy to use and could be programmed to record TV programs days in advance, as well as allowed you to skip commercials with relative ease? What if, stay with me here because this gets improbable, what if this machine didn’t require an ongoing subscription or service fee?

How much would you pay for this amazing device? $250? $500? $1000?

How about less than $100? How is that possible?

This amazing device is one you already owned and which I still use to this day—The VCR (video cassette recorder).

Done laughing/judging/rolling your eyes, yet?

Here’s the thing: I does everything I need it to do. I don’t have Cable TV, so I don’t have that many channels to record anyway. And, on the rare occasion when two shows I like are on at the same time, (Tuesday nights, New Girl on FOX and Happy Endings on ABC) I can usually just watch the one I didn’t record online at Hulu later on in the week. As for fast forwarding through commercials … uh, it kind of invented it. Sure, the quality isn’t as crystal clear as a live broadcast, but it’s not like most sitcoms are shows you have to watch in HD anyway.

So you can keep your fancy DVRs, Rokus and Apple TVs. I’ll spend the money I save on some good old-fashioned Compact Discs and maybe a cave drawing or two.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Get Jiro, By Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose, Art by Langdon Foss, Colors by Jose Villarrubia and Dave Stewart, Letters by Todd Klein

The Premise:
In the future, food culture dominates Los Angeles. Two chefs with divergent styles control a majority of the restaurants, but one exceptional sushi chef on the outskirts of town threatens to spoil it all.

The Good:
The authors understand their premise is ridiculous and just have fun with it. The action moves along briskly and there’s plenty of humor throughout—both broad strokes and more subtle gags. For instance, I suspect the title is a nod to the documentary. “Jiro dreams of sushi”. It rewards both cooking nerds and comic book geeks alike.

The Bad:
It’s violent and gory. Those things aren’t “bad”; just something I wasn’t expecting. Some of the premise described on the back cover, like “killing for a reservation at a restaurant” weren’t as explicit in the book. The storytelling is a bit weak in parts. Since this appears to be a one-off book, it’s fine. If it becomes a series, it could become a problem.

The Verdict:
Check it out. The star of No Reservations knows his food and his audience, so if you like his humor, it’s a pleasurable diversion while you’re waiting for your sushi rice to cool.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The future is hazy, bro.

5:02 is the new 4:20
As most informed citizens know by now, Washington State and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational* use.

The big question is whether or not the Federal government will step in and overturn the residents' wishes in order to uphold the national law, take a wait and see approach or turn a blind eye** to the whole thing.

Now, despite appearances, I'm not a pot guy. But I am a freedom guy. And I ask you this: if a county can go dry (e.g., ban alcohol), why can't a state go smokey (e.g., puff-puff-pass)? Each run counter to national policy, but are in line with allowing citizens in different communities the ability to self-govern.

**Which is ironic, considering the medicinal benefits

Monday, November 12, 2012

Life in super slow motion

James Nares: "STREET" (2012) from Paul Kasmin Gallery on Vimeo.

Most of the time, I cut contemporary artists some slack. In these modern times, with memes being created within minutes of a cultural event, it can be tough to come up with a unique vision, angle or execution. I may not love a photograph, sculpture or painting, but I can appreciate the effort.

One area, however, I don’t have any patience for is contemporary video installations. Most are just plain bad. “This is a 48-hour video of a field. It is the literal representation of grass growing.” Or something just as boring, half-assed and pretentious.

So I was impressed when I saw James Nares, Street, recently at the STL Art Museum. It’s a 61-minute film of people of all ages, races, shapes and sizes on the streets of NYC going about their daily lives in super slow motion with an eclectic musical sound track. It’s mesmerizing and holds surprises around every corner. There’s humor and pathos and emotion and a meditative aspect that’s just simply sublime.

As usual, it’s free. Just go up the stairs in the East wing.

Here is the info:

Friday, November 9, 2012

A peek behind the curtain.

I* have been blogging for over a year now. And in that time, I have only missed a few posts (Monday thru Friday) due to a few errant holidays, some traveling hiccups or technical glitches, and a couple of self-imposed sabbaticals. Now, granted, sometimes I nail it and other times, as my regular readers know, I mail it in or, gasp, fail it entirely. But for the most part, I’d like to believe that I’ve become a welcomed** part of quite a few daily and/or weekly jaunts around the web.

The one question I get asked the most often is, “Do you think you’ll ever stop posting every day?” Perhaps.

But let me take you behind the scenes*** of how my blog posts come about and, hopefully, that will show you why I’ve been able to keep up such a blistering**** pace.

First, I stay open to ideas. If I’m in the middle of a conversation and something sparks a potential post, I wait until the conversation is over—it’s called manners, people—and make a note of it on a scrap of paper or in my phone.

Second, I make time to create. This might seem like a no-brainer, but I actually have dedicated times blocked out each week in order to play around with ideas.

Third, I’ve created standard set pieces. A day in the life of X as seen by Y? Mr. Dog-Turd Hand? Graffiti sections? Yep, these are all go-tos that I can return to time and time again instead of starting each post from scratch.

Fourth, I automate. You think I actually get up at 5 a.m. everyday to post? No. I try to get as many posts done in one sitting as possible each week. It doesn’t always work out, but at least I can live a relatively normal life***** and soak in more inspiration for additional posts.

Fifth, I don’t force it. If an idea isn’t working, I put it on the shelf and return to it later. No, seriously, I literally****** have a shelf for on-hold ideas.

Finally, I’ve created a false deadline and really stick to it. My old Tae Kwon Do instructor told me once that you have to repeat an action 10,000 times in order for it to become automatic. Lucky for you, dear reader, I’ve posted 9,833 times******* thus far.

*The great and powerful Oz
***Essentially the DVD extras of my blog
****A bit much? I thought so. Let’s go with “consistent” pace.
*****For a Blogger
******I don’t really have a shelf
*******Give or take 9,500 times

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mas in Christmas

I was in a retail store the other day and there were already Christmas decorations all over the place. It was like Santa threw up elves all over the reindeer. Why am I still surprised by this? I should know better by now.

Theory #1: Sugar Rushed
Am I in denial that Halloween is over and regret that I haven’t yet eaten my body weight in high fructose corn syrup?

Theory #2: G.I. Yo!
Could it be that I have a soft spot for the fighting men and women of this great country and don’t want Veteran’s Day glossed over like so much tinsel on a tree?

Theory #3: What the frock?
Did reading the Scarlet Letter in Jr. High gave me a Pilgrim fetish, which persists to this day?

Theory #4: Save the Date … please!
Could it be that too much of a good thing is too much? Instead of Christmas being two months of unbridled joy, is it possible that Christmas is that friend who, instead of having a birth-day, has a birth-month?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote. Or don't.

Tomorrow is Election Day. Why isn’t it a national holiday where everyone gets the day off in order to actively research the candidates and issues and then get to the polls in a timely manner instead of having to get up super early and stand in line in November—seriously November—right after Daylight Savings Time? Because that would make sense.

And this election year is not about making sense. If it did, voters wouldn’t be so confused about who stands for what. Does Obama want to marry Romney or does Romney want to make an honest candidate out of that Ryan fellow? Is Akin a Scientist, Christian Scientist or Scientologist? Does Prop B stand for Brotastic or Bronchitis?

Anyway, for people who actually care to learn a little, teensy-weensy bit about who or what they’re voting for, here are a few resources. These are by no means comprehensive or wholly impartial.

League of Women Voters:

Link to Judges’ report cards in the greater STL area:

Endorsements by the two major newspapers in Missouri:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Formula for Success

After working with some of the best political scientists in the country, I've finally cracked the code to how you can participate in today's political discourse: 

This (current popular topic) supports my point (something completely unrelated).

This new Surface tablet from Microsoft supports my point that school lunches should be subsidized. 

Hurricane Sandy is proof that God intended there to be a flat tax on all personal income.

The Giants winning the World Series proves my point: Women can’t drive. 

You're welcome!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Series Review: The Richard Sharpe Series, by Bernard Cornwell

Includes: Too many books to list out. About 20 in all. Starts with Sharpe’s Tiger and ends with Sharpe’s Devil.

The Premise:
Richard Sharpe, a private in the King’s army around the time of the Napoleonic Wars, is promoted up through the ranks and beyond to take part in some of the most significant battles in British history.

The Good:
Well written. Vivid. Gripping from start to finish. Mr. Cornwell keeps the action moving and never tells when he can show. These books are erudite enough to satisfy a literary itch and packed full of suspense to slake the thirst for adventure. Richard Sharpe is like an early 1800s James Bond without the couth. And Mr. Cornwell does a superb job of not rehashing the same scenarios over and over again—each story had it’s own distinctive problem to overcome.

The Bad:
Reading these books back-to-back-to-back can get a bit repetitive in parts because, as part of a series, Mr. Cornwell has to balance the need to educate new readers of key details and yet not alienate regular readers by being too redundant. He succeeds, but the best way to read this series is by taking some time away in between each. Also, these books are about war, so they can be rather graphic and occasionally gristly. And because there are so many of the books, it’s sometimes hard to remember who is whom from where and whatnot.

The Verdict:
Dive in. These stories are the perfect way to pass the time on a flight or to wile away an afternoon. It was enjoyable and gripping and I enjoyed  pretty much every book. It was Sharpe’s Review.