Friday, August 19, 2005


Finally made it out to Santa Rosa last weekend to check out the Charles M. Schulz Museum. The last time I was out in that area, the museum was still an empty lot.

I had a double reason (triple, if you count the cool candy store we also went to that day) to want to go. Not only am I a big Schulz fan, but Michael Jantze, creator of The Norm, was the museum's cartoonist-in-residence that day.

The Norm is one of my favorite strips. If you haven't already done so, go check it out. Subscribe. It's good fun.

Despite the fact I've met Mr. Jantze a few times at comic conventions, I was still my normal case-of-the-stuttering-duhs self.

He was giving pointers to some of the younger patrons and was signing books and doing sketches. I was going to ask for one of Norm, but then I had a better idea.

In the strip, Norm has a friend who's a huge Star Wars fan -- he dressed as a Wookiee when they waited in line to see The Phantom Menace.

So, in honor of my little Wookiee, I asked for a sketch of Chris the Wookiee.


It's really cool and more than made up for the four-hour drive that should've taken less than three. Between that and the candy store, it was a pretty good day.

Oh, and the museum was pretty cool, too. Lots of original Peanuts art, which was really neat to see. They even have some round-headed kid out front, too.

He doesn't say much, though.

Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known

According to this site, it would take 314.31 cans of Wild Cherry Pepsi to kill me from the caffeine.

That sounds like a lot of soda, but I'm a little worried. I don't drink Wild Cherry Pepsi in cans; I go for the 24 oz. bottles. I could do the math, I suppose, but I like living on the edge.

(via Metafilter)

I know I should be outraged that grown adults would stoop to such unprofessional behavior, but I couldn't help giggling when I read about this. It wasn't the first derogatory name in this story that made me snicker, but the second one.

I'm forever 11, what can I say? My brother may just have a new nickname next time I see him...

(via Boing Boing)

I've been reading "For Better or For Worse" for a long time, and the current storyline has a lot of people talking. Lately, I find myself holding off on reading the strip until I read Gael's summary.

While perusing the toy section at Target yesterday (for my son, not me...), I saw a game that I might just have to pick up: The I Love the 80s trivia game. Of all the useless knowledge stored in my brain, stuff about the 80s occupies the largest chunk.

From what I saw on the back of the box, though, some questions require you to sing. With my luck, I'd have to sing "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake, thus putting me in a dilemma.

Torn between my desire to win and my not wanting to admit I know the words...


Thursday, August 18, 2005

'Cause I'm Mr. Brightside ...

Swung by Target to pick up a few things. I guess it's been a while since I had to buy cold medicine for my son (he's got the sniffles), because now you can't buy some of them off the shelf (the medicine, not my son). Pseudoephedrine can be used to make meth, the sign says.

Instead, you grab the corresponding card and take it to the pharmacy counter. You also have to buy it there. At first I thought it was kind of an inconvenience, but then I realized that I didn't have to wait in the long lines up at the front of the store.

It's nice to see that meth addicts are good for something, I guess...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Don't have a cow

I read an amusing letter in the paper this morning about the ongoing controversy on cows and their effect on the environment. The writer suggested sending the cows into space.

My first thought was to wonder if they'd really be able to reach escape velocity. Cows weigh an awful lot, as does any spacecraft they'd be sent in. Chances are that the best they could achieve is maybe a low-Earth orbit.

Which I guess would make them the, uh, herd shot round the world.

I'm so ashamed...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The candy, man

The candy aisle at the local drug store just isn't that much fun anymore.

As I've gotten older, my appetite for candy has diminished substantially. It tastes different, if that makes any sense.

I think even candy makers are getting bored, because all they're doing is varying the shapes, sizes and flavors of established brands.

Don't get me wrong, it's kinda cool to see a giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a white chocolate Kit Kat. But it's not really new.

Now that I'm more of a glutton for punishment than for candy, I've set my sights on less common candy. I developed a taste for Cadbury Snow Flake, which I found at Cost Plus.

But once I said out loud that I liked it, Cost Plus decided not to carry it anymore. I tried ordering it online -- the store I found was out.


But there were a few other candies that are for one reason or another, not widely available in my neck of the woods.

I learned of the Valomilk cup from Steven Almond's book, "Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America," which is a really cool book. Once I read the description, I just had to try one.

So I ended up ordering a bunch of candy from various online retailers, and I was happy with what I got.

Especially the Valomilk. But it gets kind of expensive -- not so much for the candy itself, but to ship it. Plus, with it being summer, a lot of places don't ship them when it's so hot.

That's why I was pleasantly surprised to find them during a recent excursion with my wife. We checked out Powell's Sweet Shoppe in Windsor because we were in the area, and we'd heard that they had a great selection of candy.

That's no exaggeration. Every candy I'd ordered in the past year or so was there for the buying: Valomilks, Flicks, Snow Flakes, you name it. Ignoring the drool that was likely collecting at the corners of my mouth, I filled a small basket.

I was like a kid in a candy store.

And even better, they also have a soda shop with a similarly electic selection. I sampled a Dr Pepper from the bottling plant in Dublin, Texas. Mmmm....

Roughly $50 later, I happily strolled down the street with a bag of sweets in my hand. Now the fun part is carefully rationing my haul so it doesn't disappear too quickly.

Should you ever find yourself near Windsor, I highly recommend stopping by the store.

Just give them a day or so to restock.

A piece of cake

If those Pillsbury or Betty Crocker folks were smart, they'd market a cake mix that, instead of being a specific flavor (chocolate, spice, rainbow chip), was generic. With small additions of your choice, you make the cake you want.

Sometimes you want to make a homemade cake, but you just don't have the time to sift the flour and all that jazz.

I'd call it Scratch.

"This cake is terrific? Is it a mix?"

"I made it from Scratch!"

Monday, August 15, 2005

Uncontrollable habit

Whenever I get out of the back seat of a less-than-roomy car, I'm compelled to sing a phrase of that mysteriously-ubiquitous-but-don't-know-the-name-of-it circus music.

Not that you asked; I'm just saying.

Thinking too hard?

I read a story in this morning's paper about how this summer's crop of action movies aren't doing so well.

Says "Stealth" director Rob Cohen,

"You had Ridley Scott with 'Kingdom of Heaven,' and Michael Bay ('The Island') gave you cloning. I don't think this generation sources their heroes in this arena. Maybe they'll source their heroes as two guys who crash weddings so they can have sex with vulnerable girls. ... Action films are usually about the male hero, and if you live in a time when you don't believe in heroes, it makes it difficult ... (to) make action films as they've been traditionally defined."

I know this sounds crazy, but could it be that people aren't coming in droves to see these movies because they, well, suck?

To be fair, I have seen very few movies this summer. One, actually -- the new Batman flick, which I thought was pretty decent.

But I've seen enough bad movies to know what I will and won't like. For starters, if you have a theoretically unique plot twist in your movie, maybe you should save it for the movie instead of blowing it in the promos.

It's gotten to the point where the entertainment I derive from movies is trying to guess which character is going to fulfill the formula requirements. Every now and then, they'll get tricky and make a different character do it, which is cool for a second before I remember that they're still making the movie by the numbers.

That's why I tend to watch the stuff I do. I already know that most of them are pretty bad, but I can honestly say that I'm more surprised by cheesy horror and sci-fi movies than with most Hollywood offerings.

I mean, when a guy wakes up to find that he has a giant papier mache turkey head, you've got to give them some kind of credit.