Let's Have A Partita!

Get the respite you deserve another time.

Location: Cantonment, Florida, United States

Well, uh, hmm...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Consant Updates! Sometimes!

Well, here it is, the wrist. A rather complicated bunch of tendons, muscles, nerves, and bones. An amazing bit of creation, it is also quite easy for some of us to damage ours. If you've fallen, on yours, don't delay. See a doctor right away.

How can you tell if some part of your wrist is injured? There are several possible problems that can cause wrist pain. Here's a few:

1. Misalligned bones. This can cause the tendons to have to take a different path, and can cause inflammation due to the tendon having to move at an angle rather than straight, like God intended.

2. Damaged tendons. They can be torn, or have growths on them, which will cause pain when they have to move through their sheaths.

3. Muscle issues. Whether the muscles in your forearm or wrist are torn, have knots, or are otherwise injured, it can cause pain in your hand. Sometimes, pain in the hand can be a result of a muscle problem elsewhere in the arm. Personally, when I get pain in my index finger, I can massage the knotted muscle in my forearm and the pain goes away.

4. Growths. There can be growths, such as cysts or even tumors, that grow on or next to the tendons which can cause pain and limited movement.

Talk to your doctor about potential problems with your wrist, and don't let it go for too long. If you do, it will be harder and harder to fix.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Could it be? I never thought I would see it happen, considering the last time it happened was 3 years before I was born. Could it be that Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward could be touring and recording again? According to
  • Joe Siegler's very respected and accurate Black Sabbath site
  • , it very well could be happening again. Now, I consider this lineup to be the absolute greatest lineup of musicians in heavy metal history, and it only put out one album (Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell) and toured for a few months before drummer Bill Ward had to leave the tour due to health issues. I had always loved Black Sabbath for its thick, sludgy guitarwork by Tony Iommi, and the thundering rhythm section of Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, but was never too keen on Ozzy Osbourne's singing. Also, I absolutely love Ronnie James Dio's voice, I think it is the best in rock, but was never too hot about Dio, and I just kinda like Rainbow. But Dio in Sabbath was like cloud 9 to me. And as good a drummer as Vinny Appice is, I just wish that it could have been Bill Ward behind the kit on Mob Rules, Live Evil, and Dehumanizer. So, Heaven and Hell has always been the epitome of rock albums for me. 8 truly classic tracks that stand against anything ever put out by the Metallicas, Megadeths, Judas Priests, and Iron Maidens of the world. The best I could do as for seeing this lineup live was finding bootlegs of live shows, but that's a poor substitute for the real thing. If this reunion and tour happens, I will spend any amount of money to see one of the shows. Although I'm not one for rock concerts (constant shouting, smoking, people jumping around, even sometimes women taking their tops off, and always horrendously filthy toilets, if there are any, that is), but I can filter that crap out if it means seeing these guys live. And besides, I don't want to be one of those rabbit hole Christians who only goes to Christian things and never has an impact on non-Christians. Also, they're all in their fifties. Heck, Dio is in his sixties. How long are they going to keep touring? I gotta see 'em now! And so do you! Buy some o' them freakin' tickets!

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    'Nother Script

    Ok, here's a concept I had for a show about a guy who hosts a talk show that features superheroes. I wrote three scripts, each takes about three minutes to go through, which, ironically, is about how long it took me to write them. You will be able to tell because sometimes the writing sounds unnatural or like it lost it's focus. It's certainly not streamlined, but I wrote it because I wanted to establish some characters and remind myself of the premise so I could go back and perfect it when I wanted. I just never got around to that. So, here's some background info:

    Peter Simmons is a balding, aging tv show host who has gone nowhere in his career, but finally landed a semi-decent job interviewing superheroes. They don't respect him, and just see it as forum for publicity and a quick paycheck. His producer, Helen, doesn't like dealing with him, but since Peter has a tendency to get nasty with the guests, she sticks around to make sure he stays in line. Several characters that don't make it into this particular script are Larry, the inept sound guy, who has a terribly grating voice and personality, Steve, the laidback and ineffectual stage manager, and Rick Nelson, who works "in the booth" doing some unknown job, and always brings his son, Billy, who has no mouth/brain filter. I thought it would be funny to go one step further than movies like Mystery Men and make the superheroes not only commonplace, but secondary to the actual story. I have complete confidence that this idea will not get stolen because my readership is a cozy single digit number. Also, all ideas here are now copyrighted. And I don't know who'd really want it that badly. So, here's a little snippet of one of the interviews. For this episode, the board that controls the cameras has had coffee not just spilled, but poured all over it. So, the whole crew has had to move over to a neighboring set...

    Peter Simmons: Hello, and welcome to “Inside the Superhero’s Mind”. There’s been a bit of a set change this week, as you can see. We are currently on the “Cooking With Oils” set, which the host, Gerard, kindly let us use. After we bribed him. And for some strange reason, the network also decided to let the audience from “Cooking With Oils” watch our program.
    Audience Member: You aren’t Gerard, YOU SUCK!
    Peter: You’ll have to bear with us folks, we’re not used to having an audience. Anyhow, my guest this week is a recognizable face, he’s been in countless television commercials, was Time magazine’s man of the year, and has been on every major talk show on basic cable, please welcome “Perfection” Guy Powers.
    PG: It’s tolerable to be here, Paul
    Peter: Peter.
    PG: Interesting you assume I care.
    Peter: So, “Perfection” Guy,
    PG: Please, my friends call me Guy. You can call me Mr. Powers.
    Peter: I see. Well, Mr. Powers, how come it took you so long to be on our show?
    PG: Well, the truth is, I didn’t even know your show existed until last year.
    Peter: So you didn’t watch it until last year? We’ve been on for over five years.
    PG: I never said I watched your show, heck, I STILL don’t care about it. I can’t sit through five minutes of it. My agent said this would be good publicity.
    Peter: (stunned silence, light applause from audience) Ok... well, how did you get your nickname “Perfection”?
    PG: I’m Perfect.
    Peter: That’s it?
    PG: Yup.
    Peter: Oh, come on, no person is perfect.
    PG: I am.
    Peter: Ok, well, going a little deeper than that explanation, who originally gave you the name?
    PG: I did.
    Peter: So, no one else gave it to you after noticing some heroic deed, you just started calling yourself “Perfection”?
    PG: Yup. Perfect people can do that kind of thing. It's one of the cooler perks.
    Peter: Let’s delve a little into your past. When did you first realize that you had what it took to become a superhero?
    PG: It all started when I was five years old. One of my toys rolled under my Dad’s car. So, I picked it up and tossed it aside.
    Peter: What, the car?
    PG: Yeah, it went pretty far. Landed in some guy’s yard. Crushed one of those plastic pink flamingoes. That was pretty cool.
    Peter: Was your dad angry?
    PG: Who?
    Peter: Your dad, was he angry?
    PG: Oh, man was he ever.
    Peter: What did he say when he found out what happened?
    PG: I don’t know, he was in the car at the time. He knew what happened pretty quick, I guess.
    Peter: Right. When did you first perform your first heroic act?
    PG: Well, one day, when I was five, this guy kept screaming that his cat was in this tree. So, I ripped the tree down and shook the cat out. But was the owner grateful? No. He started yelling at me, and was all “You killed my tree” and “You were the guy who threw the cat up there in the first place.”
    Peter: Fascinating. When did you first design your costume?
    PG: Well, I believe I was five at the time. I was really into stuff like “Superman” and “The Flash” and “Cosmopolitan.” I wanted something that said “I’m strong, I’m fast, and I have good fashion sense.”
    Peter: And of course you had to make new ones as you grew.
    PG: No, no, I’ve been the same size since age three.
    Peter: Lovely image. Now, I read in the newspaper recently that you got married, congratulations.
    PG: Oh, yeah. “Married.”
    Peter: What’s that supposed to mean?
    PG: None of your biznotch, monkey boy.
    Peter: Biznotch? What the heck does that mean? Helen, advanced knoweledge of ebonics was not part of my job description.
    Helen: Keep going, Peter.
    Peter: So, Mr. Powers, where is your wife? Is she here tonight?
    PG: No, no. In fact, I really hope she’s not watching this.
    Peter: Why’s that?
    PG: Stay out of my personal life, toupee-jockey.
    Peter: I don’t wear a toupee! This is my real hair! It’s just that the top part of my hair has kept its color better than rest of my head, that’s all.
    PG: Fine, Captain Denial. Small, furry animals just crawl up and die on peoples’ heads like that all the time.
    Peter: Wonderful. So where do you and your wife live?
    PG: New York and Boston.
    Peter: Oh, you guys have two homes.
    PG: No, I live in New York, she lives in Boston.
    Peter: Well, Mr. Powers, what was your first television commercial?
    PG: I got to do the voice of Scotchy, the angry Scottsman. It was for this breakfast cereal that was supposed to be like “Lucky Charms”. It was called “Down and Out Whiskey-O’s.” The only problem was, our target audience of ages five to seven couldn't get the cereal. Some alcohol age limit or something. Also, they said Scotchy was too aggressive for beating a cardboard “Lucky” using a cast iron shillelagh.
    Peter: I see. Well, we have time for one more question. Mr. Powers, what do you consider to be the hardest part of your job?
    PG: Having to do shows like this.
    Peter: That’s all the time we have this week on “Inside the Superhero’s Mind.” I’m your host Peter Simmons, and my guest has been “Perfection” Guy Powers. Stay tuned for “Cooking With Oils” with your host, Gerard.
    Audience Member: GERARD RULES!

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Well, well, well.

    I thought that I could update this daily. Hmmm. Not so. Well, I gotta figure something out here...

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Hello, again.

    Well, I think my readership has dwindled to a quite sterile "zero." I will try to get a real website sometime soon, once I can either get on my father's host, or my own host. In the meantime, please enjoy... uh, well, I guess I'm the only one reading this, so, uh, yeah. Enjoy your blog, Paul.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    The sorry state of comics

    No, I don't mean standup comics, though they are in a sorry state these days, having been unable to elicit a laugh without the words "sex," drunk," and "republicans are dumb" for the past 10 years. No, I mean the kind of comics you and I read in the newspaper, or on our particular newspaper's website. What kind of comics eat up 90% of the page? Why, utter crap of course. Let's look at some of them, shall we?

    Fred Bassett: There is no excuse for this comic to be on the page. Not only is it dull and repetitive, but the man who created it died 15 years ago. No, it hasn't been taken over by new artists and made less funny, like what happened to Pogo or Nancy so many years ago, or Shoe more recently. The strip has always been terrible. I understand rerunning old Peanuts strips, or the Katzenjammer Kids, but Fred Bassett? Is he really such a cultural icon that we need his unwelcome presence?
    Now, I own three dogs, so the charm of reading a dog's mind could interest me. The problem with Fred is, he has the same kind of thoughts as that one weird, unfunny person we kinda know, but don't like to talk to for very long. (For those of you who kinda know me, it's not you, so don't worry about it.) In other words, the thoughts of Fred Bassett are the kind of thing that someone with no sense of humor would say in a group setting, causing all the "nice" people to chuckle nervously, and the ones who aren't nice to say something like, "What does that even mean? Dude, just quit talking."
    I keep thinking that Fred Bassett is missing panels, and that somewhere there is an editing room floor with unused punchlines, ones that would make us laugh, and shed light on why what strips we did see tended to go nowhere. But, considering that the creator is dead, he probably asked for them to be burned so that no one could go fix the strips later.
    This also got made into a television show in England. We haven't even gotten a television show for Get Fuzzy yet. Scary.

    Drabble: If you've read this strip, you probably don't know it. Ok, imagine a comic with writing that doesn't have the wit and pinache of Family Circus, the artistic vision of Hagar the Horrible, or the insightful wisdom of Zippy the Pinhead.

    Ok, still don't know? Well, ok. It's about a college age guy who's rather dimwitted, but not charmingly so. He lives with his parents who are also dimwitted, and, in a truly shocking reversal, he has two kid siblings that are intelligent and "with it." This brings a side point I feel compelled to make. I would like to stop seeing comics that make the kids out to be the smart ones and the parents/adults the morons. Who exactly pays the rent and has life experience, here? That's what I thought.
    Now, Drabble isn't the ordinary dumb that we find in people who smoke and play the lottery but are afraid to fly, he's not the kind of dumb that leads to shoplifting in front of a security camera, no, he's the cartoon kind of dumb. That "aw shucks" kind of dumb. He's the guy that would walk out of the room with one of your chairs because you said, "Take a seat." Yes, he's the completely unrealistic, that-would-never-happen-in-a-million-years kind of dumb. Now, this kind of idiocy can be made funny if it has a foil, such as reality. This kind of dumb works well when it is pointed out in a fourth wall breaking type of situation, where the dumbness is called out and shown for what it is, making fun of the conventional "cartoon dumb" stereotype. For example, if someone did literally "take a seat," another person in the room could begin mocking the tired cliche, thus making it self-referential, as if the viewer wasn't intended to find the joke itself funny, but the fact that anyone else ever found that joke funny. However, Drabble has none of that. It presents jokes you found unfunny before a time when seatbelts were mandatory in cars and people knew smoking was unhealthy, and it expects you to laugh at them. Well, no thanks.

    Funky Winkerbean: Good heavens I don't want to write this one. You see, I used to love Funky Winkerbean. It used to be hilarious. The characters were interesting and it had them in funny situations, a win-win scenario for character driven people vs. plot driven people. Then it happened. One day, my father read to me a newspaper article that featured an interview with Funky Winkerbean's creator, Tom Batiuk. He talked about how he wanted to take the strip in a new direction. That direction?


    He turned it into a soap opera, and it started with Les Moore's wife getting cancer. See, that's representative of a twofold problem. First, the strip went from clever and entertaining to cheap drama. Second, it still retained part of what made it clever: the names of the characters. I'm sorry, but I just can't take a strip seriously when there's a crisis in the life of a man named Les Moore. And Funky Winkerbean became an alcoholic. I can just imagine this AA meeting. "Hello, my name is Funky Winkerbean, and I'm an alcoholic." The moderator would look sternly over his horn-rim glasses and say, "Now if you aren't going to take this seriously, we won't get anywhere. What's your real name?" The old Funky would have said something witty, something suitable for the third and final panel. Something that would make us chuckle and feel satisfied, like a feature on the funny pages should. The new Funky would look pensive and disheartened. He would utter in a depressed tone, "That is my name. I have felt disdain from most of the world my entire life due to the unfortunate moniker my parents saddled me with. They could have chosed any name. Steven, James, Alan. But, instead, they gave me the name 'Funky.' They were alcoholics, too, and they thought it would be funny to watch me go through life in pain and misery." At this point the new Funky would shed a single tear, his lip would quiver and everyone around him would shift nervously in their seats. Isn't that hilarious?

    Sally Forth: Has anyone ever actually read this strip?

    Opus: I also don't want to write this one. You see, as much as I disagree with Berke Breathed on his politics, I did always enjoy Bloom County. I liked the characters. Even when he was bashing televangelists (I don't like a lot of televangelists either, but when someone on the left does it, they take every shot at Christianity as a whole they possibly can), and making fun of Republicans, I still loved seeing the interaction of Oliver with his father, Opus and Steve Dallas discussing Deathtongue, and Hodge Podge and Portney playing Star Trek. Every character was great. Then he stopped doing Bloom County and did Outland, which I also enjoyed. He wasn't as political then because Clinton was president, and he didn't want to make fun of a Democrat. But then came the strip, "Opus." You see, Berke has jumped on the extreme liberal bandwagon. I can't say I was surprised, but it's poisoning his otherwise great cartoon characters. I'm getting tired of the same crap that Israel is just as bad as Hezbollah, George Bush is an idiot (the man has an MBA from Harvard. What's your degree in, again, Berke?), and war is evil. It's not that he's trying to make a point, or that any of the liberal strips are making a point. They aren't trying to better the world by pointing out evils and inconsistancies. They just say these things because it will get easy laughs from people who think like kids. You see, children think the world is easy to figure out:
    Be nice and get along with everyone. Can't we just talk it out and be friends?
    Everyone who disagrees with me is dumb.
    I won't believe something firmly, so I'll just say I don't know. That makes it easier when I'm wrong.
    We all should be ourselves and think what we want to. And people who don't think that should be made to think that, just like the rest of us.
    People should give me things just because I'm me. Why should I have to work for things?
    Evil people are just misunderstood. They need a hug.
    The government should take care of me and feed me and pamper me and clothe me and...

    And I'm really sick and tired of seeing all this on the dang comics page of all places! The great Walt Kelly used to make two different versions of his Pogo strip, one that was political, and one that wasn't. That way, the paper could decide if they wanted to run the political one or not. He didn't believe in subjecting the readers to his political views if they didn't want him to. And yes, he was a liberal. A liberal I happen to respect for this very reason.

    Now, this is quite different from a strictly political toon like Doonesbury or Mallard Fillmore. They are about politics. If Breathed wants to go that way, fine. Let him. I just want him to make up his dang mind about what Opus is. Is it just funny? Is it political? If it's just a funny strip, leave the political crap out!

    I would write one on The Boondocks, but that would be too easy, and I would get too aggravated thinking about it.

    Rose is Rose: I believe this is the most hated comic strip ever.

    For Better or For Worse: Same as Funky Winkerbean. Used to be funny. Became a soap opera. I liked it better when the Pattersons were an actual family. Now, Mike and Elizabeth are grown up and have their own lives. Their dog, Farley, the icon of the strip, died. April is in High School now, and will be off to college soon. I don't mind strips that have the characters age, but that doesn't mean the strip has to get serious! Some cynics will say, "Was it ever actually that funny?" My answer would be, "Not on the level of a Dilbert or Calvin and Hobbes, but yes." It rose above the average, maybe in the B+ range. I liked it. But, as the kids grew up, no longer did we have the interplay of the parents with precocious kids or hormone laden teenagers, like in Zits. We suddenly had a bunch of... people. And just watching people live out their lives is none too entertaining. Mike and Elizabeth suddenly had to deal with real life. So it was a bit like being thrust back into reality, myself. When the strip featured the kids as kids, the reader felt like a kid. We could just enjoy ourselves and the jokes, sans responsibility. Hey, the kids got into trouble, they said funny things, they went on family vacations and things went haywire, but then they grew up. We watched Mike have a kid and deal with being a dad. Elizabeth got attacked by a guy at college. It suddenly became stark and serious. I looked at it and the smile shrank from my face as I realized that this life stuff is what we all have to deal with as we grow up. I like growing up, but I don't dwell on it. I certainly don't want to dwell on it when I'm reading a dang comic strip.

    Well, I don't feel like writing anymore. My hands hurt and it's almost midnight. It felt good to write that, though.

    Thanks for reading!