Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


"Five years, that's all we got"

So I've decided to stop blogging here. I figure five years is a good run. I've just been running out of things to say, I guess. Plus I have some things in the real world that are taking up my time, so I just can't devote as much time to this. I'll still be blogging about my daughters, and I'll still be blogging about comics, but I just don't feel like writing about myself and my thoughts anymore. I'm too busy trying to take over the world!

Thanks for reading, everyone (you know who you are!). I'd tell you to follow me on Facebook, but I hardly ever use it, or on Twitter, but that's even more inane than blogging, so I'll just say thanks. It's been fun.



Horrible self-indulgence, Year Five

Yes, it's the fifth anniversary of when I started this blog, and it's time once again to review the previous year. I hope you will indulge this trip down memory lane. Five years. Wow.

This insane world.

Man threatens to set his teacher on fire because she assigned "The Crucible."
Weird sex stuff. Totally safe for work, though!
The hardcore dude at the convenience store.
Horrible shoppers on Black Friday.
God is mean.
The people who named their kid Adolf Hitler.
Some odd news: Birmingham, England removes apostrophes from its street signs; Anna Nicole Smith's life is turned into an opera; a 13-year-old father; churches believe in evolution!
An Afghan law makes it legal for husbands to rape their wives.
Torture; Carrie Prejean; speed cameras.
No naked hiking in the Switzerland!
Are you looking for a sugar daddy?
The Pentagon no longer quotes the Bible; a man called 911 because his adult son's bedroom was messy.
Sex is fun!
A great photograph.


The Phillies win the pennant!
The anniversary of the end of the 1993 World Series.
Did the media want Tampa Bay to win the World Series?
A phallic team logo?
Bad sports announcing round-up.
Sports photos of the year!
Sammy Baugh died.
Cool photo of Shaq.
Cute lumberjacks!
World Naked Bike Ride!
Pole dancing championships. It's totally a sport, man!
Rick Pitino needs to shut up.


Sarah Palin is wacky. I suppose we already knew that.
Yay, gay marriage was banned in Arizona! Again, I might add.
Post-Election Day thoughts.
Even more Election Day thoughts!
Sadness over Dana Perino leaving the White House.
Why is there no love for the American system of government?
Fifty years of the Chinese in Tibet.
Legislation to make commercials quieter.
Moral relativism and torture.

Religious oddness.

Jews versus Mormons!


Best butts, scary Ronald McDonald.

My observations on life and my life in general.

The five stages of memorizing song lyrics.
Riding the rails in northern Arizona.
Classes you can take at Mesa Community College.
The quality of friendship.
I bite my lip.
I'm finding it hard to be a Luddite.
Thoughts about Disneyland and Los Angeles.
Pictures of me from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
My power went out!
The summer of 1979.
My long post about racism.
My twenty years of collecting comics.

Culture, popular or otherwise.

Sunny von Bulow died.
Betty Page died.
Ricardo Montalban died.
Estrada or Nada should have been a real show.
Zsa Zsa Gabor turns 92!
Hans Beck died.
Rihanna's birthday made me feel old.
Dr. Seuss's birthday reminded me of something.
Barbie turns 50.
Erik Estrada turns 60!
Stupid Americans!
Hollywood is conservative.
Movie review: District 9.
Sort-of movie review: Inglourious Basterds.
I don't get SpongeBob SquarePants.
How to celebrate Guy Fawkes' Day!

Books I read.

Carlisle vs. Army by Lars Anderson.
The Will by Reed Arvin.
Shadowplay by Clare Asquith.
War Reporting for Cowards by Chris Ayres.
Dreamland by Kevin Baker.
Sacrament by Clive Barker.
Abarat by Clive Barker.
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes and The Somnabulist by Jonathan Barnes.
The Alps by Andrew Beattie.
The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor.
For the Thrill of It by Simon Baatz.
The Catastrophist by Ronan Bennett.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind.
Grant Morrison: The Early Years by Tim Callahan.

Great songs, according to me.

Part 39.

Into the back issue box.

The Magdalena vol. 2 #2.
Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy #6.
Wolverine #94.
Wolff & Byrd: Counselors of the Macabre #22.
Case Files: Sam & Twitch #23.

Death and sex in comics.

Dark Horse's Conan #0-50.
John Byrne's Next Men.

Comic reviews.

Three comics by Dwight MacPherson: Kid Houdini and the Silver-Dollar Misfits; The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, volume 2; Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Aetheric Mechanics; Almighty; Dad!; Fishtown; The Martian Confederacy; Obsession; Slow Storm; Tiny Life: l)a.
B. P. M.; Swallow Me Whole; Jobnik!; La Muse; Septic Isle; Damnation.
Winter Men and its long publication history.
Fantastic Four Visionaries volume 0; Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights; Eddy Current; Chronicles of Some Made; American Elf volume 3; Sulk volumes 1 and 2; Waltz With Bashir; Never As Bad As You Think; Miss Don't Touch Me; In the Flesh.
My Playmobil comic from the 1970s.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910.
Strongman; The New Brighton Archeological Society; The Bun Field; Supermen!
Blinded; Ace-Face: The Mod with the Metal Arms; Blazing Combat; The Eternal Smile; Pherone; Walled In; Studs Terkel's Working; Britten and Brulightly; T-Minus: The Race to the Moon; Jan's Atomic Heart; Super Human Resources.
Black Hole; Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?; Far Arden; Imaginary Friends; Praetorian; Smuggling Spirits; Asterios Polyp; The Nobody; The Hunter.
The Ragbox.
The Field at the Edge of the Woods.
It Tolls for Thee.
The Imposter's Daughter.
You Have Killed Me.
The Big Kahn.
No Pasaran!
Frankenstein's Womb.
Some New Kind of Slaughter.
Awakening volume 1.
Dark Entries.
10 Beautiful Assassins.
The Middleman: The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse.
PS Comics.
The Colodin Project.
The Surrogates.
The Storm in the Barn.
3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man.
Covered in Confusion.

Comics commentary.

My best comics of 2008.
DC comics in the 1940s.
Is Diamond Comics the devil?
The San Diego con, 2009!

My comic book shoppe.

Greg's Comics.
Ralph's Comic Corner.
Comic Zone.

Comics You Should Own.

Hellstorm #12-21 and Druid #1-4.
High Roads.
Human Target.
I Kill Giants.
The Incredible Hulk #331-346.
The Incredible Hulk #347-367.
The Incredible Hulk #368-401.
The Incredible Hulk #402-426.
The Incredible Hulk #454-467.

As always, I appreciate everyone who reads this blog, whether it's often or just every once in a while. Thanks, everyone! I know there are only about seven of you, but it's still cool that you're here!

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Bye Week Blues

I didn't learn anything about pro football this week other than what you can glean from the newspapers and ESPN. I barely watched any of the games because the Eagles weren't playing. I did learn that if Oregon beats one of the worst teams in Division 1-A (Washington State) at home while Penn State beats a not-very-good-but-miles-better-than-Wazzou Illinois team on the road, Oregon ought to jump Penn State in the polls, but polls are meaningless anyway, so that doesn't bother me too much.

Did anyone learn anything while I had the television turned off? Don't be shy!

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Great songs, according to me (Part 39)

Yes, it's time for another ten great songs! Man, it's been a while! And because I've finally gotten around to labeling my posts, I don't have to link to previous posts. You can just click on the label to find the previous ones. I know my eight readers will be happy about that!

381. Next Year (by Foo Fighters on the album There Is Nothing Left To Lose, 1999): Dave and the boys are surprisingly good at writing ballad-like pop songs, and this is one of them. I'd like to say it's off one of their better albums, but all FF albums are good, so it's hard to say where this one ranks. This song, however, is great, as the gentlemen do a wonderful job with soaring melodies and music that uplifts without being schmaltzy. It's a marvelously hopeful song that manages to be mature but not dull. Grohl's lyrics are nice, too: "Into the night we shine/Lighting the way we glide by/Catch me if I get too high/When I come down/I'll be coming home next year." Like a lot of Foo Fighters songs, the first time you hear this you feel like you've always known it. It's quite odd but wonderful how that happens.

382. New Jack Hustler (by Ice-T on the album O. G. Original Gangster, 1991): I'm not sure if I've ever written about this before, but a few of my college friends and I went to see New Jack City in the theater in State College when it was released. We enjoyed it, but that's not the story. This was when people were rioting during screenings of the movie, and although State College is a pleasant little college town, we didn't know what we were in for, going to see the movie. It was pretty interesting, because white people were definitely in the minority, but I didn't feel like anyone was going to beat me up because of it. It was just a weird episode in my life, because it's very rare that I find myself in the minority when it comes to skin color. I reckon that's probably true for most white people - we don't often end up someplace where most of the people aren't white. I don't know why white people wouldn't want to go see New Jack City, because it's a damned good movie. Okay, maybe not damned good, but pretty entertaining. It was also the first time I had ever heard Ice-T's music, in the form of this anthem that plays during a chase scene. Later, I heard the entire song (the movie version is truncated) and absolutely loved it. it has a great groove, which propels the song along, and Ice's lyrics, which cut to the core of why so many poverty-stricken people don't care about the system and just look to get paid, are devastatingly honest. It's certainly not an excuse for criminal behavior, but when someone from the street raps, "The end justifies the means, that's the system; I learned that in school then I dropped out," you can't help but listen. But Ice also understands the cost: "Every dollar I get, another brother drops." That makes the allure - "So many hos on my jock, think I'm a movie star/Nineteen - I got a fifty thousand dollar car" - more tragic. Ice often thinks that there's a conspiracy against black people, which borders on the silly, but otherwise, he gives us a fascinating look into what's going on in the minds of young African-Americans. That he can lay it over such a funky track makes it great.

383. New Way Home (by Foo Fighters on the album The Colour And The Shape, 1997): Hey, look! it's another Foo Fighters song! What do you know? This song ends the boys' best album (although the new one challenges it, I'll tell you that much), and like a lot of Fighters songs, it's melodic but rocking all at once and fills you with a strange kind of nostalgia. Eventually, of course, it builds into a primal scream of defiance, as Dave sings "I'm not scared" over and over, altenating it with the two lines, "I felt like this one my way home" and "I pass the boats and the Kingdome." Maybe evoking the old stadium is why we get that sense of nostalgia. I don't know - all I know is that it's a great song.

384. Nice To Know You (by Incubus on the album Morning View, 2001): I only own this one Incubus album, even though it's pretty good, but there are a few great songs. This song opens the album, and it's a weird little tune that sets the stage well for the rest. Lyrically, it's a bit odd, but musically it really shines, with a strange meandering vibe that ramps up into a heavy beat for the chorus. As a mood setter, it previews the album's swing between surfer sensibility and metal grinding. You can't help but bang your head, and then you lurch back to laid-back. It's a weird mix, but it works well.

385. Nicotine & Gravy (by Beck on the album Midnite Vultures, 1999): Beck's 1999 album is so funky and weird, and this song is one of its standouts. Beck lazily drawls through oddball lyrics like "Her left eye is lazy, she looks so Israeli," but the Seventies vibe carries it through, and it becomes a charming love song. If it's just weird, it probably wouldn't work, but as with a lot of Beck songs, the foundation is solid.

386. Nights Of Mystery (by the Georgia Satellites on the album Georgia Satellites, 1986): Krys mocks me for liking the first Georgia Satellites album, but I do. Most of it I like despite it not being all that good (the songs rock, but they're not that good), but "Nights of Mystery" is a nice country-fried rocker that begins quietly and cranks up nicely. It's a strangely sweet song, too, as we get nice lyrics like "I got this genius of a heart that shines wild and free ..." Every Georgia Satellites song has this kind of vibe to it, but this song manages to be deeper, and therefore better.

387. 1999 (by Prince and the Revolution on the album 1999, 1983): "I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray ..." Sing along, people! Do I really need to write any more about this? Prince at perhaps his peak (although he has had a lot of peaks, but let's call this his first one), his band kicking ass, and a elegy about nuclear war. "But life is just a party and parties aren't meant to last ..." Get out your vinyl and fire it up!

388. Nitro Burning Funny Cars (by The Dead Milkmen on the album Bucky Fellini, 1987): A simple guitar hook and hilarious lyrics. That's all that's needed sometimes, and while a lot of the Dead Milkmen songs fall into this category, some are simply more hilarious than others, and those reach greatness. Like this one: "This world is full of people who think a lot about bowling balls" and "This world is full of people who look a lot like Gavin McCloud" are eerily true. What's up with that? Just a great, great song.

389. No Further Damage (by P. M. Dawn on the album Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry For Bringing You Here. Love, Dad, 1998): As usual with P. M. Dawn songs, this features some beautiful lyrics about love and why it's important. It's a typically lush song, as well, and simply takes you along into that strange world that P. M. Dawn inhabits. I just don't have much else to say about it.

390. No Man's Land (by Billy Joel on the album River Of Dreams, 1993): Joel's "last" album gets off to a rollicking start with this anti-capitalism screed which stands as a companion piece to "Allentown" - where that was contemplative and sad, ten years later Joel is pissed off, and with good reason. Joel does a good job blending trenchant lyrics and throbbing music, and this song proves, for the last time, that he can rock out when he wants to. It sets the tone for the album, which is somewhat melancholy. It's not his best album, but it features some great songs, and this is one of them.

Well, that was fun. I've had this post sitting around for almost a year, and I finally got it finished. I don't know why it took me so long; that's just the way it is, I suppose. Anyway, that's ten more great songs for your iPod! You know you fill it based on my recommendations!

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I don't get SpongeBob

Norah recently discovered SpongeBob SquarePants, and she digs it a lot. Not to the point of obsession, but she still likes it. So I've been watching with her, mainly because I've been sitting in the same room. I know that a while back, SpongeBob was a bit hit with adults as well as kids (my brother-in-law, as far as I know, still likes it), but I just don't get it. SpongeBob is, in a word, annoying. In two words: REALLY ANNOYING. I mean, it's mildly amusing, but I can't imagine anyone over the age of 10 enjoying it for more than five minutes. After about five minutes I just get sick of it. It's not really that hilarious. I'd like to say that its popularity among older people is due to the fact that they watch while they're, you know, enjoying some natural consciousness-altering substances, but my brother-in-law certainly doesn't do that, so that can't be all of it. Can it?

Can someone explain it to me? I just don't get it. Frankly, Disney's Phineas and Ferb is much, MUCH better thant SpongeBob SquarePants, at least for adults. I think it's better for kids, too, but Norah digs the absorbant, yellow, and porous dude. There's just no accounting for taste!

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And the 2016 Olympics will be in ...

Rio de Janeiro!

Look at me, breaking the news! I just happened to have on ESPN when they made the announcement. I'm actually glad Chicago didn't get it. The Olympics have never been held in South America, and wouldn't you rather get "man-on-the-street" shots of impossibly attractive women walking along the beach than shots of fat guys drinking beer?

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