Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Grab Bag Clarifications and Addenda

The 2010 MLB season ended (by any useful definition of the concept in a me-centric universe, such as the one wherein this blog resides) last night when the Yankees were eliminated from the post-season. I'm bummed, but neither distraught nor outraged. The Yankees gutted out their struggle just to make the wild card all season long, and the swept the Twins once again, but they ran up against a Rangers team that was doing everything right to a ridiculous degree just at the same time that the Yanks' collective tanks all seemed to hit E, from the starting pitchers to the bullpen to the offensive stalwarts. They pulled off that amazing comeback in ALCS Game 1, and then Elvis left the stadium (Presley, not Andrus, unfortunately). At this point I haven't yet decided if I'm rooting for the Rangers out of American League solidarity plus the old chestnut about hoping the team that beat your team turns out the be the Team Of Destiny that was simply marching towards inevitable ultimate triumph, OR if I'm rooting against the Rangers out of pure, sore spite. If I come down decisively on either side I'll let you know, but the smart money is on me remaining indifferent and doing other things with my free time now besides watching baseball every night.

Incidentally, dreading and mourning the end of baseball was not why I failed to blog yesterday - that was because a gigantic crapstorm on the VRE as I tried to use that system to get to work yesterday morning completely fouled up my whole day. So now you know.


I mentioned a couple weeks back how I was reading all spooky books in the month of October, beginning with David Wong's John Dies at the End, which I have long since finished and which I quite enjoyed, but I wanted to take a moment before I forget to point out the exact moment in the horror-comedy when Wong won me over. His pair of protagonist supernatural investigators show up at a crime scene at one point and the car in the driveway has vanity plates which read STRMQQ1. The lead police investigator on the scene asks the guys if they are aware who the victim (of demonic murder, as it happens) was. One of the characters guesses "Strom Cuzewon?" In fact it turns out that the victim was a local celebrity, one of the affiliate evening news programs' weatherman with a really innoucuous name. Someone explains later on that the vanity plate is supposed to say "Storm Watcher 1" with the two Q's representing eyes. All of which is more or less totally inessential to the plot of the book, just thrown in to be goofy, and it did indeed make me laugh, because I am amused by some very weird stuff.


I was torn on which image to use when I was riffing on building my workbench and playing with power tools this past Tuesday. Here's the other option I considered:

Don't even get me started on the whole 'golden brains in the image of our maker' motif, either ...
And rather than waste it I decided to show it today, which also gives me an opportunity to do a little "oh, man, 80's toys, amirite?" Seriously, Starriors are remembered by far fewer people, I'd wager, than Voltron or Care Bears or whathaveyou, but they were insane. Not so much in terms of the actual toys themselves, which were just these fairly cool-looking robots with some wind-up moving parts (which means they were Zoids ripoffs but, again, that's not exactly a meaningful to distinction to 99% of people) like the twin circular saws on the badboy above. No, the insane part was the backstory, which was that the Starriors were built on Earth, some to do construction-type jobs and some to do military-type jobs, and of course the builders were good and the overtly weaponized ones were bad, and they were locked in an eternal struggle blah blah blah. But said struggle took place after a MASSIVE DISASTER THAT WIPED OUT HUMANITY AND MOST OF EARTH'S HABITABLE ENVIRONMENTS. The militarized Starriors wanted to just move on and rule the wasteland Earth since humanity had been wiped out, but the good guys wanted to check various refuges to see if possibly any humans had survived in bunkers or whatnot. That is some grim stuff. I was always the kind of kid who read everything a toy came with, including personnel file cards on G.I.Joes and mini-comics included with Super Powers figures and so on - even in elementary school I was a continuity-obsessed little geek. But dang, some of those continuities were depressing, and it's a wonder I didn't spend every moment of my childhood in mortal terror that nuclear devastation was about to be unleashed and leave the world to the insects and the machines.


  1. I mean, come on... check out the intro to Thundarr the Barbarian for some strong apocalyptic action!

  2. Very true, that's another one of my faves. It's just so bizarre to me to look back on it all now. It's like the demise of humanity wasn't even an open question - it was taken for granted that it was definitely going to happen, sooner rather than later, and the only debate was whether it would be due to some military, probably nuclear, holocaust or a more random cosmic disaster. A strange zeitgeistin which to be a toy-collecting schoolboy.