Who Is Chris? Why Is He Here?

I saw a billboard with those questions on it this morning as I drove north on I-65.

I’m just as clueless as you.

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A Full Moon in the Middle of the Day

About a week ago, I was running a route along I-20, east of Birmingham, and I happened upon a State Trooper parked behind a bluish-silver Crown Vic. I was cruising somewhere between 60 and 70 miles an hour, so I didn’t see enough to figure out exactly what was going on, but I still managed to see much more than I wanted.

The trooper was standing on the passenger side of the Crown Vic — I don’t know if anyone else was in the car or not. But standing beside the driver’s side of the car was a middle aged guy wearing nothing but a T-shirt.  Yeah, you read that right. He might have had on a ball cap too; in fact, I prefer to visualize it that way. Seems funnier, somehow.

I had driven by before I truly realized what I had seen, and then I immediately called Lauren, because this news just had to be shared with someone. I can’t even begin to speculate what might have brought about that turn of events. I don’t know if the cop actually had to pull this guy over, or if he had just been sitting on the side of the road. All I know is that he was standing on the shoulder of a 3-lane interstate with his large rear end facing traffic.

How do you handle that as a cop?  If you cuff him, do you opt to let him leave his hands in front?  I’m sure that telling the guy to “spread ’em” would be awfully low on the list of things to do.  I imagine it’s cases like this that get left out of the State Trooper recruitment videos.

I doubt this was what they had in mind when they rolled out “Take Back Our Highways.”

Some Cool Comics

Lauren, who has managed to stay married to me for over 6 years now, has finally given up on me ever growing up. As a matter of fact, I think she’s starting to suspect that I might be regressing.

Lately, I’ve really gotten into comic books. I liked them as a kid, but never had the money or means to really collect them consistently. I would typically find one or two consecutive issues, but then would miss out on the conclusion to the story arc. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with comics, that’s how they work. You typically won’t get a full story in one issue. The story arcs are usually spread between 3-6 issues, and so when I was a kid, I liked comics, but couldn’t get them enough to make it worthwhile.

A year or two ago, I heard that Marvel was going to release a series that revolved around Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels, which greatly intrigued me. I had kind of forgotten about it until I was working in Huntsville last April. Since I usually had nothing to do each night when I got off work, I decided to check out this comic book shop I had kept seeing, The Deep.

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They’ve really got a great set up. One wall is dedicated to new releases, and then they have boxes and boxes of back issues spread throughout the store. There’s also the typical smattering of action figures, collectibles, card games, T-shirts, etc, and large area for gaming (just wish the comic shops in Birmingham were this good). While I was perusing the new releases, I happened upon The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #3. I couldn’t help myself. I went ahead and picked it up, and my obsession has been growing ever since.

I now have all 7 issues of the Dark Tower series (more will come out in February), and it was fantastic. The artwork is probably the best I’ve ever seen in a comic, and I’ve actually heard that the series has brought many other Stephen King fans into the world of comics.

But I haven’t stopped there.

legacy1.jpgI’ve also gotten into two different Star Wars titles (and in part, I blame the guys over at ShowMeSciFi for getting me hooked on these). The first one is Star Wars Legacy, which is set about 140 years after Return of the Jedi and tells the story of Cade Skywalker, the last known Skywalker descendant. Though trained as a Jedi, Cade has turned his back on his heritage and taken up the mantle of bounty hunter. Though the comic sometimes seems a little too cliche, such as Cade’s typical “bad boy” persona, the overall story is excellent, and the revelation given in the last issue was flat-out shocking. Even though I’ve had to play catch up, I’ve managed to get all 15 issues (though I’m missing the promotional Issue #0).

The other series I’ve gotten hooked on (and I’m trying not to get into any others) is Star Wars Dark Times, which takes place shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith. The inside front flap of the 1st issue has this quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi: “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”.

dttwo.jpgBasically, the story follows several different groups of people who are trying to find their place in this new Empire. You see glimpses of the internal struggle that Darth Vader faces as he shrugs off the last clinging remnants of Anakin Skywalker. You see the anxiety of Clone Troopers who wonder what will happen to them now that the war is over. Jedi Master Dass Jennir is forced to choose between survival and following the Jedi code, and his companion undergoes a frantic search for his wife and daughter. And those are only some of the story lines that unfold in this comic. The writing is great, and the art is superb. As much as I like Legacy, Dark Times is my current favorite.

For some reason, the Dark Times series has had several delays in its release. It hasn’t followed the typical one issue per month format, but it’s still been great, and I highly recommend it. I’ve got all 4 issues that have currently been released, and they’ll put the first story arc in trade paperback before long.

DangerMouse

First of all, forgive my recent lack of posting. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the swing of things for a while.

Somehow, I ran across the DangerMouse wiki today. Do you guys remember that show? I loved it as a kid (“Shush, Penfold!” was often heard around our house during that time). And from what I remember, it was a good enough show for adults to dig as well. Turns out they’re going to release the full series on DVD this coming Tuesday (8/28). You can preorder it from Amazon, if you’re interested…

I Love Microsoft!!!!

My wife just called me because I have a package waiting for me at home. As you may know from my earlier posts here and here, I bought a USED XBox 360 a while back that ended up not working.

After showing it some “towel love” I got it to work for a little while, but it soon died again. Recently, Microsoft announced that it would extend the warranties on the 360’s for up to 3 yrs from the date of purchase, so like hundreds or thousands of others, I shipped my unit off, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.

Microsoft received it on July 18, and they said it could take 4-6 weeks to get it back. Well, today, I got a package from them, but it wasn’t my 360.

It was a BRAND NEW ONE!

What’s more, they even threw in a free month of Xbox Live and updated my record with the new unit’s serial number!

I’m truly impressed at this level of customer service. Microsoft did the right thing with their customers by extending the warranty, but going ahead and swapping the unit out for a new one is truly fantastic. I think I’ll be sticking with their platforms for a long time to come!

Thank you Bill Gates!