Some Archies videos

I don’t know why I didn’t think of posting some Archie youtube links with my posts below, but have a look at some of the music numbers.  There are more where these came from- just do a search at youtube for The Archies or The Archie Show, or click on one of these videos to go to the site and start digging through the related section:

Archie Show Intro

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Jingle Jangle

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Bang Shangalang

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Sugar, Sugar

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Just waiting

Has there ever been a time in your life you have just had to wait on something?  The anxiety sets in while trying to be patient and it’s difficult to think of anything else.  When a child this anticipation is often felt in birthdays and Christmas when you just can’t wait for that toy you’ve kept bugging mom and dad about.  For parents this sort of anticipation runs in the birth of children when the due date approaches.  I am not married, but I imagine the mother-to-be is anticipating the day when that child is finally out because she’s worn from carrying the baby for the last several months.  For dad, I imagine the stress of waiting on his wife causes him to anticipate the birth.  For both mom and dad, they can’t wait for the baby to be born so the nightmarish hospital visit is over and they can see their baby finally.

Well, as we know my friends C and L are at this time once again in their lives with baby number four, and this blogger is having to just wait on news of what’s going on.  They were to go in Friday to have labor induced and their child born.  It is now two days later and in the absence of news all sorts of things have been going through my head, most of them not helpful in relieving the anxiety.  Is L okay?  Is the baby okay?  Is this just a very long labor or has something unexpected happened, and if so what?  As you can tell this line of thinking goes nowhere good fast.  I keep checking my email and my friends’ blogs- all of them since maybe my OH friends know something I don’t yet know, and I have prayed more than once, but still I am anxious for news.  I pray it’s good news.

Unfortunately I just have to keep waiting…

Comic books

The comic book.  When people today think of comic books, usually superheroes come to mind.  With the introduction of Superman in 1938, this trend grew through the golden years and later with dozens of superheroes created.  Big names like Stan Lee come to mind, who has become so big he was given his own reality show, Who Wants to be a Superhero? which lasted for two seasons.  Many comic-book heroes have made their way to the TV screen in the form of cartoons and live-action shows, and have been making it big in movies as well.  Within the last few months we have had Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and the much-anticipated soon-to-be-released Dark Knight (Batman).

However, superheroes are just one of many genres of comic books.  Among the years westerns, war, sci-fi and fantasy, detective, horror, and many others have had some big hits and long-running series over the years.  While I have read several different genres as a kid, one really stuck with me, or maybe they are a couple different ones.  Harvey comics, which brought us the likes of Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich are of a genre which you might call funny comics.  I don’t know the true genre name for these but they were close to my heart growing up.  Another series I have always enjoyed was kind of a genre unto itself, though others have tried to duplicate its success.  Like many superhero comics, this series has been going strong since the golden age of comics.  It has spawned some cartoons, at least one live TV series (plus a pilot that never got off the ground), and even a movie.  The series I’m talking about is the Archie comic book series.   Since 1941, readers have been able to follow the high-school antics of Archie and his gang, which has periodically changed to fit the times.  The most recent incarnation made the characters more anime-like.

Recently, while at the library I encountered two DVD collections of the old cartoon series.  One set was for Sabrina the Teenage Witch from the early 70s, which unlike the later cartoons and TV series actually resembled the Sabrina I know from the comic books.  It was actually not shown on its own originally, but part of The Archie Comedy Hour.  I also found a DVD collection for the original cartoon, The Archie Show.  The latter was apparently a smash hit 40 years ago in 1968, before I was born.  Each cartoon contained a new dance move and a new song from The Archies, a band that was put together for the show not unlike The Monkees, but instead of becoming a band unto themselves they hid behind the cartoon faces of Archie and friends.  This one show apparently cornered a whopping 55% of the viewership when it was on.  In any event, I wound up checking both of them out and just finished watching the Archie DVDs (and not too soon, as it is on reserve and not able to be renewed- it’s due today) and two of the three Sabrina DVDs.  As typical for cartoon series of the time they were done on the cheap with static backgrounds that when made to move like when a character is walking or running will repeat, and a few voice actors doing all of the voices.  Okay, these sort of things are still done, even with the voice actors in hits like The Simpsons, but they are still done to keep the costs down.  Some of the voices the actors came up with left something to be desired in my opinion.  I really didn’t like Jughead’s or Veronica’s voices.  A couple others, like Archie and Mr. Weatherbee grew on me as I watched, and still others I had no problem with at all.

Now that I am nearly finished with these two collections I look forward to being able to watch other series, except maybe the recent Sabrina cartoons which were actually a spinoff of the 90s TV series, which in turn was a modern remake.  I haven’t read the recent anime-style comics for the same reason I didn’t enjoy the TV series, and for that matter don’t enjoy the modern Battlestar Galactica- nostalgia.  They are simply not the same characters I grew up with.  The ones I do want to watch range from Archie’s TV Funnies, US of Archie, and Archie’s Fun House from the same company that brought us the two I watched (Filmation); to later incarnations like the New Archies and Archie’s Weird Mysteries which may or may not be relevent to my nostalgia.  I also would like to pick up any Richie Rich cartoons I might find, and any other Harveytoons which are like the comics I read, and any comic collections that are released on computer similar to MAD’s CD set from about ten years ago.  I understand there is one for Archie now that can be had at archiecomics.com.  When I have some income again I will have to pick it up.

Movies

Well, yesterday I finally had a chance to see Indiana Jones 4.  Since all who read this blog have already seen it I won’t say too much about it and I may also feel free to mention possible spoilers.  Anyway, it’s been a long time since I saw the first three but I had no trouble at all getting into this one.  I had to remind myself that this whole series is meant to be a parody of old time action serials and all of their improbable problems and solutions.  A couple of my favorite parts were first when Indy and company have just escaped the commie’s camp thanks to a quick action by Mutt (the bait to get the younger crowd to see the movie if they didn’t already want to see it) and Indy and Marion get trapped in the sand (not quicksand- what did they call it?) pit.  Mutt gets sent to find a rope or something and the confused Ox goes to get help.  Mutt comes back, throws what he found, Marion climbs out.  He throws it again and we then see that whoops!  It’s not a rope…  Once Indy finds his nerve and allows himself to be rescued, here comes Ox back with, um, help…  Well just where did Indy think Ox would find the help anyway?

Another favorite part was when they were on the amphibious vehicles and they run off the cliff into… a really long tree branch sticking out from the cliff.  Down, down, down goes the branch from the weight until gravity takes over and the vehicle slides off and into the water.  The branch of course does what a branch does when it’s pulled and suddenly released, causing a really bad day for some of Col. Dr. Spalko’s militia who have been climbing down said cliff.

This isn’t to say these were the only good parts- I thoroughly enjoyed the entire movie.  All the action parodies from the bullets that never hit Indy and co., the nuclear bomb test, the giant ants (which made me think of those evil little bugs from the Mummy), the Soviet’s path making machine which strangely seemed to create long paths ahead of it which they all used after the machine was destroyed. etc.

Speaking of movies, there is this really cool science film I found from another site.  The narrator could use some lessons on how not to speak in monotone, but the visuals are really cool.  They actually make visible magnetic fields.  My description is pretty poor I know- just watch it, you’ll see.

Magnetic Movie

Bureaucracy at its finest…

I have read some pretty scary stories of how politcally correct and bureaucratic the UK has become.  A recent story had some Muslims completely outraged at an advertisement for the police because it had a dog in it, which is considered unclean to them.  The proper response would have been something to the effect of “don’t be ridiculous- it’s just a dog.”  Instead the police apologized and said they would offer an alternative.  I guess it’s not surprising as the PC climate there is such that, if I heard correctly, the police aren’t even allowed to carry a gun with them- they must keep them in the trunks of their cars.

Anyway, the story I’m posting about leaves me shaking my head at where this world is going.  This couple has a teenage son who is epileptic (and has cerebral palsy) and often travels to school by means of a taxi.  Only mom and dad know how to use some special equipment they have if the boy goes into a seizure.  When driving their son to school, there is absolutely no problem whatsoever.  However, he usually has to take a cab due to the car not being available.  Mom has to go with him in case he has a fit, but get this, she isn’t allowed to because she hasn’t had a Criminal Records Bureau check.  Say what?  She’s the mom!  Apparently since the cab is provided for them, they have to follow the rules precisely- being mom doesn’t get her a waiver.  How ridiculous is that?  Of course, she’s going through the process, but really, why should she have to?  Anyway, here’s the link to the story:

Mother stopped from travelling with son in taxi to school

So what’s the temperature?

As I write this I am trying out three different weather gadgets on my desktop sidebar to see which one I will keep.  Right now Accuweather says 74° (okay, I just right-clicked and selected options to see which one it was and it updated itself), MSN says 76° (jumped to 79° after I checked its options!), and the Weather Channel was at 79° and just hopped up to 81°.  Well it seems that the Weather Channel one gets points for changing on its own, but which one is right? If I could just find the answer to that I would know which one to keep.  The Weather Channel one, by the way, also loses points for having its logo blatantly on the gadget while the other two conserve space a little better, but then again it has more options.  Sigh.  Until these three, I had used WeatherBug, which not only let me choose the location but also what thermometer I wanted to use in the area from a list of 8-10.  Unfortunately for some reason, after restarting the computer it would no longer connect to wherever it got its info from.  And reading the comments it would seem that I wasn’t the only one with this problem.  So here I am looking for a working gadget.  Well, if I don’t like these three there are always more on the gadget website- seems weather gadgets are a dime a dozen.

This Vista sidebar is pretty nice.  At first it had a little slideshow viewer, a clock, and an RSS headline reader (100 headlines, four at a time, and only the first few words of each one?  No thanks!) in addition to its own weather gadget (similar to the MSN one, but less frills).  I replaced the weather gadget, left the clock gadget- a pretty realistic looking analog clock by the way, and removed the other two.  I also downloaded a CPU/RAM meter and a wireless networking meter, the latter of which is waiting on the bench for me to get a wireless router.  There are also stock tools, search tools, and a lot more for the sidebar.  There are even some mini-games that can be installed.

Well, looking at the weather gadgets again, the accuweather was three degrees below the next higher one, but once again I had to manually update it so this one is probably gone.  However, the other two are at a three degree difference themselves- so which is right??  Sigh.

Well, if I happened to waste your time with this post I just have this to say- sorry, no refunds! 😛

Oops…

First school news post in a while. 🙂  Apparently a top-rated school district was trying to share the good news in a press conference.  I stress trying as most people watching could only focus on the ironically misspelled sign in the background.  Spellchecker, anyone? 😀  Click the picture for the story.

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