Mar 13, 2015

D-Train Says Goodbye

Dontrelle Willis (pitcher)
Florida Marlins: 2002 - 2007
Detroit Tigers: 2008 - 2010
Arizona Diamondbacks: 2010
Cincinnati Reds: 2011
Dontrelle Willis has officially announced his retirement earlier today.  The former Marlins ace has made several comeback attempts over the past four years with the Phillies, Orioles, Cubs, Angels, Giants and most recently the Brewers, but he wasn't able to catch on.

His last major league appearance came as a member of the Cincinnati Reds in 2011.  The Phillies signed him that winter, and he made three appearances in Spring Training for the Phillies in 2012.  The hope was that he would make the team and pitch out of the bullpen and be available as a pinch hitter (he was one of the best hitting pitchers in the game).  I was bummed out when he was released before the start of the season, but the past few years have shown that it was probably the right move.

I'm sure this isn't how he wanted the second half of his career to go, but it's been a very good run that included a Rookie of the Year, a World Series ring and a 2005 season in which he went 22-10 with five shutouts and just barely missed out on a Cy Young Award to Chris Carpenter.  At his peak, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, and by all accounts, he's an awesome dude.  I just wish I could have seen him pitch for the Phillies.

Congratulations on an electrifying career, D-Train.

Mar 12, 2015

Ready Player 1.5

by Andy Weir
This addition to the Ernest Cline - Ready Player One universe is definitely worth reading.

Mar 11, 2015

Offspring at West Palm Beach

The Offspring / Quicksand / No Use For A Name
West Palm Beach Auditorium - West Palm Beach, FL
Twenty years ago today, I went to my first concert. The Offspring released Smash the year before, and they were in the middle of what would be a nearly two year tour for the album that broke them into the mainstream.  Quicksand and No Use For A Name were the opening acts.

The Palm Beach Post - West Palm Beach, FL  (March 13, 1995)

The show was on a Saturday night, and nearly every kid in school on Monday was wearing the red concert shirt. In the infinite wisdom of a 14 year old boy, I didn't buy the tour shirt, opting instead for the one that had lyrics from the song Bad Habit in large letters on the back.  Do you think Palm Beach Gardens High School was happy to allow that?  Have a look at the shirt and let me know.

UPDATE 2/15/2023: Although I sometimes share video on this blog, I try to avoid it for reasons like this.  Most of the other blogs that I like to visit have archives that are filled with broken video links, either because the person who uploaded it has taken it down, or because it was taken down by somebody else.

I can't imagine that the band are going to be too upset by the fact that old camcorder footage of concert of theirs from decades ago has founds its way to YouTube, particularly at a time when it seems like practically everyone in the audience is holding up their phone to record every concert in the world.  The message above isn't specific, so I'm thinking that they may have cancelled their account.  Having said all that, I've re-uploaded the video to my own channel.  The copyright protected songs were identified, but the message I got is that the rights holders allow their content to be shared on YouTube.  Neither my blog or my YouTube channel is monetized in any way, nor will it ever be, so hopefully this video will remain available for anyone who would enjoy watching it.

Here is the setlist from the show:

Mar 10, 2015

I've Got My Mind On This

The Wonders Within Your Head
Look Magazine (December 6, 1938)
This artwork shows a visualization of the different functions of your brain as if they were being carried out by tiny people operating machinery (source: Scout's Atomic Flash).

Mar 8, 2015

Yars' Revenge Action Figure

Yars' Revenge custom action figure
Created by Dan Polydoris
Body: 2-1B Medic Droid
Extra Arms / Legs: IG-88 Bounty Hunter
Head: Zuckuss
Wings: Taken from "some giant plastic bug from Michael's Arts & Crafts"

Mar 7, 2015

Space Invaders Action Figure

Space Invaders custom action figure
Created by Dan Polydoris
Body: Red Snaggletooth
Head: Greedo

Mar 6, 2015

Missile Command Action Figure

Missile Command custom action figure
Created by Dan Polydoris
Body: Han Solo (Bespin outfit)
Head: Star Destroyer Commander
Missile: from the G.I. Joe Wolverine armored missile vehicle

Mar 5, 2015

Berzerk Action Figure

Berzerk custom action figure
Created by Dan Polydoris
Body: Star Destroyer Commander
Head: Han Solo (Bespin outfit)

Dan Polydoris, who runs the blog Chicago Toy Collector, has combined parts of different Kenner's Star Wars action figures and re-painted them to create characters from the box art of classic Atari 2600 games.

Mar 4, 2015

Roadrunner Rules

Rules for writing Wile E. Coyote and The Roadrunner cartoons by Chuck Jones.
Originally published in Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist (1989).
Photo taken at the What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, and shared by Amos Posner.

Mar 1, 2015