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
West Palm Beach Auditorium - March 11, 1995
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 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.

The Offspring Setlist West Palm Beach Auditorium, West Palm Beach, FL, USA 1995, Smash

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.