Saturday, August 27, 2011


I swear, I didn't misspell 'dual'. That 'e' is LEGIT, yo.

Broke down--or more accurately, proclaimed, "SCREW THESE STUPID SHOULDER BUTTONS THAT DON'T WORK ANYMORE"--and bought a Nintendo 3DS. Much as I've enjoyed both DSlites I've owned, the shoulder L & R buttons are pretty much the first thing to go on the 'lite' model. The silver version I bought Black Friday before last didn't even make it a year before the L started on its path to becoming grievously useless. The R wasn't far behind, and lemme tell ya, for me, it is not a grand and glorious experience playing MLB2Kwhatever when I can neither make a basestealing attempt when I wish nor can I make the runners get back to base when I need.

Wingstun, naturally, enjoys getting hold of it to make use of the Pokédex 3D app (by which I mean, she'll peruse the other listings I've so far garnered before going back to coo over those effing mudbots which continue to cost me currency and sanity DAMN IT ALL COULDN'T YOU HAVE SIMPLY STAYED A BUMBLEBEE FAN I COULD LIVE WITH THAT PRIMUS KNOWS I HAVE DONE SO FOR OVER A DECADE bleeeahhgk...better, now. Me...I use everything else. Bought a few games so far off the eShop, screw around with the camera and get onto the internet wherever I can find a free wifi hotspot.

Fun. The camera and internet access have already come in handy--I can tweet from a ballgame using a stylus much more quickly than using iTap on a phone BECAUSE I AM JUST SO SLAGGIN' AWESOME SHUT UP BABY I KNOW IT and can even snap a few 3D photos of the action--both of which I did Thursday night at the Timber Rattlers ballgame. Game started off as a pitcher's duel for a few innings--thankfully, it didn't stay that way. Need to figure out how to log on at Miller Park, if I can, though I doubt the camera will get much use, considering that we're usually sitting in the Terrace Level. Club Level, last game, but that's not so big a difference, at least to my eyes. Man, the prices nowadays sure make me appreciate the games I was able to attend as a kid at County Stadium--I could walk down by the dugout and try for autographs, pregame...

Between the multiple BP C'Mon Back Club cards I and my mom filled over the summer, and a Time Warner Cable BOGOF offer bill slip, Wingstun and I have pairs of tickets to four games in September. That's more damn games than we've attended in whole seasons past. Naturally, she's looking way forward to it. Just hope she's granted the requested time off.

Two of the games are on consecutive days. Been giving serious thought to simply staying at a hotel after the first game and perhaps yomping around Milwaukee the day after before attending the second. Wingstun can probably use a it is, she's been bugging me about going to Slagacon in October. Apparently, two TF-themed cons aren't enough for her anymore...

Probably going back to Fox Cities Stadium tomorrow. Carlos Gomez is there for the second of a four-game rehabilitation stint, and there are postgame autographs by the team on Sundays, so if Go-Go is gonna be part of that, it's worth a shot.

Worth the $10-$15 for parking and the ticket, too.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good Motivation to Murder the Grass

So, our lawn was getting a little shaggy and Prime wondered, after returning my phone call to him at work to commiserate about the loss the Brewers had just suffered at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates, if I could mow it during this decently nice know, before the weather decides to turn to 'I DRENCH YOU NOW' again. Now, I really don't mind killing the patch of greenery in our yard, but it is a bit labor-intensive. So I was about to strike a deal with my sweetie-bot and tell him, sure I'd do it, if I could be promised one of these.

I know what you're going to ask--what the slag is that thing? Simply put, it's a plush Pokemon keychain. Not just any Pokémon, either. It's a Golurk keychain.

Instant want. Golurk is only one of my favorite Pokémon. The other being its base form, Golett. Those two are hands down, my favorites. I love 'em more than any Pokémon from previous genrations. The words "utter adoration" might actually fit in this case. Seriously, golem + robot = instant epic win.

So, as I tell Prime that I'll do it for the keychain, he tells me that there's a small box near the desk that I should look inside. Curiosity gets the better of me and I do.

What stares back at me? A little plush Golurk. Yep, Prime had gotten me the keychain, along with a Golurk figure. I have no idea when he did it, but he did it.

Pity my poor front lawn, as it had no idea what hit it. I have never mowed with such extreme prejudice before. Seems I owed Prime that much, at least. That and I'll do slag near anything for my favorite Pokémon.

...within reason of course. (Stop getting ideas, Prime. I forbid you from milking this!)

--Weasel, "And now--TACOS!!"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Photoblog: "Closin' It Down" Edition

A pair of BotCon staffers, getting ready to shut things down.
(I always hate that moment.)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Quarter Century

On this day, 25 years ago, The Transformers: the Movie premiered in theaters nationwide.

Before you ask, no, I didn't get lucky enough to see it on its release date. I didn't even get lucky enough to see it on the release weekend. I actually saw it over a week later, after much begging and pleading. Being 11, I had to go to the theater with my mother, as she wouldn't let me go alone. We went in the early afternoon, making the trip in Dad's old blue and white Dodge truck, which is long since gone.

My first impression of the movie was one of surprise; there was a massive twenty year time skip between the series and the feature film. There were also Autobots onscreen that I had never seen before. Who exactly was Kup? Where did Blurr come from? Why hadn't Optimus Prime ever mentioned them before? Although I was a bit confused, I just rolled with it and followed the action.

And there was a lot of action. A lot of death, as well.

Contrary to popular belief, I did not cry during Optimus Prime's death. My mother spoiled that scene for me about a week before the movie's release and said outright that she didn't want to see me crying over it. I was a stubborn kid and I flatly refused to show any true emotion during that scene. All I did was bite my knuckle and soldier onward. It wasn't meant to be any sort of disrespect to Optimus--I did it to spite my mother. We never really have gotten along; there's quite a bit of baggage with that relationship.

That didn't mean that I wasn't heartbroken. I had admired Optimus Prime since I was nine. Seeing him pass on was like watching a member of my own family die and I wasn't allowed to mourn for him. In the next twenty-five years, I would make up for this, as I cannot watch this scene without tearing up. Even the music brings me to tears.

But it wasn't only Optimus Prime who passed on: Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl, Wheeljack and Windcharger, just to name a few, were also cut down. There were so many Autobots dying that I lived in fear of what may happen to my sweet Bumblebee. He had been taken out of the action early and I feared the worst for him. Thankfully, he was one of the lucky few who were spared.

Later, I did admit that seeing Bumblebee in peril made my heart skip a few beats.

I was stunned to see Hot Rod become the new Autobot leader and, to this day, still shudder at the name of Unicron. For an 11-year-old, the movie was truly epic. I really didn't want it to end. However, nothing good can last forever.

Unfortunately, as soon as the credits began rolling, my mother insisted we leave. It would be years before I could finally see them in their entirety. It's another thing that I and my mother did not agree upon--I didn't believe I should leave the theater until the entire film is done. Mother didn't see it that way. And now, I am forced to wonder if I could have spotted the name Dan Gilvezan and committed it to memory, saving me years of raw vocal chasing and frustration. But I'll never know.

I was only able to see it in the theater once. I wanted desperately to go again. I truly loved what I had seen and wanted to experience it in all its glory for a second time but I knew better than to ask. Seeing a movie in a theater for a second time was out of the question. I wouldn't be able to do so until I was an adult and at BotCon. A gift to myself, I guess you could call it.

A lot has changed in the quarter century since the release of The Transformers: the Movie. The home I lived in has been sold and the dirt road I lived on has been paved. The cats that ran about the yard are only memories. The old mutt that we kept is gone. And quite a few of the things I thought I knew about my family and childhood have changed radically. But some things have not. After twenty-five years (and longer, really), I'm still a fan. I can't help but think that I'm a bigger fan now than I was when I was younger; those Robots in Disguise have helped me get through a lot in my life.

I'm a different person now than I was 25 years ago but Transformers will always be a part of my life. The Autobots and Decepticons are one of the few things that I can count on, that I can depend on, that I will always love.

'Til all are one!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Not a damn thing to do with the band. Just sayin'.

Ol’ Windsweeper has been busy killing letters and using Microsoft Word to do it, and I’m frankly sick of opening Firefox to see a Photoblog, so…what the hell.

Went to see another Milwaukee Brewers game on 26 July. Not even a week earlier, Caterpillar Global Mining bought 5000 Terrace Reserved tickets apiece to that game and the following, both against the Chicago Cubs, as a goodwill gesture, thank you, blah blah blah of some stripe…guess they entered into some sort of corporate partnership with the Brewers. What kind of partnership a baseball franchise and a mining company needs, I’ve no clue, but it happened. They were made available on the Friday before, at 0900…which naturally means I’m already at work. Figured it was worth a shot nevertheless. A single two-dollar charge for printing ‘em yourself, when normally each ticket, being for marquee games, would be $20 before the convenience and delivery fees? Yes, please.

Was kind of pain to get through the order—the site was being hammered like on a sale day. MLB does better with the refreshing waiting room concept, though. Took so long to make it through, though, that I couldn’t get seats together for either game. However, Windsweeper has, in the past, made clear that sitting together isn’t a high priority for her when attending Brewers games—a mild insult of which she was rather unaware until I spoke up—so I jumped on what I could get for us, and picked up another pair for the next day’s game for a coworker who is a diehard Cubs fan (somehow, we get along fine), and put the order on through.

Game day comes, Windsweeper’s off and I’ve left work an hour early to get down to Milwaukee at a reasonable time…which almost never works, anyway. Traffic gets pretty slow down there around an hour before first pitch, and that day was little different...probably worse, what with the Cubs as opponents. Plenty of Chicagoans make the drive north to fill seats with that narfy bright blue. As it was, it took half an age to get parked in one of the General Parking lots (Uecker, I think). No way I was getting into Preferred, let along paying for it on gameday. Not for a Cubs game.

By the time we’d walked to the stadium and gotten past the gate, the first inning was already over—a fact made more irritating because all the scoring in the game happened in that inning. Made our way up to my section and saw that all but two in my row were empty, so Windsweeper stayed. Could always have moved if the actual seatholders showed up. They never did, so we were able to enjoy the game together. Well, she enjoyed—me, I’ve never been all that big a fan of pitching duels unless there turns out to be a good shot at a no-hitter (then the enjoyment becomes retroactive). Windsweeper left after the fourth inning to get her usual cheese-fries-in-a-helmet—cupboard’s getting full of those things (exaggeration), but I still have the ice cream helmets and drink cups that I picked up after Brewers games in the late 80s/early 90s, so I’m one to talk, I guess.

Game ended with a win and we headed back to the car. The drive back home was uneventful and as always, somehow longer than the drive away.

Windsweeper stayed awake until 0200, keyed up from a win yet again.