July 20, 2008

Like Clockwork


Its been a year since I've posted. Can't have that.

July 08, 2007

Yuwie. Needa. Clicky.

I am NOT a MySpace kinda guy. I don't do MySpace things or hang out with MySpace kinda people or think MySpace kinda thoughts.

But a friend of mine recently started up a new concept in social networking... that pays ME (or you) to create webpages and content. I finally have a place to post pictures of the family, post funny videos, music, comments, rants, jokes, reviews, etc...... and get PAID for it.

The general principal behind Yuwie isn't new. But the concept of SHARING ADVERTISING DOLLARS with your users.... is.

Yuwie not only shares advertising income with you, but gives you a share of the income generated by those YOU have invited to join. No fees, no costs, no hassle.

If you think of me as a friend, please click the link and let me refer you........ to an alternative of MySpace. Come join us at Yuwie.

January 14, 2007

R.I.P. Joe Gill

Michael Ambrose at the Charlton Yahoo group, is reporting that Joe Gill has passed away.

If you look up the word prolific in the dictionary, you'll find a photo of Gill right by the entry. If you have ever read a Charlton comic book, chances are you have read a Joe Gill scripted story.

RIP Mr. Gill. I've got a ton of your old stories here to remember you by.

Is It Springtime Yet?

This just in.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Yeesh. Its not quite THAT bad here (that photo is circa 1915 or somethin... but it IS bad here.

Oklahoma is still being pelted with the worst ice storm in a quarter of a century. Its now throwing out freezing rain and THUNDERING and LIGHTNING at 6 degrees with the wind chill factored in. Expect MORE power outages as the power lines form more ice, and expect thousands more people around the state to wonder when their power will come back on.

Hug someone you care about, and keep them warm, folks.

January 13, 2007

Are YOU A Mr. Bungle ????

Let us all make the choice to NOT be a Mr. Bungle! And DAMN thats one kick ass piece of cake.

January 13th Again and Again and Again

Well, its January 13th again. If I didn't know better, I would say one of those pops up every darn year or so. Aside from being my birthday, its also the day in history that I decided to start this weblog 3 years ago. So its kinda my birthday, but its also my anniversary, but its more my birthday, but its really all about my anniversary. Or... wait. I dunno.

I've spent the past hour or so cleaning up, editing, and sorting through what was the first 3 years of this blog. Threw out a bunch of stuff that was silly or a waste of bandwidth or both... and figured now would be as good a time as any to start posting again. A lot of things have happened in the past 3 years, and it shapes up to be an important time in my life, these next few months.

So here's a Frito Chili Pie, grab a spoon and dig in. Whatcha waiting for?


I really need to order some more comic book long boxes.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 4/6/06

Doesn't Get Better Than Ditko

I'm a big fan of Steve Ditko. He's the artist that drew the first 40 or so appearances of Spider-Man back in the early '60s. Pat, over at Silver Age Comics has posted another follow-up essay on Ditko's Spidey, reviewing Amazing Spider-Man #28-33 . The reviews for #1-19
and #20-27 are worth checking out as well. Even if he doesn't use the hyphen. :)

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 4-4-06

Wit All Due Respect

Being a huge Sopranos fan, I was more than a little excited when I spotted this on the shelf at my local Hastings yesterday...

I was excited because how can you not like a movie with Frank Vincent and Vincent Pastore's head Photoshop'd onto the cover art! I was impressed they even managed to PHOTOSHOP James Caan's face (He's onscreen for less than 5 minutes). He plays "Jimmy The Con" Ahahahah Jimmy the Con. Get it? Man this film is the bomb. The expense they went to to create the cover art for this DVD is only matched by the budget of the movie itself.

Have you ever seen a movie that is SO BAD you want it to go on and on and never ever end? This one will fit the bill!!! I was euphoric after only 5 minutes and it just kept....... getting........worse. GOD what a great flick!!

Folks, this is the Plan 9 From Outer Space of gangster films! I LOVED IT!!!!!!! Horrid script! The actors are grimmacing trying to work this dialouge into something credible. Its way too much fun!

Even though this "film" was made 3 years ago, I'm glad I finally discovered it. Its now on my personal Top 32,450 Films Of All Time list.

This one rates two & a half cookies on the Scape-o-meter.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 4-1-06

Chasing Birds

My loyal weiner dog Maynard and I went out on the front porch one last time last night.

He has spent 1000s of them out there with me, in earlier years, barking and trying to coax birds from the trees, as if he were Mr. Prince Charming. He loved chasing birds, he loved barking at them. Dummy dog. :)

He hadn't eaten anything for nearly 3 days. His 17 year old system was shutting down. Wouldn't/couldn't even take a drink of water the final day. The vet couldn't do anything for him, save "put him down". Nice term there.

So out we went one last time, more so for me, of course. 23 degrees, the ground covered in ice, the streets glazed with a thin sheet. Freezing cold, me in stocking feet, no coat, him wrapped tightly in a blanket, just his little head sticking out. Like a scripted cue, as soon as we sat down, 4 birds, in the pitch of dark night, flutttered all startled from the eves of our front porch, where they had been roosting to escape the frigid cold. They swooped down, and then out into the yard and away. The sudden and unexpected noise startled me, and apparently Maynard as well, as he raised his head up once, his nose suddenly ALIVE, as if he were geared up and ready for another great bird adventure. I dont put a lot of stock in EVERYTHING in life being an omen or fate or whatever.... but lets just say Im very glad that the bird community got together and voted to put on a spendid show, out of honor for my buddy. It was good for me to see him being aware of where he was, if only for one last time.

He went peacefully a few hours later. Or so I convince myself.

Happy happy fun posts to follow.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 2-20-06

Oh Yeah!

Oh yeah!! Wow. I've got a blog! I umm... forgot.

Fortunately, my weiner dogs awoke just long enought to remind me that I really should make an entry at least once a year, to create the illusion that I actually have one. I sought to thank them and show my appreciation, but they were already back to snoozing, dreaming puppy dreams and stuff. Ah, the lives of dogs.

I'll post more, as soon as I have something incredibly interesting to say. This could take awhile.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 6-27-05


Today is my dog's birthday. I'm not the kind of guy who posts pictures of his pets, but if I find a good one of Maynard I may scan it and post it at a later date.

He's not the only dog in our household, we also have Maggie. They are both weinerdogs, or if you are above the Mason-Dixon line, dachshunds. Mags is the baby of the family, we got her in 1997. Her birthday is a few days from now, and she's already started hinting around. If you've ever owned a weinerdog, you already know how incredibly INCREDIBLE they are.

But today's story is about Maynard. My 10 year old daughter and I picked him up on Christmas Eve, 1988, as a surprise present for my wife. Black and tan, slick and shiny, about the size of a soda pop can, Maynard instantly became a member of the family.

1988 was a big year here at Castle Escape. In May I underwent surgery and it was discovered that I had testicular cancer. Had had it for quite awhile as it turns out. I wasn't supposed to survive.

Screw that.

Extensive experimental chemotherapy, and 5 months later, I was cancer free. My hair was still "attempting" to grow back in when I got ol' Maynard and brought him home to live with us. My wife, who is the bravest person I know, my daughter, who went through tremendous anxiety over the whole ordeal, and I, consider my survival a blessing. When we look back and think about 1988, two things come to mind. That was the year Dad got sick, and that was the year we got Maynard.

He answers to "Nerd", "Dummy Dog," "Breath of Death" AND when he's in trouble, "Maynard Conrad Baldwin". And for many years, he was always in trouble. ;)

He's been here to see our daughter graduate from high school, attend college, get married, and have children of her own. He's been here to protect us from that mean ol' mailman and that awful paperboy. He even barks at leaves falling from the trees, since they obviously pose a danger to the family. Such a dummy dog.

But he's my boy. My whole life turned flip-flops that winter of '88. And he's been here ever since, at my feet, or in my lap, every day I have taken a breath. He can no longer jump, or run. But he can be picked up. And he can be nurtured and cared for. And appriciated. And loved.

Right now, as I write this, he's here, giving my forearm a bath. While the licking seems to repulse my wife, she seems to understand that its JUST SOMETHING WE DO, and accepts it for what it is.

Experts say the life expectancy of a dachshund is 11 or 12 years.

Screw that.

Maynard celebrates his 16th birthday today. And we'll save you a piece of cake ;-)

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 10-20-04

I Believed A Man Could Fly. Christopher Reeve SOARED!

I'm adding my two cents today about the sad sad news concerning the death of Christopher Reeve. I've read dozens of tributes today and about the only thing I can add is a personal rememberance of mine......

Superman the Movie was a REALLY big deal when it came out in 1978. The first film to really make all of us comic book fans salivate at the prospect of a major super-hero coming to the big screen and DONE RIGHT. Multi-million dollar budget, big-name director, even a guy named Brando thrown in for insurance.

Comic fanzines at the time had a field day reporting rumors, plot threads... lots of praise for how the source material was being faithfully produced. I wasn't alone in sheer child-like glee heading to the theater to watch SUPERMAN THE MOVIE on opening night. "You Will Believe a Man Can Fly!"

They weren't kidding.

Chris Reeve made me a believer. The guy WAS Superman. RICH characterization, and BELIEVABILITY that just blew me away. My favorite scene:

SUPERMAN: I fight for truth, justice, and the American way.

LOIS LANE: (muffled laugh) You sound like half the politicians in this country...

SUPERMAN: Lois? I never lie.

And I'll tell you something, gang. At that very moment, Reeve made me a believer. That look in his eye, her subdued reaction...... its my personal favorite moment in the picture. Not only could this guy act, but he could convince me that a dude in blue tights and a red cape was here to protect us from evil. Movie magic.

Actor. Political Activist. Humanitarian. Leader. Husband. Father.


From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 10-11-04

I'm......I'm...... Exploding. And stuff.

I decided to try BlogExplosion. For those of you who have heard of it, you really should be using it. For those of you who haven't heard of it, you really should be using it too. It's quadrupled my traffic in just one day. Just click on the nifty little banner below, and all will be explained. Exploding. Its a good thing.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 10-11-04

Where Were We?

Its been a REALLY rowdy summer in Escapeland. Haven't had much time to blog, or scan comics, or catch up on my email. I've always placed a priority on..... well, my priorities. This summer has certainly tested THAT to the max.

Needless to say, I'm back. And what better way to celebrate my return than to give out my Frito Chili Pie recipe. There IS no better way, bucko.

Escape's Frito Chili Pie

1 12oz canned chili (Wolf, Austex, or if your desperate, Hormel)
1 18oz bag of Fritos (Regular, NOT the big Dip style chip)
1 small white onion (diced finely)
1 tablespoon Frenchs mustard
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (sharp is best)

Dump Fritos in big bowl, add chili, onion, mustard, relish and garnish with cheese on top.

Yes, I agree, its a tad complicated... but trust me, its worth the 2 hours in the kitchen. Actually, the BEST way to eat this is directly out of a Fritos bag, sitting on a bleacher seat at a summer softball game. But your mileage may vary.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 9-9-04

ACK!! THBBFT!! This Blog is Now Exclusively About Politics!

Not really.

I think there are enough forums for political "content" already. From what I've observed, the stronger one feels about his or her canidate, the more effort is extended in totally ridiculing & making the OPPONENT look like a horse's ass. Which is all well and good..... I enjoy the ENTERTAINMENT value of reading political forums that spend (I'm not making this up) 98% of their time and bandwidth talking about the opposition, and 2% promoting and educating me about THEIR canidate. Some of them are quite funny.

So while I do indeed have strong political views, you won't be getting them here. Its way too easy to start slinging a little mud, just because one can.

I will, however, go to bat for my buddy, Bill the Cat, who has returned to the funny pages in my favorite Sunday comic strip, Opus.... and is currently the mayor of Bloom County. The strip has been running in a limited number of newspapers since late November of last year, and has really picked up steam since Ol' Billy Boy has returned. It's not currently appearing online......but to see if it appears in a paper near you, click here .

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 6-24-04

Ode to Vic Rains

When I was eleven years old, I would ride my bicycle across town to Vic Rains. Vic ran a grocery store and meat market, and had probally the largest magazine and comic book selection in southwestern Oklahoma. Huge wooden shelves lined the northeast corner of his store, at least 6 of them, all fully stocked with every type of periodical you could want. Think of the magazine selection at a Hastings or Barnes & Noble TODAY....... and that's what we had back in 1969, at Vic Rains Food Market. Old concrete floors, the aroma of homemade BBQ and chili simmering every time you walked in the store.

And between the sports magazines and the detective fiction magazines, near the very corner of the store, were 3 comic spinner racks. 3 of them. Stuffed full of comics.

My friend Ricky and I would pedal our bikes there every Tuesday and Thursday. Vic always had the new books on the racks by noon... and if he didn't, we would ask if we could "help" put them out for him. He always smiled that smile, and let us.

In 1969, you could buy 8 comics for one dollar. Actually, after sales tax, you would have 2 cents in change to buy that really good grape bubble gum that came in the clear cellophane wrappers. There is no entertainment on earth that could possibly be as value-filled, as those trips I made to Vic's.

Once I got my drivers licence, the bicycle was retired, but the Tuesday and Thursday trips remained a constant. Vic, now in semi-retirement, had his son Rusty running the store. Rusty removed one of the spinner racks, and took out two of the old wooden magazine shelving units. Times were changing....... kids weren't buying as many comics as they used to. I offered to buy the unused spinner rack off of Vic, and he just smiled that same old smile and insisted I take it home with me at no charge. He told me it would just end up in a junkyard otherwise.... and besides, I had always been one of his best customers, and it just seemed like the right thing to do, he said.

Vic and his son closed their store down in the mid-1980's. By that time, he was down to only one spinner rack.... and virtually no magazines at all. A couple of video games sat where my friend Ricky and I used to sit, crouched down, counting our change, chewing that grape bubble gum and organizing our four-color treasures. I was a customer of Vic's until the day he closed up shop.

Vic passed away about 5 years ago. A widower for quite awhile, he would come into my restaurant that I manage, to eat regularly, until his health got bad. He always asked for me by name, and loved telling my crew that I was his most loyal customer. I still have the spinner rack that dear old man gave to me, it sits here in my office, filled with comics from my youth. I give it a spin occasionally and close my eyes. I can smell the homemade BBQ.... and can feel the concrete floor beneath my feet. Thats the beauty of this hobby, comic collecting. It's an escapist literature in many regards. Vic Rains always helped me to escape.

And I miss him.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 5/31/04

Funny Books

Sometimes collecting comic books makes me feel like Beetle Bailey.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 5-24-04

The Gospel According to ESCAPE

A little bit about me.

I have always lived where I live now. I've never desired to move. Went to school here in southwestern Oklahoma, took a job here, raised a family here. I will most assuredly die here.

I enjoy good music, good movies, good comics, and good television. And yes, I will be letting you know what constitutes "good", according to the gospel of escape. I am sure you will be hanging to my every word on each subject.

Bought my first computer in 1993 at the urging of my daughter. Soon became horribly addicted to sitting in front of it and letting it suck the marrow out of my brain. I don't think I was the first to suffer from this addiction, but perhaps I was. I dunno.

I began "networking" with others who shared similar interests. By 1996 I was emailing, websurfing and chatting on IRC with folks from around the globe. Made many friends, some quite close, and whose friendships I hold on to, to this day.

My nickname or "nick" throughout all of this was escape. Seemed to be a fitting one. Work and stress and "real life" gotcha down? Just hop online and allow yourself to e-s-c-a-p-e, right?

Anyway, 10 years later, and countless connections/conversations/data sharing/collection building/etc later... its safe to say that computer purchase I made back in '93 was a good one. The nick "escape" continues to work for me, so I suppose I will keep it for awhile longer.......

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 2-26-04

To Blog or Not to Blog....... That is the Question

I shall Blog! THAT is the answer.

I think the first blog I ever read was Mark Evanier 's excellent POV. I always thought of it as just a website that was "constantly updated". Didn't really understand the dynamics behind blogging.

But now, of course, EVERYONE blogs. People who read blogs and have their own blog, list other blogs on their site. There seems to be a huge blog network, of bloggers blogging, people reading blogs, bloggers advertising other bloggers blogs and bloggers blogging about other bloggers blogs.

I shall Blog too!

I shall also stop using the word blog now. I promise.

From the Escape Archives... Originally Posted on 1-13-04