Planes, trains, and Automobiles

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“Those aren’t pillows!”

If that line means nothing to you, you’re either too young or it’s been too long since you’ve seen that movie. But the holidays are coming up, so chances are it’ll be on TV. Just in case, though, here’s that scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on Youtube, via Fandango’s “Movie Clips.”

Why am I referencing that John Candy and Steve Martin holiday classic? Because that was my day coming back from Oregon to Japan. I traveled for about 18 hours straight, crossing the International Date Line and losing a day on the calendar. Two hours by car from Lincoln City to the Portland, about three in the airport, 11 in-flight, another 1.5 on a bus and then the last 30 minutes by train.

I’m not kidding!

But it was worth it. I learned so much at that Writers’ Master Class that I still, days later, am not prepared to process it all. And now I have to go back to work for the Navy (leave’s over), to night shifts, and continue my preparations for getting out of the Navy in just 2.5 short months! Whew! But it’s all downhill from here. Looking forward to the roller coaster ride into the next chapter of our lives!

Meantime, I’ll slowly be implementing changes to the way I do business as a writer, publisher, blogger, and general weirdo. Hopefully for the better, for me, my family, and even you, the reader eager for quality escapism and entertainment. Stand by for those.

The first will be a freebie book available to my Conspiracy Newsletter subscribers. If you’re not onboard yet, enrollment is always open. Join the conspiracy and join the adventure! I’m eager for feedback as I start up new and exciting avenues down the developing indie author pathway. And as soon as I get a chance to explore a new cybernetic delivery system, everyone on the mailing list will get a chance to test it out for me in the form of a free downloadable book.

“Join the Conspiracy!” Sign up by clicking here.

More coming soon…

(Note that this post is slightly out of sequence. I actually traveled before Halloween but the costume pics yesterday—and the offer for a free book—were more time-sensitive to get out there.)

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Batman, Robin, Spider-Man and a Very Super Halloween!

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Just wanted to share some fun pics before the seasonal window closes.

I made it back to Japan in time for enjoy Halloween with my family. Trick or treating on base here is an amazing event. You don’t realize how many kids and families are here until Halloween night. And that’s then augmented by a number of Japanese folks coming aboard to celebrate this super-fun America tradition too. I’m assuming they don’t have this here in Japan, because they’re sure happy to jump in with us here on base.

Can you guess which of these jokers (pun intended) is me? I saw this costume online and had to have it! I love the old 60’s Batman show. (As evident in my story “Puppet Theatre”.) I was also very popular this season. I had a lot of folks posing for pictures with me, which was strange. Never been a celebrity before.

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Oh, and the “BIFF” sign there?  Not mine. I was walking around to see everyone else’s costumes among the throngs and hordes of kids and parents rioting for candy that night, and ran into a very nice couple who had both a BIFF and a POW. They said they had made the signs before for a homemade Batman movie they’d done and insisted that I take one with me. They were so excited to bump into me if only for the irony of it all. And I was excited to have met them and to get such a cool and appropriate gift. If you happen to be reading this, Thanks again!

Hope everyone made the most of the season. No other time of year can we dress up and become someone else quite so easily, and join a wandering mob of sugar-hyper children of the corn doing the exact same thing! And if if you look like a dork, you can get away with it. Love this holiday!

And I’d love to see your costumes! Tell you what. If you email me a pic of you in costume and tell me what ebook of mine you’d like, I’ll respond with the file for your enjoyment! (And no pics of yours will be retained or shared for any reason. I promise to delete them right after I send you your reward.)

Send them to jdbrink@brinkschaostheory.com with “Halloween Reading” in the subject line, which book you’d like, and what format (epub, kindle, or pdf) you prefer.

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

GI Joe, Part Two: Didn’t We Just See This?

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Okay, I watched that first week’s worth of mini-serial last night.  It was cool, classic stuff.

Tonight I watched just the first of the next set of five.  And guess what?

  • Sinister terror device composed of three vital components?  Check.
  • Gladiator arena in giant hidden cobra temple in which Duke fights for his life (again)? Check.

I’m starting to see a pattern here…  Oh well, it’s still fun stuff!

I also didn’t realize how quickly so many characters came into the series.  I figured the first handful of relatively lame guys from week one were like the 20+ episodes of the first season.  Apparently not, ‘cuz now we have Flint, Lady Jay, Roadblock, etc, plus Snake-Eyes has a make over (looking much more badass), we have Storm Shadow, the Baroness got a makeover (much more badass as well—was I the only 8-year old with a crush on the Baroness??), Zartan and his motley crew are here, etc.

Makes me think the comic must have been running before the cartoon to provide all these guys?  Or was there a big gap between when these mini-series aired?  Or does this disc set just have a lot of missing episodes?  It claims to be the “complete first and second season.”

Oh, the mysteries of life…

Hey, I’d rather contemplate this juvenile shit than watch the juvenile shit on the news….

 

Yo Joe! GI Joe, a Real American Hero

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Children of the ’80s unite!

I was ordering some Teen Titans videos for my son and came across a huge collection of the original GI Joe cartoon.  There’s like 96 episodes in this collection.  More than 2000 minutes!

(Not that I’m going to sit down and watch them all in a binge weekend.  It’ll take me years to see it all, I’m sure.)

Did you know (fellow old nerds) that the very first week of the show was the Mass Device storyline?  The one with the three elements needed to power the teleportation machine that nearly conquered the world??!!  The one where Duke was forced to fight in Cobra Commander’s arena against a Conan-like giant??  (Who was voiced, I’m absolutely certain, by the same guy who did the Hulk cartoon in the ’80s.)  The very mini-series that featured our beloved mute Snake-Eyes sacrificing himself by sealing himself in with radioactive gas??!

That’s one of the GI Joe moments that stands out to me and I was never sure how far back into reruns it went.  Snake-Eyes comes out glowing red and Major Blud and his goons just let him wander into the snow, assuming he’d die on his own.

Classic.

 

Panthro, Bitches! Thundercats Are Loose!

thundercats_posterLookie what I got in the mail!  Ordered them on Amazon, in order to “raise my son right.”  Almost all the crap they make for kids these days is pure nonsense.  Very little story, just repetitious stupidity.  Unfortunately, when I started playing my iconic Thundercats on-screen, my son (who is only five) showed no interest.  He was far more interested in jumping up and down in front of me and disturbing my religious revival!  So Lion-o, Cheetara, and the gang had to wait until junior was in bed.

I could go into how impressive the cartoon is beyond pure nostalgia, but it’s like trying to describe a painting or a song; you just have to experience it.  From the high-detail animation to the iconic characters and character acting, to stories with actual, on-going plots and 80s rock themes.  They just don’t put that kind of work into cartoon shows anymore!

Okay, I might be a little bias.  The Thundercats were the foundation of my young reality for much of my formative years.

But if you’re an old nerd my age, than you already know what I’m talking about.  If not, pretend to be buying it for your kids–or your future kids–and see for yourself.

I remember matcatsking up my own cast of characters, but instead of calling them “Thundercats” I called it “Cat Attack.”  I had made one good drawing that I figured I could never top, so I just kept tracing that one as a template and giving them a slightly different look and unique weapons.  I also made a bad guy who was a hyena man.  He was my favorite!

Watching this also ties my stomach in knots thinking about how I had all those cool toys and then gave them away!  I used to save my allowance until I had $6.36 (that’s $5.99 with sales tax), then I’d ask my mom to take me down to Murphy Mart (or maybe it had become Ames by that time?) so I could buy me another awesome Thundercat.  I had all the figures!  My best friend Ben had the Thunder-Tank and I think the Cat’s Lair, as well as a cool Sword of Omens with light-up Eye of Thundara!

And then I had to go and do something stupid like give my big tub of toys away when I got older.  The boy’s parents were trying to say, “Oh, that’s okay, you keep them,” ’cause they didn’t want more junk on their son’s bedroom floor, but the kid was too eager to be denied.  (There were also some Visionaries in there, the guys with the holograms on them.  Remember that show?!  They were awesome!)  aaaad

That damn kid didn’t even know what he had, probably never even played with them!  Damn stupid me!  Why couldn’t I have been more selfish?  Then I’d still have them!

And my kid wouldn’t be allowed to touch them, either.  Oh, no!  Just me.  I’d wait until everyone else was in bed and then bust them out, Tigra jumping off the couch and disappearing, Panthro ninja-flipping up the stairs and fighting Ssslythe and Rataro and all the Mutants, maybe getting trapped in the Giant Microwave of Doom and riding the back of our War Dogs, strapped on by rubber-bands.  And I’d use aluminum foil to make a perfectly molded mask of one character, and then whoever put on that mask would become him!  (Used to use that trick all the time with my He-Man guys.)  Yeaaaah, that’d be great!

Hmm, had to wipe my lip there.  Foaming at the mouth a little.  Maybe, uh, maybe we should just pretend I didn’t write any of this…