Being A Meativore Is Awesome

Hello loyal fans. Allow me to briefly comment on the awesomeness that is cooked meat. Frankly, it does not get much better than chowing down on a glorious hunk of cooked animal flesh. The inspiration for this post is twofold:

1) The recent two part series of Dinosaur Comics explaining how animals can be both “friends and food”

Part 1

Part 2

2) The offer of a student to complete his Westward Expansion project through a gift of steak wrapped in a twenty dollar bill (Andrew Jackson anyone?)

I respect the self sacrifice of vegetarians.  It is, in its nature, very Buddhist…and of that I approve.  Nevertheless, I can not fully understand the sadomasochism that is vegetarianism.

Hooray for meat!

Quote of the Day:

“If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?” – John Cleese

Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 8:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Legos Are Awesome

Hello loyal fans. I am here today to speak to you about Legos. Legos are, frankly, awesome. While browsing today I came across this blog post about a Lego Pumpkin. This is pretty freaking sweet. After following the link to the Lego website I came across The Holiday Train Set; given my general love of all things railroad related, this was a pretty tempting little thing to run around some future tree…not very prototypical, but sort of light hearted and whimsical. It would be hard to argue that I don’t need more general whimsy in my life. Then again, I already have enough train related junk floating around my apartment to run more than a few trains around a tree (or ten).

Nevertheless, this piqued my curiosity and I elected to explore the Lego website further. Times have really changed since I was a kid. I remember when there were only three Lego themes: City, Castles, and Space and the mysterious, complex Technic sets. I also remember the excitement I felt when they added the Pirate set. Now there seem to be a cornucopia of different Lego options, the majority of which seem to be based on the stars of film and television (a fact of which I am not sure how I feel; on one level it is bothersome…on the other, I am happy to see Lego thriving…and who does not love Lego Star Wars).

Legos may just be the perfect toy. Sure, they cost an exorbitant amount for a bunch of little interlocking pieces of plastic, but they are still pretty awesome.

Just check out what some ambitious (and, likely, unemployed) folks did with theirs:

Quote of the Day:

“Batch likes Legos!” – Batch

Published in: on October 8, 2007 at 9:21 pm  Comments (1)  

Rhythm And Ribs Is Awesome

Hello loyal fans. Allow me tout the awesomeness that is the Rhythm And Ribs experience in Sacramento, CA. This weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) Raley Field (home of the mighty AAA River Cats) will be hosting this smorgasbord of ribs and…you guessed it…rhythm. Last year was a glorious adventure through the world of cheap, but delicious, pig and cow flesh slathered in some truly excellent barbecue sauces. I hope that this year lives up to my expectations. For a mere $5 you can enter the stadium itself and the ribs are generally between $5 and $10 a plate (five or so beef ribs…maybe eight or nine pork ribs). Realistically, the music is not that great and there are a lot of annoying little shops selling low quality home made crafts, but the ribs…oh the glorious ribs. I yearn for ribs.

I shall dine on ribs on Sunday. Join me there, one and all, and savor the deliciousness. Ticketmaster has tickets…but you can easiy buy them at the door!

Quote of the Day:

“I have eaten the ribs of God.” – Homer Simpson

Published in: on September 19, 2007 at 2:47 pm  Comments (1)  

3:10 To Yuma Is Awesome!

Hello loyal fans. I had the great pleasure of seeing 3:10 To Yuma last night. That was an awesome film. At the time I did not know it was a remake of a 1957 film of the same name, but even that can not damper my enthusiasm. The film was just sweet! Now, I know some of you are thinking “that crazy Batch…he likes westerns, but nobody else under 50 does”. That may be true, but this, nevertheless, is a fine film. Sure, 90% of the audience was walking with a cane, but do not let that deter you. Erin actually really enjoyed the movie (except for the blood…but you know) and we actually spent some time afterward discussing the various motivations of some of the characters. I rarely get as psychologically involved in a film as I did in this case. I actually suspended my disbelief and cared about the characters and such. WEIRD!

Aside from the generally gripping storyline and excellent acting (especially Peter Fonda, a man with great western acting heritage), the historiography was outstanding. One of the things that so often turns me off about movies is historical inaccuracy. This film had no glaring problems and few minor. They even got the two tined forks right!

Overall, you really should see this film (even if you are not into westerns). Take a friend. Eat some Rubios first (even though they changed their menu). Make it an evening. I did and it was great!

If you still are not convinced, check out the previews here: 3:10 To Yuma

If I can get ahold of the original I will let you all know how it is. I would expect greatness given that it stars the eternal Glenn Ford.


Quote of the Day:

“I’ve always liked you Byron, but even bad men love they mommas.” – Ben Wade (Russell Crowe)

Published in: on September 9, 2007 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gabriele Di Matteo Is Awesome

Hello loyal fans. While searching around online for pictures of Fidel Castro I stumbled upon a website displaying the artwork of Gabriele Di Matteo. Now, I had never heard of this artist before and, frankly, there does not seem to be much information available about his work, but he apparently is an Italian artist who did a series of paintings of famous people in the nude. You see, on yahoo images the first hit for “Castro” was this painting of Castro and Nixon meeting in the nude (edited for your protection):


Due to my inquisitive mind I decided to check the link out. I was brought to a website with many different paintings of the same style. It is actually some fascinating/amazing work. The images are hosted on, but it requires that you input an e-mail address for access so I do not know what lies there. I do know that the “Naked Humanity” page is available without providing an e-mail address.

My thirst for knowledge grew as I tried to discover more about this man. To the best of my knowledge, the works are a part of a series entitled “History Stripped Bare” which Matteo produced between 1999 and 2005. NYU seems to have the most intellectually provocative of the pieces on their website. It does not list the title of the piece, but it depicts the Kennedy Assassination. As a student of history I recognize the impact this moment in history had on millions of people. I feel no overwhelming emotion regarding the incident myself, as I did not live through it, but I wonder how seeing this would impact people who did live through the event. If anyone knows art, or has access to information about Gabriele Di Matteo, I would really appreciate anything you can tell me.

Quote of the Day:

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” – King James Version of the Bible, Genesis 2:25

Published in: on August 6, 2007 at 8:04 pm  Comments (55)  

Dinosaur Comics Are Awesome

Hello loyal fans. While perusing the web a few weeks ago I came across one of the best things Canada has ever produced (aside from maple syrup, and Michael Moore’s early film Canadian Bacon) [if you can not love a movie where the U.S. is in a Cold War with Canada you have no soul]). That thing is Dinosaur Comics!

The artist, Ryan North, creates a new comic pretty much every day, and that is not very surprising given the simplicity of the product. The frames themselves never really change, they are simply pulled from a catalog of different options. What does change is the satire of industrial society which he brilliantly espouses.

This may be my favorite so far: Hip Hop Mozart!

If you are the computer nerdy time you will probably like this one: Codes

You will notice that I have added the link to my Blogroll, so if you ever lose the wonderful world of Dinosaur Comics you know where to find it.

Quote of the Day:

“Okay so in this new religion you should be nice to each other because that’s nice. And you can do whatever you want as long as there is informed consent between all parties involved. And everyone gets bikes. I will say that if you join my religion then you get a new bike.” – T-Rex, Dinosaur Comics

Published in: on August 4, 2007 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  

The Drive Through Car Wash Is Awesome

Hello loyal fans. I was driving through the car wash today and I got to thinking about just how much fun that really is. For $6 one gets a very cerebral experience. My thoughts, naturally, turned to Rose Royce’s iconic funk hit Car Wash which provided part of the soundtrack for the 1976 film of the same name. As my mind wandered from there I began to contemplate the role of funk music in the development of the blaxploitation genre. My mind naturally turned to Shaft (shut your mouth…) which brought me to Samuel L. Jackson via his horrible remake of the original which starred Richard Roundtree. Knowing that Samuel L. Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. got me thinking about our government which ultimately brought me to…no, not the war in Iraq…Alberto Gonzales. Good old Alberto is still in a bit of hot water following the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys back on December 7th, 2006. As an historian I cannot think of December 7th without thinking about Pearl Harbor which brought me to U.S. History…and so I began to wonder how my students did on the AP exam. I decided to try to check in to that tommorow. I wonder if the counselors have that information yet…

Then, the car wash ended.

If you have somehow managed to go through life without seeing Car Wash or Shaft here are a couple of movie posters to entice you. Just click the thumbnails below.

carwash shaft

Quote of the Day:

“You might not ever get rich
But let me tell you it’s better than digging a ditch
There ain’t no telling who you might meet
A moviestar or maybe even an Indian Chief” – Car Wash, Rose Royce

“Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
Shaft!” – Shaft, Issac Hayes

Published in: on July 26, 2007 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wii for ME! = Awesome

Hello loyal fans. “Mad props” (as the youth would say) go out to Erin for finding me a Wii today. Target of Walnut Creek…$249.99. Huzzah! Although I have not yet played my Wii, I look forward to that fun filled experience tomorrow. Maybe now I will stop working on school stuff and instead use that time to Wii my little heart out!

Quote of the Day:

“I recently learned something quite interesting about video games. Many young people have developed incredible hand, eye, and brain coordination in playing these games. The air force believes these kids will be our outstanding pilots should they fly our jets.” – Ronald Reagan

Published in: on July 6, 2007 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Old Crime Dramas Are Awesome

Hello loyal fans. Summer vacation is off to a great start here. The baseball cards are all sorted (I keep dangling that out there…) and now I am settling in to some school work before my brain totally checks out. I still have not found a Wii, so in my quest to occupy my brain the TV has come in to play. Luckily, I have discovered that the local YourTV20/Cable 13 station runs some excellent old crime dramas in the morning from 10:00 to 1:00.

What you basically get is a Magnum, P.I. sandwich with some Perry Mason for bread! The shows are decidedly different, but remain fundamentally the same: crime dramas which revolve around a strong central figure.

In the case of Perry Mason you get a sort of film noire style hour long mystery. Perry Mason (played by Raymond Burr), a brilliant attorney, uses his “mad law skills” to defend clients who always seem unquestionably guilty, but who are, in fact, innocent. Generally, Perry is the only one who believes the seemingly guilty person; due to his brilliance, Perry is generally able to coerce the guilty party to admit his crime while on the witness stand. Basically, take some Law & Order and mix in a bit of late 50s/early 60s style, and out pops Perry Mason.

Magnum, P.I. is a decidedly different experience. This program follows Thomas Magnum (played by Tom Selleck) as he romps his way across Hawaii in a bas ass red Ferrari solving crimes as a private investigator. As he frequently reminds us all, he is not a Private “I”. Generally, he is accompanied by his buddies Rick and T.C. and he is persistently pestered by the keeper of the estate upon which he lives, the loquacious Jonathan Quail Higgins. It is very early 1980s.

With the exception of Law & Order, it seems like there are no great TVs crime dramas these days. I long for the good old days when one could flip on the tube and see some great mystery solving and court room interrogation. Where are Dragnet, Hawaii Five-0, The Rockford Files, Miami Vice, The Fall Guy, Simon And Simon, Knight Rider, MacGyver, Starsky And Hutch…I could go on, and on, and on. I say bring them back!

Quote of the Day:

“When a man looks for things that aren’t there and finds them, we call him a detective.” – Perry Mason

Published in: on June 21, 2007 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Map Book = Hooray!

Hello loyal fans. I got the best gift ever on Saturday! It is a giant book full of all sorts of cool old maps from the Age of Discovery. There are few things better than getting a surprise gift for no good reason from a person you care about. I now proudly display the book on top of my coffee table. That is right, ON TOP. I kind of wanted to place it on the lower shelf to keep it safe, but it was too freaking cool to leave down there out of view.

The book itself is amazing! It traces the spread of explorers out of Western Europe from the 1300s through the 1800s. Text accompanies each map to provide some historical context. I sat down this evening and read through the first 30 pages or so and found it absolutely fascinating. It is interesting to see how the European depictions of “undiscovered land” change over time; the stuff, so to speak, that is placed in that “undiscovered land” is great. Strange animals, sea monsters, even God! These are maps from when map-making was an art…the glory days of cartography! Now, a map is a computer drawn image with no heart, no feeling, no emotion…all are the same.

Quote of the Day:

“The great thing about a map: it gets you in and out of places in a lot of different ways.” – Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver

Published in: on June 13, 2007 at 7:56 pm  Leave a Comment