Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Tradition

Happy Halloween! My long-standing October 31st tradition is to watch The Bride of Frankenstein! It's one of my favorite films of all time and practically my favorite horror movie. This year poses an interesting dilemma when it comes to BoF. I have watched the movie several times already this year on MonstersHD. That's ok, I can stand another's a great flick. In other news: Today the 31 Days of Blog draws to a close. A new record amount of blog posts have been posted this month and I plan to keep this going. I may not always have stuff to talk about, but I'll find something to post! (Photo courtesy of rachel a.k. via Flickr Creative Commons).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

70 Years Ago Today in Grover's Mill, NJ...

...the Martians landed. Well, they did according to Orson Welles' Mercury Theater radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read all about it here. This is one of my favorite moments in American pop culture and I'm proud to say that I live mere miles from where this all transpired. Citizens of Grover's Mill were seriously spooked on October 30, 1938 as the Welles' radio show commenced, documenting an advancing invasion force of Martians, the first landing of which was supposed to have happened in Grover's Mill. In the black of the night, fearful farmers shot at menacing, shadowy water towers, thinking they were the Martians in their tripods, come to claim our planet as their own. Alas, it was all a Halloween prank orchestrated by the brilliant Welles and one of the most famous moments in broadcasting history. If you want to recreate the scenario for yourself, listen to the original broadcast here from 8:00 to 9:00 pm EST tonight. A wonderful plaque commemorating the "Martian Landing Site" exists! Since Grover's Mill no longer exists (it's now called West Windsor Twp/Princeton Junction), the plaque stands near Grover's Mill Pond in West Windsor Twp. in Van Nest Park. See me posing with it back in 2005. Update (10/31): All kinds of articles about the anniversary have appeared today. Time Magazine. NY Daily News. USA Today. NY Post. And this one about those crazy kids at Illinois' Millikin University as they recreate the broadcast. There's hope for the Earth yet!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bill Cronauer Invades New Jersey

Here's good buddy Bill Cronauer at the place where good things happen, also known as Best Buy, in Princeton, NJ. October 2008.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

11,000,000 WoW Fans Can't Be Wrong

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that World of Warcraft has now reached and exceeded 11 million subscribers worldwide. I would predict that this number will only continue to grow, with anticipation of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion reaching fever pitch. World of Warcraft is also about to celebrate its 4th anniversary and enter its 5th year, the game more popular than ever. Quite a admirable feat, but all in a day's work for a company as quality driven as Blizzard.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An IMAX Discovery

This weekend I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is an IMAX theatre here in Hamilton, NJ! Double surprise: It is one of the theaters at the AMC 24 Hamilton! So, I saw Eagle Eye there with my friend Bill, who was visiting from Pennsylvania. And, wow, they played the Watchmen trailer before it, promoting that it will be shown in IMAX. To say I was overjoyed is an understatement. So, not only do I have one of the very best theater complexes in all of New Jersey close by, but there is an IMAX theater there too. This makes the coming of the Watchmen film in March even more compelling! (Photo courtesy of csullens via Flickr Creative Commons).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Operator Please

Here's a great new band from Australia! They are Operator Please and I saw them on an HD broadcast on the Rave channel earlier in the week. I grinned through my entire first exposure to them...their live set was great! The best way I can describe them is to say that they sound like the Pixies if a really out of control Kim Deal sang each song and the band added a violin. I know, that's weird. But this band absolutely rocks. Here's hoping that they get their first album Yes Yes Vindictive distributed in the states. It was just released last month. You can download it from various sources, including Amazon. Go to the Operator Please website and MySpace page to hear them for yourself. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blogs of Note: Daily Writing Tips

Here's a new blog I found that is a fun way to help you with your writing. It's called Daily Writing Tips. This site can help you with your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It can also assist you with various types of writing activities, like reviewing, fiction writing, business writing and writing competitions. They have a cool word of the day feature and handy misused words section. So, for example today's entry looks at the issue of which word to use for this time of year, autumn or fall? (Photo courtesy of Churl via Flickr Creative Commons).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spike Scream 2008 Watchmen Clip

Here's another video clip featuring short segments from the upcoming Watchmen film. It's looking good folks and very slick. When you go to the site to watch the clip, check it out in HD; it's worth it. There is also a brand new, full-size promotional poster for the film at the site. Remember, the movie opens March 6, 2009.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quote of the Day: The Matrix

Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus: No, Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great Moments in Comics: Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6

1968. Love that Steranko cover. And the rest of the issue wasn't bad either. To me, as a comic book reading kid of about 10 or 11 who hadn't yet heard of EC Comics, this illustration was just too cool for words. It was years later that I found out about Frank Frazetta and realized that this cover had to be an homage to EC's stable of science fiction comics and the unique imagery made famous by Frazetta.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Princeton Record Exchange

On Saturday I spent the day in Princeton, NJ and got to visit one of my favorite places: the Princeton Record Exchange. This amazing store has everything a pop culture fanatic like me would want: new and used CDs, vinyl, DVDs and accessories. Whenever I go to the store, I end up spending several hours there...I always find something great. When you go, be sure to check out their New Arrival used bins, which are always overflowing with great stuff at great prices. Their music and video bargain bins have some of the best used product in the state too. The Princeton Record Exchange is not to be missed and is worth the drive from anywhere. You can find out more at the Princeton Record Exchange website. Be sure to check out the video tours of the store! You'll be amazed! General Manager Jon Lambert and the entire crew of the Princeton Record Exchange deserve great praise for maintaining such a wonderfully unique music and video store. You guys are the best! Click on the photo for a closer look at the front of the store.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Watchmen Production Video #7

More from the Watchmen movie camp. Looks like the movie is coming along nicely. Here's the link to the official Production Video #7. It deals with how the filmmakers are creating Dr. Manhattan's look via CG and other methods. 4.5 months until the film's release and counting. Enjoy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rick Wakeman - Excerpts From The Six Wives Of Henry VIII

Rick Wakeman. I first heard of this amazing person way back in the early 1970's. There was this "progressive rock" band called Yes with this skinny guy with long blond hair that could play a mean keyboard. And it went way beyond mean, to be sure. I can't imagine my life without his music. This video posted on YouTube is one of my favorite Wakeman moments and is a distillation of the music from The Six Wives of Henry the VIII, his first solo album after joining Yes. The album was an absolutely amazing tour de force. It was entertaining and it proved that a talented artist like Wakeman could create a complex musical tapestry (in which he demonstrated the personalities of the six wives) through the versatility of the keyboard. I believe this is the solo segment he did when touring with Yes in late 1972 which was recorded at the Christmas Night concert at London's Rainbow Theatre (hence some Christmas music as part of his keyboard antics).

Thursday, October 16, 2008


When I moved from Monmouth to Mercer counties, I had to switch cable companies from Comcast to Cablevision. One pleasant surprise was a Cablevision exclusive HD channel: MonstersHD. This channel is something unique and is right up my alley: all monster movies, all the time. The line-up is great (if somewhat repetitive). All movies are uncut and in HD. They run horror and sci-fi movie series marathons all the time, which is something that I really enjoy. MonstersHD is part of the Voom series of HD channels. Click on the thumbnail for an example of some of the MonstersHD marathons.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blogs of Note: WoW Insider

We fans of World of Warcraft have had our favorite sites and databases over the years; Thottbot, Allakhazam and WoWiki are just three of those that I have used. One that I have been coming back to on a daily basis within the last year or so has been WoW Insider. This is a blog about WoW and has the best fan coverage, IMHO. It does it with a great deal of humor too. Yesterday, for example, was a major WoW patch day (3.0.2). WoW Insider helps all of us be as informed as possible about all of the patch changes. Their coverage of the different classes in the game is particularly useful to me, as is their helpful professions details. They also covered Blizzcon this past weekend with aplomb. Once the Wrath of the Lich King expansion arrives on November 13th, you can be sure I will be tuned to WoW Insider for all of the coverage of this event. A site that covers a game well is treasure to that game's fans. WoW Insider is just that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

World of Warcraft 3.0.2 Patch Day FAQs

Today is World of Warcraft 3.0.2 Patch Day! This is a very important patch as it provides the Wrath of the Lich King expansion content to accompany the retail game, which will be released on November 13th. There are two good FAQs that you can read that will bring you up to date on today's patching activity. WoW Insider's Patch FAQ and Venorize's Patch FAQ. It's 7:30 pm Eastern as I'm writing this and some realms are up and some aren't. In the meantime, click on the thumbnail to see another Wrath Beta screenshot, this time of everyone waiting in the new Stormwind Harbor for the boat that will carry them to Northrend, the new continent that will be introduced in Wrath. Enjoy the patch and see you in the world!

Monday, October 13, 2008

DVD Review: The Addams Family, Volume 1

Now here's something creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky. Volume 1 of The Addams Family on DVD. Why not "Season 1"? The show only lasted two seasons (difficult to believe) with 64 total episodes. There are three sets of DVDs out now which, when combined, contain all of the chronological episodes from the two seasons. I like to think that a lot of my macabre personality originated from watching episodes of this series and The Munsters during the 1960's. To this day, I still love the humor of The Addams Family. Volume 1 contains 22 episodes and some extra features, including several featurettes. There are also commentaries for some of the episodes. For the pilot episode, the commentary is given by Lisa Loring (Wednesday Addams), Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley Addams), one of the actors that played Cousin Itt (even though Itt is not in the episode) and an Addams Family expert. They had some interesting stuff to say about the series and I learned some things I didn't know by listening to the commentary of just that one episode. The video quality is very good too and it looks great on a large TV. The sets are nicely priced and won't cost you an arm and a leg (heh heh). Oh, I've just been handed Volume 2. Thank you, Thing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn At Last!

Autumn is my favorite time of year. It's hard to believe that leaves can look so good when they are dying. The cool, crisp weather is a welcome break from heady, heated days of summer. I always love going out for a walk or (gasp) a jog during fall weather. Maybe I'll actually get out there with my camera and capture some of the color. In the meantime, click on the thumbnail of a fall photo taken by my friend and co-worker Scherelene Schatz. You can view Scherelene's Adirondack fall trek with lots of her photos here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wrath Beta Screenshot

Blizzcon is going on right now (wish I had decided to attend...) and I will have more to say about all of the announcements tomorrow. Until then, here is a screenshot from my activity in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, showing the new Stormwind Harbor area. It is in the Northwestern part of the Stormwind City and is the port that you will use to take a boat to one of the entrance areas to Northrend, the new continent that will be introduced in Wrath. One of the announcements at Blizzcon is that Wrath of the Lich King has gone gold (aka, "It's ready to release."). The beta should be ending soon and we are all waiting for the release of this, the latest expansion to our favorite game. As always, click on the image to see more detail!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Dave rocks the first grade, circa 1964.
Never mind me, that bow tie rules.
(Click on the photo for a closer look, if you dare.)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The First Watchmen Trailer

We'll have a brand new Watchmen trailer very soon (playing before Quantum of Solace, opening wide on November 14th), but until then, here is the first trailer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mr. Atoz's Level 80 Frost Build

I'm looking forward to leveling my Mage, Atoz, from 70 to 80 once Wrath of the Lich King is released on November 13th. I have a tentative Frost build all set for him to work toward. The talents are subject to change and I suppose that there will still be some, since the 61 point talent, Deep Freeze, seems rather sucky right now. But, I am looking forward to keeping my Water Elemental out longer and its cooldown being reduced by 20%. This should be fun.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Watchmen Movie Update

It's just 5 months until the Watchmen movie hits theaters!
Click on the photo for an update from

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Guild

Six friends form a guild in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. They meet up every evening and band together to fight hordes of villainous creatures. They combine their strength and knowledge and have fun defeating the monsters, taking the spoils of battle home with them. This is the premise of The Guild, a very funny online show that will appeal to fans of MMORPG's and even those who aren't. The gaming aspect of the show actually takes back seat to the characters themselves as we get to know and are entertained by them. The online game that they play is suspiciously similar to World of Warcraft, but is never identified as such. Check out the 10 episodes of the first season and look forward to the premiere of Season 2, which is being produced right now!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Damn Fine Day

Rhino Records does a great job keeping music in print. A quick look at their catalog will show lots of great pop music acts on the label with genre-spanning collections. Rhino recently launched a blog site called Damn Fine Day. Every day, an obscure or not often heard song is posted that you can listen to and perhaps buy digitally if you like. For example, a couple days ago, the track See No Evil from Television's debut album was featured. This is a great site to subscribe to if you like music and are willing to expand your musical influences!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Plug by Koss

After much trial and experimentation, I have finally found the ultimate earbud headphones for a portable audio device. Witness The Plug by our good friends at Koss. First a little history on Koss. The company was founded in 1953 and, according to history, they were the first to invent the stereo headphone (oddly enough, when they were trying to develop a portable record player for retail). I discovered Koss in the 1970's, when I bought a pair of high-end headphones (with liquid-filled ear cushions!) from Radio Shack and eventually found out that they were manufactured by Koss. I have since learned that Koss had a long-standing relationship with Radio Shack and many of the headphones sold by Radio Shack in the past were made by Koss. I have since bought many pairs of headphones from Koss not only because of their superb craftsmanship, but because many of their products offer a "no questions asked" lifetime warranty. If they break, just send them back to Koss (with a minimal fee) and they will will either repair or replace them. I'm here to say that they stand by their warranty. And so, we come to The Plug. These are high fidelity earbuds with a squishy, "memory foam"-like cone on each end which, when squished between your fingers and inserted into your ears, will adapt to the shape of your ear canal and provide a nice, tight fit that blocks out background sound. The fidelity that this produces, along with a great bass response, just has to be heard. These little earbuds are great for listening to music on the plane or bus and for exercising because the tight fit makes them less likely to shake out of your ears. Lastly, these little babies are just $14.99 retail. You can get them for substantially less at some retailers. Try them out!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Return to Khadgar

I have wandered around from realm to realm in World of Warcraft, just as I have moved from place to place in real life. I do this because I am an inveterate explorer and...I get bored easily. Recently I decided to transfer one of my characters, Twiddley the Gnome mage, back to Khadgar, the realm I started out on at the dawn of WoW in November 2004. In the process, Twiddley morphed into Atoz, due to naming conventions. All hail Atoz the Gnome frost mage! It's nice to be back on Khadgar and I'm thinking that I never should have transferred off when the realm was having lag and queuing problems. These problems have since disappeared and the population of the realm is almost always "medium" during prime time. Atoz is looking forward to questing through the Wrath of the Lich King content next month with his friend, the Night Elf rogue Pagandog, both original members of one of the first World of Warcraft guilds on Khadgar, The Legendary Dogs of War.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Fly (1986)

One of my favorite movies of all time is David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly, originally released in 1986. I like this film for many reasons, some of which came rushing back last night when I watched this movie and the original back-to-back on MonstersHD. It's a great horror movie in its own right. The creature effects are great and it's just different enough from the original to make it unique. It's produce by none other than Mel Brooks of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein fame. The crowning acheivement, to me, is the direction taken by Cronenberg when he injects his concept of "the new flesh" into this film, as introduced some of his earlier films (including the glorious Videodrome). A great film for all time.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

31 Days of Blog

A check to the right hand column (all the way down) will show you that the largest amount of posts that I have entered on my blog in a single month is 26 back in May 2006. I'm out to do that one better in October and do one entry every day for the next 31 days, breaking that record. This is the perfect month to do it, since it's my favorite month of the year (but more about that in one of the upcoming entries). So, ready! Set! Go! Let the 31 days of blog begin!