G.I. Joe Action Figures

9 Oct

Back in the 1960s, Hasbro, the toy maker giant experimented with the idea that boys would play with dolls if dolls weren’t called dolls. So, the term “action figure” was coined. G.I. Joe is the original action figure. G.I. Joe was different in several ways from the dolls girls played with during that period:

  • He was exceptionally posable. Every joint was movable as opposed to the dolls in the Barbie line which could only move their heads, their arms at the shoulders, and their legs at the hips.
  • He sported realistic (close enough) hair (not in the original version, however), whereas Ken in the Barbie line had plastic hair.
  • He had a tough-guy scar on his right cheek.
  • He had bad-ass accessories.
  • He had a “Kung-Fu Grip!” which meant he could securely hold his gun while he pistol-whipped Ken.

Funny side note: G.I. Joe figures were originally issued for each of the armed services. They all had names that sound would sound totally gay today: Rocky, Ace, and Skip. Add in the muscles and facial hair and all he was lacking were leather chaps. Well, hellooooo sailor! I have to think that homophobes have something to say about boys playing with G.I. Joes. Where’s the damn study proving whatever their nonsense is this time?!

I had a couple of G.I. Joes growing up. My parents bought me the two best accessories that a kid could hope for: the Sea Wolf and the Sky Hawk. Since we had a pool in our apartment complex, I was in it constantly with the Sea Wolf submerging and surfacing it with the accompanying pump. The Sky Hawk was kind of a kite-glider and I loved it … for about the first 10 minutes. Like a kite, you attached a string and pulled the glider into the air. After it was fully extended, you stopped, letting the string detach and the Sky Hawk glide down. It worked, except that it ended up in a tree and my Dad had a really hard time getting it down. After that, I only got to fly it a few times since we didn’t live near big open fields.

In the 1980s, G.I. Joe was re-imagined as an ensemble of specialists combating a megalomaniacal  horde called Cobra. The figures were scaled back from the original 12″ models down to under 4″ figures that were far less posable. They were merchandised alongside a very popular run of comic books and TV cartoons series. I didn’t much care for them.

Like a lot of older toys, older G.I. Joes are now very collectible. I wish I still had mine.

G.I. Joe Action Figure Humor

G.I. Joe humor

Lazy Dude Cosplay

6 Oct

So, I walked out of the exhibitor hall to find an outlet where I could charge my phone and cool my heels. While I was hanging out in the lobby, I saw cosplayers all over the place and realized I was missing opportunities to get closer to my goal of 1,000 cosplayer pictures. My phone cord isn’t very long and my dogs were barking, so I sat against the wall and shot pictures of people as they went by. I felt incredibly lazy because I was sitting down and shouting out to people to get their picture as they passed me.

Homer Simpson in Superman shirt and white underwear

I wonder if I could get away with this.

I kind of like this approach. Next year I think I’ll bring a fold-up chair with a beverage holder and do the same thing until the bullies in the blue and yellow uniforms come tell me I can’t have a chair in the hall. Of course, then I’ll have to figure out what to do with the chair since I am not paying the bag check people to hold on to it. Aw. Screw the chair. I’ll just sit on the ground again. So, if you see some dude hanging out against the wall yelling at you to take your picture, it may be me. I am dedicated to getting 1,000 pictures next year. You could be one of them. Doesn’t that sound fantastic?

 

 

Cosplay in the lobby at Comic-Con 2013

 

 

The Top 5 Things I Wonder About Women

6 Oct

Men are from Venus, Women are from MarsI’ve got questions. Mostly I just shrug off the whole Venus vs. Mars stuff because I don’t understand it or I don’t care, but some things that are peculiar to me hang around in my head and eventually I just have to know what they are all about. So, right now, I’m wondering about things that I’ve seen women do that don’t make sense to me. These things are mostly just stuff I am curious about, so I’m not intending to pass judgment.

Oh, hell, that’s a lie. I wouldn’t have written this damn post if these things didn’t frustrate me. Of course, to be fair, women can (and actually have at length as you will note if you have a Pinterest account) written a shitload about stuff that guys do that bothers them. That’s absolutely fair. Men suck. I’m an expert with first hand experience. But all that boohoo is for another time. (Why the hell did all of that sound sexual?)

High heels

Model stumbling in high heelsFrom what I gather, high heels accentuate the curves of a woman’s legs and perk up her ass. They also lengthen the look of her legs because longer legs are sexy, so says the scripture. Got it. What I don’t understand is why women think the pain is worth it. I’m all for sexy, but no one needs to suffer to get my attention. I’ve asked women friends if they like wearing heels and no one has said yes, although I think a couple said the heels didn’t hurt as much as others made out. However, I see women taking their heels off in classy settings like restaurants or highbrow soirees. If they don’t hurt, how would a person who is physically self-conscious enough to dress to the nines justify this? There’s psychology afoot (ha!) but I just don’t know what it is.

Cleaning the house for visitors

Empty room in a house

Add a big screen and couch and I’m done.

I just don’t get this one. Like many a home, our house usually ranges anywhere from blah to a mess when it’s just me and the family. But as soon as we find out visitors are coming, it’s all hands on deck. I understand that people need a place to walk and sit so obstructions have to be moved off the couch and around the front door. But why the hell do I need to scrub the toilet? Toilets are where people’s shit and piss go. Is it necessary that they look like a bowl ready for cereal? (I love cereal. I get grief for that too, but I’ll leave that one be).

Meanness to each other

I think this is what gave me the idea for this post. I observed this again recently and it vexes me. Meanness isn’t unique to women at all; it’s just the approach that confuses me.

Mean girls

Maybe they’re mean because their high heals are hurting their feet.

The place I work hired four women in close succession for the office. None of them knew each other beforehand. Almost immediately after we hired the last two, three of them banded together and shunned the fourth one. Over time, I heard the three saying disparaging things about the fourth using words like “airhead” and “slut.” She ended up having attendance problems so was let go. After that the clique rearranged itself and one of the other women is now on the outs. Apparently, her issue is that she is an emotional mess that can’t hold down a boyfriend or something like that. This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed this sort of thing. Whether it’s in other workplaces or in my own family, women and girls can be very cruel to each other. I asked a friend about the phenomen and she gave the same answer my teenage daughter did: “they just are.” What the hell kind of answer is that? I think it might have something to do with emotional boo-boos and empty hoo-hoos. Ah, sometimes sexism just hits the spot.

I guess my incredulity can partially be blamed on chauvinism. I grew up in a society that taught us women are the more gentle sex. In actuality, they’re probably no worse than men. We do our own idiotic thing as well. When a guy accomplishes something awesome, other dudes say things like: “Did you build that?! I didn’t know you knew how to use tools. It’s a good thing you didn’t cut your fingers off.” The translation: “Holy shit, that’s impressive. I feel threatened by your mad skills.”

Cleavage

Ass crack and cleavage humorI used to work with a woman that dolled herself up something plenty fierce. She always wore shirts with diving necklines so people could see the tops of her tits (like the picture to the right). She often moaned that men were constantly staring at her chest. She made the classic chick statement: “Hey buddy, I’m up here!” more than a few times as she pointed to her head. During one such incident, I guess I was fed up with it because I pointed at her boobs and said: “Yeah, but you’re also down here and I’m more interested in this.” I’m kind of surprised I wasn’t sitting in HR that afternoon.

Burps and Farts

What’s wrong with burps and farts? Is it a jealousy thing? Dudes simply do some things better than the ladies. However, I think if a girl intentionally rips one in front of a guy and then busts out laughing, he’ll probably want to have sex with her right there … after the air clears, of course.

Here’s a funny clip of French Stewart taking the game up a notch.

OK, stupid sexist remarks aside, I really do wonder about these things.

Size of the United States Compared to Other Countries

5 Oct

I was curious to know how other countries compared in size to the United States, so I pulled images of countries that have been on my mind recently from Wikipedia and Google.

The United States is fourth largest in land area. Russia is the biggest by far, Canada is next, and then China is just a smidge larger. Here are some visual aids to give you comparative sizes of the U.S. in comparison with Australia, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, the United Kingdom. I plotted out U.S. cities that are roughly the same distance from the furthest points of each country. The distances are as the crow flies, not travel distance based on roadways. I also didn’t compensate for the curvature of the Earth but the layout is accurate enough to get the picture.

United States compared to Australia

Comparative sizes of the United States and Australia

United States compared to Iran

Comparative sizes of the United States and Iran

United States compared to North Korea

Comparative sizes of the United States and North Korea

United States compared to Russia

Comparative sizes of the United States and Russia

United States compared to Syria

Comparative sizes of the United States and Syria

United States compared to the United Kingdom

Comparative sizes of the United States and the United Kingdom

Since I’ve made fun of everyone else (except Australia — the Aussies escaped our pokes this time; we’ll have to correct that at some point), here’s a jab at the United States.

And here’s your bonus. Latveria may be a very small country, but it is ruled with an iron hand by a despotic and dangerous dictator.

United States compared to Latveria

Comparative size of United States and Latveria

Breaking Bad is Over and I Want a New Drug

30 Sep

Breaking Bad Felina

Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

The body is still warm and I’m already moving on. Five incredible seasons of Breaking Bad ended tonight leaving me with a nasty case of the shakes, and I haven’t even come down off my high yet for crying out loud.

Breaking Bad, Jesse Pinkman

The problem with a really good television show is that it can suck a person into a hardcore habit. I rarely watch TV because I just don’t have the drive to commit to a program. But when a show like Breaking Bad comes along, I get hooked. Then, I fear the end of the series because I know I’ll miss the exhilarating rush that comes with looking forward to and enjoying each new episode. Hell, I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow, but if Breaking Bad were still on, I could tell you what I would be doing next Sunday evening.

I’m not going to get into the show, its history, its virtues, its brilliance in writing and acting, or its impact on television. You can shop that plenty of other places. I’m just giving you a moment to go through withdrawals with me and to wonder how and when we’ll get our next fix. Shit, maybe we all need help.

Nah. Take it away, Amy Winehouse!

“They tried to make me go to rehab but I said, ‘No, no, no.’ …”

Comics A-Go-Go on Breaking Bad

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