Z-A of Me Meme

B is for Blogging

I've had six (!) blogs in my life. Three of them trailed off until death, one was closed for legal reasons (a then-current co-worker Googled themselves and found my screed about the workplace and their part in it, including an affair), one was a serial novel (I'm going to loo0k into copyrighting "blogvel") that never got off the ground, and then there's this, which I hope will last for a while.

My last blog was a livejournal, which I got in the dying days of invite only LJ accounts. I tried a few things to resuscitate the LJ, but I just couldn't bring myself to update it anymore. I guess I just grew out of it.

I would like to be the first to congratulate my wife for her newest blogventure: The Swapdex
it's an index of mail swaps around the world, and has gotten almost 1000 unique visitors in the month it's been up and running. It's amazing how popular these craft swaps are.

Z-A of Me Meme

C is for Corgi

Sullivan Ira Zeidler is our furry little son. We adopted him last (06) April, and he was a quiet, shy little boy who had been left outside his former owner's house after an attempt to make money breeding Corgis didn't pan out.

In the following eighteen months, Sully's grown in confidence and affection. He'll go running up to strangers, looking for treats or petting, and will make sure you're doing what he thinks you should be doing. If not you'll hear him arooo until he gets you where he thinks you should be.

Separated at Birth?

Danny Devito & Emeril Lagasse

I just happened to notice this while watching Live with Regis & Kelly the other day.


Z-A of Me Meme

D is for Disasters I Have Missed Despite Working in Television.

  1. Oklahoma City Bombing - I was actually at my part-time job and happened to notice it on the small television in the break room of the place I was delivering pizza to.
  2. Columbine school shootings - I was getting ready for a first date, and was told about it when I picked up my date.
  3. September 11th - I was working nights at the station, so I slept through the entire thing. I checked my email and saw a whole bunch of posts to a TV director's mailing list I was on at the time hoping that everyone in New York was OK. Only then did I turn on the TV and immediately race to the station to see how I could help out.
  4. Space Shuttle Columbia - I was asleep again.
  5. Virginia Tech shootings - I think I had the week off.

Z-A of Me Meme

E is for Exposition.

Bully recently posted a comparison of the wordcounts of Amazing Spider-Man #13 and Ultimate Spider-Man #13.

It got me to thinking about the differences between modern and silver-age comics, and I realised that the major differences are the background of the writers and the style of script they were writing.

Silver Age comic writers came from literary backgrounds, where they were paid per word. 1-5 cents per word and you learn how to become verbose. In Stan Lee's case, the Marvel method was fraught with pitfalls. A loose plot description could be taken any number of ways, and the only way to get the story back on track was through the word balloons.

The further away from their literary starting point comics got, the more visual the medium became. Nowadays everyone wants to write for the movies, back in the '50s and sixties, all the writers want to be novelists. There's a big difference between the story structure of those media, and the comparison shows it.


Z-A of Me Meme

F is for False Positive.

Two times I've tried to donate blood. The first time, my blood clotted too quickly and the half-full bag had to be thrown out. The second time, I was sick and my blood didn't clot until after I had bled fully through the giant wad of gauze they have you press onto the needle insertion site. This was also the first time that one of the H.I.V. tests they do came back positive. The confirmation test they do was negative, but it was still enough to freak both my wife and I the hell out.

I then didn't go anywhere near the Local Blood Bank, and had no plans to until it became obvious that my wife, bless her heart, was having trouble each time she tried to give blood because of my false positive. So finally I go back for my "re-entry" bloodwork, hoping to ease my wife's anxiety about my health. The results, says the lady who took my blood, should be in by the end of the week.

Three weeks later, I finally remember to call them up and ask what's going on. I find out that the director of the Local Blood Bank is on vacation, and will be until August 27th. I wonder out loud why she hasn't gotten back to me already, and the lackey on the other end of the line goes to check and see if she can find anything. She says everything came back negative, and that she would have the director call me back when she got back from her trip.

Today I get a message from the director saying that AGAIN the HIV screening has come back positive, and the confirmation test is negative, so I shouldn't worry about having HIV, but to call and we'll talk about it. Apparently people with strong immune systems (like me, supposedly) often fail the HIV screening.

I don;t actually care that I can't give blood, as the Local Blood Bank is obviously very mismanaged, and I'm sure they just sell all the blood that gets donated anyway. However, my wife will now be able to give blood whenever there's a blood drive, but to quote her "after everything that's gone on with them? never again."

Z-A of Me Meme

G is for Guitar Hero

Ah, Guitar Hero, you've gotten me through so many rough times, and you're not even two years old yet. I'm currently addicted to playing Freebird in GH II, especially since hooking up the PS2 optically to our surround sound system. Yet I still only ever play on Medium. Oh well, it's still the best way to pass time when in a funk.


Z-A of Me Meme

H is for Hulk

My first comics was The Incredible Hulk #155. I was five, and my Aunt Marilyn bought it for me. It was the perfect introduction to comic books - Super-powered Nazis, Soldiers turning into giant salamanders, and a giant silver and blue Skrull-looking robot (? He had tank treads, he must have been a robot) called the Shaper of Worlds.

I didn't know, and didn't need to know, how everything fit together in regards to previous events, but there were editor's comments to point me in the right direction in case I wanted to explore them. Pure entertainment that even a five year old could enjoy.

Z-A of Me Meme

I is for Idolatry

Growing up Catholic is often confusing. Looking at the faith from a distance, it hardly makes sense. I noticed early on that Catholic churches were the sports entertainment version of religion. The pageantry, the rituals, the implied mysticism. None of those really bothered me, it was the complete and utter lack of passion put forth by the congregation. It seemed like everyone was going through the numbers, blandly droning the hymns and prayers.

It also seems to me that most Christians are actually breaking the first commandment. 1. Thou shall have no other gods before Me. Why does everything focus on Jesus? He was just a vessel of God's power. But all you hear about from Christians is "Jesus this" and "Jesus that". They can't see the forest for the trees.

Z-A of Me Meme

J is for Jekyll

We just finished up watching the British series Jekyll. It went along at quite a nice clip up until the last scene, where he tracks down his mother, and (Spoiler Warning) it's revealed that she's also a Hyde and the owner of the company that had hunted him down. (/Spoiler Warning) It's sad that they felt the need to put that scene in, because it just left such a bad taste in my mouth. they were trying to be clever and they ended up coming back round the other side and ruining it.

Z-A of Me Meme

K is for Kids

We've decided to not have kids for the time being. It's not a set in stone plan, since we haven't done anything to make certain that we cannot have them. I don't really know what to think about children, actually. My sister had her first child when I was twelve, (she was 19, and got pregnant on her honeymoon) and so I generally tend to view her oldest daughter as a younger sibling.

My wife's parents actually took steps to ensure they didn't get pregnant after they got married. They were both older and Divorced, so they didn't want to introduce a baby into the middle of everything else going on. Despite a tubal ligation on my Mother-in-Law's part, a healthy baby girl was delivered to them in March of 1981.


Z-A of Me Meme

L is for Legion of Super-Heroes

Ah the Legion. The comic that launched the careers of more upper-management types than any other. If you can handle the legion and all the storylines, characters and continuity that it involves, you can handle pretty much anything. I look forward to Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, or Tom Peyer running DC in around 20 years when Paul Levitz steps down.

I was first introduced to the Legion through the old Adventure Comics digests that made up the final issues of the run. I believe my first digest included "The Face Behind the Lead Mask!" and "The Castaway Legionnaires" I was in love at first sight. These have recently been reprinted in:

A very intriguing thing about the Legion, is that different writers had different continuities for them from day one. The more thinsg change the more they stay the same.

The Legion is also a very good argument against a hard reboot of the Marvel Universe. People are constantly saying that there's too much backstory and baggage involved in the Marvel Universe and that it should be restarted anew, like DC attempted to do back in 1985, and 1994, and apparently are going to try to do again next year. The only people who have trouble with continuity and baggage are the fanboys who want every little thing explained and interconnected.

Continuity can be a great thing in small doses. The reason The Winter Soldier works so well over in Captain America is that there's no predetermined baggage for the aging comics fan to complain about. I like that the Fantastic Four were trying to beat the Russians to space, and that's why they made the fateful trip way back when, or that Tony Stark was captured by the Viet Cong. These stories don't make any better sense when they're updated. Why did the FF sneak onto a rocket now? And why, as in the latest softboot of Iron Man, if he was captured by insurgents during the first Gulf War, doesn't someone take Tony Stark right to the best heart surgeon in the world after freeing him? The reason most of these origins worked in the first place is because of the state of technology and world politics at the time. When you try "fixing" them, they just get broken.

When/If the Marvel Universe gets rebooted, you'll just have people complaining that it's hard to keep up with what all has and hasn't changed in the new iteration of the universe.

Z-A of Me Meme

M is for Mikey

My name is Michael, but I prefer people to call me Mike. Never Mikey. That commercial made my childhood a living hell*.

I was a large kid, (not that I'm a small adult by any means) and everybody mis-remembered the line as "Let's give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything!"

That doesn't even make sense! Why, if you're unsure of whether some thing's good, would you give it to a proverbial garbage disposal? You wouldn't! The line is clearly heard as "Let's get Mikey!" "Yeah, he won't eat it, he doesn't like anything!" Give it to the pickiest eater you know, and if they like it, then you know it's OK.

*Ironically, I love Life cereal, but Raisin Life? EWWWW, who thought that was a good idea?

Z-A of Me Meme

N is for nonagenarian parenting

Everyone over the age of 50 should be sterilized. If you will be above retirement age by the time your child is out of college, YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE THE CHILD. It is a selfish act that benefits no one. I'm disgusted every time I hear about some 55, 60, 64, 73, and now 90 year old having a baby. What kind of a childhood will that baby have? His father could die at any moment.
Baby Boomer ladies, you chose your career over having a family, don't continue your selfish ways by inflicting elderly parents on your children before they are financially capable of supporting you.

I cannot stand baby boomers in general. My wife watched a documentary on the bombings of Nippon and the aftermath of a country that had lost almost an entire generation at once. What struck me is how different the society of Japan is because of this. The technologically driven, more sexually open culture, where comics and animation are major industries, can all be explained by the loss of an overall parental influence.

Think of how different the US would be if a biological agent had done the same thing to people
over the age of 45 in major metropolitan areas back in the 40s, or even the 60s. Feel free to share your thoughts below.


We pause now for hilarity

What follows is a proposal for a weather promo that was brainstormed while directing the morning news a couple of days ago. The make anchor liked it so much he volunteered to be the guy in the cloud suit.

We start with security camera-like footage of a guy in a cloud costume walking up to a house, and peering through the screen door.

From inside the house we hear: "come on in, I'm just making up some sun tea." Cut to the interior mid-sentece to see someone in a sun costume walking away from the screen door and into another room as the cloud enters.

Cloud guy calls after the sun person: "hey, hot enough for ya?" and out walks Dan Jensen, weatherman.

Dan: "Have a seat, Mr." he checks the papers he's holding "Cold-front, is it"

Cloud Guy: "I'm sorry, sir. Who are you?"

Dan (as Chris Hansen): "I'm Dan Jensen, Stormteam Weather, what exactly were you planning to do to East Central Illinois?"

Cloud Guy: "Nothing sir, I was just here to cool things down."

Dan: "Says here that you were going to quote show you what a gully washer is unquote."

Cloud guy takes off out the door, with us following, where the other two weather guys have their squirt guns at the ready, forcing him to the ground.

End with Dan, Doug and Cliff standing over cloud guy, brandishing the squirt guns, in a Charlie's Angel's esque pose.

I hope everyone finds this as funny as we did.

Z-A of Me Meme

O is for oppressive heat

I tried mowing the lawn today, only to be stymied when the lawn mower ran out of gas. I don't mean I was actually out of gas, but after refilling the mower, it would not start. Turns out that it was too hot for the mower to work.

Either I have a lazy-ass lawn mower, or I should NOT have been out there for an hour today.


Z-A of Me Meme

P is for Parliament/Funkadelic

There's a local corn festival (Yay midwest!) that a couple of years ago was thisclose to not even happening because of a lack of money. This year they've somehow managed to book Parliament/Mutha-Funkadelic. I guess given my age this might seem like a bigger coup than it would to some people, but I mean COME ON! How can more people not be excited about this? These people are arguably bigger stars than anyone who played the Illinois state fair this year!

Z-A of Me Meme

Q is for Quasar #17

"Reborn to Run" - In which Barry Allen appears in the Marvel Universe during a cosmic race, which he ends up winning, is one of my favorite comics ever. Knowing that Mark Gruenwald had such a love for the silver age Flash that he would introduce him into the sandbox that he had chosen to stay in , makes me wonder just how great a flash series written by Gru would have been. Much like his Squadron Supreme mini-series had me chomping at the bit for a Gru run on JLA. We lost a great man, and a not-too-shabby writer to boot.

People may have qualms about his run on Captain America, what with Cap-Wolf, Robo-Cap, Teen Cap, and the various wannabe Caps that came about in the mid-90s that are currently being killed off in Warren Ellis's Thunderbolts. What I remember is a great, long, run on a character that kept growing and growing on me, with his earnest love of his country. If not for Gru's run on Cap, (when nobody wanted to write him) I think he may have been killed off during the whole rush to "event" in comics post-Death of Superman.

I miss Mark Gruenwald, even though a part of him is sitting on my bookshelf as we speak.

That's another thing, Mark loved comics so much that he had himself cremated and put into a printing of what he thought of as his best work, the Squadron Supreme tpb. It's an odd sentiment, but I now think of him everytime I read it.


Z-A of Me Meme

R is for responsibility

My wife is a little upset about posts S,T & U in this meme, and wants me to remove them. I prefer not to, as I've learned quite a bit about responsibility since my previous one of my previous blogs almost got me dooced.

Back before I got married I was a much more irresponsible young lad. Bills would go unpaid, not because I didn't have money, but because I forgot about them until such time as they piled up and I threw them away while tidying. This led to a horrible horrible credit rating. Such that when I moved out of state, one of my creditors served me with a summons to small claims court to collect on a debt that that I was actually paying on time. Between that, my marriage, and subsequent having to feed a second mouth on what was previously a fairly good single-guy wage, I righted my listing credit ship and steadfastly rebuilt my credit to the point where my score is approximately 300 points above where it was seven years ago.

I have my wife to thank for a bit of this, as she gave me a goal to strive for (her credit score has never been sub-730) and a reason to strive for it.

Z-A of Me Meme

I apparently only have until the end of the month to get through this, so I'm doubling up on the usual amount of posts.

S is for Siblings

My siblings and I could have been a great psychological experiment/thesis. Therese and Ted were born in 1969 and 1970 respectively. Chris and I didn't come along until 1975 and 1976.

Therese on the other hand was kind of the all-around helper when we were growing up. Dad ws on the road a lot, and when I started school, and mom went back to work, she was the voice of authority until supper time. She is a goody-two shoes, but not in a bad way, and provided me with a couple of nieces that I think of as more younger sisters (one of which just started college.) and a nephew that Chris loves to pal around with.

The psychology comes into play because during Ted's formative years HE was the youngest, and was treated as such, and still plays into all the habits that come with that. He's got kind of a love-hate relationship with my dad, though that's mellowing into somewhat of a mutual respect. He's pulled away a bit, living outside of our hometown, but still coming back twice a month to visit with the extended families, so the grandkids know about where their parents came from. It was from Ted that I learned of many of my favorite bands, and formed some of my political views. Ted was also the first of our family to marry a non-Catholic, which is a big thing in my dad's eyes. Mom tends to keep to herself about these things, as long as you're happy. Dad has again mellowed a bit about Ted's wife's creed, but they still go to separate churches when they're in town.

Chris is an odd one, he makes a butt-load of money, but still lives at home. I used to kid him about it, but then came to realize that generations of people around the world have grown up and continued to live with their parents until such time as suddenly their parents are living with them.

Z-A of Me Meme

T is for television

I've been working in TV for twelve years. When I first started out, part time my station had a reporter at the OJ trial. Given that we were a small-market station in north central Wisconsin, THIS WAS INSANE. It hasn't gotten any saner. I've worked with alcoholics (one of my co-workers got so many DUIs his bicycle was impounded so he could ride it), drug addicts, manic-depressives, sex addicts, registered sexual offenders, and on and on. A more wretched hive of scum and villainy you will not find than in broadcast television.

It strikes me, that in a smaller market you keep seeing the same stories over and over, mainly because of the turnover in the newsroom. These stories are fresh to the new to town reporters, but old hat to anyone living in town. Perhaps that's why we're so popular among the college crowd, but don't do so well among the older viewers.

Z-A of Me Meme

U is for understaffing.

We're currently six people short in my department, and four of them are on my shows.

The midday show at my station will be down to a three person staff as of tomorrow, which is one too few to actually run the show (two to few to run the show well). It's been like this since the previous general manager came in and decided to cut production staff to almost a skeleton crew, getting rid of the majority of our part-time employees. That was in late 2000. Since that time my boss (and I've had three in this time period) has run camera for the Midday. Well, except when one of the other directors left in March and the current operations manager had to move to nights to fill in, leaving the show non-staffed at cameras. We've managed to have some morning operators fill-in for the time being, but the college year starts tomorrow, and the remaining morning floor crew person has a class at 11am, precluding his ability to be at the station at that time.

Z-A of Me Meme

V is for Vegetarianism

I've recently decided to go fully vegetarian, as my wife has been since I met her, and for the majority of every week I have been too, but there were occasions in which I would pick up something because I didn't feel like making anything. I found myself picking things up more and more and realized that I needed to make a change for the well being of both myself and our bank account. It's been going OK too, except for our weekly ventures eating out. I couldn't find a sandwich I liked at a bagel shop we went to so I had tuna salad, and then two weeks ago we went to a Greek place and discovered that they were transitioning their menu, and only had a handful of items available that their online menu said they had, so I ordered something, and I'm not ever sure what, but the waitress came back and told me they had just run out of whatever it was, so I ended up getting fish, again.

Whenever I used to say my wife was vegetarian, people would always ask "Oh, does she eat fish?" I would look at them strangely and say "No, she's a vegetarian" So I really felt like I was cheating on my new culinary path whenever I had the fish, and my wife has been kidding me about it, even going as far as buying stuff with meat in it. I then have to remind her that we're now both vegetarian, and that she can just buy two of whatever she's buying for herself from now on (unless it's mint - blech)


Z-A of Me Meme

W is for Wife

I've loved my wife since I laid eyes on her, a month after we "met". Since then we've had a very open relationship, never holding back. Which is not to say that we fight, and not to say that we don't, it's just that no matter how angry we may be at each other we can always make the other person laugh within five minutes of the argument winding down.

It's a good life, I just wish I got to see her more often. (stupid job on my end)

Things that have surprised me about my wife:

  1. Her knowledge of late-80s Jim Crockett/NWA wrestling.
  2. Her ability to create incredibly non-country-ish/non-hipster craft-y things. I'm torn betwen her Reading Rainbow at Mardi Gras inspired clothespin doll (you remember Levar in the fish costume, admit it) and the Adirondack chairs she made sans pattern out of popsicle craft sticks(!)
  3. Her commitment to all dogs, and their well-being, even at times to the possible detriment of her career (if she didn't work at such an open office.) We have spare leashes in our car so that any stray dogs we see can be more easily handled.
She's so easy to love, especially when she thinks she's being a pain.

Z-A of Me Meme

X is for X-Men

I've never been able to get into one of the most popular comics/brands in all of comicdom. I can handle spin-offs, one-shots, mini-series, and guest appearances, but I've never been able to follow the core title(s). I did like The New Mutants on and off in the early years, and was an avid follower of the Milligan/Allred X-force/X-Statix run, along with the PAD/various X-Factor runs. I don;t know what it was about Uncanny/Astonishing/The X-Men/X-Force/X-Man/the thousands of Wolverine & related books (sans Deadpool). Maybe just the core idea of mutation was enough to turn me off, or possibly all the angst.

Oddly, I've never had a problem with the Legion of Superheroes, and the various permutations of said series. Maybe I'm just too much of a DC guy?


Z-A of Me Meme

Y is for Yeti

Yetis, and Crypto-zoology in general was a big fad in the late '70s - early '80s period when I was growing up. It seemed like every kid I knew had the time-life series on Mysterious Creatures, and could go on for hours about that week's episode of In Search of... or Ripley's Believe It or Not (with Real Man Jack Palance, not late-'90s washout Dean Cain) The world seemed so much more grand and mysterious in those days, and I actually kind-of miss it. Yes, Google maps is an amazing tool, and the Internet can be very useful, but the sense of wonder that was engendered by reading those books and not knowing what every foot of the earth looks like made life just that much more fun!

Z-A of Me Meme

I picked this up from My Wife's blog, and am going backwards so as to better facilitate alphabetical reading. Also, because the earlier letters in the alphabet represent some very hot-button (for me) issues, and I'd rather put a friendly face on this blog, and let you get to know me before spewing forth bile.


Z is for Zeidler

Pronounced Zide-ler, because of my Austrian/German background, it would be Zeed-ler if the I and the E were transposed. Right now my wife is mad at me for revealing my last name in my second post on this blog. I've learned my lessons from previous blogs and will not be posting things that would get specific people upset enough at me to threaten another lawsuit. (said blog has been erased, and thanks to a call to the Blogger/Google offices way back when, completely erased from the archives.

Z is also for Zundian

A name that was randomly generated by a MUD that I visited once for around 5 minutes before wondering how people were ever patient enough to spend hours and hours on a MUD. It seemed like a neat name at the time, and I've adopted it at all the websites, message boards and chat programs I frequent. Apparently there's also a Furniture company and a Card company, both based in China with the same name. It was also the name of the aforementioned blog with the lawsuit threat.


Bicentennial Baby

...and so once more into the breach I venture!