Sunday, November 29, 2009

Breakfast Brunch Bunch

On Saturday, November 28, 2009, the annual gathering of the Brunch Bunch took place in South Carolina. Attendees gathered from all points and enjoyed a nice meal and fellowship with one another. There were even a few laughs, as evidenced here in this video documenting the occasion.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


With the West Coast Chapter of the Steve Johnson Fan Club sadly gone the way of the dodo, I can only hope the renewed efforts to increase the East Coast Chapter membership will bear much fruit. We'll be recruiting new members on Friday. Wish us well.
In the mean time, enjoy this photo from the 2006 convention pool tournament, taken from the SJFC archives.
And of course, remember Steve on his birthday Sunday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Adventures on Ebay

I have found over the past several years that one can sell just about anything on eBay. It’s not a matter of having something someone else wants, though that helps. It’s all about salesmanship, creating demand for your listing to anyone who manages to come across it.

Early on in my eBay experience I was dismayed to find useful items of reasonable (or better) quality that I had listed on eBay end up with no bids after seven days at auction. It’s frustrating and dismaying, particularly in instances where the item was something I myself might have purchased. But I learned that how I listed the items owed much to the measure of my success.

I soon learned that any manner of junk or bric-a-brac could be sold on eBay if I was careful in how I listed the item. This realization dawned on me several years ago after cleaning out the garage and ending up with a box of items destined for Goodwill or eBay. I had organized several plastic bins of cords: power supply cords, telephone cords, RCA cables and all manner of SCSI, mini-DIN and USB computer and printer cables. At last there remained a tangled pile of various cords and cables that I could not assign a function to. They had perhaps come packaged with electronics and remained unneeded or unused or were for cell phones or PALM pilots I no longer owned.

As I was listing a number of items on eBay (children’s clothes, CD’s and books, and unused house wares), I began to giggle thinking about the tangle of mystery cables in my garage, and, if only to amuse myself, listed them as “My Grab-Bag Pile of Mystery Cables,” imploring someone to take them off my hands but warning prospective bidders, “You don’t know what you may get in my Grab-Bag Pile of Mystery Cables.”

I sold the tangle of mystery cables and received positive feedback.

A week ago I went through a similar exercise in the garage, a seven-year-long process of reducing the amount of junk so that I can actually use the two-car garage for two cars instead of one. (I should admit at this point that it was my wife who, after cleaning the garage while I was on a business trip three or four years ago, managed to squeeze both cars into the garage, a situation which lasted perhaps a week until we started a remodel project. We’ve not achieved two-car status since then). Among the miscellany in the discard box was a small toy that should have been merely thrown out: three-inch high ghost that would waddle a foot or two across the floor when wound up. Most likely it was something that came home in my child’s Trick-or-Treat bucket many years before, and it was now among the miscellany preventing my wife’s Jeep from spending its nights out of the weather.

Instead of throwing it out, I put it up on eBay.
I received three bids and I ship it out tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Cast Reunion

Recently there was a cast reunion worth mentioning.

No, I am not writing about the Seinfeld reunion that is the subject of this season's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on HBO.

Think more David O. Selzenick and less Larry David.

To honor the 70th anniversary of Gone With the Wind, surviving cast members gathered at a tribute event outside Atlanta recently. With Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh being off-planet, the cast reunion comprised actors who played children and babies and Beau Wilkes at various childhood ages in the classic 1939 film.

I don't suppose there was much reminiscing going on at this reunion. But for those surviving performers in attendance , it must be marvelous to know that each was a part of such a remarkable feat of cinematic grandeur the likes of which are long gone in American motion pictures.

I think I'll add Gone With the Wind to my Netflix queue. It's been a while for me, too.

Oh, and George is divorced and is trying to get back with this ex-wife, in case you were wondering.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Good Morning, Captain

What's going on with Captain Crunch these days? Am I the only one who has noticed his transformation? Did he get a makeover? He looks more airbrushed, less...saltier.

There was a time when the good captain was truly a man of the sea, rugged and tough, a seadog who knew the stars and could navigate a sloop safely around the Cape of Good Hope with his eyes closed. And he could sniff out a ripe berry on a crunchberry vine from fifty paces and served up a cereal so crispy in milk that he was the envy of every galley on the seven seas. The look in his lined eyes bespoke a dignity becoming a seasoned seaman, and his smile was a knowing one, distinct and mature, suggesting a nobility that few of his peers (Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, the Trix Rabbit, Fred and Barney, to name a few) would ever come close to achieving.

Now he looks like an idiot. His eyebrows are on his hat. He sports a grin that suggests frenzied derangement and an ineptitude and incompetence so pervasive that I hesitate even opening the box. And what's with that salute? The old Captain Crunch would never stoop so low to hawk cereal using a proper naval salute. Sure, he'd salute in the presence of an admiral, or to return a salute from one of his trusted crew. But to him, a salute was a vital part of seafaring decorum that seems now lost upon him.

I understand he's been a Commodore since 2004. Whoever at Quaker is in charge of his publicity is doing a terrible job.

There really are only two conclusions one can draw from this most absurd transformation: either the Captain we all know and love is dead, and Quaker has replaced him with a poor imitation of the great man, or the Captain has gone truly insane.

I must contact the folks at Quaker, and eagerly await a reply.
Top: The Captain after his transformation; Botton: The good Captain as we remember him.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I'm not much for Halloween, not since I tried going to George's Halloween party in 1985 as a pumpkin head. That's a nasty costume, wearing a hollowed out pumpkin on your head. I had to regroup at the last moment and go as Caesar: a sheet, some ivy in the hair, good to go.

This year we had some fun trying on masks at the store, and attended a production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in the outdoor theater down by the river. It was enjoyable. My daughter was pleased to meet the horseman after the show. When I did my imitation of the horseman, she corrected me and reminded me that without a head, he had no mouth and therefore could not speak. I stood corrected.

The true fright this Halloween was the Tennessee game. What a horror that was.
Now, on to Thanksgiving!