School Has Started

Well if schools are going to be online for awhile. We are going to do this right! After a month and a few weeks of planning, talking with teachers. We got everything the kids need and a schedule that works. I’ll be there every step of the way and making sure they are on task. Already did this last year when things took a turn with Covid-19. Nice part this go around, the teachers are available from 8am to 3pm, Monday-Friday and a little bit more organized. I am lucky to have family around me willing to help if needed.
I know a lot of people are not happy with what is going on. Believe me, I’m not thrilled about it as well. But with the way things are going in 2020 and mostly likely into 2021. It’s our job as parents to make sure the kids have everything they need, now more than ever. To create an environment of normalcy, to encourage their passions and their imaginations. To make them feel safe and comfortable. Not to drag down or make them feel worried or stressed. For the first time this year I feel hopeful in something. Everything I do is for my kids and what they need in life. With this year, we have grow so close together and over come many obstacles along the way. I really think this is going to be a good school year. Yes it’s going to be a lot of work, patience and understanding. Plan and improvise. But that is life now, that is one thing 2020 has shown us as humans. We can adapt and improvise.
So here is to a good school year! SKOL!!

Story Time: Wizard World Comic Con

So this story time take place at Wizard World Portland Comic Con. I believe this is the Feb. 2019 event.. Before the dark times… Now I would like to state this story also shows how great the staff is at Wizard World and the people are a whole.

So just about every year I am hired to do media coverage for the Portland Wizard World Comic Con. The last couple of times I was about to bring my kids along and show them a great time. This last convention and like always I go over the maps with the kids. Where to meet up if we get lost or who should we talk to if we do become lost.

We had been there for a couple of hours already and I had finished with a interview. we were going to take a small break and look around the merchandise and comics. Me and my son were looking at the swords and Funko. At which point my daughter asked me to come over and look at something she wanted. It really wasn’t that far, just right around the corner of the stall. I told my son to follow me and stay close.

Once my daughter and I were done paying for her loot. I looked over to see my son wasn’t there. I wanted back to where we were and he was there. with a small amount of panic, I started walking over to the walls to see if I can find a staff member, this is also where I told the kids to go if something like this happened. It’s away from everyone.

As soon as I turn the corner I see one of the staff ladies walking with my son to the last known where we here. I walked over and see that my son was crying a little bit and worried. The staff member told me what happened. Seems that my son answered me, but really wasn’t watching where I was going. As he was locked in on the swords. When he realized that we where not around anymore, he started walking to the wall and was trying to find a staff member. But he found Deadpool instead and asked he could help him find someone. From there they found the current staff member.

She said he was smart and brave in the way he acted. After a few laughs we said thank you, but not right before we got a picture with Deadpool haha.

Over all it was really good convention and the Wizard World staff was amazing and super helpful. I don’t think they get enough coverage or talked about in most conventions, as most of the spot lights are on the artists and movie icons. I can’t wait for 2021 comic con!

Story Time: September 2

It’s now 2:53am…. Everyone it’s sleep. But me.. Why you ask? The damn cats, well one of them at least. I was laying in bed all snuggling in and right about to fall asleep. Then I hear this heavy thud and run. More banging around.. I was going to try and ignore it, but he did something new. He started scratching at the door in a frantic manner and meowing.

Then more banging. So I get up thinking I’m going to yell at a cat. But I stop at the door before opening it and had a split second thought. A “what if” thought.. So I grab my hunting knife just in case. There was a lot of movement out there and the cat seemed so freaked out. So I open the door and look.

Everything is quite and still.. All silence.. I walked down the hall and see one of the chairs it’s knock over, my bills and papers all over the floor. Trash can knocked over (thank Odin we have a lock in it.) and look over and see the cat. Completely fluffed out and looking down the hall, looking pass me. I see our second cat sit on top of the couch, doing the same thing.

I look over and see nothing. Their eyes were wide and locked down the hall. Again I see nothing, I look in all the rooms, doors are lock, check on the kids. Everyone is asleep…. So I walk back and clean up the mess. I pick up the cats and brush them for a minute. They seem to return to normal, everything is all quite. So I try to go back to sleep… NOPE! With all random action and leaving things in a bewilderment state. I was now wide awake..

So here I am write you this little story, in hopes it’ll make me sleepy. If not, I’ll wait for two hours till my girlfriend gets up for work and make her some breakfast. This whole thing is weird, and unusual for the cats to do. I know my son asked me why the cat was scratching at their door a few nights ago. I thought it was odd, because they don’t do that. But I didn’t think much of it.. At least till tonight Haha. I kinda want to set up cameras and see what goes on at night.

Thank you for reading,

Jason Roberts

Life Update & Soapbox Rant

“Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match.”-Karl Kraus

I know I haven’t been to active on here as much as normal. Believe me I want to write about certain topics. But do to the advisement of my lawyer, at least for the time being…. I should not…. What I can say is that I’ve been going through a rather LONG custody case for my two kids. With the COVID-19 going on, it’s taken even longer. So with out naming people or relations, I will try and continue with this post.

*spaces out on keyboard* Ugh… I really want to write about this.. But I can’t…

What I can say is… My kids are happy and health. While with the current events are less than ideal, we’ve made do with what we can. In the beginning of all this, the kids and I worked together on their school work. I have to say that was a crash course for me haha, I haven’t had to do algebra in YEARS! But we did it and they finished the school year. Summer has been interesting to say the least. I felt bad for the kids, not being able to see their friends or other family members in the start of summer. They are rather resourceful and found ways to have communication between friends. Towards the end of July we were able to have a small family visit or overnights with Grandma & Grandpa. We even made a few trips to the river & beach.

But with August coming to an end and school is now going to be starting up soon. It’s interesting to see how the local school systems are trying to work out a system. Right now it looks like we are going a online/at home schooling mode again. At least the teachers are going be more active and have set hours through out the day. I know last time my brother(who is a teacher) helped me & the kids with a lot of things. They say in October they are to have a meeting and see where things are at with the COVID-19. To see if going back into the classroom is even an option.

For the last few months I have become a stay at home Father and I have to stay it’s a little weird hahaha. Yet I’m glad things worked out the way it did, I’m able to be here with the kids and make sure they are on track, do their chores or just help them out if needed. Ugh.. I really wish I can write about some of the events that going on. It’s kinda eating at me and is beyond frustrating. I am thankful for the people around me who are helping me work through all this.

Having this time with my kids has shown me on how much they have changed. How their personalities and style have grown. It tripped me out the other day, having a full on conversation with my oldest about that is happening in the world. Realizing that they aren’t babies anymore. Also making me realized I’m getting old hahaha.

This has also made me look at things in a different way. Like with this blog for example.. I do fell I kinda lost my way with the blog and I’m not to sure where it’s going. I’ve had this blog for over 10 years and I originally started it as a venting stage or help single parents with tips and tricks. As well as share in my nerdy fandoms and that evolved into working for Wizard World Comic Con on media coverage, writing reviews on tech gadgets, book reviews, having interviews with icons. This also took me down the path of podcasting and getting into radio. I would have never thought in a million years that this little website would open so many doors for me.

Maybe I do need to change things up a bit on here, just not sure where..? Right now I have two topics that going on, the Unboxing and Middle Earth Challenge. I think another problem I have is I stuck in what I call micro blog, A.K.A. Twitter. I know for sure that has messed things up for my blog. It’s just so easy to fire off a few lines and have conversations with people and/or share things. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestion that would help? I feel like I hit a road block here.

At any rate, thank you for taking the time and reading though this mess hahaha.

-Jason Roberts

Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League

You can check your anatomy all you want, and even though there may be normal variation, when it comes right down to it, this far inside the head it all looks the same. No, no, no, don’t tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to.”

-Buckaroo Banzai

Buckaroo-Banzai-PS-2016

Now the movie, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was on this day August 15, 1984. The Title of this post, “Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League”. Was to be the sequel that never happened. At the end of the movie there was a Easter Egg/announce of this sequel, but nothing was ever produced sadly.

So what is Buckaroo Banzai? Well… Hmm, it’s hard to pin down really and that’s why I love it so much. Buckaroo Banzai is an adventurer, brain surgeon, rock musician. He has a crime-fighting team called the Hong Kong Cavaliers and they must stop evil alien invaders from the eighth dimension who are planning to conquer Earth. Yes you read that right! This movie is pure 80’s and nothing more. This movie is easily in my top 5 comfort movies.

mss33Oddly enough a month or so ago I found both comics that were released with the movie. Marvel Comics made a limited two issue comic book adaptation in 1984. Shockingly enough they were in both excellent condition. Now in 2006 Moonstone Books made a small series of comic books based on Buckaroo Banzai that ran till 2009. They even made a video under the same name as the movie.

I do feel that this movie is missed/misunderstood by the younger generation. Or simply people over think it and begin to trash talk the film. To quote Hunter S. Thompson, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”. It is what I like to call a pop corn movie. Sit there, turn off the brain and your problems and have fun.. So if you have a change to watch it, I’d say check it out. Last I saw it was on Prime, or you can order it online from anywhere on the interwebs.

Here is a list of random factoids for Buckaroo Banzai:

  • Some of the dialogue used in the Jet Car sequence is taken directly from Mission Control chatter heard during a shuttle launch countdown.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis played Buckaroo’s mother in a flashback, but this scene was cut. The scene is available on the recent DVD release as an optional prequel to the theatrical version, and as a special feature. Jamie Lee Curtis is visible in a photo on the dashboard of the jet car in the wide-screen version.
  • John Lithgow’s dialect coach, Roberto Terminelli, was actually a tailor on the 20th Century Fox lot with a heavy Italian accent. John had Roberto speak his lines from the script into a tape recorder, which he then used to practice the accent. John then got him credit in the movie as the dialect coach for his help.
  • In the original script, Buckaroo was supposed to have an archenemy named Hanoi Xan, who was never seen, but referenced to by Buckaroo and the other characters. All scenes containing dialogue regarding Xan were deleted from the film’s theatrical release, but are now available on DVD. Xan was supposed to be the mysterious head of a crime syndicate called the World Crime League, and also the man who murdered Buckaroo’s parents and wife Peggy.
  • When it came time to film the end titles sequence, where Buckaroo and pals are walking around a dry Los Angeles aqueduct in step to the music, the music wasn’t ready. Composer Michael Boddicker told the film crew to use the song “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel as a placeholder, because it was the exact same tempo. Those scenes were filmed with “Uptown Girl” blaring from a boom box tied to the back of the camera truck.
  • The end of the movie invites the viewer to watch for the upcoming film “Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League”. This was the real title for a sequel that Sherwood Studios planned to make, if this film had been successful. Unfortunately, it was a box-office bomb, and Sherwood Studios went bankrupt. After its release on video and cable, however, the film became a cult favorite, much in the same way as Mad Max (1979) (which crawled from obscurity to spawn two sequels). Legal wrangling, due to the bankruptcy, prevented any other studios from picking up the sequel rights, and even many years later, MGM had to fight through a pile of red tape simply to get the OK to re-release it onto home video (DVD).
  • Overall concept and several names appear to be taken from the Doc Savage pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s: both main characters are multi-talented surgeons, adventurers, and musicians; and both have an inner circle of sidekicks with nicknames (Renny, Ham, Monk, Long Tom, and Johnny, compared to Reno, New Jersey, Perfect Tommy, and Rawhide).
  • Many names and terms were taken from Thomas Pynchon’s book “The Crying of Lot 49”, most notably the company name Yoyodyne. To this day, there is a yoyodyne.com, which serves as a fan site for the film. “Yoyodyne” itself was Pynchon’s thinly veiled reference to Rocketdyne, a major defense industry contractor and manufacturer of rocket engines, founded just after World War II to reverse-engineer German V-2 rockets, thereby also making this a further veiled reference to Pynchon’s novel “Gravity’s Rainbow”.
  • On At the Movies (1982) in 1984, just before the film’s release, Gene Siskel correctly guessed that the movie would attain cult status.
  • The “oscillation overthruster” device reappeared as a “spectral analyzer” on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season two, episode fifteen, “Pen Pals.”
  • John Lithgow appeared as Dr. Lizardo on Saturday Night Live (1975) during the opening of a show he hosted.
  • The “jet car” shown in the film (reportedly a 1982 Ford F-350 pick-up truck) included an actual Cold War-era General Electric turbo jet engine that was borrowed from Northrop University in Inglewood, California.
  • In one scene, Reno refers to Orson Welles as “the guy from the old wine commercials”. This is a reference to Welles’ popular television commercials in the 1970s for the Paul Masson Winery (now known as Mountain Winery), where he used the slogan “We will sell no wine before it’s time.” In the early 1980s, Welles was fired from the advertising campaign after stating on a U.S. talk show that he never drank the company’s wine.
  • The U.S. DVD release includes a caption portion titled “Pinky Caruthers’ Unknown Facts”, which actually adds to the storyline and character development of the film.
  • According to Peter Weller, he had a particularly tough time filming the scene without laughing where Lord John Whorfin (Dr. Lizardo) is torturing Buckaroo with electricity, because it was the first time he had heard John Lithgow perform what Weller likes to refer to as John’s “Italian/Martian accent”.
  • The original director of photography of the film was Jordan Cronenweth, who famously shot Blade Runner (1982). The filmmakers specifically wanted their film to be rich in color and texture, for which Cronenweth was specifically known. However, several weeks into filming, producer David Begelman had Cronenweth replaced with Fred J. Koenekamp against the wishes of the crew, including director W.D. Richter, in order to give the film its campy, flat, visual appearance, which the filmmakers had never originally intended. Scenes shot by Cronenweth still remain in the final cut, including the famous nightclub scene featuring the line “Wherever you go, there you are.”
  • During the jetcar test, the computer screen that has the graphics shows three different words: SINED, SEELED, and DELIVERED.
  • The latitude and longitude recited by the technicians during the “alignment” of the Oscillation Overthruster are the coordinates of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • According to John Lithgow and Peter Weller, Jordan Cronenweth shot almost half of the film, but was replaced at the producer’s insistence. Lithgow stated that W.D. Richter’s model for the look was the French film Diva (1981). But the producer wanted it to look more like Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Lithgow felt Fred J. Koenekamp brought a more two dimensional look than what Cronenweth was doing.
  • New Jersey’s response to Buckaroo (He couldn’t sing, but he could dance) is a reference to screentest results from Fred Astaire’s early auditions.
  • Many of the lines given by Lord John Whorfin are misquotes of actual common phrases or quotes from famous people. For instance, “Home is where you wear your hat”, as a corruption of, “Home is where you hang your hat.” His line, “Character is who you are in the dark”, is a corruption of Dwight Moody’s quote, “Character is what you think in the dark.” Other, similar lines include: “I feel so broke up, I want to go home” (from Sloop John B), “Persecute him without a quarter!” (“Pursue him without quarter!”)
  • Between his escape from the insane asylum and his ransom call, the movie’s main villain, John Worfin, is not seen for more than forty-two straight minutes, over forty percent of the film’s runtime.
  • Peter Weller has stated that he drew inspiration from Elia Kazan, Adam Ant, and Jacques-Yves Cousteau and combined them to help make his persona as Buckaroo Bonzai
  • The kanji lettering on Buckaroo Banzai’s headband as he drives the jet car reads “seikatsu-bi”, which appears to be Japanese, but does not make sense. The first two kanji mean living or lifestyle, but the second character, “bi” (not “bei” as has been reported elsewhere) or beautiful, does not add up to coherent Japanese. It seems to suggest the “beautiful life”, but these three kanji together do not have a particular meaning in Japanese.
  • Toward the end when they are sneaking around the Lectroid sleeping (bivouac) area, where one of the Lectroids goes to sound the alarm, stenciled in bright pink letters on the wall to the left of all those electrical circuit boxes is: FIND THE CROASHUE MISSING SERKIT. WIN A FREE TRIP TO PLANIT 10!.
  • Buckaroo sings “Since I Don’t Have You” in the nightclub scene. Released in December 1958 by The Skyliners, the song became their greatest hit and remains an all-time doo-wop classic.
  • Most of the real band playing with Buckaroo Banzai is in fact Billy Vera and The Beaters
  • Ronald Lacey was dubbed by a well-known American actor.

Green Thumb

Every year we start a little garden. This year has been the better one. I think with the down time of COVID-19, we’ve been able to focus more on the plants/garden. It’s always satisfying to make something for dinner with something you’ve grown. Plus it tastes WAY better hahaha.

I want to get more in herbs this coming season. Right we have a Rosemary plant that is awesome, but our thyme died out sadly.

Distance learning Is Over.. For now..?

So the other day my little ones finally finished school. With COVID-19 going on, the way of life has changed in number of ways. It started with the with the kids with no school and “Distance Learning” was put into place.  With that going on, I had to make a learning plan for both of my kids that would equal their grade level of education. Plus at the time maintain my normal work schedule. But that was about to change as well, because the following month I was out of work do to COVID-19(I’m a Sous Chef and restaurants took the hardest hit) . Now with the added stress of financial adulting to recover the lost income.

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The up side was, I was able to put all my focus on the kids and their learning plans. It was till after the second week, the public school system finally sent out work books for both kids and was able to work with the teachers for daily assignments. While my youngest was easier to set up, because he only had one teacher. My oldest proved to be a little more difficult at first, do to having multiple teachers and subjects. But once we got Google classroom set up for both kids and they were to video chat with their teachers, things became easier. After 3 months of hard work and we finally made to the end of the school year. I am happy to say that Jackson is now moving to the 6th and Lilly is now moving to the 8th grade!!

I really didn’t see the school year or normal everyday life to be like this. Even tho the kids made it the finish line, there seems to be an element of sadness. Not being with their friends and/or classmates at this time. The kids having to maintain friendships have changed as well. As some parents don’t want others to come or they don’t want to travel. Plus not having some parks or shops closed because of COVID-19 as really put a handicap on their normal life. While things are starting to SLOWLY re-open. It’s interesting to me to see how they have managed to keep their friendships going.  My oldest does a lot of face-time with her friends. They read and act things out, they do art project with each other. Even make video edits back and forth. My youngest has done the same thing as well. Being able to link his face-time and play video games or talk about movies.

When the need to get away from technology we started up a garden in the backyard and they both have a plant that they need to take care of. We managed to go to the beach not that long ago and it was fun to watch them go nuts and run from one place to another lol. But school is now currently done! The following school year is unknown if  it will start off with “Distance Learning ” and then go into normal classroom/school environment. Or start up as normal, the email that was sent from the local school system here, said they did not know at this time. Not till August they will know more and inform everyone. Till then we can relax and enjoy what we can. We do have some family events coming up and some small BBQ, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with 4th of July or other holidays.

But they did it! They finished school and I couldn’t be more happy for them. Some much hard work and personal development over these few months. I think they are amazing, well I am their Father. I think that regardless hahaha.

Comics & Childhood Memories Part 2

img_20200609_142130_0236065484735540063323.jpgSo last month I talked about Image Comics and some memories that I had. That can be found here (LINK). Because of that, it caused me to start collecting again and the other day I found a number of comics in this antique mall here in town. I wasn’t going to write about it. But I did make a 4 part post on Twitter about it and for some reason I got on a small soap box.

9c2xhp7192317263766269698.jpgI really didn’t think much of it. Then it hit on much these comic help me change and over come learning issues I had a child. I normally don’t talk about these on here, mostly because it’s never really come up before hahaha. But now reading through these comics, it is clear I had forgotten on how great they were. I think I wrote about this before…

(*Looks over post*)

Yes, yes I did.. But that’s okay… Me and my Dad would have our weekly trip to the comic store and pick up whatever we can get. I remember trying to copy a lot of the art styles screenshot_20200608-201036_twitter2229549943737104980.jpgthat were there by Liefeld, McFarland, Lee. To me the early 90’s were a golden time for comics and art over all. I loved the stories and reading over and over again. Helped me with my Dyslexia (also reading Michael Crichton).

After going through all these comics I just got, I want to go back and dig around some more. I know there is a local comic shop I want to hit as well. Another cool thing was, when I posted these tweets. I got a retweet from Rob Liefeld. It may seem like “small beans” to most, but to me it was a cool little nod/”I saw that”.

20200609_1521398024194944910522224.jpgOn top of that my girlfriend was helping me dig through some of the comics and she found two comics of Buckaroo Banzai! It was a limited two part comic series released by Marvel. Buckaroo Banzai being one of my favorite movies I had to get them. I’m sure I’ll write again soon about some of the finds I have. Also me and my fellow co-hosts on our podcast were talking about doing another Image Comic eps. Seeings how I missed that one.. Ugh.. So I’ll post more updates about that as they come in.