Archive - August 2006
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August 31st, 2006
For a few belated words regarding the Emmy Awards ceremony the other night, go on over to The Fred Hembeck Show, Episode 70.

And speaking of belated, I'd just like to note that yesterday was the landmark 80th birthday of a very nice woman I've known for an awful long time now, Terry Moss, my wife's mom. I woulda noted it here on the 30th, except I know she doesn't read this (or any other) blog, so instead I called her . Too bad for her, because perusing the site would've saved her from having to suffer my off-key warbling! So, for the record, Happy B-day, Mrs. M!

Sorry to hear of Glenn Ford's passing. Gotta wonder though--was he even aware of his last big screen "appearance" in "Superman Returns"?...
August 25th, 2006
After suffering through watching the local minor league team, the Hudson Valley Renegades, get no-hit about two weeks back, daughter Julie talked me into taking another trip out to Dutchess Stadium Monday night to hopefully see a more exciting game.

Well, several hours in, the Renegades, already down six runs against the Aberdeen IronBirds, naturally hadn't gotten a hit through the first six innings. Meaning, with eight days off in between, Julie and I had witnessed fifteen consecutive innings of Gades goose eggs. Geez, it's a good thing the tickets only cost six bucks...

Finally, when the first man up in the bottom of the seventh--a wiry infielder named Joey Callender--stroked a solid line drive for a hit, the crowd erupted in both approval and relief. Julie in particular was elated--as we were sitting parallel to first base, when my offspring's newest hero pulled up safely there, her exuberance spilled over the top, WAY over the top--

"MARRY ME!", she screamed.

Speaking of Callender, by the way, TODAY'S calendar indicates that Julie turns sixteen years old on this very day (and thanks for the salute, Roger), which, while it makes her older than John Mark Karr's two ex-brides when they each slunk down the aisle, there's really no rush to marry off my little girl! Happily, her outburst was only a momentary lapse of judgement, caused by the home team's extended offensive drought. My sweet little sixteen had assured me that she's in no particular rush for the altar--even if Karr IS currently back on the market!...

(On the other hand, she IS on the road, as she both passed her learner's permit test earlier this morning AND drove part of the way home afterwards, albeit at a maximum speed of 20 mph!! Given that she only ever took a couple of ten minute spins around a deserted parking lot under my trembling tutelage these past two weeks, she was as surprised as I was when her mom suggested she take the wheel this morning! But they lived to tell the tale, and the car remained intact, so I guess that makes the day all the more memorable! Happy Birthday, kid, and may you have many, many more! And me too, especially considering my impending days in the passenger's seat are nearly here! Just remember, DON'T step on the gas when you want to brake! The Renegades need hits--our car DOESN'T!!...)`
August 24th, 2006

When my buddy Roger Green visited a few weeks back, we discussed our various past encounters with the flying rodents (you can read about Roger's travails here), and I was happy--and relieved--to report that we'd never suffered a bat invasion since we'd moved to our current home ten years back.

I spoke too soon.

For all the blood curdling details of this past Tuesday night's horror, I advise you o check out the 69th episode of The Fred Hembeck Show, the Batmania edition!
August 23rd, 2006
Okay, okay--I realize that today is actually the birthday of my good pal--and world renowned wielder of India ink--Terry Austin, and NOT the birthday of mid-eighties "Knot's Landing" starlet, Teri Austin, but hey, this here blog has been woefully bereft of eye-pleasing images lately, so I doubt even Terry would blame me going with the above vintage TV Guide cover in lieu of one of his classic X-MEN illos!

But that doesn't mean we don't love ya, big guy! Have a happy B-day, and here's hoping you don't have to spend it fending off incessant questions about a possible "Knot's Landing" reunion from spellcheck-challenged reporters!

Remember, though--be careful! All those candles could easily start a fire, y'know!...
August 18th, 2006
Some terse lingage:

The Fred Hembeck Show, Episode 68.

Comics In Context 140, 141, 142--Peter Sanderson spends three weeks recapping his adventures at this year's San Diego Con--all the while, trying to simultaneously convince me hop onto a plane and fly across the country to make my very first visit to the annual event, hopefully next year! Sorry Peter--as long as I can't carry on polish for my Stan Lee Press On Nails, I ain't getting aboard!

Over at The Al Wiseman Blog, big name testimonials and warnings: Terry Austin (warning: nudity), Joe Staton (warning: cruelty to cartoon animals), and Bill Wray (warning: explicit language and uncensored opinions). Warning: don't miss ANY of these fine pieces!

This is my Roger Green mention for the week.

August 16th, 2006
Last Sunday, Julie and I ventured out to make our annual visit to nearby Duchess Stadium--less than 15 minutes away--to take in a minor league contest between the local Hudson Valley Renegades (the Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) and the Lowell Spinners (future Boston Red Sox hopefuls).

Commencing at the rather odd start time of five in the afternoon, the game was over before the sun set, lasting little more than two hours. And why not? The Spinners only managed four hits, but thanks to a costly error by the Gades third baseman in the seventh, eked out the games only two runs. Most impressively--and who cares if it was the home team? I never follow these guys, and certainly don't keep up with Tampa Bay--the Spinners no-hit the Renegades! THAT you don't see every day! Of course, it would've been a bit more of a notable achievement if it hadn't been accomplished by TWO pitchers--five innings by starter Jeffrey Farrell, four more in relief from Yulkin German--as opposed to one single overwhelming nine inning pitching performance. (I note the names here should either of these gents go on to any sort of greatness--check back here in a few years with me, won'tcha please?...)

No-hitters never get really exciting until the eighth inning, true, but for those last two innings, I was unabashedly rooting AGAINST the home team! Julie couldn't quite fathom my giddiness at seeing the Renegades mercilessly retired by the visiting team, but hey, Class A or no Class A, a no-hitter is a little slice of history! My daughter, on the other hand, just thought the notion of a baseball game without any hits was plain boring. Huh--what's she know?...

(Actually, despite these yearly treks, about baseball, not a whole lot. Early on the other night, she noticed that, besides the nine men on the field, there appeared to be a fellow standing on the foul side of the first base bag, and so she asked me why he was there. Well, I COULD'VE just told her that he was the first base coach, but what would've been the fun in that? Instead, i suggested that, this being a minor league stadium and all, the dugouts were kinda small, and so didn't have quite enough room to seat everybody, so each game, meaning a couple of fellows (see that other guy over by third base?) had to spend it loitering out on the grass! Okay, she ALMOST believed that, but I pushed my luck a bit too hard later when the Gades brought in a rather short relief pitcher, inspiring me to try and sell the idea that pitchers are the shortest members on baseball teams, and to make up for the size disparity, THAT'S why they let them hurl from a heightened mound!! Yeah, no way she was gonna buy THAT one, even for a second. Heck, why should she? I couldn't even convince her that a no-hitter was exciting!...)
August 13th, 2006
..So, how've YOU been?...

Me? Well, I got a bit of a virus a few weeks back--one that's made its way through my entire family, and one that's currently torturing poor Lynn--and just coincidentally, so did my computer--and Julie's too!

Yeah, that's why new postings suddenly vanished here at Fred Sez the last two weeks--and pretty much everything else potentially could've disappeared as well, were it not for my wife's expert computer chops. Not that restoring everything to my laptop (and on our daughter's laptop as well) was a piece of cake. Hardly. Special tools were called in, several days of trial and error were spent seeking solutions, and now finally--FINALLY!--we're back.

I don't want something like that to EVER happen again. Watching Lynn toil long hours of her weekends away so that i might once again have access to spreading my blatherings across the internet, well, the guilt was palpable. I mean, sure it wasn't MY fault--some knucklehead out there let a virus loose that I innocently stumbled across (Julie too--yeah, she sometimes uses my laptop. Say, you don't think?...), to what purpose I honestly don't know--but she had to sacrifice so much time getting things here back up to speed, it almost made me want to never go near a computer again.


But here I am, and yeah, glad to be here. Let us speak no more of the recent nastiness, but instead recap some of the events hereabouts of these past two down weeks instead, okay?...

I read BLANKETS by Craig Thompson and WILL EISNER: A SPIRITED LIFE by Bob Andelman. The former was beautifully illustrated, and quite evocative. Still, I was hoping for a bit more satisfying conclusion, but hey, who am I to tell Thompson how to live his life? (I may not've been so hasty to turn my back on Raina after she expressed some confusion about their relationship, but y'know, that's just me. I've never burned ANYTHING from my past, but if you've ever seen the downstairs of our house, you might think that's not such a bad idea...)

I really enjoyed the Eisner biography, snappily written and chock-full of heretofore unknown facts. Personally, I continue to get a chuckle at the notion that Will and Ann Eisner threw a party trying to hook up Cat Yronwode with some of comic's young eligible bachelors--and my buddy Terry Austin was on that list!! (HE thought he was just attending a celebration of the publication of "The Spirit Jam" project, totally unaware until this book came out of the Eisner's TRUE intentions). Knowing Terry as I do, and merely from reading author Andelman's description's of some of Cat's eccentricities, well, I just don't see that potential relationship working out--at all! A swell book overall--pardon me for getting maybe too big a laugh out of but a single line in this overall worthy tome!...

My good buddy, Roger Green--along with wife Carol and tiny daughter Lydia--stopped by last Sunday for their second annual early August visit, and a wonderful time was had by all! Not much more to say, but it sure was fun--see ya again NEXT August, Rog?.

Julie completed her seven week Spanish course at the local community college, and enjoyed it quite a bit. We'll get her grade next week. I'll almost miss those two one-hour round trip rides I'd been making every Tuesday and Thursday nights for most of the summer. Like I said, almost..

Julie and I finished watching the "Freaks and Geeks" DVD's, and with but one episode left, are almost through its spiritual successor, "Undeclared". Someday, I'll take a little bit of time to rhapsodize about why "Freaks and Geeks" was one of the greatest shows in television history--and certainly the best one cut down before a full season had been shot. But, another time for that...

Sorry to hear Love's Arthur Lee passed away recently. I only ever got ahold of the group's legendary "Forever Changes" in recent years, but unlike a lot of the stuff that been talked up for decades, this was one album that didn't disappoint, at least not to me. If you're at all curious, I'd recommend you dig up a copy and give it a listen.

it's been hot. We had several one hundred degree days in a row--and on the third day, things cooled off all the way down to ninety-five! We have minimal air-conditioning, so most of those days were spent in the pool (alongside Lynn's mom and brother--intense heat always seems to precipitate a family reunion, wouldn'tcha know?...)

The Mets should've never traded their starting right-fielder, Xavier Nady, in a panic because their bullpen set-up man, Duaner Sanchez was unexpectedly out for the season due to late-night taxi accident. Their other relief guys have since stepped up--41 year old reliever Roberto Hernandez hasn't made much of an impact one way or the other since the trade--but now there's a glaring hole in the outfield, since rookie phenom, Lastings Milledge, doesn't appear ready! Poor Nady--from first place (currently holding a 14 game lead) to the last place Pirates. And all because of a errant driver who crossed over lanes (thankfully, there were no fatalities in the crash,--save, that is for Xavier's chances at playing in the post-season this year...)

And I've been drawing--even stuff you'll soon see in some books found down at your local comics store! More on that later as well.

Yup, it's nice to be back--even if I did learn the hard way that, yes indeed, the internet got along just fine without me! Well, at least I had Lynn's computer and MySpace to take occasional refuge in...

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