Saturday, April 22, 2017

Astro City, Volume 12: Lover's Quarrel

    Enjoy another trip to Astro City with your guides Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross. On this trek, discover the love/ hate on again/ off again relationship of Quarrel and Crackerjack through the numerous back alleys and secret headquarters of the community. Then enjoy the music scene of Astro City as the silver-back (and super-smart) gorilla Stick ventures from his Arctic paradise homeland to the City of Heroes in hopes of becoming a drummer.

     It's another fun journey to one of my favorite fictional cities. The Quarrel story started off a little rough, but once I realized who the narrator really was, the story got quite intriguing and quite good. The Stick story was brilliant. It was a tribute to comicdom's long-running obsession with apes. I'll admit, I had to flip ahead because I was going to be quite mad if this volume ended with dead monkey.

(SPOILER: It didn't.)

    Another great volume. I was a bit disappointed that this volume didn't include the ubiquitous sketch book section. There was a script section instead but it wasn't quite the same...

    Worth Consuming

    Rating: 9 out of 10 stars.

1977: A Madman Turns 40: 2017- Day 112

   I know it's been a while since I have done A Madman Turns 40 posting. It's been a crazy month. But things are changing- for the good- and I should be having some more availability to do post again very soon.

   Today's look at my favorite year has a couple of noteworthy achievements. 

   First of all marks the opening of the first Broadway show of Annie. It's the musical adventure of the young orphan girl who rises from the ashes and gets adopted by the ultra-rich baldy, Daddy Warbucks. Based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the show ran for 3,277 performances (77- there's that number again. Huh...) and spawned 2 film versions, a beloved soundtrack, and made Annie a household name again. 

    Then from the Strange But True file, New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin had a unique strategy in his match-up against the Toronto Blue Jays. He picked his starting line-up out of a hat! Not only did he allow fate to choose for him- the Yankees won 8-6! I wonder if he used the hat for when he needed relief pitchers...?

    Well, that's my look at my favorite year for the day. Hopefully I'll be back real soon to look at another aspect of 1977.

   Until then... 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

1977: A Madman Turns 40: 2017- Day 105

  It's a very happy day here at Casa Madman- Doctor Who returns today!

  I've been watching Doctor Who since I was a little guy. I'd come home from pre-school or kindergarten and every day at 5pm on PBS, I'd watch the adventures of the Doctor and his TARDIS as he battled monsters, robots, and baddies galore.

   So in honor of tonight's season premieres, let's look at Doctor Who in the year I was born.

   In 1977, the Doctor was the bohemian Tom Baker. With his unruly hair, wicked sense of humor, and extremely long scarf, Baker was and still is a fan-favorite. (His replacement, Peter Davison is MY Doctor. But Baker is clearly in my top 5!)

    The Fourth Doctor's companion in 1977 was the warrior Leela. Played by Louise Jameson, she added a bit of sex appeal to the series as she ran around most of the time in a leather bikini. But she was fierce and could kick serious butt.

    Another companion of the Doctor was his robot dog, K-9. He was oh so faithful to the Doctor, calling him master and using his lasers to save the Doctor when the chips were down.

    One of my favorite things about the show was the theme song. I'm addicted to every version and variant of it. So before I go, I just had to share with you the theme as it would've been in good ole 1977.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

1977: A Madman Turns 40: 2017- Day 102

    I know I've not been around very much the past week or so. I didn't mean to be away but some things at my work got really, really serious and not in a good way. Playing on my anxiety disorder heavily, the events at work have taken it's toll. I've been afraid of my shadow- but I've also been working to get out of the situation as well. 

   In some ways, it has sparked a sort of mid-life crisis. 

   Last year, I got my dream job as a culinary instructor. Right now, I can only teach part-time but with some certifications and more education, I can increase the number of hours I can be a chef instructor. Well, I am convinced after the troubles I have been having at work and the meeting I had a couple of days later when the dean of culinary, that God is telling me it's time to focus on the ultimate goal- teaching full-time.

    In 2 weeks, I will be free from my current full-time position. But the fear and anxiety still linger there. Oddly enough, the thought of going part-time, becoming a house-husband, and going back to some sort of schooling doesn't add to it. I hope I will be able to post again daily (not just A Madman Turns 40 but my reviews of books and other things geek.) But it's also been hard not to want to hide under a rock. But today's post is a start.

   I'll be back soon...

   Until next time.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

1977: A Madman Turns 40:2017 Day- 95

    Folks, some days you just don't feel up to posting. I had a really rough day yesterday and I'm not really having such a great day after. No, I'm not starting to feel the affects of turning 40. This is all professional and being someone with an anxiety disorder, the looming hours till my next shift is starting to weigh on me. 

    So, forgive me for not sharing some big moment in 1977 history today. In fact, I may not get a chance tomorrow either...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

1977: A Madman Turns 40: 2017- Day 94

    I've been eagerly awaiting the day to do this post. 40 years ago today, the Toronto Blue Jays played their very first major league baseball game. The event took place in Toronto, where the Jays defeated the Chicago White Sox 9-5. 

A snowy opening day.

    This game is most notable as is was actually delayed by the weather; not for rain but for snow! Played in outdoorsy Exhibition Stadium, it was because of white that the score was so high. It's really hard to see a tiny white baseball in the snow properly. Eventually, snow wouldn't be a problem as the stadium would be replaced with the Rogers Centre, AKA Skydome: a stadium with retractable roof, build-in hotel, and impressive shopping accommodations. 

    The Blue Jays have a special place in my heart. When I first started collecting baseball cards to be like the other fellas, I didn't know which team to choose. So, I decided that I would buy a pack of cards and the first team I got would be my favorite team. (Just please, don't be the New York Yankees!) 

    Well, my first card was a 1988 Topps card of George Bell of the Toronto Blue Jays(#718, All-Star Game Card.)

 I didn't know where Toronto was, so I decided to give it one more try. Card #2 was of Jimmy Key, a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays. Figuring life was trying to tell my something, I became a Blue Jays fan.

    Being the fan of an obscure team isn't easy as a kid. But it paid off as in 1992 and 93, the Blue Jays won the World Series. ('91-'93 was a pretty good year for me as my favorite teams the Duke Blue Devils, Toronto Blue Jays, and Pittsburgh Penguins all won back-to-back championships in those years!!!) Feeling vindicated, I wore my World Series Championship shirts with pride and maybe the scorn of my fellow classmates.

Blue Jays Anniversary Patches over the years.

   Over the years, I would fall out of touch with the Blue Jays. I still like them and I was rooting for them when they were in the Playoffs last year. As an adult, I'm Pittsburgh Trinity all the way- Pirates, Steelers, Pens. However, I married into a Yankees family and have to put up with that fandom begrudgingly. (Go METS!!!) But, you never forget your first love and I will always have a fondness for the boys in blue- Go Blue Jays!

   Until Tomorrow...



Monday, April 3, 2017

1977: A Madman Turns 40: 2017- Day 93

The iconic Lucky Strike smoke stack
and Lucky Strike tower, Summer 1977.
    Today I start teaching for the Sprint Quarter at the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham. It's where I went to culinary and I just love teaching. This branch is located at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC.

   Folks if I have to pick a favorite place in the world- it's the ATC. I have such fond memories from my time working for the Durham Bulls and going to Ai. Now I continue to make those memories as I work there.

Ads such as this 1977 Benson & Hedges one
were crafted at the American Tobacco Campus.
    So I thought for today's post I would take a brief look at American Tobacco circa the year of my birth- good ole 1977. I know it's fudging the rules a little bit. But hey, it's my journey as I turn 40...

Until tomorrow...