Thursday, September 21, 2006

A True Life Adventure, Free Tunes, and Some Comics Stuff

So as it turns out, my oven’s heating element does a fantastic imitation of a sparkler. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t something it was designed to do, though.

I was going to heat up a quick lunch of leftover chicken fingers before getting ready for work this afternoon. I set the oven to 350 degrees, put the chicken on a baking sheet, put it in the oven, and started to get the trash ready to take out. Ten minutes later, I went back, opened the oven, and found that the oven is still mostly cold inside, and that heating element, instead of being a nice warm glowy red, was still black, except for the white part spitting out sparks. I turned off the oven, grabbed out my chicken, and… still sparks. I closed the door, let it be for a few minutes, went back, opened it up… still sparks. I waited a few more minutes, went back again… sparks. I figured now would be a good time to get the fire extinguisher, so I grabbed it, checked to make sure it’s multipurpose and therefore good for electrical fires, pulled the pin, opened the oven, pointed, squeezed, and… smoke. Lots of it. And still sparks. Didn’t go out at all, and if anything, the sparks now seemed to be laughing at me. And now everything smells of hot baking soda to boot.

(For the record, I had already dropped Liam off with my father-in-law about 15 minutes before all this began, so he was completely out of harm’s way, if there was to be any harm at all in the first place. In case you were wondering.)

I tried to unplug the oven, but the cord was wedged tight behind the fridge, and I could sort of reach it, but not quite. Seeing no other option – because as much as Erin and I hate where we live right now, we’d rather it didn’t burn down – I called the fire department, explained the situation, and they said they’d send someone over. While I was waiting for them, I gave the cord another try, and after a few minutes of creatively wedging myself into the tiny area between the oven and the immovable fridge, I finally pried the cord free.

And then I heard the sirens. I figured “we’ll send someone over to check it out” would mean maybe two guys in one of the smaller trucks. They sent two ladder trucks to deal with my little situation. I greeted the firemen in the yard and told them I doubted they’d need even one of the trucks, much less all their gear, but they told me this was pretty standard for even the simplest calls, just in case. So we went inside, I explained the situation, and we opened the oven to find that the sparks had finally gone out. Of course. They told me I did that unplugging the oven and calling them were exactly the two right things to do when the extinguisher didn’t work, but in that situation, you’re still gonna feel dumb no matter what.

But one of the firefighters offered to cut me a new window with his axe to help get rid of the smoke, so that was nice. As many times as we’ve wanted to take some sort of sharp object to the walls, though, I turned him down. We do rent, after all.

I just hope that it wasn’t a slow enough news day to end up making the paper.



Hey, if you're looking for freebie downloads of some particularly random They Might Be Giants material, check out this page here, which is part of TMBG's wiki site, This Might Be A Wiki. Right now, it's a collection of some old Dial-A-Song recordings, some radio ads for their albums, songs they've written for a few cable shows, some live stuff, and even the ads they did for Diet Dr. Pepper and Dunkin Donuts. Worth checking out if you're a fan (or if you've ever needed the "Swimming, Soccer, Ballet, Oboe, and last but not least, KARATAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!" ad on your iPod... you know who you are.)

(I didn't even know TMBG had a wiki site before, but I went to a wiki workshop for work the other day - I'm going to be working on creating wikis and a blog for the library in the next few months - and the teacher lady used that as an example. Pretty cool, I thought.)



Here's a comic I read recently, just to keep my Comics Blogger Union (Local 616) standing current:

Mutation (Vol. 2) #1 – If you’re looking for a superhero book but are tired of the incessantly dark stuff the Big 2 have been putting out lately, Mutation might be your cup of tea. It’s got that “Silver Age through a modern filter” thing going for it, and for the most part, it works pretty well. The artwork by Ethen Beavers (pencils & inks) and Anthony Lee (colors) pops right off the page and reaches just the right balance of action-oriented storytelling and cartoonishness. If you like the artwork in the DC animated universe books, or in Buzzboy, and in the works of folks like J. Bone or Darwyn Cooke, you’ll probably dig what Beavers and Lee bring to the party. The story by George T. Singley is very 60s Marvel, in a good way – dynamic fight scenes, purple prose spouting villain, girlfriend troubles, and angsty hero shtick. If you like that sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you’ll like. The story is also the source of the book’s main problem, though – it’s not terribly “new reader friendly.” The way the story begins, it seems to be assumed that we’ve read the original Mutation mini-series and already know who the characters are and how they relate to each other. I came in completely cold, so it was several pages before I could come up to speed. The book was over half-finished before I realized Mutation was the hero’s name – I figured the title was just a reference to his powers, which are sort of Plastic Man/Metamorpho/E-Man like. It’s not a huge problem, admittedly, but one that’s very easily taken care of with a “Story So Far” paragraph or cast listing/description on the first page or inside front cover, so there’s no real excuse for it. That aside, though, it’s Fun Comics, and therefore worth further investigation.



Your Bonus "Sure to Be Unpopular Opinion" of the Day:

V for Vendetta was a better movie than a book. Everything that was cut, condensed, or outright changed was done so for the betterment of the story. I realize I'm in the vast minority on this one, but so be it.
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