Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Venture Bros.

The Venture Bros. is an animated TV show for targeted for adults. On the surface it appears to be a comedy parody on Jonny Quest. I resisted watching it at all because I happen to like Jonny Quest a lot and felt that parodies are sometimes offensive, but I finally gave it a chance and absolutely loved it. I see this is more of an homage than a parody and at times the quality of writing goes beyond it's original. Where sometimes Jonny Quest may have taken itself too seriously, Venture Bros NEVER is guilty of this. Venture Bros. homages and refers to many many other pulp adventure and pop icons using allusion in the plots and dialogue. For example, there was an episode that opened with a flashback where the characters were speaking the lyrics to David Bowie's Space Oddity. The show has fantastic music. The art is stylized and solid. But it's the writing that really does this show justice.

I've become a fanboy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Wow, I found a television relic. I have memories of a sci-fi show that I just loved - Otherworld. I remember seeing the promo over and over for a short period of time and having an idea that it was about dimension travel. So I dressed up about four of the most futuristic G.I. Joe guys with cool gear and posed them when the ad would come on creating my own opening sequence using the music form the promo.

Tonight I found a fansite through Wikipedia about the show.
They have all eight episodes on the webpage. Watched the first one. It was better than I thought it would be. About a family who are lost in the pyramids in Egypt and found their way out but have somehow come out into a different dimension. They spend the episode discovering this and avoiding the authorities who are searching for them.

Another kind of cool thing about this show is the youngest family member's name is Smith.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Route 196 in Bus 179

Yesterday was a bad day. I was covering the 2nd school on a route and my bus came in contact with another vehicle's mirror. This is considered a preventable accident and carries a lot of consequences.

So I was suspended from driving today and I am no longer part of the Training Department. I am to report to work on Monday for re-training. Usually an accident is a mandatory 5 day suspension at minimum. That would cost me and my family far more than the damage done to that SUV's mirror. The conversation with my manager left me with the impression that he seemed to feel like I did this on purpose. I found that interesting.

I'm trying to fill my time with anything to take my mind off of this.

Some of the frustration I'm having is the reason I was covering the route. Apparently the regular driver wasn't able to do his 2nd school because... wait for it... wait for it... he had to go to the bathroom! I heard this today and I'm still not sure what it means. We had random mandatory drug tests for some drivers yesterday and I guess this driver was one of them and drinking a whole bunch of water caused him not to be able to drive his route. So they had him come back to base and go home to pee or something like that. So that was weird. The way that this is handled is dispatch calls me to head over to the school and do a route. Now usually when you do someone else's route you take their route copy that includes a map. Here I only had a list of stops and it's assumed I know my way around like google maps. I can manage through a route like that with no map. But having NEVER done this route before, my first time I'm constantly calculating where I am and where I need to go sorting through my memory of St. Paul WHILE keeping the kids controlled AND safely driving a bus through the streets of St. Paul. This no map detail just added to the load my attention was dealing with.

So for one moment I forgot this bus rides too far to the right or something.

I have no excuse in the end for hitting a mirror, but I feel that it does need to be mentioned that this whole thing happened in a transit style bus- the flat nose kind of bus. These buses ride differently than the regular conventional types. The driver seat is right up against the left wall of the bus and this causes drivers to drive more to the right I guess based on where you're used to riding in the road. I believe this was a major factor in the incident.

While on his route I had to contact dispatch over a kid who has been getting off at a stop all year that wasn't on the route copy. That was also weird and probably added to the strangeness stress of the day. Good that it was exposed finally, I guess.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jonny Quest

I've been sorting my comics downstairs over the weekend with varying piles around. Jack creeps around and runs his cars over some of them with a careful sense that dad wants caution, so it seems. He asks- "Whatsat, daddy?" as he examines the topmost comic. And I answer him.

He runs over to the futon in front of the TV saying something over and over. It looks like he wants to watch something but he's not saying "Clifford" or "Emily" or "T-Bone" or "Cleo" which is what he usually says when he gets to watch a show downstairs meaning Clifford the Big Red Dog. This time he was saying something like 'choneetrest' or something 'dressed'. So I went to him and said "what are you saying?" And he repeated it. Didn't help me much. I asked again and he said "Airpane in da sky!" Now I got it! He's saying Jonny Quest! That was the comic he was asking about just a minute ago. He remembered that title because we watched it a couple of times. Just a couple of times!

We watched a few episodes several weeks ago and stopped because it seemed to only lightly hold his interest. The show's intro has an airplane and that's what Jack remembered and communicated to tell me what he was talking about.

This was the best example I could find.


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