Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Transformers Hall of Fame 2011 - Vote for Action Master Thundercracker

Well, since Ratchet is ineligible for support for the Hall of Fame (the non-Marvel-ness of the Ratchet likely to actually be honored notwithstanding), let's have some fun.  Vote for this guy instead!
And, for those who've missed it, you can have more fun with Action Master Thundercracker here, and read my efforts to get a toy produced here and here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transformers Hall of Fame 2011 - Vote for G1 Marvel Ratchet

Because it's that time of year again.  (Actually, I'm told that Ratchet is already being inducted this year, without the need for a vote, but I have doubts that they recognize that the Marvel version isn't the same as, say the current version seen in Transformers: Prime, let alone the old cartoon version)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Transformers Feature: Kabaya Ultra Magnus (2010)

A couple of weeks ago, the folks at Fun Publications finally unveiled MCAX.com.  This site has been promised to members of the official Transformers club (and others) for several years now, so it's good to finally see the promise become a reality.  Basically, MCAX.com is intended to be an alternative to eBay.  Members are able to post items for sale without having to worry about those annoying fees that eBay charges (unless you choose to utilize certain special features).  I have doubts that MCAX.com can ever develop a sufficiently large userbase to be of much value to most fans.  If there aren't a lot of people selling, there's not a whole lot to buy.  To their credit, the site is free to everyone (not just club members) until Labor Day, so head on over there to see if something interests you.

My first purchase from MCAX.com was a model kit of Generation One Ultra Magnus produced by a company named Kabaya.  I've been reading about these things for several years now, but I've never actually bought one before.  Basically, they're little model kits sold with a piece of chewing gum (that's the packet to the left) so they can be sold in grocery stores.  The Asian grocery stores here in Southern California often have lots of these kits from Kabaya, from all sorts of different franchises, although I've never seen a Transformers kit "in the wild," but only through online vendors.  My model-making skills are decidedly rusty (the last time I put them to use being at the BotCon 2009 Customizing Class), but strangely enough, none of the reviews of these figures (and there are actually quite a few of them out there over the past 25+ years) seem to go into any detail about the construction of the models, so I'll do what I can here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fast Food Lenten Fasting II: Taco Bell

A couple of years ago, I blogged about McDonald’s annual Filet-O-Fish promotions for the Lenten season, and conveyed a bit of history as to how it was indeed religious observances that caused the Filet-O-Fish sandwich to come into existence in the first place.  If the results on Statcounter are any indication, that post remains one of the most frequently stumbled-upon posts on this blog even today.  More recently, I’ve had occasion to ponder the Lenten observances of my local Taco Bell.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm Not Really Irish

ShamrockWhile chatting with my sister online, we got to talking about yesterday's St. Patrick's Day holiday.  The love of all things Irish commonly associated with that day got us to thinking about one of our favorite movies from our childhood, The Happiest Millionaire.  As I said when I mentioned that movie a few years back, we really like the stuff featuring Tommy Steele, and can actually skip most of the actual plot that pads the middle of the movie.  But an early song featuring Steele from the movie, "I'll Always Be Irish," seemed especially appropriate.  You can find lyrics to the actual song here, but we decided to go in a different direction.  The parody that follows was written as a collaboration between the two of us.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Break Reflections

Disclaimer: This isn't an entirely new post, but incorporates elements of a couple of posts I first put up half a decade ago.  The originals may be found here and here.

While reading through my church's prayer list this morning, I noticed that one of our regular attendees who is in college was asking for prayer, especially as the anniversary of a fellow student's death in a car accident during spring break was approaching.

That got me to reflecting on my own spring breaks in college, which were often also unhappy.  I don't think that it is an exaggeration to say that there was a time when the words "spring break" would strike fear into my heart.  This is mostly due to two consecutive years of bad spring break experiences.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Universalists, Gatekeepers, and Fear

Among the many blogs I read regularly, Mouw's Musings is one that I comment on with perhaps the most care. Because Richard Mouw is the president of Fuller Theological Seminary, he is someone I could easily think of as my "boss" (I suppose more accurately, he's my boss's boss's boss, but I digress).  Agree with him too readily, and it can rightly appear as though I'm brown-nosing. Disagree in the wrong way, and I could be in real trouble (Mouw has always struck me as, if nothing else, a fair and careful leader, but even saying that easily strays into the brown-nose territory, doesn't it?). My only recourse is to lay those cards all on the table, and hope that a careful analysis of any comments I make--both here and on Mouw's blog itself--will allow the careful reader to decide how seriously to take anything I have to say.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Give Up Facebook for Lent

Facebook icon reflectionOK, I'll admit that the title is intentionally provocative.  It may well be that, for you, going for a few weeks without Facebook could be a good thing.  It's certainly becoming a popular thing for Lenten-observant Christians to do these days.  But, if it isn't already too late (today being Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent), I'd like to offer a reason to reconsider.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

International Women's Day 2011 - Change the World

I've been trying to make it a point to recognize International Women's Day every year for half a decade now (I seem to have missed 2008).  Apparently this year is the "centenary" of the observance, and as this recent commentary (noting that we seem to care far more about Charlie Sheen's outlandish comments and drug problems than we do about his history of violence against women) indicates, there is still quite a bit of work to do.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Controversy, Christianity, and Consumer Campaigns

It's hard to be an online Christian these days and not have noticed the brouhaha created by the publicity for Rob Bell's latest book.  While others have commented on the contentious nature of the attacks, and the fact that they have pretty much universally (see what I did there?) been made by people who haven't read the book (which isn't due to be released until the end of the month), and I myself often decry such vitriol, that's not so much what I want to say here.  Rather, I've been thinking about marketing, and what kind of campaign it takes to successfully sell a product.

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