Sunday, April 30, 2017

To the Faithful Departed😢😢😢😢

Today would have been my sister Melissa's 37th birthday.  I say would have because she died on March 5th from complications caused by cervical cancer.  People who follow me on Twitter or Facebook probably already know this as we used a GoFundMe campaign to pay for some of her final expenses.  It was great how many people donated to that, a lot of them her "friends" from scrapbooking sites.

Melissa and I went to probably a half-dozen Counting Crows concerts in the Detroit area and one in Grand Rapids.  I'm not sure which song of theirs was her favorite, so I just picked one.  It's a live version from Muskegon, which isn't one we went to, but pretty close.

I'm not sure when the last time we went to a Crows show was:  2013?  2012?  Something like that.  Then we both got laid off and she got sick and there just wasn't any more time.  Whenever a Crows song comes on my MP3 player it's kind of sad to think we'll never be able to go to another show again.

Here's another song that struck a chord with me because it's about waiting in a hospital as a loved one passes away.  It was similar to what I experienced, only we were in the Toni & Trish House hospice in Auburn.  The line that really sticks out for me is "Love is watching someone die."  What that means is when you really care about someone, you're there through the good times and the bad--and the worst when they're on their deathbed.

I miss Melissa every day and I'm sure I always will.😢😢😢😢

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Yukikaze vs Yokuryu

Y was just as difficult as X to find someone for.  I had to go all the way to Japan!

For the first couple of years the Transformer toys in Japan were the same as in America.  Then Takara in Japan started to make toys that were exclusive to Japan.  One of the Autobots was a “Trainbot” called Yukikaze.  I can’t tell you much about him because the file card and packaging are in Japanese.  He’s one of a couple of toys that look like bullet trains.  American toys had similar trains about 15 years later that tied into one of the animated shows.

There were apparently six Trainbots who turned into “Raiden.”  Neat.  Here, you can read more online:

As part of a group called “Dinoforce” there was a Decepticon called Yokuryu.  He was a pterosaur Pretender shell with a smaller robot inside.  The robots from the six members of Dinoforce combined into a robot called Dinoking.

The main thing about them is they aren’t very smart.  Read more here

Well there you go, a couple of Ys!  Honestly, couldn’t they come up with some American Y names?  Like Yellowjacket could have been a recolor of Waspinator.  Or Yelp!  Yahoo!  Yeezy?  Come on, there’s got to be something else there.

My A to Z Challenge concludes Monday with the Z entry!

Friday, April 28, 2017

A to Z Challenge: X-Brawn vs Hooks X

Not surprisingly there weren’t a lot of options for X. There is at least one Autobot toy starting with X: X-Brawn. There was a Brawn from the original series but I guess they put an X in front because he’s an X-Terra and more X-treme than the old one, right?

I never watched that series so I can’t really say much about him from personal x-perience. But, hey, he x-ists! Here’s some stuff on the Internet:

There isn’t much for the Decepticons for X, really just one, so then I thought I’d talk about my own personal Decepticon back in 1996-1998: some dude who called himself Hooks X.

So back in 1996 I joined a Transformers newsgroup. It was fun for a couple of months. Then this Hooks X guy and someone called “Qweena” got into a row that went on and on. Some people began to think “Qweena” was a sock puppet. I didn’t really give a shit one way or the other. And I posted a thread saying as much. I think because there was a thread saying he should shut up and another that she should shut up, I posted a thread saying they should both shut up. Because, really, who gave a shit? Of course this was before I realized that the point of Internet message boards is mostly for pointless bickering of one sort or another.

A short time later Hooks X was apparently feeling vindicated for whatever reason and in a gloating post said, “Everyone but [me] has apologized.” And I’m like, “Why the hell should I apologize?” I hadn’t insulted him; I just said their argument was a stupid, pointless, waste of time.

From there it was on. So I guess thanks to Hooks X I got into my first Internet flame war—but of course not the last. He posted an April Fool's joke the next year about the Beast Wars show being cancelled and stupid me fell for it.

The kicker came when he forged an email from me to make it sound like I made racist comments to him. The stupid thing is this is 1997 on a newsgroup, so how would I know what he looks like? It’s not like I could go look up his Facebook profile or something. And he lived in California I think so it’s not like I ever met him IRL. It didn’t make sense, but of course people are gullible and stupid, so I’m sure some people bought into it.

Eventually I left and never heard from him again. I could probably try to look him up, but why bother? He was just the first in a long line of trolls I’ve fought with on the Internet. I should probably know better, but sometimes I just get sucked into something and then it’s on and like a bulldog with a bone I don’t want to let it go.

At one point I collected a lot of the material from my Transformers newsgroup flame wars and saved it somewhere. I still have it in a folder of my backup hard drive, but while it might surprise you to realize it, I don't really have much interest in looking back on those things. The past is past, right?  

Christopher Dilloway might remember the one before Season 2 of Beast Wars where Optimus Primal was seemingly dead but a promotional picture seemed to show a Maximal who looked like a new Optimus Primal. I said as much on the newsgroup and of course people were like, “No way! That’s not him! He’s dead, dead, dead!” It then became a whole big thing. But guess what? I was right. Suck it, losers. (If you wonder how “fake news” could sway a presidential election, people on the Internet have never been very bright.)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Whirl vs Waspinator

Whirl was a little-used character until the IDW comics. He and Roadbuster were “Deluxe Autobots” in the second series of toys, but they were never in the TV show or the Marvel comics, so they were pretty much forgotten.

In the IDW comics Whirl really gets a chance to shine. He inadvertently helped convince Megatron to rebel against the Autobots, igniting the Great War that lasted for millions of years. As a punishment, Whirl had his hands and face removed. His hands were replaced with claws and his face with just a single dot that lit up, similar to the Decepticon Shockwave’s face.

Later Whirl joined the elite Autobot strike force the Wreckers, but he was eventually cast out for being too reckless. He joins up with the crew of the Lost Light, where he and Cyclonus have a mutual hatred of each other. In the More Than Meets the Eye series, Whirl is kind of the Deadpool of the group—a great fighter but a real goofball and also hideously disfigured.

He finally had his toy reissued a couple of years ago, though his name might have been used some other time. One of the things to like about the IDW comics series is that they often take characters like Whirl who were nothings and actually make them interesting characters. If only Michael Bay could figure out how to do that!


Speaking of the IDW comics, Waspinator is one of the few Beast Wars character to crossover to those titles. Like in the Beast Wars TV series, Waspinator is a hapless foot soldier who like Kenny in South Park meets with tragedy on a frequent basis. Waspinator getting beat up or mangled was a recurring issue in the Beast Wars TV series. It kind of made him endearing. And I guess he was brave in a way to keep going out there even after all the times he was beaten up. In the final episode of the Beast Wars series Waspinator is left behind, inadvertently becoming the ruler of the primitive Earth—or so he thinks until some primitive humans take him down.

As you’d guess from the name, Waspinator turns into a wasp. There have been a couple of reissues of him, which is kind of surprising but I guess being a popular punching bag can do that for you.


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