Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8

Even though the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series ended in 2003, we’re finally getting a glimpse at what happens after Dawn asks that fateful series ending question, “What are we gonna do now?” Creator Joss Whedon is releasing the comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home that is effectively the eighth season of the TV show. Whedon talks with TV Guide about the series, including details like the lack of comic book breast implants for Buffy and why we won’t see much of Spike in the comic book (doh). You can also check out the Dark Horse Comics site for a sneak peek at the first five or six pages of issue #1.

Despite being a geek, I’ve never really been a comic book geek (except for a brief foray into the G.I. Joe comic books around the time when Destro broke ranks with Cobra to form his own terrorist organization). But this is probably the strongest temptation I’ve ever felt to get into comic books.

So how do you become a comic book geek?

Continue reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8

Serenity Fans Invoice Universal

Read this little bit about the fan promotion of the movie Serenity (best movie ever) and how the studio reacted:

As the release date neared, fans tried everything to raise the film’s profile, from holding bake sales to selling amateur-designed T-shirts. Once the box office returns were collected, Universal Studios (who produced the movie) sent out a series of cease and desist letters to the fans and, in some cases, sought to collect retroactive licensing fees for the production of T-shirts featuring Serenity icons. The fan community responded by tallying up the time they had spent in promoting the show and then sent Universal an invoice for more than $2 million (28,030 man-hours). Universal quickly backed down.

Hilarious. Power to the people!

How to Improve Real Estate

In the past two weeks we’ve sold our house and bought a new one. It’s kind of a dizzying experience as you literally swap thousands of dollars back and forth with each offer and counter-offer. We did manage to sell our house in 30 days in a very slow market, so I’m thankful.

But much like my recent reflections on online banking, the record industry and confrontational sales people, everybody else is wrong and I know it all. In this case, I think the real estate industry is broken. Maybe not broken (it did work for me) but missing out on a major opportunity.

Continue reading How to Improve Real Estate

Teaching Your Kids About Money

A friend linked to an article from the Wall Street Journal a few years ago about how to teach your kids about money. Dave titled his entry ‘Smarter Parents Than Mine,’ but I think the more apt title might be Richer Parents Than Mine.

The author lists the cash he’s giving to each of his two kids:

  • $25,000 to start a retirement fund.
  • $5,000 upon graduation.
  • Free under-grad (they’re on their own for grad school)
  • $20,000 for a house down payment
  • $5,000 for a wedding (or cash if they choose to elope)

That’s about $100,000 each, depending on where you go to college. Wow. Lexi better not be counting on $100,000 from us. And I was proud of myself for starting a $250 mutual fund for her birthday (with some help from her grandparents).

NASCAR Napping is Back

The 10-month long NASCAR season started up again last week with the Daytona 500 and once again I can spend my Sunday afternoon sabaths in the horizontal position on the couch, zoning out to the drone of stock cars. I usually don’t watch the entire race because I just can’t give up four hours of my Sunday, but I do like to catch an hour or two.

I’ve also started NASCAR blogging again, at least a little bit here and there. I wish the ads paid better because I enjoy writing about NASCAR, but I just can’t invest the time into it.

And it still amazes me that NASCAR teams have such boring, out-of-date web sites. At best they have a list of news headlines cribbed from somewhere else, most of which are at least a few weeks old. Where are all the race team blogs? I know I’m a bit of a blog addict, but it is a great medium for connecting with fans. I can’t believe so many racing sites just plain suck. Reminds me of a certain other type of industry.

Does Online Banking Work For You?

I’m one of those old fashioned people who still pays most of my bills with checks and stamps. Which is bizarre considering how much I love the web. Mainly it’s thanks to inertia–it’s just been easier to do it the way I’ve done it and not bother exploring scary new options. But now that I’m going to be moving there’s the hassle of address changes and making sure all my bills still get paid. It seems an easy way to avoid that is to switch to online bill payment now.

But I’m wondering if it works well for anybody. Seems like the glowing future of online bill payment hasn’t quite happened yet.

Continue reading Does Online Banking Work For You?

What if Google Bought St. Paul’s Ford Plant?

Now here’s a lovely little proposal: Google Should Buy Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant. The Ford plant has cranked out Ranger pickup trucks but is closing in 2008. Ford’s departure will open up a huge chunk of real estate in a pretty pricey area of St. Paul. Plus it’s river-front property (well, close enough–our trails and a parkway get river-front dibs, all from atop the bluffs of course).

The only downside to the bid to Google is that it doesn’t sound like the hydro-electric plant is part of the sale. This article from the Star Trib makes it sound like the power plant is a separate sale from the assembly plant. Which would be too bad for Google. Some clean energy would be a nice little feather in their ‘don’t be evil’ hat.

I just love the idea of Google in St. Paul. How cool would that be? (link via MNSpeak)

Old Skool Family Pics

I just uploaded a ton of family pics to my Flickr account. I ransacked my parents’ pictures the last time were back and borrowed a few. Or 80. We did the same thing at Abby’s house and I wanted to get more of my family. I also realized how few pictures I have of my grandparents and my family. So I mostly went for pictures of my grandparents and my family, which gives a nice range of Hendricks family photos throughout the years.

A few of my favorites include:

There’s really too many I could talk about, but somebody might slip on some nostalgia and hurt themselves.