Friday, July 31, 2009

Dwight Yoakam Should Be Ashamed of Himself

If pressed, I think I would have to say that my greatest quality is my unmatched courage. I bet you were expecting me to say my rugged good looks, infectious charm or staggering genius intellect. But know, my courage has gotten me into and out of more jams than I can count.

I needed every ounce of courage I could muster for my latest adventure: the noshing of Bakerfields Biscuits brand Dwight Yoakam's Chicken Lickin's Chicken Fries!

Retailing for like $1.39 at my local Walgreens, I tried these on a lark. Boasting all white meat chicken containing some rib meat, the Chicken Fries are about what you would expect for $1.39.

After one minute and 15 seconds in the microwave I was greeted by this delicacy.

Once I loaded my plate with Kraft's Hot Barbecue sauce, I went to town. Like I said these things are about what you would expect for $1.39, but they didn't suck. The best I can say for these guys is that they tasted like chicken. I haven't had the ones at Burger King yet so I can't compare the processed chicken flavors.

All in all, these are everything that I wish did not exist in the food industry. I'm not entirely sure what Yoakam's manager was thinking when he brought this business deal to him. Did he buy into this company or was his name licensed out to further market Chicken Lickin's Chicken Fries? That little quandary has been bothering me for quite some time. Either way I hope the manager was fired.

Now onto the important question. Would I buy them again? Yes.

Also, its reassuring to know that the food you will eat when you hit rock bottom is so affordable.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

History Channel's WWII in HD

As many of you know, I have a total boner for both World War II and the History Channel. I've always loved films, TV shows, documentaries and anything else that told the stories of the Greatest Generation. It was such a singular event in our nation's history and it basically defined who the American people were at the time. I don't think we'll see such a transformative event again. But I digress.

I think my favorite part of any WWII documentary is when the interview the grizzled old man talks about the insane shit he did during the war. Its awesome when someone's grandpa talks about how he slid a knife into a Nazi's neck or shoved a flame-thrower into a bunker and torched an SS unit.

You can imagine my excitement when I happened upon this little video. Apparently, the History Channel has found a shitload of footage and then restored it to its original color and in high definition. It features a load of celebrity voices playing the soldiers and looks like its going to make me cream my jeans.

You can bet I'll be watching this, and I imagine a few of you will check it out too.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MonsterQuest Does It Again

I think I have made my feelings about the History Channel program MonsterQuest pretty clear by now. They were really treading on thin ice with me until I saw this evening's episode.

Apparently, people have been seeing flying humanoids all over the worlds so they sent their crack investigative team to check shit out. This particular episode was loaded with crackpots and morons, making this show sink even farther in my humble opinion.

The episode contained loads of homemade videos of these "creatures," and strangely enough, they did not look like my man Yves "FusionMan" Rossy that you can clearly see above, but more like amorphous blobs that are really not all that convincing. In fact, the videos looked exactly like a bunch of balloons floating off into the sky.

One of the "experts" brought in to debunk these new monsters that appear to be cropping up tried out the whole balloon theory and was pretty much convinced by the end of the show that the videos

One of the more enjoyable parts was watching some clown with a mullet re-enact his filming of the "flying man" on the streets of Santa Monica. I'm not sure what's more embarrassing: the fact that he filmed a bunch of balloons and then went on cable television to tell people it was a man in the sky or that he went back and did a dramatization of his adventure.

Luckily, the producers involved in the show realized that a balloon launch does not a monster make so they padded the show with crazy tales from south of the border. Mexico also has flying guys so they were only too happy to chip in.

Apparently, some cops came into contact with these crazy flying things, so that adds some legitimacy to the proceedings. Not really. All of the cops that came in contact with the fucking things said they looked like witches with hats, capes and long nails. They were apparently flying around cemeteries or some shit. Then one cop said that one dropped out of a tree and onto the hood of his car. Clearly this is the work of chupacabras but who am I to say really.

Here is the news broadcast.

I don't speak Spanish but I'm pretty sure the lady with the crazy headband said those people were retarded.

But, MonsterQuest didn't stop there! They explored some caves in the area where the creature could have lived, which turned up jack shit. Then came the piece de resistance! The production team spoke with Mexican scientists about a mysterious tiny little body that they had encountered.

Now I'm no scientist, but I think I know a crazy little monkey when I see one. These guys did not. Genetic testing was also inconclusive. Either way I don't think this little shit would grow up to be a witch that attacks cops and flies around cemeteries. Three cheers for Mexican Science!

The next new episode is supposed to talk about Killer Chimps. I hate chimpanzees but they aren't really monsters in the strict sense. Another episode claims that it will go after the "real" Moby Dick. I didn't realize that Melville's tale was based on a true story. I bet this episode is as successful as the others.

I really think it would be fun to sit it on the show's production meetings. I bet they just eat mushrooms and play wiffle ball or some shit. Nice work, gang.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Do You Know Who Else I Like?

Fucking Toto!

This is apparently making its way around the Internet, but I never claimed to be wholly original so I'm dropping this junk in.

Its an a cappella jazz group from Slovenia called Perpetuum Jazzile, which kind of sounds like a Harry Potter Wizard name.

Apparently, they just released Toto IV there. They're only 27 years behind. I expect a clip of Rosanna to pop up any day now.

Irregardless, I think this is pretty cool. Especially the beginning.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Do You Know Who I Like?

Tate Donovan!

He was awesome in Space Camp, one of the coolest I-wish-it-was-me movies of all time. Then he ruled in Memphis Belle and Love Potion No. 9. He's been in a Disney animated film (Hercules), which means he's an inoffensive, bankable star. He was also an integral cast member on a popular teen drama, The O.C., which is a guilty little pleasure of mine. He went on to star in some show called Damages with Glenn Close, which I didn't know about until now otherwise I would have checked it out.

He may be the best thing to ever come out of New Jersey, which is quite a compliment seeing as how nothing good comes out of that hellhole.

Seriously though. How good was Space Camp?

"Max and Jinx... friiiieeeends."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Awesome Back to the Future Video

I felt as if I would be remiss if I didn't pass this video along. It compares the ending of Back to the Future with the beginning of Back to the Future 2. The scenes are essentially the same with some minor tweaks most notably the addition of Elizabeth Shue as Jennifer instead of that girl that no one ever saw again.

Not only does this video mash up two thirds of one of the greatest trilogies of all time, but its really mesmerizing to watch. I think you'll dig it. If not, go to hell. I really like these movies.

My Pet Peeves: Women Mowing the Lawn

I think a great way to get to know someone is to learn all about the things he or she hates. At the very least its a great way to get to know someone like me, whose heart is so full of hatred. I've decided to share the things that really get under my skin. I think this could be therapeutic for me and fun for you. We could be here a while.

First up, I really really HATE when I see women mowing the lawn. I experience complete revulsion when I witness this. Its a feeling that I really can't describe. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I liken it to seeing my mother naked or watching a dog and cat have sex.

I've felt this way for as long as I have remembered. Is this based in some rudimentary sexist ideal? Probably. Do I think women are incapable of mowing the lawn. Not at all. Its not some weaker sex thing in any way at all. Its just weird to me.

In fact, I think this is the kind of the sexism that most women could get behind. I can't think of a single woman I know who would insist on mowing the lawn if I offered to take over.

I just can't take it. If I saw this in real life, I would pull over and finish the job for her.

Maybe this is just weird of me. I know its weird of me, but is it inherently wrong? I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I a sexist prick or a total sweetheart?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Frogmore Stew

So the last couple of weeks have been a little bit hectic and I am just getting around to a lot of things I wanted to share. One of which being my latest outdoor cooking adventure.

My aunt Cindy had the great idea to do an old-fashioned low-country boil, otherwise known as Frogmore Stew. We ganked this from one of Paula Deen's cookbooks so we knew it would be fun and filling.

So one beautiful weekend day, I broke out my turkey frier and fired it up for a more noble pursuit than deep-fried poultry.

We started with five quarts of water and about a quarter of a cup of Old Bay and various other spices.
It took about twenty minutes or so to get it boiling, then I added the halved red bliss potatoes. After letting them cook for about 10 minutes, we added the ears of corn and smoked sausage pieces.

We let this all cook until the potatoes started getting tender and then we were ready for the shrimp. We had about four pounds in all. These only needed to cook for about five minutes or so. Additionally, I added my own little extra flavor kick in the form of a white onion soaked in Worcestershire sauce and covered in Old Bay. This is something I think really makes a difference when steaming shrimp and it brought the same flavor to the boil.

Once the shrimp were cooked through, I yanked it off the burner and drained the water from the pot.

Here is where I made my biggest error of the day. I drained the pot onto the lawn in the backyard not even thinking that the boiling water would do anything to the grass. The big dead patch says otherwise.

We served the finished product with fresh french bread and covered the whole mess with more Old Bay. We're from East Baltimore and we can never get enough Old Bay.

All in all, it turned out great and was super easy to do. Plus its fun to eat.

This can be done on a range but I think its more bad-ass to do it outside. Plus I get to run around with a bandana tied around my head and look busy and harried. I think that goes over pretty well and it makes me feel better about myself.

I think this one will make the cut and become a regular addition to our outdoor menu. I'd also really like to do a more traditional seafood boil where we can add mussels, clams and the like.

Hopefully, I will get to do this one again very soon.

BK BBQ Double Stackticon Roll Out!

Many people think intelligent design is bunk. The consider it a tool of creationists who have turned their back on science in favor of some retarded theory where God has created everything and dinosaur bones are really the remains of demons left there to test our faith. I'm one of these people that think this is crap.

Or at least I did. This week I experienced something that made me believe that the Hand of God had to have been present during its creation. I'm referring of course to Burger King's BK BBQ Double Stackticon.

Its basically a Double Stacker minus the Thousand Island dressing with Bullseye BBQ sauce added instead. It reminds me of a burger I used to devour as a child. It was basically the same thing except they put the two patties on the longer chicken sandwich roll. It rocked my world and made an indelible impression on me. I thought I would never experience it again until last Saturday night when I was desperate for something to eat after and evening of burlesque.

After tasting this burger I was immediately transported back in time and I knew I was in trouble. To my eternal shame I have been back three times this week. What do I really think?

Is that a Whopper Jr. in the background? Yes. For some reason they keep sticking those in my bag. I'm not sure why.

I would have given it two thumbs up but I needed one hand to take the photo. Its not an attractive looking sandwich but you can go to hell. Its awesome. I'm not one to shill for the man, but if there is even the slightest chance that Burger King officials will see this and maybe give me free food then I had to take it.

It is my sincere wish that this becomes a permanent member of the Burger King menu. Then I won't feel the sense of urgency to eat it. I'll know I can always come back and order the sandwich I crave. (Pssst. You want to know how to make it even more awesome? Put some onion rings on the burger.) This would also help me out because then I can limit my visits to like twice a week. I feel totally naughty today.

The other cool thing about ordering these things is that you get a scratch and win ticket on your cup and fries. So far I have won a Croissanwich, a sausage biscuit, a Whopper Jr. and a cheeseburger. I have been way too many times this week.

Also I've convinced myself that I'm helping the Autobots each time I devour a Stackticon. If I can get to it before it transforms into a tiny beef robot then I feel like I'm helping Shia LaBoeuf and Megan Fox. Its a stretch but I'm really reaching here.

In any event, please keep this Burger King and please give me a Gold Card. If anyone deserves free limitless burgers for life, it is me.

Love Always,

Matt, your handsome Prince of Dundalk.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Baltimore Summertime Classic: The Snowball!

If you are familiar with the Baltimore region than you may have experienced a tiny little maxim I have found to be true: if you drive long enough along any road in Baltimore you will find either a snowball or pit beef stand. Sometimes both.

I remember eating snowballs all the time as a kid. We would walk up the street from my grandparents house and get them on hot summer days. I used to get the usual flavors like orange or grape, but then I matured a little bit and stepped my game up. Then it was strictly Sky Blue and then the old classic, Egg Custard with marshmallow topping (seen above).

I think those are two quintessential snowball flavors and really say something about the man eating it. It speaks to a maturity beyond one's years.

True story: I was downy ohshun with some cousins one summer and being the fit young man I am, I was routinely asked to follow the little kids and chaperone them on their jaunts to get ice cream and candy and stuff. I obviously had no problem with this whatsoever. Anywho, we went to this new little snowball stand that was located in an old surf shop or something. The kids went in and ordered Spongebob and Darth Vader flavored snowballs and then I stepped up to the counter. I got the typical Egg Custard with marshmallow and the lady actually went "Well, you know your stuff." Instant respect.

Most of you probably don't know what that's like. I'm used to it by now. Its the only way to live really. But I digress.

There is a little place called The Ice Shack nearby that sells snowballs during the summer. For some reason we have been driving by that place for five freaking years. Last week, in need of comfort food, we stopped by and I ordered the usual. It was masterfully made with flavored ice, marshmallow along the sides and on top and then another dose of flavored ice. Rad.

Now I have a hard-on for this place. I just got back and am enjoying a Tangerine flavored snowball. Mom got a Blue Hawaiian, Sis a Banana and Dad a Spearmint. There are a ton of flavors so I will be busy for the rest of the summer. Plus you can mix them up. By my calculations that means that there are a shitload of combinations for me to try. I'm thinking I might go with a simple Lemon-Lime before I start going crazy. There are also Bahama Mama, Tiger's Blood (what?), Wedding Cake and Iced Tea flavors.

If anyone is in my neck of the woods or kickin' it with me, remind me about this place and we can hook that up. Its good stuff and maybe you can try out the classic Egg Custard if you haven't already.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Saying Goodbye to the Old War Horse

As most of you probably know, I recently lost my grandfather. I was very close to him and this week has been particularly hard on my family and I. Today we buried him and I volunteered to deliver his eulogy.

My grandfather had always talked about his time as a Toastmaster and I felt like I owed it to him to give it my best shot and toast this great man to the assembled crowd. I'm no public speaker, so this was a pretty big challenge. I think I did OK and I hope that he was proud of my effort.

For those interested, this is what I came up with.

Edward Cyril Kohoskie

October 13, 1921 – July 7, 2009

On April 23, 1910 in an address at the Sorbonne in Paris, Theodore Roosevelt said:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

I think these words typify my grandfather Edward Kohoskie for two reasons. First, it’s as long-winded as Pop was, and second, it seems as though the sentiment is tailor-made for him. Edward Kohoskie was not one of those cold and timid souls on the sideline knowing neither victory nor defeat.

He was the man in the arena striving valiantly, winning great victories and sometimes failing fantastically. He was the man with knowledge of great enthusiasms and great devotions and knew what it meant to toil for a worthy cause.

Pop started out simply enough in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, the son of a coal miner and the youngest of five children. After attending Coal Township High School and meeting his bride-to-be Marie Whary, he struck out into the world thanks to the Civilian Conservation Corps and had many adventures, while seeing a great many things. Later he settled in the Baltimore area before heading off to do his part as a member of the “Greatest Generation” in World War II. After all that messy business, he returned to his new home to get down to what mattered most to him, raising a family and collecting a large group of friends and admirers.

To his credit, Edward was the progenitor of four wonderful children, Stephen a.k.a. Butch, Joe, Debbie and Cindy; seven grandchildren, Kim, Dawn Cary, Judy, myself , Joey and Kendra; and 10 great-grandchildren, Connor, Audra, Billy, Nick, Molly, Jack, Haley, Anabel, Will and Kristofer.

While this is well and important, timelines, dates and names don’t really cut to the heart of the man. I think that each person in this crowd today would deliver a very different eulogy and share a very different impression of Edward if given the chance. I can only speak from my heart and my experiences. So here is what my Pop was to me.

He was a bright man, interested in a great many subjects. His thirst for knowledge knew no bounds and I am proud to say that this is something he instilled in me. As children, my sister and I spent many afternoons with Grandma and Pop at the Zoo or Aquarium, feeding our brains, when we could have wasted our time at the mall or movies. He was always willing to share his knowledge with our hungry young minds, be it through recollections from his life or tidbits he had read about. Pop also liked to challenge us, testing our knowledge and ability to think on our feet, through quick quizzes and bags full of coins for us to count.

He was a teller of tales. Pop would spend hours telling me stories in a vain attempt to get me to fall sleep. He took me to such far-off lands as the dark jungles of Sumatra, where the wind bellowed like a deep train whistle, and to places close by like his backyard, where Squiggly Wiggly, his earthworm friend, shared his saga of high adventure battling the elements and invading birds.

He was a man of great humor, quick with a joke or funny story, even if we already knew all of the punch lines. He would not hesitate to whip his “Pride and Joy” out of his wallet and spoke at length about the “Kohoskie Curse.” Most importantly, he was not afraid to laugh at himself. He found humor in his faults and was always gracious. Pop also told me one of my very first dirty jokes, which remains a favorite to this day.

Most importantly, Pop was a mentor. He didn’t teach me a skill or trade, but rather showed me the kind of man I wanted to be. He taught me what was most important in his life and gave me a blueprint for the life I wanted to have. From him I learned to value family and friends above all else in the world, because they would be the ones that stood with you in good times and bad. From him I learned what true love really meant.

Some people measure a man by the deeds he has done in life. I think a greater measure of a man is the company he kept, the people he surrounded himself with. Edward Kohoskie was in no shortage of good company, as evidenced by the loved ones present today. A great man who touched a great many people, he was far more than just a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He was so much more than could ever be expressed by these simple words that I speak and he will be greatly missed.

I will end today with a phrase borrowed from the man we honor and remember. “And then the bridge bended and the story ended.” But to me this seems inaccurate. In life, our stories never end. Rather they live on in the tellings and retellings of our friends and family. These stories carry on through the achievements and failures of our kin.

So long as we share the great adventure that he called life, so long as we strive in the arena marred by dust and sweat and blood, Edward Kohoskie’s story will never end.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Sexiest Thing I've Ever Seen

True or False: Matt watched this video with his pants off.

____ True

____ False

Living Vicariously Through Zac Efron

I don't think I've ever been secretive about the fact that I kind of like Zac Efron. Now I have never seen the High School Musical films (which is odd considering how lame I am for stuff like that) but I have enjoyed the very few things of his I have seen. My real admiration for the guy stems from an interview of his that I read in Entertainment Weekly where he talked about how the HSMs were great and they gave him a start, but he really wanted to do some different things with his career.

That got me thinking about him. Its not his fault that he is known for those movies. If you were given an opportunity like that you take it. This kid is 21 and has more money than I'll ever see. Good for him. I don't care if he got it singing and dancing. Its honest work. So at this point I started rooting for him. I want the guy to break out and do well. He seems like a good shit.

Since I am the starting middle linebacker for Team Zac you can imagine my excitement when I read this:

Way to go man! I would love it if this clean-cut, good-looking Disney spawn got worked over by Megan Fox. She is a good-time girl and there is no way Vanessa Hudgens is getting the job done.

Plus, its better for everyone involved if she leaves Brian Austin Green behind. I mean, what the fuck? That never made any sense to me. Its like a crime against nature.

That's all I got. I'll let you go and process this all now. But I leave you with one thing: can you imagine how beautiful a child of theirs would be? It would be like Apollo coming to Earth Jesus-style.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Birthday Sex

So my sister told me about this song a while back and I managed to hear it while surveying my lands in the beautiful town of Dundalk. Its just terrific. I feel strongly that this song should replace the traditional "Happy Birthday to you!" I also really like the idea of singing a three-minute slow jam by candlelight to everyone on their birthday.

I think my favorite line might be "We've been at this for hours. I know you're thirsty." That's just beautiful. I'm not sure if Jeremih ended up getting her a drink. I can only assume they were sippin' Henny in no time.

In any event, I want everyone to listen to this song and learn it. If I have my way, this will be the new standard. At the very least I expect it to be sung to me come February.

Viva la revolucion!

Another Poll Closed, Plus E-Mail Alerts!

So the latest poll is closed and it appears that some people might be interested in getting some e-mail alerts.

I can set something up, but I obviously need your e-mail and your consent. So please let me know if you want updates and I will get you all set up.

Those that want to be surprised by the occasional post can still be surprised. You just won't get to hear the hilarious jokes I plan to tell in my e-mail alerts. Too bad!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Not real.

One of the best things about television today is the abundance of paranormal-related TV shows you can view. There are tons of ghost hunting shows on nowadays, which is pretty convenient for geeks like me. We've got Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Paranormal State, Most Haunted, etc., etc., etc.

This is a far cry from the days of my youth where I only had Sightings to slake my cravings. I know I annoyed tons of people my freshman year of high school asking them if they had ever seen this show. I'm pretty sure I have a few school pictures where people even wrote "Did you see Sightings?" on the back of mine. But I digress.

With such a dearth of shows, we now have choices. While all of them use the pseudo-science associated with ghost-hunting they are still a lot of fun. Both of the Ghost Hunters shows are a lot of fun and they tend to stick to more of a documentary style of filming. Paranormal State seems to maybe follow a bit of a storyline and I suspect the involvement of producers. They seem to attract more demons to their show too, which is kind of suspect. I'm still a sucker for it though. I even went so far as to look up how to study demonology after this old lady psychic came on the show.

We've even got Ghost Adventures, a super-aggro show where a bunch of dudes lock themselves in haunted places and call the ghost pussies until some shit goes down.

I love these guys. They look like a nu-metal band or something.

These dudes have apparently gotten slapped, scratched and zapped with spectral energy on camera. If we can trust the production crew, then they have gotten some cool footage of stuff that really can't be explained.

Most Haunted is also a very good show. Its made by the British and they class it up a bit with their accents and professionalism. On Halloween of last year, they did an all-night investigation in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which is reported to be one of the most haunted places in America. We didn't see any free-floating apparitions or slimers, but they got some cool results. They got way more ghost action then I did when I took the ghost tour up there.

I think my love of these shows comes from my intense desire to be on one of them. I think it would be super-cool to go on these all-night ghost hunts with a team of people that set up cameras and motion detectors and shit. I would spend my nights walking around an old house with an EMF detector and a tape recorder. The only creepy thing is that they always do this stuff in complete darkness. That would be creepy in certain places.

I still think that it would be fun. I don't think I'm the only one either.

One of my worst attempts at ghost hunting came in Ellicott City. Greg Nice and Cherry Crystal were along for the ride at what was billed as a ghost tour at the very spooky Patapsco Female Institute, which has a history of creepy shit going down. When we got there we realized what we were in for. Instead of a ghost tour we walked into a super-queer haunted house hosted by some drama department. It was pretty lame.

There was even a kid dressed as Jesus who blessed us before we walked into the ghostly maelstrom. Other highlights include the strobe light scene where the girl talked about killing people and the big kid playing the Scottish groundskeeper who talked about how he would bury the dead students vertically to save space. Chilling. I think it goes without saying that we have not returned to this particular spot. Like an asshole, I brought my digital recorder in case we wanted to try and capture any EVPs. What a dick.

I think there are probably tons of cool spots to investigate in this area. We just got a bad one. Maybe we can get a crew together and build up a reputation. Then we'll find the one cable network that doesn't have a ghost show and pitch it to them.

Food TV? We could only investigate restaurants. Oxygen? Only girl ghosts? BET? Black ghosts only (we should probably be black too so that's out). Or E! We can investigate celebrity ghosts only.

I'll do whatever. I'm not picky.

The Geek's Corner: Captain America Reborn!

Editor's Note: I have decided to begin an ongoing feature on my blog where I can talk about the stuff that I care about. 99.99% will not care one lick about this but I sure as hell do so cut me some slack. In fact, I can only think of one loyal reader who would even be mildly interested and I don't even think he really cares. I promise to keep the geekiness to a minimum. In conclusion, just ignore this entry and I will try and think up some good dick jokes for the next one. At the very least you can all make fun of me in the comments.

In the last few years, one of my favorite monthly comics has been Marvel's Captain America. Most of this is thanks to the superb writing of Ed Brubaker, who is one of my all-time favorite comic scribes. Brubaker drew on Cap's World War II experiences (if you're still reading this and you want more details I'm happy to share them with you) to craft some really fantastic stories and even managed to bring back Bucky, Cap's partner from the '40s. Normally, when something like this occurs, the cynic in me immediately rolls his eyes expecting some hackneyed comic book trick that will embarrass me, but Brubaker delivered, making the whole scenario believable (in comic book terms that is). As an added bonus, Brubaker seemed to revitalize the character making him more dynamic than the one-note hero that I always viewed him as.

Later in the series run, Captain America met his death at the hands of his old nemesis, the Nazi villain Red Skull. This looked to be an actual "death" in the comic book world, but as most people know no one ever really dies in comics. On June 15, Marvel made the announcement that Cap would be returning and today, the first issue of the new series detailing his rebirth hit shelves. As I mentioned with Bucky, whenever a hero makes his return from beyond the grave it usually blows. The stories smell of marketing ploys designed to sucker in readers and not give them much beyond a cheap gimmick or very transparent plot and the inevitable deus ex machina.

But this time I am happy to report that Brubaker has won my trust for the next couple of issues. Instead of having some sort of mystical trick or body-swap, the writer employed the very tools used by his enemies and had me scrambling for back issues while feeling like an idiot for not using my geek-smarts to remember what had happened.

In any event, the original Captain America appears to be alive and well and is currently doing his very own Scott Bakula/Billy Pilgrim impression in the Marvel Universe. How this will play out remains to be seen, but for the time being I am enjoying the ride.

Now hopefully, they'll announce someone cool to play Cap in the upcoming movies and then all will be right with the world.

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.