Hurple Hoopla

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Totally True Adventure With The Leprechaun

When I woke up, this morning, showered, had some breakfast, little did I know just how odd my day would soon become.

My commute from home to work is about 25 minutes. That is not bad, actually. It gives me a little time to prepare myself for the workplace, and in the afternoon gives me a few moments to prepare for the shift to home life. Today, however, I got no time to prepare for anything that was to happen.

As I was driving, at about the halfway point between work and home, I spied something up ahead by the side of the road. It was just a small flash of green, oddly human-shaped green. I slowed my car to get a better look. What I saw was what looked to be a small little man, he couldn't have been more than 5 inches tall, wearing a goofy-looking green outfit, with a goofy-looking green hat. I hit the brakes and my car screeched to a halt beside the little green man. I got out of the car and peered over at him.

"About time ye got here," he said.

"huh?" I answered.

"Ye're the human that answers to 'hurple' on the internet, aren't you?" I could hear the quotation marks around my nickname as he said it.

"Um, yeah."

"Then ye have the experience in things odd and unusual that we need right now."


He sighed, "My race... The leprechauns. We're in trouble. If something isn't done, immediately, the entire race could be wiped out. We read of ye'r struggles against the Skwuggles and ye'r adventures with Deathy Mouse. We think ye can help. We need ye."

"Ah. That was 10 years, 10 pounds and 10,000,000 lost hairs ago."

"Come with me."

"And it was all just fiction."

"Come with me."

"I knew I never should have archived all that crap." I resigned myself to my fate and walked over to the small man. The top of his hat nearly reached the height of my knee. "Hey," I suddenly thought aloud, "What if I hadn't stopped?"

"Ye would have. One way or another," he replied with a mischievous glint in his eye.

With that the small man leapt up to my shoulder. I turned my head to look at him sitting there. He pulled a long wooden pipe from his green overcoat and started smoking. When I looked back toward the landscape, it had changed. Suddenly, even though I am a devout non-drinker I had the craving for consuming large quantities of alcohol.

"You transported us to Ireland, didn't you?" I asked.

"Aye," was his only response as he took another puff from the pipe.

"Where are the potatoes?" I asked.

The leprechaun hit me on the head with his pipe. "Don't be smarky," he said.

He leapt down from my shoulder and started off down a small path through the countryside. He turned and beckoned me to follow. I did.

We traveled through a field and over a stream and presently came to the edge of a thick forest. He led me inside and over to a large tree. At it's base was what looked to be a rabbit hole. "Here 'tis," he said, motioning toward the hole.

"I'll never fit in there," I replied, and suddenly I was standing in a dark, dank, cramped cave. My head very nearly scraped the roof of the cavern.

"Now we be inside," the leprechaun said.

"Okay, let's get this over with. What am I supposed to do to save the entire leprechaun race?"

"Ah," he puffed the pipe again, "hold on a bit while I find it." He began rummaging through a nearby cabinet pushed against one of the cavern walls.

After a short while he perked up, "Aha! Here we go." He handed me a light bulb.

"What's this?"

"A light bulb, doofus."

"What do I do with this?"

"Replace the one over there that's burnt out."

I walked over to the place he had indicated. The light socket was just above my head height, the bulb hung down so that the bottom of it was at my eye level. I removed it from the socket and screwed the new light back in. Suddenly, the cavern chamber burst into light.

"Okay, now what?" I asked.

"That 'twas all."

"That's it?!? You drug me from Illinois to Ireland for that?"


"You couldn't do that yourself?"


"Why not?" I was incredulous.

"No ladders."

"So, you stop me, feed me some overdramatic story about the 'end of the leprechaun race' and transport me halfway around the world for that?"


"Why not just buy a ladder?"

The last question seemed to make him angry. "Buy a ladder? God's green people do NOT buy ladders! BEGONE!"

And I was standing beside my car again. My cell phone started ringing. I answered it. It was my wife.

"Where have you been? I've been trying to get in touch with you for fifteen minutes."

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

And so it went...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Fun & Games

How often does your 7 year old daughter delight you with something fun and cool? Mine did today. I've been playing this for an hour or so now.

Fun & Games!


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving Thought

"With God as my witness... I thought turkeys could fly."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Superman Movie(s)

After reading interviews with Bryan Singer and watching the preview trailer for Superman Returns, I've become very frightened about what the movie will wind up being. From the trailer I get the idea that Superman is some kind of deity figure in that "universe." Like he's some supreme being that has graced us mere mortals with his presence on earth.

It's making me think that, unlike the recent Batman Begins movie, the people in charge of this one do not have a fundamental understanding of what makes Superman, as a character, work. The most important part is, of course, that Clark Kent is the "real" person and Superman is the mask, unlike the antithesis which sees Bruce Wayne as the "mask" and Batman as the "real" person. Now, I am not wanting to make negative comments about Christopher Reeve's wonderful portrayal as both Clark Kent and Superman, but he made the mistake of mixing the Clark / Superman roles by playing Clark as a ditz and Superman as competent. Dean Cain, on the other hand, did a better job portraying Clark, but was nowhere near convincing as Superman. Perhaps the best ever, so far at effectively portraying BOTH Clark Kent and Superman has been George Reeves.

It's not something I like to talk about all that much, but at one time my plans were to attend film school and become the next Steven Spielberg. Needless to say, that never happened. However, I have kept a dream list of properties / ideas that I wanted to film someday. Here's a short version of that list: Captain America, Mister Miracle, Superman, Guns of the South, Who Censored Roger Rabbit, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. As you can see, some have already been made, some haven't.

Here, then, is a quick-hit list of things I would do for a Superman movie:

  • Start over! Just like Batman Begins threw out the Keaton/Kilmer/Clooney series of Batman films, I'd toss out all previous versions of Superman and start fresh, taking as my guiding force the fantastic Byrne "Man of Steel" miniseries from the 1980's.

  • Stop the nonsense of Superman's "S" shield being the Kryptonian "El" family crest. Whoever came up with that bit of revisionist tinkering should be shot. As in the Byrne miniseries, I would have Superman's first public appearance be sans costume with him only adopting the costume / name AFTER the press has dubbed him "Superman." That makes the "S" shield simply a nice bit of graphic design work from Ma Kent.

  • Sign everybody working on the film to a minimum three picture deal. Film all three films back-to-back, just like Peter Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings. For those first three films Lex Luthor would, of course, be the main villain... But, his hand in events would not be revealed to Superman until the third 'act' of the trilogy.

1st film

  • The first film would open with Superman in trouble, being beaten down by Metallo and the Parasite. Through flashbacks the audience would learn his origin (Krypton, rocket, Ma & Pa Kent, Daily Planet, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, etc) and the story would evolve to the point of the beat down. I'm not sure how Superman would escape his attackers, but he does, and retreats to Clark's apartment to lick his wounds. Meanwhile Parasite and Metallo head back to LexCorp headquarters to confront their "boss," Lex Luthor. Then we get a flashback sequence that will detail why Lex hates Superman and reveal the origins for both Metallo and Parasite.

    • Lex hates Superman simply because he wants to be the "hero" of Metropolis, but so long as Superman lives he never will be. Maybe I would've included a flashback sequence here explaining Luthor's motivations. For that, I would use "The Unauthorized Biography of Lex Luthor" as the source material.

    • Metallo is a cyborg created, by Luthor, from an overly loyal LexCorp security chief. His cybernetic parts are powered by an oddly radioactive glowing green rock that Luthor finagled from a secret government organization which found it in a Kansas field nearly 20 years previously amid a flurry of reports about an extraterrestrial ship which was spotted in the area and believed to have crashed. The agency never found the spacecraft (Superman's rocket, quickly hidden by the Kents).

    • The Parasite was one of Luthor's top scientists who was transformed in an accident during an experiment into a purple-skinned being capable of absorbing the energy of anything he touches. The Parasite does not suspect that his accident was actually no accident but a carefully plotted scheme of Luthor's.

    • Both Metallo and the Parasite were "created" by Luthor specifically for the purpose of disposing of Superman.

  • In the end Superman stops both Metallo and Parasite, and they finger Luthor. However, Luthor denies the charges and supplies plenty of evidence to support his claims. Metallo and Parasite are shipped off to Belle Reeve prison (thus allowing them to appear in future films if desired.)

End of 1st Film

2nd film

  • Part of Metallo's mission was to bring back a sample of Superman's DNA, which he did. Luthor uses the sample to create a clone of Superman. The cloning process does not work perfectly, however, creating a "Bizarro" Superman.

  • Meanwhile, Pa Kent finally gets around to running an electrical cable out the the family farm's barn. Slowly, power is getting leeched out of the cable and something in the Krypton rocket hidden in the barn starts to stir. This something turns out to be the Eradicator, actually a 'teaching robot' sent by Superman's parents with him to earth. It has been sitting deactivated and needing power for 20 years. Now, finally, it reactivates and heads out to search for "The Last Son of Krypton" in order to mold him into the ideal Kryptonian.

  • Superman begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together and starts to realize that Lex Luthor is the mastermind behind all the "villains" suddenly appearing.

  • The "Eradicator" arrives in Metropolis and finds Superman. Superman rejects the robots teachings, causing the programming to corrupt. The device "decides" that if Superman cannot be re-made into a "true" Kryptonian, that he must be destroyed.

  • Climax is a massive three-way fight between Superman, Bizarro and the Eradicator. The Eradicator destroys Bizarro, Superman dismantles the Eradicator and uses the Kryptonian rocket at the Kents to shoot it into space. (This is a symbolic gesture representing the moment when Superman embraces his "humanity" over his Kryptonian legacy.)

End of 2nd film

3rd film

  • Luthor's top scientist turns out to be an alien from an advanced civilization who has been stuck on earth... His name is Brainiac. He finally reveals himself to Luthor. The two make a pact, Brainiac helps destroy Superman and Luthor will turn his resources toward finding a way to return Brainiac home.

  • Superman discovers the final clue and realizes Luthor's master-plan. Since arriving in Metropolis, Luthor has been funding the criminal underworld, and leading their operations while also supplying advanced weaponry and tools to the city's security forces. The point is to eventually break down all law enforcement in the city to the point that Luthor can position LexCorp security as the "official" security of the city, thus effectively taking over the city and leaving all "official" leaders as mere figureheads.
    And once the largest city in America falls, the rest of the country should be easy.

  • Superman stops Brainiac, exposes Luthor's scheme and everybody lives happily ever after... Until the 4th movie... Muah-ha-ha-ha!

The End

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Chris Whitley 1960-2005

My brother and I got to see Chris Whitley open for Tom Petty at Starwood Ampitheatre in Nashville right after the release of Chris's 1st album, "Living With The Law." We were both so blown away that the next morning we went all over Nashville looking for the CD. Apparently, we were not the only people there who were so blown away by Whitley's performance as there was not a copy of the CD to be had at any record store in Nashville on that day. Everywhere we went, it was the same story, "We just sold out."

Eventually, I did get that CD, and now I own everything that Chris Whitley ever released. He was a truly unique and amazing artist and performer.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Wheeee! Fun! Runescape!

Plus, the new trailer for the upcoming Superman movie is now online. You can find it here. My thoughts? Um, well... Even with what little they show, it's not looking like I am going to be all that impressed.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Diary Entry

Here's something I slogged out during an afternoon of boredom. Enjoy!

From the diary of Bradford Barroe:

March 14, 2005 - We have finally realized what that annoying splotch on the radar screen is. What it is not is where someone spilt his lunch, as I speculated earlier, but is, in fact, an alien spacecraft. The discovery took everyone by surprise. No one in the office even suspected the truth when the thing appeared on the screen two weeks ago. It was Johnson's idea that we borrow a telescope from the lab and go to the roof to see if there was really something there. Too bad no one thought of the idea earlier, we could have saved the taxpayers a great deal of money for windex.

March 16, 2005 - Today we began trying to contact the beings in the spacecraft. The computers did not work. Nor did radio, the telephone, or television. The brownies we sent through the mail apparently never got there. We also never received a reply to the note we tied to the helium balloon. The smoke signals suggested by Rosario was a dumb idea anyway. The fax machine, however, worked. We expect a reply as soon as we pay our phone bill.

March 20, 2005 - The reply to our message came today. It stated: "We ain't here." Apparently the being in the spacecraft are highly intelligent. Discussions begin tomorrow as to the meaning of the message.

March 24, 2005 - Someone should have explained to Johnson that sending a cat through a fax machine would not work. We now have no way to further contact the aliens.

March 30, 2005 - As soon as we fixed the fax machine we received another message from the aliens. Someone should have told them that it did not work when we tried to fax the cat to them. It did, however, make an interesting pattern on the paper.

March 31, 2005 - It appears that the brownies made it to the aliens after all. We received a note in the mail today. It stated: "You may already have made friends with beings from another planet." These aliens must be far more intelligent than we have yet imagined.

April 2, 2005 - Auditions were held today for the new Verizon Wireless spokesperson. I didn't get the part.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Here's a short intro to another of my City of Heroes characters.

Name: Scott Comet
Archetype: Blaster
Primary Power: Assault Rifle
Secondary Power: Devices
Server: Triumph

Now, with a futuristic space-police type costume and origin, this toon really needs a laser weapon and a jet pack. Unfortunately, all City of Heroes offers is a thoroughly modern assault rifle option. They don't (yet) offer a jet pack either. Oh well.

If you're a CoH player, and ever on Triumph, Look Mr Comet up.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

2 news stories

Growing up in middle Tennessee, I've watched pro-wrestling most of my life. Although, I've grown out of it over the past few years, Eddie Guerrero is one of the few reasons I didn't grow out of it years earlier.

WWE Star Guerrero Dies

MINNEAPOLIS - Eduardo Gory Guerrero, a World Wrestling Entertainment superstar was found dead in his hotel room Sunday in Minneapolis, where he was scheduled to appear that evening in a WWE Supershow. He was 38.

And on a lighter note, Doctor Who is probably my favorite television program of all time.

New Who bots

Hey, Doctor Who fans, the BBC has announced the new look of the Cybermen for the upcoming season. This isn't the first time the enemy robots have changed their appearance and I'm guessing it won't be the last, depending on how much longer the series decides to stick around. The new bots have a very 1950s kind of feel to them.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Archival story - Heath & Melissa vs the Mighty Skwuggle Empire!

It's a bit noticable that I have yet to find my voice, or my muse, as far as this Blog-thing goes. So, to mark time while I decide what direction to go with my posts, I thought I'd post an old story, and introduce everybody to the Mighty Skwuggle Empire!

This post has been slightly updated from the original, as a gift to someone special.

And it starts... here:

This past Saturday, Melissa and I decided to meet at 4 PM at Stones River Mall, Murfreesboro's excuse for a grand shopping experience (yeah, right). Great, right? Well, little did we know that the evil alien race known as the Skwuggles (from the planet Skwuggi, naturally) had chosen that exact time to launch an invasion of Earth. And, also, little did we realize that they had chosen Stones River Mall as their ground zero.

Luckily, I happened to have my Neato-Keen, Super-Cool, Anti-Skwuggle Pocket Blaster (tm) with me. But, unfortunately I had forgotten to bring along the Wild And Wacky Ultra-Compact Thermo Nuclear Power Supply (tm) pack for the blaster (oops). Thank goodness Wal-Mart carries NKSCASP Blaster supplies in their 'housewares' section, and, also, thank goodness there was a Wal-Mart in this mall.

While all around us was confusion and panic, I grabbed Melissa's hand and together we quickly made our way through the crazed throng of patrons trying to get away from the alien balls-of-fur and their deadly foot-tickler rays. Our passage was made simpler by the fact that Melissa had had the forethought to bring along both her Really-Not-So-Bad-Smelling Skwuggle Repellent (tm) and her Throng Be Gone Spray Gun (tm). Finally, after what seemed like hours (but was actually 45 seconds), we were inside Wal-Mart, in the housewares section staring at the empty space that had once contained the WAWUCTNPS packs. They were sold out. It seemed we were out of luck, not just Melissa and I, but also the entire planet.

Then she had an idea and quickly relayed it to me. Would it work? I wasn't sure, but at that point anything was worth a try. We darted back to the hardware section and gathered our supplies. Then, after a quick stop by the candy section, we got in the check-out line. As usual, we got behind a little old lady, who I'm sure is really sweet in everyday life, but was buying a ton of merchandise and paying for it by counting out pennies, one-at-a-time (Don't you hate it when the fate of the planet is at stake and you wind up behind someone like that?). After a wait that seemed to be days (but was actually 1 minute 36 seconds) we were outside assembling our own makeshift Thermo Nuclear Power Supply pack, which, when finished, I hot-wired to my blaster. Then, I loaded up the reactor with Snickers Bars (nothing better for causing atomic reactions), and, finally, we were ready for action!

Since the Snickers Bars contained more atomic energy than the blaster's usual power supply, we quickly fought our way through the town; eliminating what seemed like millions of Skwuggles (but was actually 110) along our way. After awhile we passed an O'Charley's restaurant, so we stopped for dinner. Our waitress was very friendly, if somewhat artificial (Hmm, could she have been a robot from the planet Moglaphat trying to infiltrate our planets food chain? I guess that's a story for another time). The catch-of-the-day was Trout, so we both ordered chicken.

After dinner, we continued our fight with the horrible, furry, mindlessly evil (but still kinda cute in a way) Skwuggles. The battle raged fierce and long and by the end all of Murfreesboro, especially Stones River Mall, was completely devastated. But, the planet was safe. We had defeated the alien menace. And, the cleaning bill for my clothes was only $5.67, not bad really.

Then we went to a movie.

The End...

For now.