The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century http://www.joeydevilla.com Joey deVilla's Personal Blog Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:21:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Tampa folks: Watch out for advanced credit card skimmers at the gas pumps! http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/30/tampa-folks-watch-out-for-advanced-credit-card-skimmers-at-the-gas-pumps/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/30/tampa-folks-watch-out-for-advanced-credit-card-skimmers-at-the-gas-pumps/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:13:28 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95936

make sure the security seal isn't broken

If you’re paying at the gas pump in Tampa, be aware that advanced credit/debit card skimmers have been found on pumps at the following Shell/Circle K stations in South Tampa:

4015 S. Westshore Blvd.

6416 S. Dale Mabry Highway

3650 S. Dale Mabry Highway

Unlike the skimmers that we’re often told to look out for — the type that are attached on top of an ATM’s or gas pump’s credit/debit card slot — these ones were installed internally, which eliminated most of the tell-tale signs of physical tampering and alteration. Whoever installed these skimmers used a master key to access the pumps’ internals and connect them directly to the pump’s computer. There’d be none of the usual warning signs, such as a dangling wire or damage around the slot where you’d insert your card. The one sign is a broken seal on the pump (see the photo at the top of this article for a photo of an intact seal).

Here’s the story on Tampa Bay Online.

If you’re paying at the pump in Tampa (or anywhere else, for that matter):

  • Take a good look at the card reader and the seal. If either seem damaged, don’t pay at the pump.
  • Favor using a credit card over a debit card. Credit cards leave a better paper trail, let you contest individual payments, and don’t give thieves access to your bank account.
  • Try to use a pump that’s in line-of-sight of the attendant. Thieves are less likely to tamper with a pump in plain view of a gas station employee. Keep in mind that most gas station employees are just marking time until their break, so don’t count on their vigilance.
  • If you want to play it really safe, pay inside the store…and with cash.

Recommended Reading

Thanks to Sean Galbraith for the heads-up!

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Sign of the Day http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/29/sign-of-the-day-9/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/29/sign-of-the-day-9/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:10:04 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95932

do not feed or molest

Im most places, “do not molest the alligators” is a self-evident thing, but this is Florida. I’m pretty sure that alligator molesters are a rare breed, as it’s a self-correcting problem.

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Calgary fertility clinic will only help make “purebred” babies, and why purebred dogs are the worst http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/29/calgary-fertility-clinic-will-only-help-make-purebred-babies-and-why-purebred-dogs-are-the-worst/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/29/calgary-fertility-clinic-will-only-help-make-purebred-babies-and-why-purebred-dogs-are-the-worst/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:39:16 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95926

dr. clavin greene

Dr. Calvin Greene (artist’s conception above) of Calgary’s Regional Fertility Program — the only facility of its sort in the Calgary area — put the clinic in a storm of controversy over his refusal to help a woman become impregnated with sperm from a donor who didn’t share her skin color. He’s got a quote that pretty much has all the “tells” of the sort of person we’re dealing with:

“I’m not sure that we should be creating rainbow families just because some single woman decides that that’s what she wants. That’s her prerogative, but that’s not her prerogative in our clinic.”

In an interview with the Calgary Herald last week, Dr. Greene said last week that the policy against mixing races had been in effect since the 1980s and he believes it is better to raise children who resemble their parents, and if I’m parsing his statement above correctly, those parents should resemble each other.

The fertility clinic has countered by saying that they ended their policy waaaay back…oh, correction: make that a year ago. You know, in 2013, almost a half-century after the last laws against interracial marriage were struck down in the U.S..

As a healthy (indirect) product of a mixed-race marriage — my great-grandfather is James O’Hara from Dayton, Ohio — and being about to enter a mixed-race marriage myself, Dr. Greene’s views seem cartoonish, rooted in nonsense, and in complete opposition to what we know about the genetics of all sorts of creatures, including Man’s Best Fried:

purebred - inbred

I’ll close with this “Adam Ruins Everything” video, in which he explains why purebred dogs are the worst:

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WHAT flavor potato chips? http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/29/what-flavor-potato-chips/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/29/what-flavor-potato-chips/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:50:33 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95922

lays capuccino chips

I like coffee, and I like potato chips, but I can’t imagine a combo of the two tasting very good.

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Whenever I see people here complaining about the heat, this is what I think http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/whenever-i-see-people-here-complaining-about-the-heat-this-is-what-i-think/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/whenever-i-see-people-here-complaining-about-the-heat-this-is-what-i-think/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 03:13:56 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95917

I’m enjoying it here in Florida, and yes, when I think this, I hear Tom Hardy’s voice as Bane in my head:

you merely adopted tropical climate

Here’s the relevant clip from The Dark Knight Rises:

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Naked thieves steal burgers and bacon from Florida (of course) restaurant; leave behind trail of red peppers and smitten waitresses http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/naked-thieves-steal-burgers-and-bacon-from-florida-of-course-restaurant-leave-behind-trail-of-red-peppers-and-smitten-waitresses/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/naked-thieves-steal-burgers-and-bacon-from-florida-of-course-restaurant-leave-behind-trail-of-red-peppers-and-smitten-waitresses/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:26:27 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95901

police search for naked bandits

definitely florida

Before you get all high-and-mighty and point your finger and say “Florida” with your derisive sneer, let me say two things:

  • First, who among you hasn’t wanted to get naked and make off with free burgers and bacon?
  • Second, and more importantly: I have an alibi.

naked burger thieves 3

Two Sundays ago, a trio of college-age men — two in underwear, and one au naturel — broke into a restaurant in Bonita Springs known as Doc’s Beach House. Instead of going for the cash register or money, they rummaged through the kitchen and they made off with 60 burgers, a few pounds of bacon and some fixings. According to police, the three men “left a trail of red peppers on the beach”.

naked burger thieves 2

Doc’s Beach House had two surveillance cameras with night vision capability, so they were able to capture video of the caper. It would appear that while two of the men started their heist in underwear, at some point they decided to let it all hang out and stripped nude.

naked burger thieves 1

“No one in their normal state of mind is going to break into a restaurant half-naked and leave naked with a bunch of hamburger meat,” said a police spokesperson, clearly forgetting that this is Florida, where no idea is a bad one.

naked burger thieves 5

At one point during the robbery, one of the guys noticed the camera and repositioned it away from their antics, not realizing that there was another camera capturing their every naked move. Night vision security cameras use LED bulbs that project ultraviolet light that’s invisible to the naked eye, but quite bright when viewed through something like a good digital camera.

naked burger thieves 4

The nude dudes seem to have left an impression on the waitresses at the restaurant. Lou Bangert, the manager, told the press that his waitresses “want to meet the bandits. Everybody wants to work the night shift now.”

Here’s a local news report:

And for perspective, a map of Florida:

florida map

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T-shirt of the day http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/t-shirt-of-the-day-10/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/t-shirt-of-the-day-10/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:47:06 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95898

This one’s for fans of both Star Wars and Game of Thrones:

hands off my sister

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Monday accordion: Ginny Mac playing “Seduction” and “On the Street Where You Live” http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/monday-accordion-ginny-mac-playing-seduction-and-on-the-street-where-you-live/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/28/monday-accordion-ginny-mac-playing-seduction-and-on-the-street-where-you-live/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:09:50 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95895

ginny mac

This Monday’s featured accordion number is Seduction, as played by Ginny Mac:

Ginny’s from Houston, Texas, and is a former member of the style-blending and -bending group Brave Combo. Since then she’s gone out on her own, releasing four albums, the latest of which, On the Street Where You Live, came out this spring. Here’s the album’s title track, a wonderful cover of a classic tune:

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DOOM floppy disk throw pillows! http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/27/doom-floppy-disk-throw-pillows/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/27/doom-floppy-disk-throw-pillows/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:45:20 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95885

The perfect thing to accessorize the couch where you’ll watch the Transformers Sex Tape:

doom throw pillow

Found via Catsmob.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

These pillows are the creation of artist Maya Pixelskaya, and they’ll soon be available for purchase on her site.

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“Transformers Sex Tape”, or when movie titles collide http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/27/transformers-sex-tape-or-when-movie-titles-collide/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/27/transformers-sex-tape-or-when-movie-titles-collide/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:07:25 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95875

What happens when a movie theatre is showing both the Michael Bay film Transformers: Age of Extinction and the Cameron Diaz/Jason Segel comedy Sex Tape? This:

transformers sex tape

Which led me to wonder: What would a Transformers Sex Tape look like? Maybe like this:

bumper grab

Those of you who read Marvel Comics in the ’80s might remember the relationship in issue #20 of the Transformers comic:

polish my hubcaps

Or this often-misconstrued screengrab from the original animated series:

hound and spike

Kids of the ’80s, I’ve just ruined your childhood:

perfectly routine medical examination

Bonus movie marquees!

Here’s one I posted back in 2007:

…and here’s my post from 2006:

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Smug Republican representative mistakes brown-skinned senior US Government officials for foreigners http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/26/smug-republican-representative-mistakes-brown-skinned-senior-us-government-officials-for-foreigners/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/26/smug-republican-representative-mistakes-brown-skinned-senior-us-government-officials-for-foreigners/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:59:31 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95870

THEY DIDN'T LOOK AMERICAN

Newly-minted Tea Party-backed Florida Republican representative (there’s three warnings already) Curt Clawson turned a fairly dull House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting into a potential bonus scene from Harold and Kumar Go to Guantanamo Bay when he mistook two senior US government officials for foreigners.

“I’m familiar with your country; I love your country,” Clawson said at the hearing, and he was met with what Foreign Policy called “looks of confusion” from Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, are Americans who hold senior positions at the State Department and Commerce Department.

He likely made the rookie mistake of failing to read the meeting briefing, but as Foreign Policy puts it, he also was “apparently confused by their Indian surnames and skin color,” and as the video below shows, he smugly asked them to help India be a good little client state for big daddy ‘Murica:

“Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S.,” he continued, inserting foot deeper into mouth, “I’d like our capital to be welcome there. I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?”

With commendable composure, Biswal replied, “I think your question is to the Indian government. We certainly share your sentiment, and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S..”

Foreign Policy also reported: “During the hearing, he repeatedly touted his deep knowledge of the Indian subcontinent and his favorite Bollywood movies.”

Clawson apologized afterwards, saying “I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize. I’m a quick study, but in this case I shot an air ball.”

Clawson is a newly elected representative for Florida’s 19th Congressional District. He replaced former representative Trey Radel, who took leave after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

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If you want to have a rock and roll funeral, this store’s for you! http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/24/if-you-want-to-have-a-rock-and-roll-funeral-this-stores-for-you/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/24/if-you-want-to-have-a-rock-and-roll-funeral-this-stores-for-you/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:09:41 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95866

assez deces

Found on Twitter via Super Infirmière (French for “Super Nurse”).
Click the photo to see the source.

In French, you pronounce the name of the band AC/DC as “Ah-Say Day-say”, which happens to sound just like the phrase “Assez décès“, which means “Enough death”.

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One step closer to becoming Florida Man http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/23/one-step-closer-to-becoming-florida-man/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/23/one-step-closer-to-becoming-florida-man/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:17:51 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95856

one step closer

A slightly redacted and edited photo of my new driver’s license.
(Florida is America’s identity theft capital, after all.)

I now have a Florida Class E Driver’s License!

It took all of fifteen minutes, from entering the the Tampa – West Country Tax Collector Office, to showing my paperwork and having over 55 bucks and my Ontario driver’s licence, to getting my photo taken, to leaving with my new local credentials. As a licensed Canadian driver, I was took only a quick vision test; no written or practical driver’s test was required.

(If only I’d remembered that you can smile in a Florida driver’s license photo. You can’t do that for Canadian ID, as smiling throws off their facial recognition software.)

If you’re a Canadian citizen who wants to get a Florida driver’s license, the GatherGoGet site will give you all the information you need to get started.

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His bloodlust stirred by killing innocent dinosaurs, Steven Spielberg moves on to hunting down Starfleet’s finest http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/20/his-bloodlust-stirred-by-killing-innocent-dinosaurs-steven-spielberg-moves-on-to-hunting-down-starfleets-finest/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/20/his-bloodlust-stirred-by-killing-innocent-dinosaurs-steven-spielberg-moves-on-to-hunting-down-starfleets-finest/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 13:56:31 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95839

spielberg and triceratops

Click the photo to read more about how it got people angry.

If you thought Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg’s hunting down of extinct species for sport was bad, things have become much worse. Someone notify Captain Kirk!

spielberg and redshirts

Click the photo to see it at full size.
Photo found via “borg drone”.

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Entertainment Weekly shows a picture with four stars, skips the woman’s name in the headline because women are irrelevant http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/19/entertainment-weekly-shows-a-picture-with-four-stars-skips-the-womans-name-in-the-headline-because-women-are-irrelevant/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/19/entertainment-weekly-shows-a-picture-with-four-stars-skips-the-womans-name-in-the-headline-because-women-are-irrelevant/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 14:56:18 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95832

Here’s a screenshot from Entertainment Weekly’s piece on Pixels, a movie that blends 1980s videogame nostalgia with the “men who failed to launch tap into their thwarted potential and become heroes” trope. Note the difference between the headline and the picture:

pixels

Three names in the headline, four people in the picture, and whaddaya know — they skipped the chick’s name. It’s not that she’s an unknown — she’s Michelle Monaghan, who’s been in Mission: Impossible IIIMission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolKiss Kiss Bang BangGone Baby GoneMade of HonorThe Heartbreak KidEagle EyeSource Code, and True Detective.

She’s probably more recognizable than Josh Gad, who’s better known for his stage work (he was Elder Arnold in The Book of Mormon) and best known for his voice work — as Olaf the snowman in Frozen. Adam Sandler’s career of late has seen him in more turkeys than Stove-Top stuffing. Michelle Monaghan rates a mention in the headline, but doesn’t get one because an editor at EW is subconsciously following Peter Griffin’s maxim: Women are not people. They are devices built by our Lord Jesus Christ for our entertainment.”

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Once you’re done with Buzzfeed’s “Songs You Haven’t Thought Of in 20 Years” list, check this one out. http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/18/once-youre-done-with-buzzfeeds-songs-you-havent-thought-of-in-20-years-list-check-this-one-out/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/18/once-youre-done-with-buzzfeeds-songs-you-havent-thought-of-in-20-years-list-check-this-one-out/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:56:20 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95818

clark hall pub

These were all on heavy rotation during the early ’90s, when I had a regular DJ gig at Crazy Go Nuts University’s Clark Hall Pub. When you’re done going through BuzzFeed’s 38 Great Alt-Rock Songs You Haven’t Thought About in 20 Years, go through this list! This one’s a little heavier on the Canadian content.

Soho: Hippychick

I’m actually surprised more songs didn’t use Smiths samples.

Bootsauce: Masterstroke

Montreal-based Bootsauce were wonderful, and yet so underappreciated.

Shamen: Move Any Mountain

Rob Bolton, a.k.a. DJ Ozone, this one’s for you!

Primus: Tommy the Cat

Long before the did the South Park theme, Primus were kicking out some very odd tunes. It’s kind of hard to believe they opened for U2. This one’s for Terry.

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy: Television: Drug of the Nation

Michael Franti would eventually form Spearhead. This one goes out to Colonel Brad!

KMFDM: Godlike

AWWW YISSS. One of my signature DJ tunes at Clark Hall Pub. Somehow, I conned Queen’s engineers into becoming industrial music fans.

KMFDM: Virus

Gotta love KMFDM.

They Might Be Giants: Birdhouse in Your Soul

This one always filled the dance floor.

Right Said Fred: I’m Too Sexy

This song has deep personal meaning for me. Here’s the English version…

…and here’s the version they did in (poorly translated) Spanish:

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien: Mistadobalina

This one’s for Stacy Dillon, who always requested it.

Black Sheep: The Choice is Yours

“Engine, engine number nine, on the New York subway line…”

Smashing Pumpkins: Rhinoceros

This one’s off Gish, a beautiful album from start to finish.

Me Mom and Morgenthaler: Laura

Also from Montreal, and a great (and once again, underappreciated) ska act.

Killing Joke: Millennium

After years on hiatus, Killing Joke came back — and sounding like the bands who cite them as an influence.

Nirvana: On a Plain

It’s not an early 1990s Clark Hall Pub list without a Nirvana song! Here’s one that deserved more play.

Spirit of the West: Home for a Rest

Often the last song of the night, this one got everyone going.

Ministry: Jesus Built My Hotrod

This isn’t a dance floor. It’s a mosh pit! This one’s the “Redline/Whiteline” version, a.k.a. The One True Version of this song.

Prong: Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck

I still play this every now and again. It’s good “get chores done” music.

The Pixies: U-Mass

Our band, Volume, covered this one — and quite nicely, I think.

The Breeders: Cannonball

Kim Deal before her downward spiral.

The Cult: The Witch

Another track that our band, Volume, covered.

House of Pain: Jump Around

We cared about only two of their songs, but what songs they were.

Messiah: Temple of Dreams

This one’s for Anne Yourt, who loved this song.

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin: Kill Your Television

This one’s for George.

Charlatans UK: The Only One I Know

The 1991 track that help kickstart the “Madchester” sound.

Blur: There’s No Other Way and Girls and Boys

And now, some pre-Song 2 Blur.

Ween: Push Th’ Little Daisies

I’ll close with the song that best sums up my academic career.

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35 degrees in Tampa — almost, but close enough. http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/18/35-degrees-in-tampa-almost-but-close-enough/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/18/35-degrees-in-tampa-almost-but-close-enough/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:03:11 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95815

35 degrees in tampa

It won’t quite hit 35 degrees (Celsius; that’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tampa today — the expected high is a mere 32°C/90°F — but that’s no excuse not to post this classic Kids in the Hall sketch titled 35 Degrees in Tampa:

I also think that Bruce McCulloch’s character is wrong and that there’s potential in “Soup in a Bag”.

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Tonight at St. Petersburg’s Venture Compound: The Florida premiere of “Samurai Terror”! http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/17/tonight-at-st-petersburgs-venture-compound-the-florida-premiere-of-samurai-terror/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/17/tonight-at-st-petersburgs-venture-compound-the-florida-premiere-of-samurai-terror/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:31:26 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95810

samurai terror

First, let me say that I’m both surprised and delighted by the existence of a place called “The Venture Compound” here in Accordion Bay (if you’re a Venture Brothers fan, you’re probably delighted too). From what I can tell, it’s equal parts concert venue, art gallery, and gathering place for people from my home planet. I’m going to have to make a trek out there sometime soon.

I can’t make it tonight, but if you’re in striking distance of St. Petersburg, you might want to check out tonight’s event at the Venture Compound: the Florida premiere screening of the so-B-movie-it-hurts film Samurai Terror, complete with a Q&A with its director, G. R. Parker. It’s about a boy, a girl, and a 600-year-old zombie killer samurai:

The Samurai mayhem starts tonight at 9:00 p.m. at The Venture Compound, located at 2621 Fairfield Avenue South in St. Petersburg. Suggested donation for admittance is a mere five bucks.

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Downtown Tampa viewed from a different angle: by quadcopter! http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/17/downtown-tampa-viewed-from-a-different-angle-by-quadcopter/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/17/downtown-tampa-viewed-from-a-different-angle-by-quadcopter/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:32:45 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95805

Night shot of Tampa Museum of Art, taken from the video

Shot from a quadcopter by Tampa-based Ben Bradley of Right Hand Films, this video shows downtown Tampa from angles most of us never see. Featured in the video are Hillsborough River, Curtis Hixon Park, the Tampa Museum of Art, and Rivergate Tower – a.k.a. the Sykes Building and the Beer Can – which looks surprisingly good in the video (it looks like a bureaucratic building from a low-budget sci-fi dystopian movie).

I may have to try my own low-budget version of this sort of filming. I’ve been thinking about using a kite and an old, lightweight videocamera that I wouldn’t mind losing — my 2010-era Microsoft-issued Mino Flip HD might do the trick.

You might also want to look at these excerpts from a promotional video that he shot, which is made up of some lovely shots of Tampa Convention Center and the nearby Embassy Suites building.

Found via Dive In Tampa Bay.

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Archie faced down psycho gunmen 20 years ago, in “Archie Meets The Punisher” http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/16/archie-faced-down-psycho-gunmen-20-years-ago-in-archie-meets-the-punisher/ http://www.joeydevilla.com/2014/07/16/archie-faced-down-psycho-gunmen-20-years-ago-in-archie-meets-the-punisher/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:43:17 +0000 http://www.joeydevilla.com/?p=95766

final life with archie

You’ve probably heard that Archie Andrews, the red-headed teenager who’s had his own comics since the 1940s, is going to be killed off. It’s more accurate to say that the versions of Archie in one of his comic books, Life With Archie, are going to die, while the rest will live on.

archie races to the defense

From 1958 to 1991, Life With Archie was a book that featured longer, more dramatic stories featuring Archie and friends in different scenarios: as a sort of “Scooby Gang” who foiled thieves and ghosts, as secret agents, and even as superheroes. The book was revived in 2010 and focuses solely on a grown-up Archie in two different post-university universes: one in which he married Betty, and another in which he married Veronica. In these comics, things aren’t as light as the Archie comics of yore: everyone is affected by the recession (except Veronica, of course), Archie’s career isn’t going anywhere, and there’s a lot of “am I with the person I’m supposed to be with?” angst. It’s more soap operatic than your typical Archie fare.

In both universes, Archie will die while trying to stop a stalker from shooting Kevin Keller, a relatively recently-added character who’s a senator and openly gay. Archie may not have dress sense (he’s an adult now, and he’s wearing high-top sneakers with a suit), but he more than makes up for it by trying to do the right thing, even if it costs him his life.

archie takes the bullet

This is pretty dark stuff for Archie comics, but it’s not the first time that Archie’s been in the line of fire. For that, you have to go back about 20 years to August 1994, when Archie Comics and Marvel Comics took a joke suggestion and made it real with the release of one of the most unlikely cross-publishing crossovers in comics: Archie Meets the Punisher (as released by Archie Comics), a.k.a. The Punisher Meets Archie (as released by Marvel):

archie punisher covers

Click on the image to see the covers at full size.

You can be forgiven if you haven’t heard of The Punisher:

amazing spider-man 129

Introduced in 1974 in The Amazing Spider-Man #129, the Punisher is Frank Castle (born Castiglione), a vigilante who’s driven by the death of his family in a mob shootout to wage a one-man war on organized crime. He was after Spider-Man, who’d been framed for the murder of Norman Osborn, his friend Harry Osborn’s father. Unlike most characters in books approved by the Comics Code Authority, the Punisher was a vicious, remorseless killer had no qualms about threats, brutality, coercion or torture. He’d later realize that Spider-Man was innocent, and would go on to team up with characters like Captain America and Daredevil, as a sort of dark foil. Given the amount of attention that Marvel’s more obscure characters have been getting on movie and TV screens — Sif in the Thor movies and Agents of SHIELD, Thanos at the end of the Avengers movie, Bolivar Trask, Blink, and Spyke in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and all of the Guardians of the Galaxy — you’d think that the Punisher, a guy without powers but a helluva lot of guns, would find a place in the present-day Marvel Cinematic Universe (he’s been featured in movies that are better forgotten).

As one of the early brooding anti-heroes in comics, and thanks to the success of 1980s  “grim and gritty” comic series like the 1982 Wolverine series and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the Punisher became a hot comic in the hyperviolent, Wolverine/Batman-wannabe comics of the 1990s. So an Archie cross-over was inevitable!

Archie Meets the Punisher/The Punisher Meets Archie opens with “Red”, a notorious drug dealer with more than a passing resemblance to Archie (you know where this is going already, don’t you?), looking for a place to lay low. Where better than the Archie comics setting of Riverdale, the last, nicest small town in America?

archie meets the punisher 01

When he arrives in Riverdale, Red gets chummy with the richest man in town, who just happens to be Veronica’s dad, Mr. Lodge. Lodge introduces Red to his daughter, who’s taken aback by his resemblance to her sort-of-boyfriend:

archie meets the punisher 02

Earlier, Archie had screwed up a date with Veronica. She sees an opportunity to make him jealous and invites Red as her date to the school dance. The comic and everyone in it decide to ignore the age difference between the two.

Meanwhile, the Punisher and his hacker/technician sidekick, Microchip (I know, I know…), have followed Red to Riverdale. Normally, the Punisher would simply kill Red, but the feds have cut a deal with him: he’s to capture Red alive, as he’s got valuable information about the drug trade on the entire east coast. They walk about town looking for clues of his whereabouts, noting how different Riverdale is from their usual grim and gritty surroundings:

archie meets the punisher 03

Jughead and Archie are at Pop Tate’s Chok’lit Shoppe, where Archie is drowning his sorrows (in milkshakes, of course) over not going to the dance with either Betty or Veronica. Men claiming to be federal agents step into the shop — they’re really after Red, presumably to make sure that he doesn’t squeal. They hustle Archie and Jughead into their car…

archie meets the punisher 04

A high-speed chase and shootout ensues, with Archie and Jughead diving out of the car before it crashes. The Punisher, thinking he’s got his quarry, takes a closer look and realizes that he hasn’t captured Red, just some high school kid who looks a lot like him. At this point, we’re given this panel, which summarizes the entire comic:

archie meets the punisher 05

There’s another shootout between the Punisher and the fake g-men, and Archie and Jughead use this opportunity to escape and make their way to the dance. Punisher discovers that the fake g-men were on their way to the dance to kill Red, so he too heads there.

We jump to the dance, where we find Red, Archie, and hit men dressed up as caterers. Enter the Punisher, and along with him, the expected mayhem. That’s not enough to stop Riverdale’s resident nerd, Dilton Doiley, from providing a scientific observation:

archie meets the punisher 06

Red kidnaps Veronica and escapes in the fracas, and Archie and the Punisher properly meet:

archie meets the punisher 07

When two titular characters get together like this in the comics, it means only one thing: team-up! Our heroes set up a base of operations in Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe. Seeing that the Punisher has a war journal, Archie decides to start one too:

archie meets the punisher 08

Putting their minds together, the Punisher duo and the Archie gang figure out where Red is holding Veronica. The Punisher also receives some interesting information…

archie meets the punisher 09

…and he reveals it when they confront Red: one of the gunmen at the dance has the same information that Red does. The Punisher no longer has to bring in Red alive!

archie meets the punisher 10

If this were a Punisher comic, dealing with Red would be a simple matter of shooting him many, many, many times. Since this is an Archie comic, it’s Archie who bumbles and saves the day, bumping into Red and causing him to be lashed to a large hot air balloon:

archie meets the punisher 11

With justice served, the Punisher duo and Riverdale gang say their goodbyes, and we’re left with the possibility of another Marvel/Archie crossover:

archie meets the punisher 12

You can see a more complete version of Archie Meets The Punisher/The Punisher Meets Archie on Scans Daily.

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