Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Sinsters at Rest

Monster of the Day: Candlejack

Source:  Freekazoid
Location:  the night
Threat Assessment:  4.  Typical bogeyman.  He has a lot of mystical power but is thwarted by simply never saying his name out loud.  Of course people telling the story of candlejack often say his name out loud and oh oh...
Limitation: see above


Today's Secret Code:

"Today's secret code is on page 13 first sentence back to front of the first book you pick up after reading this."  Again:  "Today's secret code is on page 13 first sentence back to front of the first book you pick up after reading this."  Today's Colour is somewhere on your underclothes.  Today's Author apologizes for the CONSPIRACY'S interest in you.  That is all, maho maho.  Be Seeing You.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Angel of Death Calls the Arbor Spirit Home

Over the next months
trees will die
and the animals will sadly move on
the guardian is gone
and the forest will soon be only memory

Watch the Cthulhu Channel and You'll Never Watch Anything Else


Terra Nova

I was on the fence about watching Terra Nova. On the one hand Speilberg still has a bit of talent, a lot of money, and seems to be able to delegate well. All qualities missing currently in his pal George Lucas. Unfortunately, Speilberg's television stats are only so so. "Amazing Stories," for example looked wonderful and had great talent. But ultimately it was a snorefest that only lasted as long as it did because of Speilberg bucks fueling it. So what would Terra Nova be? Well I decided to give it a look.

Ok, in the future it's bad. Wearing masks to breath and never seeing the sky bad. We are over crowded and over polluted and a bit on edge. Our heroes is just your standard ordinary Speilberg family, which makes the criminals here in the future. They had one too many kids and to stop the cops from finding the plus one baby, Daddy punches the cops and winds up in the future prison. Luckily, mom is a really good doctor so she and her family not in jail get a ticket to terra nova. Daddy breaks the law again by breaking out of jail hitting cops again and running with his kids into the past. Obviously, this bridge has been burned toasty like.

A brief aside. One thing we learn at this point is that we didn't open up this portal to the past. We found it, explored it, and are now exploiting it. This works with me cause it solved one of the major stupidies of the idea as shown in commercials. If I could make a time hole and I wanted to save situation, then I wouldn't risk paradox and inside go the other. Say the half life of all our pollution is ten million years, I just set the time gate for twenty million years into the future. I could even create bunkers filled with needed supplies just waiting for the future colonists.

Anyway, now we are in terra nova. It's sort of a cross between bed rock and the costa rican village in "Off the Map." Folks are having a little problems with too much oxygen at first and everyone is dealing with this thing called sunlight. Our new colonists are given a pep talk by the fearless leader of this brave new world who looks tough enough to eat dinos raw. He takes Daddy aside reads him the riot act for being an escape convict then says he really doesn't care and puts him on garden duty.

The family settles into their new house, and less comfy back as a family. Oldest son is in teen snit that Daddy had to go all criminal. The plus one baby never really knew Daddy so they are trying to get close. Mom is trying to keep peace and oldest daughter probably wishes she was somewhere else. Luckily, seeing some dinosaurs just outside stops the domestic squabblings and everyone goes all Speilberg gooey.

Next day, well things happen. Mom goes to work and discovers the leeches here are as big as footballs. The kids go to a lecture and we are spoonfed more info. The big thing is there can't be any paradox here because they didn't actually go back into THEIR past but the past of some other universe. Daddy enjoys physical labor, and the son decides to take off with new pretty girl. New pretty girl leads him far astray as they go on the other side of the big fences which is a no no.

Meanwhile, rebels make trouble. Doctor mom treats one and is briefly held hostage and Daddy takes one out. He asks, "what the hell?" And we are given a walk and a lecture by fearless leader. See the worm in paradise are the the sixers, called that since they came in the sixth wave. They smuggled in weapons and went off the reservation and now cause trouble. They cause so much trouble the Fearless leader hasn't told the people in the future about them since he doesn't know who to trust.

Now comes a confusing bit. There are sixers in tanks attacking, oh wait now they are running from big dinosaurs. Fearless and Daddy decide to go help and it's a dinosaur hoedown till both sides are inside the fence. There the sixers boldly offer to make some trades including the idiot they had captured earlier. For some reason Fearless doesn't laugh on their face and makes the trades minus ammo. There's obviously more here than meets the eye.

Oh, back to the teens. They find odd scratches in rocks that look like math. They ignore it cause they are teens. They concentrate on their homemade still. Hooray for the teenage spirit! They party, then panic when they realize they don't have a working vehicle and are now dinosaur fuel. Daddy who's been upgraded back to Daddy Cop and Fearless leader come and save the day that night. Everyone gets back together. There are some cryptic passages that will no doubt be future stories and everyone looks at the moon, cause she's beautiful.

The pilot was ok. I do like some of the characters and there is a potential here. However, my turkey sense is clucking. The potential for this show going to suckville is high. It's high minded green mentality plus characters that are just barely more than Speilberg cyphers have the mispotential of creating stories that will just be overbearing morality plays. Dinosaurs will not save the show if it goes down that road. We'll just have to watch and see.

Monster of the Day: Baoh

Source:  Baoh
Location:  Somewhere in Japan
Threat Assessment:  7.  Baoh is a symbiotic creature that linked up with a typical japanese teen.  The result is a continually evolving creature that is incredibly dangerous.  Despite being sort of like the Hulk in that he only really attacks those that attack him, he has the potential to wipe out whole cities if annoyed.  Besides strength, speed, claws, he can shoot his hair like quills and electricity.
Limitations:  If Baoh takes too much damage it will go comatose as it heals.  It also has a psychic link with a little girl and will do anything to protect her.

Note video clip is not safe for the workplace due to animated violence

Today's Secret Code

"A legion of leaping lions lividly lunge for languorous lemon coloured lemurs."  Again:  "A legion of leaping lions lividly lunge for languorous lemons coloured lemurs."  Today's Colour should be lemon coloured, but it is not.  Today's Author thrust his fists against the posts and still insists it hurts.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Mundt

Mundts are faye that represents all the forest's predators
Oddly they will not kill
as that belongs to their charges
but they can make it very easy
for a man to get eaten by foxes

Doom Bunnies Want You

Last Night's Breaking Bad

This season has done a good job in alienating the audience from Walter White. Basically, he's been running around being an insane, selfish, jerk hole for so long now that most audience members have transferred their loyalty to either Jesse or even Walt's wife Skyler (whom was once the most hated character in the series). That started to change last episode where a vulnerable Walt confessed an apology to his son. This week, Walt broke my heart I finished the show feeling just emotionally roughed up.

But I am ahead of myself.

Most of the show was following up on the running plot points of late. It was good but not outstanding up that point. Skyler was still trying to get Ted to pay off the IRS, but now he has a sudden case of the conscience. Skyler's solution was definitely out of the ordinary but promises to be final. Hank is getting closer to the truth about the Chicken man Gus, so close that Walt had to have create a car accident to slow him down. Worse though, Jesse has nearly totally turned to the Gus side and has agreed to be the new cook for the meth. His only sticking point is that Gus would not kill Walter. This bemused Gus mightily, but he agrees.


Ten minutes to the end of the show, Walt is in the desert. Tied up like a turkey. Gus tells him how it is, Walt is out. Walt is not to bother Jesse ever again, and if Walt was smart he would practice being invisible. Walt for a smart guy is not smart. He crows that the only reason he's still alive is despite everything Jesse won't give him up. Gus just smiles and says "for now." Gus is a man who waited twenty years to revenge on the cartel.  Gus knows it is just a matter of time.  But that doesn't mean Gus can't have fun now, Walt has been the burning thorn in his side for two seasons now.  It's time for some payback.  Gus tells Walt that Gus is going to kill Hank, and if Walt does ANYTHING to interfere then Walt's wife, his son, and infant daughter will die. 

They leave Walt in the desert.

What can Walt do?  He can't let them kill Hank, but he has to protect his family.  He goes to his lawyer and asks for the number of the man who can get them new identities.  Saul gives the number but tells him they will need at least a half a million dollars.  Walt's all, "No problems," and asks Saul to call and tip off the DEA that there's a hit on Hank.  So now Walt's in the crawl space. 

There is not enough money.

He looks up through the hole and there's his wife.  He asks where the money is.  He's hoping she has it, maybe at the car wash getting it nice and clean.  But Skyler tells the truth that she gave it to Ted.  Right then, right there, Walt finally broke and broke bad.  He knows in his heart he has just killed his family and his tears become an insane laughing fit.  Everything that he has done, he has done with them as a reason and now it is over.  Skyler leaves him laughing under the house.

Monster of the Day: Tuco's Cousins

Source:  Breaking Bad
Location;  Maybe already in your bedroom
Threat Assessment:  5.  Granted they are humans and not really technically monsters.  But tell me, if you went into your bed room right now and there two huge men sitting quietly on the bed holding shiny axes how would you react? 
Limitations:  Too much reliance on axes.

Today's Secret Code:

"The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu ask what time is love?"  Again:  "The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu ask what time is love?"  Today's Colour is the third shade of true love.  Today's Author is not justified nor ancient but finds that does not matter to those who love him.  This is all that is all that was all, maho maho.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Asha Djinn

The Asha Djinn
is a being of passion
A creature of burning fire
it is said the Djinn
once was the lover
of the moon
before the moon
turned cold

Bush Goblins

Bush Goblins are a rare cryptid
found in western africa
they look extremely sad
so sad it's said no one can see one and not burst into tears

Decisions decisions


Ok last time Syfy decided to name rape from Lewis Carol's works and now they've decided to pick on H. G. Wells. For God's sake someone buy the Syfy people the Monster Manual II. Still, this isn't too bad by Syfy's standard. Oh sure, they completely got rid of Well's satire of war between the classes, but that's probably for the best. The folks that do Syfy movies probably think a subtext is a very wet book.

So, what we have here is a scientist bloke who used to work for the government. The government and his ex wife want him back. Seems he created a system of time travel that didn't exactly work, but now they perfected it. However, their definition of perfection means that it broke and now there are random holes in time letting in giant people eating monsters who are not called morlocks by the government.

With the fate of humanity at hand the scientist can't say no, so off to the far future. There they find the broken unit, but its in the middle of a nest of ugly bird things. Actually they are more fearsome than the morlocks, but oh well I'll take two monsters for the price of one. There they find somehow the survivors of the first time experiment. Together they try to find and fix the widget and get back to past which is now.

Once back a few twists are put on the plot. First it turns out they weren't thousands of years in the future but a mere sixty three years. Now I don't know what math they are using but it's a doozy since it had to allow for 1) the first experiment to reach sixty two years into the future when they thought they were just going 15 minutes into the future, and 2) the second experiment where they were shooting for 1000 years into the future but somehow only manage to reach sixty three years. That's some odd accounting folks.

Meanwhile, the guy in charge (played by the jerky guy who was the holographic doctor in Star Trek) is using the genetic information to try to save his son dying from cancer. Since it turns out that the Morlocks are mutated humans, and given what we now know about the future, this is some pretty poor decision making in the works. Does no one in fictional universe watch the Planet of the Apes films?

Then of course we get then finale where the time rips start up again and the Morlocks invade the space. The heroes have blow up the time travel device and escape and everyone else is CGI bait. Our heroes end up escaping in the worst CGI animated tank EVAH and all is happy except of course for the coda at the end that shows the Morlock DNA being added to Daddy's son.


Overall, the film isn't completely horrible. The beginning is a drag, and the end a confused tangle of plot points, the middle does work fairly well. The CGI is not completely horrible (except for the tank), and the acting is workmanlike. I think it helps that several in the cast worked in several TV shows. They are used to small budgets and cramped production schedules.

Music I Listen to Before Watching Breaking Bad

Monster of the Day: Nosferatu Vampire

Source:  Vampire the Masquerade
Location:  Generally underground
Threat Assessment:  5.  One of the 13 clans of vampires in the "World of Darkness."  They are ugly by human standards and have mastered the ability to hide themselves mystically and possess even greater strength than most vampires.  Because of their shared problem they are a tighter clan than others and they seem to have some secret agendas involving the underground..
Limitation:  Being inhuman looking, they are generally first to go when the humans get wind of vampires.  Other vampires distrust vampires so good at hiding.  They are all around social pariahs.

Today's Secret Code:

"Today's Code is based on a projection of a simulation of a model of a Dadaistic cypher of a prime imaginary number with the blues."  Again:  "Today's Code is based on a projection of a simulation of a model of a Dadaistic cypher ofa prime imaginary number with the blues."  Today's Colour is a hodge podge.  Today's Author is a member of one lodge.  That is all, maho maho.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

sweet sweet music

Last Night On the Cartoon Network

Sort of a let down from the beginning of their action season of last week.  It was still fun.  The Brave and the Bold started off with one of my favorite minor DC characters, the Creeper.  He's close to being a Batman type but more bouncy and insane.  In the cartoon he comes off almost like "Freakazoid."  The story proper didn't thrill me.  I didn't want to see a Caveman Batman, or Centurion Batman.  I am plainly Batman Batman type of fellow.  I did enjoy Aquaman, I always do.  He takes such unbridled joy in life that it is very contagious.  His happiness over being able to fight Roman soldiers makes me think he had some bucket list somewhere where he actually wrote "Defeat Roman Soldiers," probably underlined.

Young Justice was better but still not as good as last week's episode.  This has a subplot of Martian Girl and Superboy's budding romance shoehorned into supervillain jail break plot.  For my money, you really shouldn't put any romance angle when doing a plot set in prison, but that's just me I suppose.  The good news is they didn't slim down Amanda Waller as they did in the comic books.  She's still a normal woman who can brow beat supervillains on her will alone.  The other nice bit was the interaction between a father and son supervillains. 

Monster of the Day: witchgirl

Source:  Jack and the Witch
Location:  Some weird woods
Threat Assessment:  3.  She's a pro and armed with grappling line. 
Limitation:  She does the head witch's will, but ultimately has a good heart.

Personal note:  Just a crazy strange cartoon from the sixties.

Today's Secret Code:

'Werewolves don't look like werewolves until they do."  Again:  "Werewolves don't look like werewolves until they do."  Today's Colour can be smelled by werewolves.  Today's Author realizes that if he is a vegetarian the worst thing a werewolf can be is a humanitarian.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Epison's Sector Droids

At the Epison's Sector store
one can find many models of droids
both combat and domestic
or even combat effective domestics
if that's your cup of neuro chips

The Hzuhzu

The Hzuhzu is a relative of the tribble
they don't quite give off the cute vibe of their cousins
but their trilling does tend to put sentients to sleep's easier to feed that way

The Perfect Host

Some films play like plays. They are very character driven, practically claustrophobic affairs. They are often a test of wills between two characters. As good as they are as films, I can just as easily imagine such a film as some off broadway play. These are the films that truly belong to the actors.

"The Perfect Host," is a good example of such a film. Here we have Clayne Crawford playing a robber. He sort of reminds me of a young Ray liotta except without the bouts of overacting. Anyway, he's just made a major robbery but he's been wounded and he's being pursued. So he needs to go to ground fast. A brief look at some mail gives him enough information that he bluffs his way into nerdy Warwick's house.

Warwick, played by David Hyde Pierce to perfection, says he's planning a dinner but invites his new guest to stay anyway. Now the game of cat and mouse begins and like the very best games the mouse thinks he's the cat at first. It's not a big twist that Warwick is not what he first seems, the twists come in just how big a nut he really is. Now the robber wishes he gave himself to police and there's a countdown that something very bad is going to happen to come morning.

To say anything more would be a crime. This is a good thriller with lots of snap. It's almost as if David Hyde Pierce was too influenced by his middle name. Definitely worth a watch if you want something with more brains than a Transformers blow me up.

Little Big Soldier

I loved Jackie Chan before I even saw Jackie Chan. I read about his career first and saw a documentary about him before I saw any of his films. I was impressed by incredibly insane stunt work. When I finally got to see his original Hong Kong films like Project A I was not disappointed. I also saw he had a flair for physical comedy not seen since the days of the great silent film stars. For many years his films just got better and better and one became used to seeing Jackie one up himself.

Then he got old.

Actually I wish I could blame Chris Tucker, but even he isn't totally to blame for the fall off in the quality of the work of Jackie Chan. To be honest, Jackie reached that awkward point where he was still trying to cash checks his body could no longer write. Add to that a real push to be an american star so that he wasn't being careful in what projects he was signing up with, and you have a recipe for disaster. Honestly, the words "A new Jackie Chan film," just became too painful to me. I considered just striking him off my list of things to watch and just celebrate his golden age.

Then I saw "Little Big Soldier."

Now, this isn't like the "Gone of the Wind" of Fu films, but it's a good solid film that tells a story that is amusing. Here Jackie is fine comic form. He's a professional soldier, but only so much as he shows up on the field. THere he plays dead and loots around after the battle. This time he looks into an enemy general wounded but alive. He takes the general cross country hoping to present him for a rich reward. Of course the course of true greed never runs true. There are others who want the general and various pitfalls along the mountain pathways.

This is a lovely film, something you don't often say about a Jackie Chan film. It has wonderful color. Jackie as I said is really acting well and his co stars are a fine match. The fighting is good but not overwhelming and film is well paced. Definitely worth a watch and I hope this puts Jackie back in the groove.

Monster of the Day: Gorgo

Source:  Gorgo
Location:  Off the coast of Great Britain
Threat Assessment:  6.  Gorgo is giant aquatic monster.  capable of great feats of destruction with claws and teeth.  It should be noted that Gorgo is a BABY.  The Mother is much bigger.
Limitation:  animal intelligent.

Today's Secret Code:

"Sow when you can, reap when you are able, eat with joy and drink till under the table."  Again:  "Sow when you can, reap when you are able, eat with joy and drink till under the table."  Today's Colour is the color of wheat said the Fox.  Today's Author is among the stars says the Snake.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lorri Locks

The daughter of esoterrorist singers Bobbi and Sisily Tang
Lorri Locks is one of the few who has tried to keep the music alive
where others think it should be buried.
It hasn't been easy. 
She's lost five lovers
and her voice 15 times.
and her cats always come back fixed
whether she wanted them to be or not

Asp Ram

Much of the monsterous in nature
can be taken for omens
the asp ram
is considered by the tribesmen
of durdur
to be an omen of dark victory

"I have your new eyes, Sir."

True Legend

Cards on the table. I loved this film. It is one of the best martial arts movies I've seen in a long time. It follows the conventions of the genre but there are some curves that will keep you thinking long after the credits.

It's the story of Begger Su, a master of Wushu. Now the story is split basically in two and each half is stylistically different. The first half is very early Shaw Brothers in style while the second is more like recent martial art films like "Assassins and Bodyguards." That the film can have such a schizoid feel and yet hold together is in itself amazing.

In the first half Su is a general. He's a brilliant fighter and leader of man and we meet him as he goes off to save a captured prince. The sets automatically give the reality level to that of about an Indiana Jones film. This first action sequence shows that the martial art is a mix of martial arts, CGI, and wire fu. The sequence is fairly seamless and more importantly the lines of action are always clear. This isn't MTV chop sockey.

After saving the Prince he's offered a high place in government. Su though is humble, and also worried that his foster brother will take offense. He gives his sword to his friend, and then tries to mollify his brother as best he can, and then goes off to have a family. The brother though is having none of it. See, Su's dad killed his dad and then took the boy in to raise as his own, but it never really took. So five years later the brother comes for revenge. Oh, and boy is he a badass. First he took armor and SEWED IT TO HIS CHEST. Then he learned his dead father's technique of the Fist of the Five Deadly Venoms, which basically makes you look like a dead thing but gives you the power to poison others. The Brother kills Su's dad and takes his family. At an incredible fight by a roaring river Su's arm is hurt and he's hurled into the river. The Brother take's Su's son.

Su's wife finds Su and they go to a remote mountain. Su knows he most regain his strength in more to free his son so he practices, practices, and practices. But he keeps getting distracted by a pair of running nuts. Finally one day, he catches up to them. The Old Sage and the God of Wushu. The Old Sage says he'll teach Su all he knows, he just has to beat the God of Wushu. Su gladly takes the challenge and has his head beaten in. When he's healed he goes back again. Practically everyday they fight and he loses. But he is growing strong. His wife is happy, the doctor who treated him is not. She's worried about his mental health. The wife says, he's just stressed cause he's fighting the God of Wushu every day. The doctor reminds her, that they are the only ones on the mountain.

So the wife follows one day and finds out there is no God of Wushu. Her Husband is running around in circles hitting his own head with rocks or head first into the trees. He is clearly barking mad crazy. This is a real game changer. I've seen blind martial artist and drunk ones, but nutty ones is something new. The interesting thing, is that he does seem to have learned new techniques. Is this a commentary on the creative process?

Anyway, it sets the stage for the coming tragedy. The wife not trusting her husband anymore goes herself to get her son. He comes after them of course and beats seven kinds of crap into the creepy brother which is impressive since i've only known five kinds of crap before. Unfortunately, the wife pays with her life. This doesn't help Su's mental health.

So now we are in the second story. Our hero, once a general, is now a bum. His kid is the starving son of a bum. An aside: Su's parenting skills suck wind. It's amazing the kid still has blind hero worship for him. Turns out Su is still seeing things and is in the middle of creating drunking boxing. His old friend sees him and tries to help him, but Su is too far gone really. But Su decides to help his friend because evil white imperialist powers are using martial arts to trample on the chinese. Led by the not yet dead David Carradine, they have a huge slab of meat that's breaking the backs of every chinese fighter that enters the ring. Will Su get his drunk butt together enough to fight for Chinese honor?

Of course he will. This section was interesting but not nearly as fun as the first half. But I do like how the more realistic feel works with the down and out and nutty Su. Whereas the first half feels truly legendary, the second has the "true" part. I can believe a homeless guy who somehow is channeling how to become the best martial artist. The film ends with a happy note. Our hero has cleaned up and travels the land with his son, but we can see that he's still seeing things that are not there. Certainly, makes you wonder what adventures he'd have afterwards.


Gunless is the type of western that appears mostly now on the Hallmark channel. This isn't a knock against either, it just is a best description. Gunless is a low budget, whimsical, light romance down up in spurs with horses. I found it to be charming.

The story begins with the Montana Kid blowing into town. It wasn't exactly a planned thing since he arrives with a noose around his neck and a bullets in his butt. He is not in a good mood. This lack of good mood gets worse as he tries to deal with the fact that he's both in Canada and in a back episode of "Northern Exposure." That is the town is full of eccentric types that take him in in stride where he is more used to fear and gun fire. There isn't even a revolver in town except for the kid's. Clearly he needs to learn to adjust and luckily there's a lovely young lady that helps tame (and wash) the savage barbarian from America.

All in all, it's a fun film. It doesn't have any large aspirations but that's not needed.  I know a lot of folks are burnt out on oaters and that's a shame.  They are the acme of American film and they deserve a revival. Definitely worth a watch.

Monster of the Day: Big Gassy Aliens AKA the Slitheens

Source:  Dr. Who
Location:  Home Planet, Earth
Threat Assessment:  6.  Almost caused a nuclear war, they themselves can disguise themselves as humans.  They are naturally huge with big claws.  They also have high technology.
Liimitations;  Low impulse control, they have zippers on their human costumes, and they are gassy.

Today's Secret Code:

"You should live every day like it will be your last, and someday you'll be right."  Again:  "You should live every day like it will be your last, and someday you'll be right."  Today's Colour is moose....  Today's Author is ...Indian.  With apologies to Thoreau, that is all maho maho.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Shadow of Emily Brillman

Most shadows are cynical and uncaring
a few though form true attachments
the shadow of Emily Brillman
secretly loves her
and has often left gifts by her bed
for when she wakes
and woe to anyone
who dares threaten Emily
for that shadow will cast darkly for all

Emmanations of Musk Spectres

Monster of the Day: Lurch

Source:  Addams Family
Location:  Puttering around the house
Threat Assessment:  2.  Fantastically strong and probably undead.  He is no doubt only restrained by the Addams good manners.  It should be noted he is a "man" of many skills.
Limitations:  A servile personality and not much of a talker.

Today's Secret Code:

"If you are going to fight in hell, may the Devil be your commander."  Again:  "If you are going to fight in hell, may the Devil be your commander."  Today's Colour may be tattered but wave still.  Today's Author has found he perfers the company of those looking for the truth than those that have found it.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Frilled Guard Dog

the Frilled Guard Dog is only found on the compound of the royal family of Pernia
Known in Perniam as Fa Ma Grwi Mi Fan
the Frilled Guard Dog is as much a part of their myths
as the dead heroes that look down from stone representations

The "Lady" in Tent Go Doesn't Know If She's Coming Or Going And Speaks in Butterflies and Curses with Termites

Star Trek the cartoon

I don't know of anyone who is a fan of Filmation, the company that brought Star Trek to Saturday morning. The reason is that it was guilty of the very worst crimes of cheap animation. Repetition of animation, bad drawings and designs, and just a sordid cheapness.  The only reason there is anything good to say of Filmation is that would occasionally  luck into a property developed by someone else.  Such was the case in Star Trek.  Basically Gene Rodenberry, a lot of his crew and most of the original actors came on board for about a season and a half of cartoons based on the TV show.

Now let's not get crazy with praise here.  Every bad thing I've said about Filmation occurs here in spades.  It's the type of cartoons that will have shots of the characters backs so as to not to have to animate lips.  Still there are some very nice things here.  First, being animation they were freed from limited budget of television production to some extent.  They couldn't animate lips but they could draw incredible spaceships and aliens that at that time really couldn't be done for weekly television.  I wish that the later series could draw off some of these designs now that they could be realized.  It would be fun to see a race of three armed three legged dog creatures working for the federation.

More importantly, D. C. Fontana got some decent writers to get some stories down.  Some worked for the show before, some where old hands with science fiction from magazines like Larry Niven.  The Larry Niven episode was a lot of fun since he brought his own alien race, the Knitzes, to play with Kirk and the boys.  The writing is definitely up a notch for Saturday morning and it helps a lot.  There's a good mix of new stories, and revisiting some old friends.  There's a good tribble follow up for example, and everyone remembers the one with Spock as a kid.  Some might complain that there is a bit too many cliches here, but hey I was six when I first saw these, I had no idea what a cliche was.  I like to think of it as a grand tarot of the major elements of science fiction.

Definitely worth a watch, and you might find some surprises.  I forgot for example, that one episode clearly had a holodeck on the old Enterprise way before it caused trouble for Picard and his gang.

The New Puppeteer

One of my favorite classic marvel villains was the Puppeteer. First off, he had the brass balls to go against the Fantastic Four on his lonesome. Secondly, he was freaky looking and hardly some 90's era steroidal freak. Thirdly, despite being a villain there was still an air of innocence about him, maybe because he got his powers mainly from playing with toys. Finally, there was the soap opera value that his daughter had a thing for Ben Grimm aka the ever lovin' blue eyed Thing! All made for good stories, and it just makes me want to have my own version of the Puppeteer.

In my version, I would have him be black and hailing from South Africa. He suffers from AIDs and that explains his scrawny, and haggard look. With no money and nothing to lose he turns to crime. He looks out and manages to steal from a convoy that was returning from a recent UFO landing. That's where he got the empathy gloves. The empathy glove can form a psychic link between him and another person either by direct contact or by holding on to something that the target had touched. The more the target cared about the object the stronger the hold. So if the puppeteer, for example, grabbed a stryofoam cup the target had just used he can get the target to move but in a clearly "I'm being controlled" jerky way. If it was, on the other hand, the necklace she has had since she was nine the control can run so deep as to be true possession. With two gloves, he can control two victims but that would weaken his level of control on both greatly.

Armed with the gloves he has become an international villain. It takes some planning to find the perfect talisman to use, but if he has the right key he has no problems emptying out the target's bank accounts and safe and leaving them with no memory about how it happened.

Still, he is still dying from AIDs. His one real wish is to find his kids. His wife left him years ago and he has not found them yet. When he does he hopes to give them everything they want.

Monster of the Day: Morbo

Source:  Futurama
Location:  TV
Threat Assessment:  1.  Morbo is all bite.  Scary looking, but more concerned with ratings.
Limitations:  worries about them getting his good side.

Today's Secret Code:

"God loves you, but don't get cocky about it bucko."  Again:  "God loves you, but don't get cocky about it bucko."  Today's Colour is reflected in the brass horns of the angels.  Today's Author is looking for a cryptic codex of clues.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Growllywags

The Growllywags come out at night
the Growllywags come out at night

The Order Rises

The Order
of Five Keys
Has been unlocked
the keepers
and births
are free
the dreams writ
in the codex cryptotheonocus
are being dreamed

Opening the Blood Gate


A show like "Breaking Bad," must be hell to write for just because there is the pressure to top yourself. Last week Gus, the chicken man and kingpin of drugs, walked calmly (terminator style as Jesse said) into a sniper's fire. That's pretty bad ass, so how do you top that? Well how about taking out an entire vila of mexican gangsters with a bottle of tequila? If Gus gets any more bad ass he's going to end up telling the President of the United States to "Kneel before me," ala Zod in Superman II.

Meanwhile, Walter is falling apart. His son finds him a mess of wounds, alcohol and pain killers. Walter is barely conscious and doesn't even know he referred to his son as "Jesse." Next day, he shares with his son a sad memory about his own father that explains a lot of Walter's actions. One wonders if this is one of the quieter turning points of the series. It seems that Walt is coming back to idea that he's a father, can he life with that responsibility?

His wife Skyler, is finding out there's no easy way out. Last week she saved her ex boss, ex lover, and ex partner in crime from an IRS criminal investigation. Now though her attempt to finish things off go very badly. Just giving Ted the money, ala her lawyer and mythical dead aunt, didn't quite work. He bought a car instead. Her little trip to give a little pointed advice worked as well as you might think. So in frustration she lets the cat out of the bag that the money came from her. Now what do you think a scum like Ted is going to do with THAT information?

This show might have gotten something of an Emmy snub this year, but it is one of the best hours of drama ever and it's hard to believe this season is going to wrap up in a couple of more episodes. I know I'll be at the edge of my seat!

Monster of the Day: Randall

Source:  Ugly Americans
Location:  New York City
Threat Assessment:  2.  Really he's a slacker that would have sex with anything vaguely female.  He's also a zombie with a thing about brains.  He mostly controls his urges.  Mostly.
Limitations:  Incredibly unselfconsciously selfish.

Today's Secret Code

"Avoid troll bridges and droll ridges."  Again:  "Avoid troll bridges and droll ridges."  Today's Colour  was not considered by Homeland Defense.  Today's Author is ever watchful except when goofing off and on.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Strange Angel Trisk

Some of the Strange Angels
are more whimsical than others
Trisk dresses well
and always makes sure his flowers are fresh
and fragrant
Trisk watches over
those poor souls
lost in dreams

Sister Ra

She was once a meek nun
then violated by crime
and possessed by Ra
Now she fights crime
with her Revolvers of Apep

A Cross Section of the Positronic Neuron Now Made by Bimpco

Today's Secret Code:

"Futurus Meus est in Visceris."  Again:  "Futurus Meus est in Visceris."  Today's Colour is bloody wonderful.  Today's Author seeks good omens.  That is all, maho moo maho moo.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Aclorite

Aclorites are bold party people
festive and happy

Unveilling What is Beneath the Shimmering Skin

Cartoon Network Does Great

Friday was the premier of the new season of action shows from the Cartoon Network and it was pretty awesome. A special note to "The Brave and the Bold," which is some of the most crazed fun on TV today. The intro had Wonder Woman and somehow they scored the seventies "Wonder Woman" theme and it was just magic. The main story involved the Green Lantern and it put the damn movie to shame. They even managed to make the Lantern's villains (some of the lamest in comic book history) cool. Before now, for example, the Tattoo Man was a joke. Watch the eagle tattoo come to life... ooo scary. But they redesigned the tattoo with a more tribal flair and it worked. Really, why the live action folk aren't taking notes from these guys I'll never know.

Also, I have to say that Young Justice just continues to grow on me. They are keeping a good eye on character relationships without going all soap opera which is a nice change of pace. The villains are very well realized. Cheshire is fast growing on me with her smug competence. The Sportsmaster was another walking DC joke that the Young Justice people have managed to make into a legit badass. Not bad at all.

Bravo Cartoon Network..Bravo..

Monster of the Day: Sand Worms

Source:  Dune
Location:  Dune
Threat Assessment:  8.  Ecologically speaking they already took over the entire world of Dune.  They are the ultimate alpha predator.  Gigantic in size that would make Godzilla rub his eyes in disbelief.  Oh, and the are the instrument that creates the spice on which a galactic empire depends on.
Limitation:  About as smart as a worm gets.

Today's Secret Code:

"To paraphrase from Dune, I am the Inquisitor's Hatrack."  Again:  "To paraphrase from Dune, I am the Inquisitor's Hatrack."  Today's Colour is sandy.  Today's Author is making sure dat spice be flowin'.  That is all to all guild members, maho maho. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Deliruim Trolls

A Deliruim Troll can distort reality
They are hard to attack with ranged weapons
and hard to take nasally up close
they are best dealt with hand grenades
and motion sickness medication

Crab Town by Carlton Mellick III

Why is it called "Crab Town?" Some folks say its because of some obscure government plan to allow homeless people to live in ruined buildings for "free." Some say its because of the radioactive black sewer crabs that infest the area. Others say its because of the street gang the King Crabs that once ruled the streets. Of course, it might be because there is still one nuclear crab bomb in the middle of town still unexploded. What ever the reason the point is crab town is not a nice place to live in.

The novel "Crab Town" is about people driven to the edges. Crab town is a death sentence. Folks are dying of radiation sickness and poverty. In that environment folks will do anything. In this case they rob a bank, badly. It becomes something of "Dog Day Afternoon," mixed with Monty Python and "1984."

How bad is this future? It's so bad folks will sell ALL their organs, have their brains turned into a gas and pumped into a balloon. But then they find out they aren't told that they are going to be charged each month for "gravity shoes." Why? Obviously if you can turn brains into a gas you don't really have to use a balloon. The only reason to do so is because first it is the cheapest thing, and second because you get to double hose the poor sod you just sucked all those juicy organs from. It's the type of future where parents can present a bill to their grown children for EVERYTHING.

Hope you enjoyed that birthday cake.

Behind it all, there's a fairly serious point here. All the characters here are being screwed by debt. Given our current political problems, it seems to me a lesson we should keep in mind.

Monster of the Day: The basic "bug" of Starship Troopers

Source:  Starship Troopers
Location:  Many planets
Threat Assessment:  6.  Though an insectoid it is a very alien design.  Best to think of it as a tank.  There are legs and on top a "turrent" with crushing claws and maw.  It is fast and fearless.  In numbers they can swarm over better armed more intelligent human troops.
Limitations:  Not so smart.

Today's Secret Code:

"In the "Matrix" ok, the machines need us as bio-batteries, does that mean we have to have working brains?"  Again:  "In the "Matrix" ok, the machines need us as bio-batteries, does that mean we have to have working brains?"  Today's Colour is monitor green.  Today's Author is following the rabbit.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Father Capry

Father Capry cares about your soul
the Church has great interest in Capry's people
as they do not reach sexual maturity till the age of 300
thus perhaps saving further embarrassments

The JUzu

JUzu are protoinsectoids
of the planet Yet-To-Be-Named
They are friendly enough
but their skin emits a chemical
that stains mammals blue

Captain's Log: Pine

Thing I would love to see: A vampire film where at the end the vampire walks into the coming dawn singing either "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," or the Stone's "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

Videos I would watch if they were made into full films

Monster of the Day: Singing Space Muppet

Source:  Star Wars
Location:  Jabba's retreat
Threat Assessment:  -1.  As a true artist she's obviously a lover and not a fighter.  Probably leaves hickey marks.
Limitation:  Probably a Diva.

Today's Secret Code

"Why didn't Darth Vader sense the force was strong in Princess Leia when he was torturing her?"  Again:  "Why didn't Darth Vader sense the force was strong in Princess Leia when he was torturing her?"  Today's Colour is found in the bottom of a plot hole.  Today's Author shot first.  That is all, may the farce be with you maho maho.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When the Hounds of Tindalos Mate

Tie Bird

Found on the low gravity world of Vultunio
the Tie bird has a wing configuration
like that of certain space fighters

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

"Rotters" could have been retitled as "I was a teenage grave robber," but I suppose that lacks pizazz.  If there is one thing this novel has is pizazz and more.  It's a dark book of adolescent growth and mysteries both of the living and the dead.  I admit I had trouble getting through the first couple chapters cause the teen agnst was warped up to "11" but after a bit the story really caught fire and I became engrossed.

This is the story of Joey Crouch who's just a typical teen until his mom dies.  He's sent to live with his father who has never met and believes was partially responsible for his mother's death.  His father is a hermit that the local town calls "The Garbage Man," though that seems more for how he smells then his real job.  He has no time for his son as he leaves his cabin for mysterious assignments.  Joey, meanwhile, has to deal with a hostile school environment where both teachers and students are against him.  They automatically peg him a loser and give him the new name of "Crotch."

This would get all depressing and all, but luckily Joey finds out that his dad is not just a grave robber but something of the king of all grave robbers.  He then becomes his father's apprentice and learns quite a bit about subjects that most folk wouldn't want to know about.  There's a lot detail in this section and some of it is a bit stomach turning to those weak of heart, but still fascinating.  This section oddly enough reminds me of "Holes," because it's amazing how digging a lot of holes will not just change your physique, but your character as well.  Unfortunately, this disturbing idyllic time couldn't last.  The father's ex partner and now permanent nut ball, Baby, comes back because he wants ... well he wants Joey for one thing.  He also wants revenge and he wants to become famous.  His life's work is now the Rotter's book where he catalogs all his crimes and intends for the world to know every grave he violated.

Baby is an incredible villain who is oddly sympathetic but obviously homicidal.  He drives this part of the novel as he bedevils father and son to the point of nearly driving them mad.  He then becomes Joey's new mentor for a time, at least until he decides that Joey must die.  The end to the novel leads to an incredible climax where father, son, and Baby fight in a cemetery drowning in a hurricane.  I can safely say that by the end I thought this book was just awesome.  It's certainly worth a read if you can handle some of the more grisly details.

Monster of the Day: Baby

Source:  Rotters
Location:  your grave yards and underpassese
Threat Assessment:  4.  Ok, perhaps baby isn't a monster per se, but maybe you change your mind if you saw him coming to you shovel in hand.  A small man with incredible muscles from years of digging.  His body looks like its rotting from within thanks to constant drug use.  He doesn't really feel any pain.  He is completely insane but brilliant. 
Limitation:  Did I say he was insane?  Yes he's crazier than an electrified bed bug.  He's also vain to the point of sewing his top hat to his head so it doesn't come off in a storm. 

Today's Secret Code

"It doesn't matter if the rabbit in the hat believes in magic or not, it's still coming out."  Again:  "It doesn't matter if the rabbit in the hat believes in magic or not, it's still coming out."  Today's Colour is octorine.  Today's Author is either a wiggly wizard, or a woozy wit.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Bush Shogga

The Bush Shogga would speak for the trees
if anyone would listen
but no one does
so he does the listening
his great bushy head

The Lost Cover Art for the Esoterrorist Album "Foul the Band."

Doctor Blues

Doctor Blues
plays it real cool
and on sultry night
he'll play the Apocalypse Rag


WEll the "good" people behind syfy's Saturday "movie" must have ran out of entries in their yellowed copy of the Monster Manual. So now they ploundered Lewis Carol's poem "Jabberwocky." I had a brief hope of maybe some interesting Alice inspired weirdness. Afterall, their miniseries division has made some mileage out of both "Alice in Wonderland" in "Alice," and "The Wizard of Oz," in "Tinman."

Alas, no. The first shot of generic middle ages europe set the dull grime pace of the film. People we don't care about watch the birth of the Jabberwock which is a big ugly flying dragon thing. Besidesy eating people it threatens to reduces the area to lifeless waste. Sort of like the writing rooms in the Syfy office. Anyway the wayward son of the local Blacksmith must make the weapons and traps to stop the beast, save the fair maid, and redeem himself in his father's eyes.

You know boring this film was? It was so boring the most interesting thing that struck me was that the swords were actually the swords used by the Roman Legion not swords of the Middle Ages. Yeah, when that becomes the most interesting thing the writers have failed utterly. As for the creature, oh good grief. I expect bad CGI now from Syfy, but the design itself was just horrid. It looked like a rubber bat on a stick with an Alfred E. Neuman smile. The only bad movie camp hillarity came from them treating the poem as "the prophecy," even reciting it as one would recite the Psalms. That was probably the best acting in the whole shebang that the actors didn't bust up laughing.

Monster of the Week: Weirdbeard

Source::  A comic I saw as a child
Location:  The North West Woods
Threat Assessment:  4.  A logger lets his beard grow long and begins to act weirder and weirder.  Even feeding his beard by like sprinkling sugar in it.  One night the logger loses it and kills all the other logger as he makes strange noises.  The only survivor tries to run away only to discover the truth.  Some weird monster growth hides under Weird Beard's beard. 
Limitation:  Animal intelligence.

Today's Secret Code

"If there is going to be change, you might as well put a little in your pocket."  Again:  "If there is going to be change, you might as well put a little in your pocket."  Today's Colour is a vibrant verdant blur.  Today's Author is regally resplendent in furs.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Cybans are a religious order
that records every nanosecond of their lives
into their Books of Life

Don't Do Eternity

is the latest in designer meta drugs
One hits create a near infinite space of subjective time
from our perspective a hit lasts only seconds
but it is an eternity
on t heir souls

The Radio Avenger

One thing I love about comic books is how they ride fads and the next new thing. A listing, for example, of heroes and villains based on the disco age would be mortifying in a funny way. The amazing thing isn't that there were one hundred dancing fools in tights, but rather that one actually had the legs to survive her own creation. The Dazzler is still shining a disco inspired light in the marvel universe.

During the golden age the same thing happened. For example, there were several heroes and villains that made use of radio as either a theme or weapon. In that light I give you the Radio Avenger.

The Radio Avenger was once just Johnny Block, a young man at the wrong place at the wrong time. He witnesses a crime committed by organized crime. To silence him they grab him and pour acid down his throat and drop him off in the woods. Luckily it was near enough to the house of a kindly if mad scientist. One thing any mad scientist loves is an unexpected test subject, um patient.

Our hero wakes up with a KNOB in the side of his neck. At first he can't talk till the scientist turns on a machine the size of a fridge. The scientist tells him he installed a special radio in his throat. The machine transmit sounds to the radio and using the radio he can then speak using that sound. He can, in effect, sound like any sound or voice the machine has recorded. He just needs to twist the knob. The scientist also gives him special gloves with microphones in them. Just point and it will capture the sound for the machine. Our hero decides to use his power to, of course, FIGHT CRIME.

Wearing a suit and a domino mask he fights crime by a combination of indirection of using different voices and deafening sounds. With a turn of knob he can "shout" out a full scale train running right at you. One problem is he has to stay within his city or he falls out of radio range and loses his voices.

X Men First Class

This is a rare film that can please both the film viewer and the comic nerd at the same time. This is a well told tale with exciting characters that intergrate our history with superheroes. It is also a tale that keeps the general character arcs intact from the comic books but reimagines them in a new way.

The story is how a young Professor X and Magneto first met. They are brought together because another mutant, Sebastian Shaw, is behind the Cuban Missile Crisis and it's hoped that other mutants can stop him. They gather a team of young mutants and train them and try to help them put aside their personal problems before going to war. The story itself is fast, but never sloppy. It plays almost like an early James Bond film but with mutants.

Since the eighties we've known that Magneto was a concentration camp survivor. This gives him a very different point of view from Professor X who was raised in the lap of luxury. Magneto, aka Eric, feels that mutants have to strike first before the new camps are created. It gives his villainy a certain justification. While we naturally tend to be on the side of Professor X "Let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya" I think I'm not the only viewer who didn't exactly trust the Professor. His intentions were obviously good, but he seemed very shallow. For example, he takes care of Mystique which is of course nice rising her like a step sister but he is just very condenscending to her and her concerns over her natural shape. It's only at the very end to we realize just what he is willing to do for his dream.

Sabastian Shaw is a great villain specially as played by Kevin Bacon. He's smart, he's rich, and he's very powerful. There's a scene where he and his mutants take out a CIA facility that is just awesome. I have to admit it's also awesome to see Kevin Bacon speaking German. I really can't find too much fault with this film. The only thing I can think of off hand is that I like neither Emma Frost's diamond form or the look of the Beast here. For some reason both seem a little off to me. But that's a very small criticism of a very good film.

Monster of the Day: Mutants from the Mutant Chronicles

Source:  Mutant Chronicles
Location:  Earth
Threat Assessment:  8.  Alone they aren't that horrible to fend against.  They aren't that bright and they have one huge claw arm.  They are tough but not supernaturally so.  Problem is that there are millions of them.  Also, they will grab the dead and wounded and turn them into mutants.  Point of order: they probably aren't mutants and more of a cyborg/bio enhanced creature but are you going to tell them?
Limitation:  Not too bright.

Today's Secret Code

"We are all just the atomic foam on the latte of reality."  Again:  "We are all just the atomic foam on the latte of reality."  Today's Colour is Vente.  Today's Author likes it black.  That is all, maho maho.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mr. Marduk at Home

He does not drink wine
He does not bid you to enter
He would perfer in fact
you went far away

The Grizzt

Grizzts are moderately psychic creatures
they can command small vermin to serve them
thus they can just stay in their lair
as they are fed by their thralls


Well it's the season ending episode of Futurama and I think they went out on a high note.  Like fat lady opera high note. Like Meatloaf after not eating for a week high note.  Yeah, I liked it.  It's a silly episode, but you know sometimes those are the most charming.  In this thrilling installment we get three different stories in three different formats.

The first story is done in the style of black and white animation of the thirties.  Everyone is is grooving back and forth and the thirties slang is thick and fast.  Here the crew is going to an asteroid made of diamondium and Fry hopes to pry enough to make a ring for Leela.  In the end though, he creates a new color no one has ever seen and we the audience just sees as another shade of grey.

In the second we are now in the world of 8 bit video game animation.  The Professor has used the diamodium to make a lens to see the origins of everything.  Everyone is impressed, though to the audience it is just a square pixel, but now th Professor is left in a world where all the questions have been answered.  What is he to do? 

In the final segment, aliens who communicate by dance see their precious diamondium asteroid destroy so decide to wage war on an anime earth.  Our now japanized Futurama crew must find a peaceful way to end the war involving the involved dance of peace ever danced.  Oh, the audience will not see it as it has not seen the source of everything or Fry's new color.  An interesting little paradox.

The episode was funny and spot on in lampooning its varying sources.  A great end for a frankly mediocre year.  Definitely leaves me wanting to see the next season.

The Six Evil Gentlemen

I always like villains that are suave and have the trappings of being civilized. While I like the Joker (who doesn't) I perfer the Bond villains stroking their pure white cats with some witty line at the ready. My Six Evil Gentlemen are a good example. In my world when the Victorian era rediscovered spiritualism, six neer do will men of means discovered a way of becoming near gods. Since then they have spent time on their estates quietly gathering power.

All the Gentlemen have this in common: They do not age. Nor do they suffer from disease. They even heal much faster than any human. In that respect they are like vampires with none of the limitations. No doubt some of their foes were confused on that point and paid the price when they went after them stake in hand.

By now they hate each other, but they still keep ties. After all they are the only ones who can understand each other, and who else could they brag to? If they were to have a leader it would either be the Corrupting Gentleman or the Gentleman of Love and the rivalry between the two can cause great damage to everyone else around them.

The Corrupting Gentleman is very persuasive. A natural politician. He also knows all your desires. It is this power coupled with his money and political ties that gives him such power. He has a huge web of influence across the world.

The Gentleman of Love can cause any one person to love him madly and completely. He has used this over the centuries to get married again and again and gather lovers. He himself does not love, but he uses these to gather a personal fortune second to none. Unfortunately, his power does not work on the other gentlemen or he'd rule them for sure.

The Unseen Gentleman is a sneak and a blackmailer. He can become invisible at will and is particularly hated by the other Gentlemen. He is, though, very useful all the same.

The Geomancer can see all the sacred and mystic geometries when designing buildings. As such any buildings using his plans are very SPECIAL places indeed with rooms that cannot exist and traps for the unwary. No one leaves his mansion that he does not wish to leave. He has sold his skills to many secret cabals and even governments. He is a retiring soul, however, and does take part of the bickering of the other Gentlemen.

The Fire Lord, as he styles himself, has the ability to grow and shape fire to his wishes. A very flashy power he is often used by the other Gentlemen as muscle. He likes that. He is often found in war zones practicing his skills.

The Wastrel is the least liked of the Gentlemen.  He is a hoarder and his great mansion is filled with room filled to the ceilings with garbage.  His power gives him the ability to control anything discarded.  If you don't think that is a powerful ability consider the sewer lines beneath your feet and sheer volume within.  He is also used as muscle when the Fire Lord can't be reached.