Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The Year of the Chickens!

In this, the last of this blog's measly 26 posts in 2012, I'll recap the stuff I've covered over the previous year, along with some things I didn't address. For starters, in February, Eliza and I installed a chicken coop in our backyard, and then brought home four two-month-old pullets: Rocky, Dolly, Rhodey, and Li'l Sweetie (above, shot by Eliza). Sadly, Rocky and Dolly succumbed to Marek's Disease, but Sweetie and Rhodey have thrived - since May, those gals have pumped out a whopping 334 eggs!

In other bird news, a day after Rocky was put to sleep, three robins were hatched in a nest by our back porch. Here are two of the eggs...

Within a day, all three robin chicks were eaten by some goddamn crows.

In non-bird deaths, in 2012 we said goodbye to the Beastie Boys and Ween, Ralph McQuarrie, and John Belushi (albeit 30 years after the fact). Also passing this year, but unacknowledged by this blog, were Matt Groening's Life in Hell, and the Seattle TV clown who inspired Krusty the Clown on Groening's The Simpsons, JP Patches... In July was I driving through the U-District when I happened upon the demolition of the UW's Lander Hall, a dormitory where I lived for a couple years in my late teens and did many grown-up, um, things, that I never done before...

Celebrating birthdays in 2012 were Paul Stanley and Muhammad Ali, as well as the 50th anniversaries of Mad, the Rolling Stones, the Seattle Monorail, the Seattle World's Fair and Spider-Man, along with the 25th anniversaries of Pleased to Meet Me and the 1987 NBA All-Star Game.

On top of this being the sixth full calendar year of the blog, I continued to maintain two other blogs -- Super Ichiro Crazy! (where the big news was his trade from Seattle to the Yankees) and Bigfoot is Real (which I just put on "temporary hiatus"). Upon the (galaxy) golden anniversary of the Seattle World's Fair, I started a commemorative blog. It was soon aborted, due to lack of both interest and inspiration. Still, I came away with this cool photo of some Space Needle models, taken at an art gallery near the Needle itself...

I visited Minnesota and New Mexico in 2012, though I didn't blog about my April SoCal trip -- in San Diego I met up with another Steve Mandich, a swell guy who's a credit to our name...

In Anaheim, my pal JP and I saw the Edmonton Oilers beat the Ducks, and the next night, we saw the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Kings beat the Oilers in L.A. I stupidly lost all my photos from those games, so here's a picture I took of the Watts Towers...

Earlier, and closer to home, I rode the Amtrak Cascades up to Vancouver, where I witnessed the Canucks beat the Coyotes in an overtime shootout. While in town, I attended the Vancouver International Boat Show, if only to see the insides of the revamped BC Place Stadium...

Here's another Vancouver photo, taken in Stanley Park...

In medical news, my Morton's toe that I viciously stubbed in 2004 finally got fixed in October -- the good foot doctor shaved away some arthritic bone and inserted a temporary three-inch pin. Here's a gnarly pic of how it looked a week after surgery...

Though 2012 was the Year of the Chickens, Eliza and I figure 2013 will be the Year of the Babies -- we're expecting fraternal twin girls on January 9! Here we are in our backyard on Thanksgiving...

Going into the new year, if I'm not blogging about it here, I'll be posting it on facebook.

As always, thanks for reading!

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My Favorite Music, Movies, Video & Books of '12!

The Dark Knight Rises
I'm Now: The Story of Mudhoney
Searching for Sugar Man
Notes: Of the 19 movies I saw this year, eleven of which were 2012 releases, and just these three of those I deemed list-worthy... I got myself all psyched for The Amazing Spider-Man, but it turned out to be a proverbial turd in the punchbowl... And the less said about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the better.

Breaking Bad: Season 4
Eastbound & Down: Season 3
Get a Life: The Complete Series
Louie: Season 2
Notes: This doesn't include stuff from the "Movies" list above, just TV shows... Still need to see season five of Mad Men, released this year... Can't wait 'til the latest seasons of Breaking Bad and Louie are out on video, hopefully in 2013.

Best Coast - "Mean Girls"
Dum Dum Girls - "I Got Nothing"
Bob Dylan - "Pay in Blood"
Ben Gibbard - "Ichiro's Theme"
Japandroids - "The House That Heaven Built"
King Tuff - "Bad Thing"
Melvins - "Let Me Roll It"
Bob Mould - "The Descent"
Public Image Ltd. - "One Drop"
The Rolling Stones - "Doom and Gloom"
Soundgarden - "Been Away Too Long"
Bruce Springsteen - "We Take Care of Our Own"
TacocaT - "Cat Fancy"
Thee Oh Sees - "Lupine Dominus"
Jack White - "I'm Shakin'"
Notes: I just don't get into new albums as much as individual songs anymore, though the exception this year would be Best Coast's The Only Place... A couple older acts I became obsessed with in 2012 are the Beach Boys and Hüsker Dü (the first rock concert I ever saw was the Beach Boys, at the Puyallup Fair in 1981 or '82, and I regret not seeing them on their 50th anniversary tour this year; I saw Bob Mould open for the Pixies in '89 (and thought he sucked)... I'm also bummed that I again missed the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup when they came through town... Otherwise, I saw some classic rock bands for the first time (Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Heart) as well as a couple new favorites (Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls), plus some old standbys (Girl Trouble, Melvins, Young Fresh Fellows).

The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy
Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
The Obamas by Jodi Kantor
Everybody Loves Our Town by Mark Yarm
Notes: I didn't read much this year. The other ten books I did read were either published in previous years (the best of which was Duff McKagan's It's So Easy (And Other Lies)), or comics...

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist by Alvin Buenaventura
Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland by Harvey Pekar
New York Drawings by Adrian Tomine
Notes: I still wanna read Chris Ware's Building Stories.

For those keeping score, here are my favorites from 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 (movies and music).

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