Thursday, August 20, 2015

Yvonne Craig

I have not written many of these in the last couple of years, even though a number of notable and influential people in my fannish development have passed away. I dunno, it just seemed enough to post on Facebook and Twitter. Yvonne Craig is the exception that brought me back to write a remembrance.

Yvonne Craig passed away Monday at the age of 78. I am pretty sure I first saw her on BATMAN, and to me, she will always be "the" Batgirl. From what I've read, she was a wonderful person in real life as well. That's always good to hear about someone who brought you so much joy from afar.

RIP Yvonne Craig. You were one of a kind and I'll always treasure memories watching you fight crime as the titian-haired Batgirl.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

OWARI, Elsewhere: Return of Jetman

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Return of Jetman, we look at the history of the project on the internet. Sadly, all older versions are currently defunct.

Part II: Return of Jetman


The very first Return of Jetman page was actually done on a lark. I made a gallery page for the initial four pictures of the revival (before it was a "revival") and uploaded it to my GeoCities site. Those four pictures were: Jet Phoenix, Green Wyvern, Toranza, and Red Kestrel. The page itself was about as basic as it could be - a title, red background, and the "thumbnails" were not even thumbnails but the main images displayed at thumbnail dimensions. I am not sure I ever showed this page to anyone beyond co-creator/artist Lewis Smith, and I don't remember if it was ever linked on the index page.

I have no memory of how long this page lasted or even the url. It was surely deleted by November 2002. I may still have a copy of it hiding in a folder somewhere, but if there is a cache of it, I have not found it.

1) (cache)

Launched August 20, 2002, this was the site of the entirety of the first 14 episodes of Return of Jetman. It was a sub-section of my ISP webspace, and the only thing of any value I did there. Somewhat surprisingly, it was not the primary home of ROJ for very long. The last known update was November 29, 2004, but the whole project was moved to its own site earlier than this.

The original ROJ homepage lasted for many years in static form, directing visitors to check out the new site. Alas, sometime late last year or early this year, my old ISP webspace finally disappeared.

2) (cache)

Often forgotten even by me, the original ROJ DX Gallery appears to have launched on March 23, 2003 as a supplement to the main site. You see, my ISP webspace was only 5 MB and wow that is crazy to think about now. I created this extras page on GeoCities since that account had more room. The last cached update is June 2, 2007, though I am sure the page had been largely dismantled prior to that date. With the GeoCities shutdown, it's all academic.

As an aside, GeoCities also seems to be the original home of the ROJ Japanese page. The address was, but there is no cached version of it.

3) (cache)

I had purchased the domain early in 2004, but Freewebs was the actual original home of the site. In fact, the domain usually redirected visitors to the above rather than being locked, for reasons which I am sure were terribly important at the time. The "official launch" announcement was August 24, 2004, but there is a cached version of the index from earlier. I could probably find my Freewebs registration e-mail, but I doubt anyone cares.

Freewebs was the home of ROJ until June 2007 when a culmination of things led me to abandon it. A recent check of the url indicates it is "frozen" and what content I had left there is gone. I wonder if this is due to inactivity or if it got hacked one last time? Regardless, I don't remember my Freewebs password and am not sure where to find it. Again, no one cares - least of all me.

4) (cache)

Circa June 2007, I transferred ROJ to Dreamhost and finally became a "proper" domain. Dreamhost treated me well and I had no complaints with their service. However, times were gradually changing and my ability to maintain a website was becoming more tentative with all sorts of advances I hadn't studied. Plus, financing the operation was getting to be a drag. In April 2010, the ROJ blog was launched with an eye toward it eventually becoming the main site. "Eventually" turned out to be the next month, and the blog and the site officially "merged" on May 21, 2010.

The biggest change since that time is the domain was allowed to expire in January 2014. This was simply a cost-cutting measure. It had served its purpose well, but with the site mostly in archive mode now, there was no reason to continue paying for it. It was picked up by someone briefly, but currently appears to be unregistered again.


The current home of ROJ, where we continue the good fight. It was briefly active in April and May 2010 when the blog was created and still a work in progress. It became the (hopefully) permanent home of ROJ in January 2014.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tim Mee Toy Reviews!

Our friends over at VictoryBuy recently sent along some of their latest offerings from Tim Mee Toys for review. This was both a privilege and a pleasure. Here's what I wrote about them on Amazon!

TimMee Toy Tanks for Plastic Army Men: Tan WW2 3pc - Made in USA

It's great to see the ORIGINAL Tim Mee tanks available again, rather than the inferior knock-offs that have been clogging the shelves. You can tell by the high quality of the sculpt and plastic used that this is a product that will last through countless war games, Plus, it's made in the good old USA - all too rare in this day and age!

This set also comes with stickers to better identify your vehicles. The wheels are molded into place, but you won't mind. It just means they can't break off and leave your men stranded on the battle field.

TimMee COMBAT PATROL Willys & Artillery: Green 4pc Playset - Made in USA

This set comes with two jeeps and two cannons, all of which are very well-made. Rolling action on the wheels are good, and the cannons hitch to the jeeps without a hitch (sorry). Scale is close enough to the standard Army Man that they will look right at home on your backyard battlefield. Plus, stickers are included to dress up armaments and vehicles and make them look "official." This is another high quality addition to the Tim Mee/J. Lloyd plastic army and worth the money if you choose to pick them up.

Tim Mee People Play Figures: Green and Putty Color 24pc Playset - Made in USA

Oh, this lot is not something I ever saw back in the day. But still, they have the quaint charm of being the quintessential 1950s atomic family as shown on the header card. Speaking of that header card, it has some pretty awesome artwork. Definitely worth a portion of your purchase price.

These toys are a great addition to your plastic people dioramas and can be very useful as supplement to other sets. There might not be much play value for most in suburban life, but they can be rescued by soldiers, captured by aliens, or just get caught in assorted time paradoxes. The possibilities are endless if you use your imagination.

These are good quality, durable figures with attention paid to both molding and manufacturing. Unlike a lot of off-brand figures, you can see a lot of fine detail and can rest assured the figures will hold up and not snap easily. Buy with confidence!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

OWARI, Elsewhere: The Blogs

I've been fiddling with the blog sidebar again, and I think I have it the way I want it (for now). As I audited my links, it occurred to me that I have a number of sites in the old repertoire that I don't link anymore. Many of them are defunct but still online. In this series, I'll give you links to other places you could once find me on the internet.

Part I: The Blogs

Still Active

* Continued Next Week! (2012-    )


* Captain Satellite's Fun Fun Central (2003-2010)
* Earth B (2006)
* Not Christopher Elam's OWARI (2012)1
* Pictures of Naomi Morinaga (2012-2014)2


* OWARI Tumblr Annex ( was my original personal Tumblr founded in January 2012, but it fell early victim to my issues with that site. It was finally deleted later that year. I re-registered the url as a placeholder but deleted it for good a couple of months ago.

* At various points, I have had blogs on the following services before deleting them: Journalfen, Myspace, GreatestJournal (site closed), Yahoo 360 (site closed), and possibly others. Additionally, I had an RP account on GreatestJournal, an alternate parody account on LiveJournal and a couple of "secret" blogs on LJ. All of that is scattered to the four winds now. Except for El Beardo.

* There was at one time a "returnofjetman" community on LiveJournal, too. I am fuzzy on both when it was founded (2004?) and when it was deleted (no idea anymore).


* Begun in 2009 and then largely forgotten, there is a syndicated LiveJournal feed for this blog. It is still dutifully picking up posts even though I don't think anyone follows it except my old account.


1(Placeholder blog to prevent spammers from claiming the url again.)

2An earlier version of this blog existed at the same url from 2011-2012 but was deleted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blogs Will Live! Blogs Will Die!

...And nothing will ever be the same!

One of my favorite phrases when I'm working on a project of some kind is "going down rabbit holes." That's when you get distracted from the task at hand by something or other and it consumes you enough that it starts to take on its own importance. Occasionally, going down rabbit holes has led to unexpected rewards. More often than not, it's just a waste of time.

I first signed up for Tumblr in 2011. I have had as many as seven different individual Tumblr blogs at a time. There's a lot to like about Tumblr. So it may be a surprise that I have come to the conclusion that maintaining a "personal" Tumblr blog presence has been one of the single biggest rabbit holes of my life.

I have written in the past (probably too much) about my problems with Tumblr. I thought it might be an ample, low-maintenance replacement for this blog when I went into semi-retirement here in September. I tried, I really tried to make it work this time. But I have decided that I am just not happy with what I have been doing there and that my energies can be directed in more constructive pursuits.

Basically, I have burned OWARI 2.0 down to the ground. There are still some posts there, to prove that it existed. However, I am officially closing that place. There is a slight chance I might post there every so often, but it's really not in my plans. I'm done with the notion of keeping a personal Tumblr. It just doesn't suit my ideas of blogging at all.

This does not mean I am leaving Tumblr. I will still be following other people on there (though not nearly as many as I once was), and people are still welcome to follow me. I'll still be liking posts. Frankly, there is too much I would miss to give Tumblr the old heave-ho.

There's also the little matter of Captain Satellite. Ironically, given my many misgivings about Tumblr, it has been the perfect home for the Owariverse. I have no better options for hosting that material, and I am queasy about starting all over right now. So I stay with Tumblr and nothing really changes for Cap and company.

As far as my other Tumblrs? Some of those have already been deleted or cleaned out. Others will continue in some form, whether they are active or not. I haven't decided on everything just yet, but the beauty of it is, I don't really need to make a big splashy announcement with the way Tumblr works. I can just quietly stop posting if that's what I'm feeling.

What does this mean for this blog? Well, nothing much. Ironically, I had just been contemplating how OWARI has sort of become its own island in my works and is now disconnected from everything else. I see this as a GOOD thing. Sometimes, I need a forum that only this blog can provide. Besides, there is way too much good stuff here to just delete it all. For all my mixed feelings about this blog, it has been pretty successful in getting the word out as far as non-fiction goes.

And now, back to work!