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LA FLORIDIANA
Double Book Review: "Tangled And Dark" by Patty G. Henderson
"Florida Curiosities" by David Grimes and Tom Becnel. Plus...Happy Anniversary Sunshine Skyway
 by William Moriaty

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Napoleon Dynamite"
 by Mike Smith

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Guided By Voices CD review
 by Terence Nuzum
"The Rock and Soul Revue" concert review by guest reviewer Michael Smith

COUCH POTATO
Chappelle's Show....Fanzine Memoirs
 by Vinnie Blesi

ODDSERVATIONS
Oddservations Spotlight: Largo's Comic World owner Pat Potter
 by Andy Lalino

DEADGUY'S DEMENTIA
Powerless
 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott

NICHOLAS REX
A Rant About Bush
 by Nick King

MATT'S RAIL
The Yankees Suck....Latest Kerry Rumor....Masters of Horror
 by Matt Drinnenberg

MIKE'S RANT
Happy Birthday....The Shame of The Yankees....Why Even Try....Is That A Guarantee?....What?....Meet The Beatles, Part 33
 by Mike Smith

LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 233  (Vol. 5, No. 37). This edition is for the week of September 6--12, 2004.

  They Just Keep Comin'
  I don't even unpack my evacuation gear anymore
 Surviving Hurricanes Frances and Charley; dreaded aspects of Ivan.
And on a lighter note...
 Romeo Coffeehouse Film Series reminder
 Our comics/fanzine roots exposed
 Tips for beginning web designers

I mean it, it's getting ridiculous. Every weekend or every other weekend for a month every Floridian has had to tend to survival needs in a rarely-seen visceral way, to say nothing of making any plans far into the future because, hey, another freakin' major hurricane is always on the way! Don't even bother unpacking your survival gear or cleaning the debris, look at the radar: they just keep comin'.

The combined total damages from Hurricanes Charley and Frances are approaching 20 billion dollars as of this writing. I think the death toll is over 30. Millions are still without power (some of whom are my neighbors...I got lucky). Out in the Atlantic, another monster, Ivan, is stirring that (again, as of this writing) is on track to hit us again about the middle of next week.

There was talk before Charley that too many people were jaded by too many years of built-up threats with no pay-off---the storms always turned. Always. Afraid this time no one would obey the evacuation orders. Many didn't. And even after Charley's sobering lesson about what a major storm can do, when Frances approached many felt, "aww, it can't hit us again, can it?" But it did. We aren't dodging these things anymore. Not this time. And it's really scary.

I remember watching the TV as Charley approached thinking this is the end of the world as I knew it: the surreal feeling I was living inside a horror movie watching as the storm was tracking directly into Tampa Bay. A Category 4 or 5 storm would've demolished us, much as it did Homestead, FL, during Andrew. Everything I knew would be different afterwards. Only the kindly intervention of a high-pressure trough saved Tampa. Unfortunately, it unleashed its newly-reoriented power on Central Florida in a way that is still being felt a hurricane later. I imagine some folks haven't had power or even a home for over a month.

For those who called or wrote inquiring about our safety and refuge during these two storms, I thank you, your support means a lot. As far as I know, everyone you have come to know through this website survived both ordeals in pretty good shape. Our streets are still flooded from the slightly less lethal, but slower-moving Frances. Even after several days, many parts of the area are still under water, although some are receeding more quickly now. Many folks are still without power, some within blocks of me, but otherwise grateful to be alive with homes intact. The clean-up is underway, but with the somber undertone that we may have to do this all over again next week when Ivan hits...if it hits. Yep. Surely it can't hit us again, can it?
American Red Cross
www.redcross.org
1-866-GET-INFO
(1-866-438-4636)
Salvation Army Help Line
1-800-958-7825
Florida State Volunteer and
Donations Hotline
1-800-FL-HELP1
(1-800-354-3571)
Florida Blood Services
1-800-68-BLOOD
1-800-682-5663


Romeo Coffeehouse Film Series Resumes Thursday, Sept 9th.
This quick reminder is obviously targeted at those who will visit this website before Thursday evening of this week, but the Romeo Coffeehouse, 1515 7th Ave in Ybor City, will resume the film series it had to suspend last month due to Hurricane Charley. Starting at 8:00pm, Thursday, September 9th, the films scheduled to be shown are:
Life Is a Circus by TOO Productions 18 minutes, Heroes by Chris McDaniel 9 minutes, Broken Tomorrow by Icon Films, Saving Shelly by Diane Berryman 3 minutes, Time & Again by Todd Thompson - 17 minutes, The Reaper by Enigma Films, and much more! For more information and contact info, or to read plot synopsises, see last week's PCR.
I wish to welcome back long-absent writers Mike "Deadguy" Scott and "Nicholas Rex" King for this very special, high turn-out PCR!
Our Comics/Fanzine Roots Exposed!
In this issue's Couch Potato Confessions, good friend and influential fanzine publisher Vinnie Blesi publishes for the first time in 25 years some pages from his seminal '70s work, Advent. William Moriaty and I have referred to this fanzine and to this time period as some of the most exciting and creative we ever had. Vinnie relives and describes the creative process that went into Advent for the first time anywhere. This will be an ongoing series and a unique opportunity to see some of this work brought back out into the light! (Umm...is that a good thing?)

And holy sweet jeezis, yes, it can finally be told: KANLON KRONICLES IS ALMOST HERE!! That "Coming Soon" link you've all seen at the bottom of this homepage for nearly two years will likely actually reach fruition! "Kanlon" was created by William Moriaty and Alan Rodgers in the mid-1970s, and featured the collaborative efforts of Denis Lebrun in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The whole background story will be included in this publishing.


TECH-TALK: avoid like the plague if you hate tech-talk and skip this section.
2 Website Building Tips From Me To You
   I enjoy what I do on this website, and what I do in service to greater crazed fandom I feel is important. You might say I learned how to do all this stuff "on the job" to get the message out. I've toyed with going pro from time to time, especially this year, but my real desire is to continue to develop the site and get more into multi-media via the website, and thus attract sponsors. Very occasionally, however, I will take a job designing other folks' websites. I enjoy doing that, but it's very time-consuming, so I don't do it a lot. But if the money's there, hey, I can be bribed. I've also been contacted as a web design consultant, for which I'm very flattered and honored. I will respond to any visitor wanting my honest reaction to their website plumbing. I do this for free.
   Over the past several months the consultations have increased, which is great and I really enjoy evaluating websites, because.....all together now:....everyone's entitled to my opinion!
   Without trying to sound all holier-than-thou, I've noticed two very annoying things almost all beginners and even advanced amateurs make time and again that I'm going to tell you right now will be the first things I will criticize if I see it:
  • You assume everyone's on broadband. Please don't.
  • You assume everyone's monitor is set to 1024 × 768 (or bigger), like yours is. Please don't.
I've reacted to these so often I sound like a broken record, but I feel strongly about these two problems. And they are problems.
   Well over half the nation's internet connections are still on dial-up (and around 20 million are on AOL, deal with it). Broadband services are simply too expensive for a lot of folks. You may hear of increasing new customers, but how many older customers are simultaneously dropping out? Unless your page is strictly for you and your broadband buddies, to install a super-heavy mandatory Flash homepage without a "skip this" link is possibly the biggest sin, followed closely by people uploading several 500KB digital pictures on their homepages (citing "quality" concerns). Dragging the corner of a bounding box in your web-building program does not shrink the weight of an object, only its relative size. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good image-editing program, re-save those JPEGS and they'll still look good. Please keep Flash in perspective. Some of the coolest animations and web effects I've ever seen have been done with Flash, but it can be terribly abused. Vinnie Blesi's Strange Agents website uses Flash very sensibly.
   Less critical, but still annoying is designing on "1024" monitor screens shooting for a splash page effect, or worse yet, framesets. The majority of the public on 800 X 600 resolution monitors will wind up scrolling left, right, up and down trying to take it all in. Many times these huge pages are unviewable due to material running off the sides that can't be viewed! Yes, it happens. TIP: either reset your tables for no more than a 790 pixel width or specify widths in percentages. That way it should re-size automatically.
   Self-criticism: my personal weakness? I am an Internet Explorer snob, I don't care how many problems Netscape Navigator 4.x has with my pages. There...I've said it. So I do have some faults, too, folks.
TECH-TALK OVER. You can come out now.


Announcements
Reminder to pick up this Friday's (Sept 10) Tampa Tribune and look for yours truly in Baylife.

UPDATE 9-10-04, #1. Saw Enigma Films' The Reaper and TOO Productions' Life Is A Circus at the Coffeehouse meeting last night (Thur). Couldn't stay longer to see more films, unfortunately, but did see many of them before (all great stuff). Also secured a copy of Rick Danford's Nightmare Collection. REVIEWS IN NEXT WEEK'S PCR!
UPDATE 9-10-04, #2.The Baylife article on Crazed Fanboy and me hit the stands today. Here's the online version, which as of this writing (Fri. morning) has no photo, but the newspaper article does. The link will only be good until Monday after which there's a charge for accessing it. REVIEW AND REACTIONS IN NEXT WEEK'S PCR!

AND FINALLY...
This is a grim time for Florida. If you believe in God, please pray that Hurricane Ivan, the third and most dangerous storm targeting Florida in only a month's time, somehow bypasses us or is diverted. If you do not believe in God, just please wish like hell nothing happens to us. For non-theists who are still into the paranormal, I encourage you to project huge amounts of mental psychic energy toward the same goal. We need all the help we can get and I'm not joking! ---Nolan


Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2004 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2004 by Andy Lalino    "Splash Page" is ©2004 by Brandon Jones    "Couch Potato Confessions" is © 2004 by Vinnie Blesi      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova    
Crazed Fanboy dotcom is owned and operated by Nolan B. Canova


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