Friday, January 28, 2005

"What We SHOULD Have heard On The News"

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and
tried to light it?
Did you know his trial is over?
Did you know he was sentenced?
Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV/Radio?
Didn't think so.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.
Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to

His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid
also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the
religion of Allah," defiantly stated "I think I ought not apologize for
my actions," and told the court "I am at war with your country."

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below, a stinging
condemnation of Reid in particular and terrorists in general:
"January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young: Mr. Richard C.
Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you. On counts 1, 5
and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United
States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you
to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run
consecutive with the other.
That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30
years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon
you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2
million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect
to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre
Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The Court imposes upon you the
$800 special assessment.
The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because
the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need
go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes.
It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me
explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist
coconspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire
before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone
with the utmost respect. Here in this court, where we deal with individuals as
individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we
reach out for justice.
You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a
soldier in any war You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a
soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of
government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be
your view, you are a terrorist...And we do not negotiate with terrorists.
We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with
We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.
So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But
you are not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a
A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very
real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off
that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where
the TV crews were and he said you're no big deal.
You're no big deal.
What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the equally able
United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know
how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was
it that led you here to this courtroom today?
I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to
search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you
to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have
an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire
record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.
It seems to me you hate the one thing that is most precious. You hate our
freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we
choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we
individually choose. Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom.
They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize
individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom.
So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly,
individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers
are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go
on in their representation of you before other judges.
We are about it. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid,
is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet
true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.
Look around this courtroom. Mark it well The world is not going to long
remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but
this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all
across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual
justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The
very President of the United States through his officers will have to
come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be
judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence
democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.
See that flag, Mr Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America.
That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag
stands for freedom. You know it always will.
Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down."

So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need
more judges like Judge Young, but that's another subject. Pass this

Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say.
Powerful words that strike home.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"The Dues We Pay"

"If I had back all the time I've spent fooling with my Comic Book Collections over the past 40+ years I'd be a young man again!"

I don't know about other collectors, whether it be of stamps, coins, cards or comics, put I seem to put a lot of my time into maintaining my comic collections. Here recently I finally was able to complete a trade deal that'd been going on for a few months. Out of several long boxes of comics I obtained, I kept over 400 of them. I believe that people who do not collect something actually realize how much an effort a serious collector takes in keeping his(her) collections in order.

When I get a large number of additions as such, the first thing I have to do is put all of them in alphabetical order due to my keeping both a hard list in a notebook (to avoid purchasing duplicates), PLUS I have the whole collection saved on a number of floppies.

The procedure goes something like this. First I write down everything in long-hand on a notebook tablet; this way I can go thru my notebook listings and do the additions by hand. Then, I use that list to go thru all the floopies and add those in as well. Then I have a "want list" on yet another floppy that I have to eliminate any issues from that I just obtained.

After all that's been done, I seperate books into three catagories: those with both a backing board and bag, those that are just bagged with NO board, and those that have neither. These stacks have to be alphabetized as well and kept seperate so that those ready to be added to the bulk of my collection boxes can be done so; those without the bags are kept seperate so that boards can be added, and finally, those without either have to have both boards and bags added.

This takes a lot of time.

A couple of days ago I started work on these 400+ comics at 11AM, taking a few short breaks granted, and finished at 9:30 PM (10-1/2 hrs.). This also included checking for the duplicates which had to be put to one side, to be checked against the ones I already had, to see which one was in the better condition, to be either put in my duplicate boxes or replaced.

Having done this for so very long now I've pretty much got the whole process down to a tee, but my collection of boxes are stacked due to lack of a room to put them all out individually, and there's much lifting and unstacking and restacking of heavy boxes. (I think a lot of comic book collectors probably have back problems of one sort or another because of that.)

Plus you got to remember that I have to do things like answer the phone, take snack breaks, go to the bathroom occasionally and put up with the cat who sneaks into the room from time-to-time wanting one-thing-or-another. Everyone always wants "something" right in the middle of what you're trying to never seems to fail.

The key to the whole thing is organization. And I keep a reserve of things around that I need to make this process a bit easier at time like these; a box with scissors (to trim backing boards that are too large for the bags), tape (to tape down the bag flaps), extra boards when I have them, lables for the bags, and always a couple of decent ink pens just to mark the lables, and naturally, a copy of an Overstreet Price Guide as a reference (mostly).

If anyone has an easier system, I'd really be happy to hear about it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"A Golden Age Oddity"

For anyone who thinks variant-type comic books are something relatively new, think again. Comic book variants have been around since at least the time when DC Comics (then, National) stuck a fifteen cent sticker over the original price of the 1940 World's Fair comic and re-released it for sale.

What I think was one of the most interesting variants ever published was Red Circle No.4 (pictured above). Red Circle was published by Rural Home Publications (also known as Enwil Publications) from January to April of 1945, producing four issues. Each issue in the series contained stories about such characters as "The Pranster", "The Judge", or "Red Riot". But obviously, sometime in the early 1950's, this company discovered they had a LOT of left-over covers around for the 4th. issue. So they re-released the comic, but this time they put all of these covers on some OTHER comic!

Now, other companies had re-released remainer issues before, most notable Fawcett with their Gift Comics in which they bound together various comics with a cover and re-sold them, and even EC did that with a title or two, but each time they'd created a new cover , AND, they'd used their own publications. Enwil wasn't so picky.

They'd just used ANY coverless remainer comics they could find (or maybe even removed the original covers just so they could have coverless books) and reattached their OWN cover back on it. So finding a copy of Red Circle No.4(cover date April,1945) could have just about ANYTHING within it from the early 1950's.

Some of the variations that are known are: Woman Outlaws(published by Fox), Dorothy Lamour (also by Fox), Crime Does Not Pay (Lev Gleason Pub.s), Sabu (Fox as well), Diary Loves (Quality Comics), Love Confessions (also Quality), Young Love (Prize Publications), as well as the above book (that is from my personal collection) which contains Strange Adventures #24 (from 1952, and is a National/DC Comic).

I would'nt call the number of variations endless, but there are literally thousands of different variations of the interior of this particular comic!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

"Spring Come SOON!"

I really dislike cold weather.

I used to kid around and say that I actually did like colder weather because I preserved better in it, but as I've grown older that opinion has vastly changed. When it gets really cold here in "Southern" Kentucky, I don't feel like doing anything except wrap my body in multiple layers and standing in front of a heater or just hibernating until Spring finally arrives.

And these sudden changes back-and-forth in the weather spoil me. Last week it was nearly 70 degrees and I was having to peel off clothes at work because I got too hot. Now here it isn't getting above the freezing mark for a week, so I'd just as well dig me a deep, warm burrow and sleep out the cold temps.

Comic Book-wise this week was a good one for me, getting in the mail one of my current Holy Grails: My Greatest Adventure (DC) #80 (1963), the 1st. app. & origin of "The Doom Patrol". Other issues from that first series came in as well, a MGA 84 and Doom Patrol V1 #'s 89,90 & 122, so currently I've got that series down to just 5 issues completing it. Also now I just need around 20 misc. issues of the 2nd. DC-Vertigo series, 2 issues from the 3rd. series and 2 from the current one: less than 30 books. Even with the misc. app.'s of those character in other DC titles that I need, that numbers less than 40, so finishing up these sets look like they'll be done sometime this year. Haven't given a whole lot of thought to what series I'd like to complete next. Maybe try for the rest of the app.'s of "The Atomic Knights" and "Star Hawkins" in Strange Adventures. Plus I'd like to seriously work on a full set of the "painted-type" cover Classics Illustrated's.

For those that recall a blog I did sometime back regarding that burial marker in my backyard, an article has been written that will appear in the local historic journal magazine and I'll be mentioned in it. Just hope that it doesn't bring a flock of decendents from that family around to view it all the time. The whole deal about this is that the person buried there is one of the first settlers of this town, so if he's there, others could be there as well, and since he died in 1844 that could make my backyard the oldest cemetary here. Hey! If someone can prove that then maybe I can hit up the state for historic preservation loan of some sort and fix up this joint! Lord Knows I sure don't have the extra jack to do it myself! (HA!)

And it's just like to me have a cemetary in my backyard, you know. I modeled my life after Gomez Addams anyway. (I can see me now with one of those pointed, iron fences around the house, out there with a file sharpening the pikes!)

Monday, January 10, 2005

"Typical Day"

That's about all you could say about today at work. Pulled my usual 5 pages of tools; there's 25 spaces per page to write up items, so that's 125 tools that had to be stocked. Of course, I usually pull more than just one of each tool item, so probably I pulled around 300 items total. That took the first half of the day and I broke for lunch around 12:30.

Then I had to replace some of the larger stuff that had sold over the weekend, which was one 2 Ton "Cherry Picker" (or, engine hoist for those not in the know about such things) and a 20 Ton shop press. This required assembling them, of course, which took another 3 or so hours. Add in filling the drink machine and calling in a Coke order, cleaning the parking lot, taking out garbage, etc., etc. Well...the 9-1/2 hrs. today went pretty quick and needless to add, I'm pooped!

While I was at work, the plumber came by and fixed the water heater; it was the "pop-off" valve. I was lucky to get that done for less than forty bucks, but he's an old friend and always gives me a break on the labor. Told me though if I had any more trouble with it he'd have to change that over-flow tank on it (another forty bucks). And got a dentist apointment for tomorrow, which'll probably be at least $45. These $40-$50 at a time can just eat you up after a while.

My finger's healing up nicely though and I didn't even wear a bandage on it today. I'm lucky like that, in that cuts seem to heal pretty quickly for me.

And when I got home I found a package in the mail. It was a copy of Doom Patrol #123, which I didn't need. You see, I accidently bidded on the book thinking it was #122. Blame it on poor eyesight. And since I made a bid I didn't want to renig' on it, so when I won it I went ahead and paid the seller for it, then left him good feedback, which he did for me as well. Guess I just bought that feedback. At least the lesson didn't cost me over three or four bucks. But it'd been better if it had been in better shape than the one I've already got!

So, nothing major happened to me today, but at least, nothing bad happened to me either.

Some days just balance out.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

"That Was The Week That Was"

Okay, technically it's the beginning of the week, but it would seem ill fortune has a way of popping its ugly head in for several days at a time.

Let's see...first it started with a tooth breaking off that I'll have to have the remainder of extracted and yet another one added to my partial. Trying to get a dentist apointment for that this coming Tuesday.

Next came all the rain on Thursday and Friday which gave me a pleasant little surprize when I arrived home from work that day to discover a leak in the ceiling of my entrance way. It had soaked a couple of ceiling panels which I had to remove and get up the water out of the carpet, then today when the sun finally emerged and things had dried up a bit, I got up on my front metal roof and played "Spider-man" a while, putting new tar over the old seams to see if that would stop it. Haven't replaced the panels yet, but rain's back in the forecast for this coming week and I want to first see if it's fixed. No need in replacing panels just to have them ruined as well and have to repeat the process.

Then I cut the tip of my finger off while trying to fix a trailer light at work; add that to the list.

And this afternoon, being so otherwise nice, I was going to get out of the house for a while, but as I was entering the bathroom I heard the hot water heater running, which I thought rather curious since it'd been a couple of hours since any hot water had been used. So I went out and checked my water meter; sure enough, the dial was turning, which meant I may have a leak somewhere. So I went to the side of the house where the bathroom is located and noticed about a two pencil-width stream of hot water coming out of the over-flow pipe. I went back into the house and turned off the hot water at the heater and called a plumber friend of mine to descibe the situation. He said it wasn't too much to worry about; that either the "pop-off" valve ,or the "bladder" in the over-flow tank on top of the heater, had gone bad, and he told me just to leave it turned off until I needed hot water, then cut it back off again after I got what I did need and he'd check it out tomorrow or so.

So, it's always something.

But in Good News I DID hear back from the guy at that antique mall that owed me a buncha trade credit and he said he'd pull the books I'd put back, so maybe in the next few days I'll have me a LOT of new "reading" material. About the only bad thing I can think of with that would be that I'll have to buy me about 200-300 backing boards; thankfully they're all already bagged.

It won't be much longer until I'll be taking my annual "vacation from work" (HA!), and I do have to laugh at that a bit because everytime I have a vacation I end up working all week around the house trying to clean up/out this joint or the like. I already have plans and getting out in the storage shed and hauling out about 1/2 the contents to the dump, as well as the backroom, the utility room and the screened-in back porch (which is loaded down, too). Then I plan on giving this place a good once over cleaning-wise for the year.

Plus, I have 500-600 comics that need to be put alphabetically in long boxes, which usually takes about half a day. I'll probably not get any further than Bowling Green or Elizabethtown again this year, both of which are within 50 miles of home. All of that just depends on money situations, and of course, the all-important factor of time.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

You're Never Too Old To learn"

You know how you can learn something new all the time about comics? Well, today that's what happened with me. While I was at an antique mall in another town I bought the above pictured comic for my Classics Illustrated collection. I remembered having a copy before and buying it as a promotional comic from the Long John Silver's seafood restaurant in 1989. When I got home I tried to look it up in OPG but couldn't find it in the promotinal section. So I looked under the Classics section just to see what the number of the original was (which is #64, BTW,), and sure enough, it was listed there, and, as the 14th. (and last) print.

To my knowledge, this is the only promotional comic listed as part of an original series in The Guide, and since it was pubbed in '89, would make it the very last CI ever published from the ORIGINAL series that began in the 1940's.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Such a pleasant day.

While attempting to splice wires and repair a trailer light at work, I sliced off the tip of my middle finger on my left hand. Of course it bled like a stuck hog for a good thirty minutes. Then came home to find that (once again) I had a leak in the roof. This time in the entrance way and it's ruined a couple of ceiling panels I'll have to replace, plus getting up on the top of the house and seeing if I can seal that leak "whenever" all of this rains stops (which we've had in buckets today).

Wasn't a totally bad day, however. In the mail was another dozen or so issues of the Gilberton ("Classics Illustrated") silver-age series The World Around Us that I needed. Such a great series! Just loaded with artwork by the likes of Crandall, Torres, Williamson, Ingels, Morrow, Disbrow, L. B. Cole and Evans. I think I'm down to needing just 7 issues to complete my set of the run of 36 now.

Also in the mail, a good friend was gracious enough to send me freebie copies of #'s 93 & 119 of the silver-age Doom Patrol. Currently I have that set down to eleven issues now, with another three issues still to come in the mail (one of them the first app. in My Greatest Adventure #80), so it's getting there.

Tomorrow morning my wife and I are supposed to make a little trip about 45 miles from here where she has a craft booth set up at an antique-type mall, and I'm to look through a few long boxes of comics a guy has there that owes me quite a bit'o credit, so there's no telling what goodies I'll aquire. Probably nothing actually on my "want list" of comics, but more than likely a LOT of good reading.

Got the weekend off and the temp's here in South-Central Ky. are supposed to be moderate, so maybe it'll be a good weekend all the way around.

Hope everyone else has a great one as well!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

"The Sadness of Passing"

Trying to sit here and mull over a few lines I could write regarding the passing of two people who have passed away that I greatly admire: Frank Kelly Freas, and Will Eisner.

As with a lot of others, probably my first exposure to Freas was on the covers of MAD magazine. But I really grew to become of fan of his work later on with the various covers he did for science fiction and fantasy paperbacks. There was many a sf pb I wouldn't have bought and read had it not been for his work gracing the cover which interested me enough to buy it off the racks, so he was chiefly instrumental for my introduction to a LOT of great writers. (And for that alone I can be greatly thankful.)

The first time I saw Eisner's work was in a Super Comic reprint of The Spirit. I didn't know who he was at that time, and didn't know his name really until I first read a copy of Jules Fieffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes (circa: 1965). It was approximately the same time I was with my parents on a trip to see releatives in Louisville and they stopped at some little 7-11 gas/grocery when I saw the Harvey Spirit Giant on the rack and bought it that my true appreciation for Mr. Eisner began.

I have never since that day not had a copy of that comic in my collection. If I sold most everything else, I always kept a copy of that one; it was just too good! In time I became aware that not only was Will Eisner an excellant illustrator but one of the best writers around.

The trouble with growing old is that everyone you always admired grows old as well. Most of us were kids when we first discovered these great people and they were already, a lot of them, in their 40's, so now time is quickly taking them away from us. People like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and others are no spring chickens; many like Bill Everett, Gil Kane, Bill Woggon, Carl Barks, Hal Foster, Russ Manning,Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, and so many more have already left us.

All we can do is appreciate what legacy they have, and be thankful for those who are still among us.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

"Ringin' In Th' New"

Dot's right---

It's 2005!

Best of New Year's Wishes to One and All!