Sunday, May 29, 2005

"Goodbye Oliver"

I really hated to hear about Eddie Albert dying yesterday (altho' he WAS 99!)

Besides being a veterin actor for so many years, I suppose most of us will always remember him as Oliver Wendell Douglas, the guy who gave up city life and took his wife (played by Eva Gabor) out to buy a broken down farm in Hooterville on the 1960's t.v. show, Green Acres.

Green Acres was the most surrealistic show on t.v. back then. "Eva" would read the writer's credits and ask, "Where are all those lines coming from?" From which Oliver would be clueless.

Add to that "Mr. Haney" always trying to sell Oliver some broken down piece of junk, hired hand "Eb" always wanting to borrow money so he could take some stupid mail order degree, an insane County Agent named "Hank Kimble", and a pig named "Arnold Ziffle"(the real star of the show and one they kept having to replace due to him outgrowing his cuteness) whose oinks! could actually be understood by his "father" and it was a pretty wacky 30 minutes a week!

It was silly, and funny, and one of those shows I'd always watch and laugh my ass off at.

So, Goodbye "Mr. Douglas". I guess Shady Acres is now the place for you to be.

Friday, May 27, 2005

"I'll Keep Re-Loading"

And tourist season has officially begun. (Lord, grant me strength not to kill again.)

So for the next three months, IF I'm actually able to make thru that time again, I'll be putting up with people that for some unknown reason seem to lose at least 50% of their I.Q. just because they're on vacation in a different state.

People that will not read any sign we have posted and ask the same stupid questions and have to be literally run out of the store at closing time, because, well hey? What else have they got to do? I mean, just because the employees have only been there 9-1/2 hrs. doesn't mean any of them really want to go home, right?

Maybe it's just me. I've worked retail sales now for a good 35 years and I am soooo burnt out on it all. I'd really like to find a job that doesn't deal directly with the public at all, but I'm afraid the choices in this area are limited to either retail work or factories, and at my age with MY feet, I just don't think I could handle standing in one spot for over a few hrs. a day at a time. All I keep looking forward to is retirement, which will be at least 8 more years down the road if I make it that long. And at times I think those chances are just about as slim as me hitting a multi-million dollar lotto so I can retire early.

Do I wish I was 20 again? Not on your life! I just have that to look forward to all over.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

"Jazz Me Latin!"

I've always been a great fan of anyone who could play an alto sax. Probably because I own one myself and could never "master" it.

When I was a teenager I started off in band playing clarinet, then trumpet, and finally the alto. Of the three, I was only half-way decent on the trumpet; but my love was more for the woodwinds. So I listened to music by anyone that could play the saxophone.

Then one day I came across something I thought truely unique; a copy of an l.p. by jazz performer Bunky Green called The Latinization of Bunky Green. I plunked down my $2.98, or whatever it was back then that such l.p.s cost, took it home and threw it on that old 60's-style turntable, and within 20 minutes had deeply fallen into the world of this musical genius.

This was Green's fourth l.p., but all previous albums had concentrated more on either modern or classical jazz. In this one, he decided to go The Latin Way, making it the most memorable of his efforts. Recorded in November of '66, Green used Larry Boyle & Bob Ojeba on the trombones, Arthus Hoyle on the trumpet, Antonio Castro on the keyboards, Tony LaRosa on the bass, then added Willie Negron, Vitan Santiago and Manuel Ramos on the congos, oijdo and timbales (respectfully), producing rhythms that were unstoppable in making you want to get up out of your seat and move-it-baby!

In particular on this l.p. I enjoy cuts such as "How's Your Mambo?", "Feeling Good", "Guajira Con Cha-Cha-Cha", "Fast 'n' Foxy" and "Do It Like You Feel It", but really, there's not a bad cut on the thing.

Maybe a little difficult to locate these days, but really a recommended buy for those who love the alto, jazz and That Latin Beat. Originally released by Cadet Records (1967).

Friday, May 20, 2005

"Some Free Time At Last!"

T.G.I. M-F'n F.

Been a rough week at work folks, but now here's my first weekend off in 6 weeks and I do plan on thouroughly enjoying it as much as possible!

Came in today and two different auction wins had arrived. TPB copies of Kirby's The Forever People, and Mr. Miracle, plus 35 misc. issues of Animal Man I needed. LOTS of good readin' ahead for me! There'll be 2 of the MM TPB's to collect all 18 issues, so that'll definately be on my "Want List". Also there'll be 2 volumes of Kirby's Jimmy Olsen stories (altho' only one is currently available), plus there's a New Gods collection I'll soon pick up. I've had a full set of these a couple times in their original comic book form, but it's sooo much easier reading them collected this way (and, I don't even mind them being in B&W.)

The Mr. Miracle book had a little water damaged to the bc and last few pages, which wasn't listed as such in the auction listing. I think the guy said it had some wear and tear, but, "what th' heck"? I can't complain. It's totally readable and I won it and the other Kirby TPB for a mere five bucks for BOTH (like, nearly $30. if I'd bought them retail)!

I'll put them aside for a rainy day tho', since they're stories I've previously read (albeit 30 year or better ago), and concentrate on catching up with the A-man's first. These have given me all except about 20 of the set (out of 89 issues + an Annual); not a bad collection and probably fairly easy to complete 'sometime".

You may have noticed that I've added a couple of new links to the bottom of the right column: Scott McCloud's blogger page, and a little ditty called "Dial B For Blog", which I think you'll enjoy, so click on over there and check them out! (No. Not now! Geez! At least wait until I'm done for today! Sum people...)

But I won't keep anyone from really enjoying themselves. Besides, I'm dry tonight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tull Death Do Us Part"

Back many years ago, I cleaned out a big bunch of my l.p.s. Probably had around 450-500 of them, but there was a lot that I didn't really listen to; many I'd gotten out of the K-Mart bargain bins for a buck or two just because they looked like they might be interesting. So, I sold around half of them, keeping stuff like The Beatles or The Stones and others I knew I'd listen to for more than likely the rest of my life.

Well, I forget exactly why, but I let my original copy of Jethro Tull's Aqualung go in that lot, and have regreted it ever since. May have included it by mistake, just don't remember. Perhaps because the first time I ever heard this l.p. was circa 1972 when I was dating my first wife, and her brother had a copy he was playing. Could very well be why I let the album go since it brought up memories of my time with her! (*heh*) But, anyway... I've looked around for a replacement for that now for a few years.

So, today, while going thru several $1. boxes a guy had at the local flea market, I found a really nice copy of it. Listening to it again I can see just why it was indeed a favorite l.p.; from Ian Anderson's strong vocals, to Barre's amazing guitar, to Bunker's percussions, Evan's keyboards and Dammond's bass beat, the title song, in particular, keeps one rivited.

In fact, the whole album is very good, maybe the best thing Tull ever produced, or at least the most memorable to me. Besides the title cut, my second favorite song would be the energetic My God from Side Two, which is followed by the light-touch of Hymn 43, then right into Evan's piano piece. The entire album is very jointed-together from lightness to the driving power of Locomotive breath. And I always got a kick out of Anderson's little laugh in Wind-up (which is maybe the best-written song), only to to be followed by a "yuck" in the same place the next time that part of the lyrics came around.

Guess when the day comes that there's an estate
for the ol' Puck homestead, someone else will find this copy. Hope they love it as well as I!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"The Big Vacation Finale"

At 7:AM we started in on painting the living room. We worked on this until about 3PM, then while the paint was drying, I went out and actually washed my car! It'd been so long since I had I was afraid that dirt was all there was keeping it from falling apart. In fact, some of the grim wouldn't come off with a regular washing, so I'll probably have to use a little buffing compound on it some time soon.

Worked on that for 45 minutes to an hour, then came back in, hooked back up the tv and phone, hung back up the wall clock and put back up the curtains, then rearranged all the furniture back into place. I must admit, not only does the room look better, but much brighter as well!

And all the time this was going on I was slow cooking a crock pot of beans. Thus ends my 9 day vacation from my regular job. Back to work tomorrow; maybe then I can get a rest.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

"Happy Muthah's Day:

A Happy Muthah's Day to All You Muthahs Out There! (And, to any moms as well!)

Today's local flea market find made me happy (or, at least happy for 1 hr. and 32 minutes). I found a spankin' brand new copy of the 1981 Caveman on DVD, which is my favorite Ringo Starr flick (outside of any combination with other ex-Beatles). Also starring the delightful Shelly Long, the ever-popular Dennis Quaid, the always funny Jack Gilford, the volumptuous Barbara Bach, the rediculous Avery Schreiber, and the frighteningly large John Matuszak! Ex-Beatle, comedy stars, a pro football player, an unbelievably large-breasted woman (who, incidently, went on to become Mrs. Ringo Starr!), the "Crackerjack Man", dinosaurs....Hey! What else could you want?

Had a call this morning from someone with 7 long boxes crammed full of modern-type comics he wanted to sell. I had already looked thru this lot, even picked thru it and bought mostly what I wanted, and there was still a good 1,000 books left. At one time, you may recall I mentioned, I offered the guy two "C" notes on the lot, but he was selling them for a friend and the original owner turned down the offer thinking he could make a fortune off of (mostly) "crap". And even tho' I knew it would have been a LOT of duplication for me personally (especially among the Superman and Batman type titles), I thought I could always use the backing boards and bags and perhaps "lot" the rest out on eBay (or, "somewhere").

Well, after he turned down my offer, I told myself that I was simply thru with making any offers on that stuff, and would invest what funds I had into some higher priced older stuff that I knew was already worth some bucks, and I did. Then he calls and says the guy'll sell it for my offer. So I turned him down flat.

To me, in such lots, it's dime-a-book stuff there; maybe really a hundred to $150. for it all. I'd take what I wanted and the rest would more than likely be sitting around here in my way until I could lot it out as well to someone else. All I could tell him about those books were, "If you snooze, ya lose!" (It DID give me just a small bit of satisfaction from the whole deal, I must shamefully admit.)

BTW, yesterday will be the absolute last time I ever let a ferret guest-host this page! (Next time, it'll the the cat!)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

"Frankly Speaking"

Hello. My name is Frank, and I'm a ferret.

~D.Puck' decided to take the day off and enjoy at least a little time of his vacation and asked me to guest-host his blogger page.

I don't know anything really about politics, comic books, music, art, the local flea markets, work, or, really, anything else. About all I really do know is about things like grubs, and worms, and running around metal wheels in my cage all day. I don't really know how much help I'll be to Puck', but he's left me a list of questions people have written in to him , and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

Question #1: What do you feel is the best film thus far in 2005?

Frank: I don't watch movies, but if they were about grubs & worms, I'm sure it would catch my attention.

Question #2: Do you think that President Bush is doing a good job of running the country?

Frank: Like I said before, I don't know anything about politics, but if he's a bush I'd say that would be a good place to take a nap and pleasant shade from the hot sun, or maybe a good place to dig for grubs & worms.

Question #3: Who did you pick to win the Kentucky Derby today?

Frank: What's a derby?

Question #4: How do you think we'll ever solve the problem of World Hunger?

Frank: Why should anyone ever go hungry when there's plenty of grubs & worms?

Question #5: What do you do with your free time besides blogging?

Frank: I chase Puck's cat and occasionally eat it's cat food, run around in a metal wheel in my cage, sleep, lick myself and look for grubs & worms.

Question #6: Do you think there's a God?

Frank: Well, something cleans the cage!

Question #7: In a fight between Thor and Earthworm Jim, who do you think would win?

Frank: Did someone just mention worms?

Question #8: Have you ever actually seen an anteater, OR a tapir?

Frank: No. I've never been to Paraguay (where they are both native animals).

Question #9: Can you please tell me what the square root is of 63,987,956?

Frank: Yes, that would be 7999.2472.

Question #10: What's your favorite food?

Frank: A McChicken Salad is very tasty! Also, grubs & worms.

That's all for now. I need to lick my fur, then eat, then take a nap.

Friday, May 06, 2005

"Day 4"

Ah,yes...Day 4 of my so-called vacation...

Well, I finally got my car back. Some wires had broken in two in the rear which had caused my tail lights and back turn signals not to work, so they're operable once again. However, the mechanic didn't fix the "thup!" in the rear because he didn't have the part, which is a suspension bolt which had broken on one side. He did tell me which kind to get so I went to the local parts house, where, naturally, one cannot purchase just the single bolt as they're sold in pairs. Anyway, I dropped $52. at the mechanic and was out of a car for 2-1/2 days, plus another $18. for the bolts so thus far I've invested $70. in repairs (not counting what the mechanic will charge me "sometime-next-week" to install the bolt).

And I went to a yard sale with my wife, but we didn't buy anything. The person there had some nice wood crafts (hand-made furniture and yard ornaments) but we felt he was too high. Did finally stop by and pick up both my paycheck for last week plus my vacation pay and deposited that.

Came back home and packed up the rest of my VSH tapes and moved the rack from the living room as we're going to paint that room next week(Lord knows it needs it!) Had all those boxes of tapes in the closet with my extra paperbacks, so I moved all of the tapes out to storage and covered them up safely, leaving just the paper items inside the house. I've finally got all of that about as straightened up and moved out for room as I can now. Looks better!

Haven't really rested that much this week, but that's typical of whenever I take "time off" from work. Seems like it's for trying to catch up on everything else that really needs to get done.

Was wanting to go to the comic store tomorrow for Free Comic Book day, but don't know yet if that'll happen. Wasn't planning on buying anything really while I was there, save maybe some backing boards and comic bags I needed. Maybe I can get someone else to pick me up some of the freebies for me instead.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

"Enough is TOO Much!"

Okay. Here's where I get all of the Star Wars fans to hate me.
Personally, I'm really burned out on SW. I wish that outside of the first flick made in the 70's, there had never been another.

The original movie was great! One of the best movies of that decade! Wonderful cutting edge special effects! Nice touches of humor! Excellant characters! A spectacular "space western", and the heroes and villians were well defined. I really didn't need additional films to cloud that line of perception, or was it important to me to discover "how" any of them became that way. It was complete in itself.

Once they stated that everyone was related to one another, then added "Yoda", then "The Ewoks", to me it had lost it's value. Add to that nearly 30 years and 10 billion dollars worth of merchandicing, and I could care less. I watched Episode 1, and thought it only "so-so". Watched about 1/2 of Episode 2 before I hit the rewind button and returned the rental. Don't care a single thing about seeing Episode 3, and I waited until I could view either of those movies in the privacy of my own home (probably because I didn't want a theatre crowd to hear me cursing Lucas). (Incidently, I waited until they were ALL .99 rentals!)

And my feelings are even worse towards Star TREK flicks! The second one, "Wrath of Khan", should have been made FIRST! The first ST movie was waaayyyy too looonnnggg! And, pretty much. boring! They didn't return the characters to the original uniforms. Everyone wanted the 1960's series; it just did not deliver. And 2 of those would have been enough, but they kept on beating that dead horse for 7 or eight flicks until even the die-hard fans were yawning.

Hollywood has a habit of dragging these things on until they know they simply can not make any more money off of them. Other examples of this would be the Batman and Superman flicks. No more than 2 of them would have been fine. Superman should have stopped with the second one; Batman, no more than one.

But they'll never learn. As long as there's some fanboy "somewhere" that's willing to hand over nearly ten bucks to watch 2 hours of these things, they'll keep on cranking them out.

My theatre seat, however, shall remain empty.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"Day 2"

Ah! Looks like both my pics' and counter's back up and running! Good! Glad I didn't have to fix all of that again!

Went up to visit my father-in-law for a while today, and stopped by the antique mall while I was at it. A dealer there was going out of business and sold me well over 200 sci-fi paperbacks for less than a dime each. Went thru them and kept about half and probably sell the rest to "someone". Really didn't need to keep what I did as I've got, oh, 2000-3000 paperbacks around here and many I've still to read. Biggest problem I have in that's just finding a place to store them. I guess I have close to a 1000 right here on shelves in my computer room, and the rest crammed into a closet along with maybe 1000 VHS tapes. One'a these days that floor in the closet will end up in the crawl-space under the house from the weight!

Also got in the deal a 1976 Planet of the Apes plastic model. It's of an "ape soldier", and one I didn't have. I don't really collect models anymore, but it was cheap and pretty neat. Can't decide if I'll paint it (since it's assembled out -of- the- box) or just leave it be.

And I picked up a little over a dozen modern comics; issues I didn't have of DC's Animal Man, and the other two issues I still needed of the Congorilla Lmt. Series from a few years back. The Congorilla series, from what I read of it is okay. I was always a big fan of the "Congo Bill" character. he goes way back with his origins (I think) in the early 1950's when he had his own short-lived title. I got in on him when he appeared as a back-up feature (first in Action Comics PRE-"Supergirl") and followed his adventures all thru the time that he became the Golden Gorilla, "Congorilla". I haven't finished reading this series, so I hope they didn't ruin the character in any way for me.

So the 2nd. Day of my vacation went well, except that my car has been at the garage all day and I won't get it back until at least tomorrow, having the mechanic fix my back turn signals and brake lights, and maybe a wheel baring. Hope the repairs don't cost more than that car is worth! (*heh*)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"The True Friend"

Today I looked thru a collection of comics a guy had for sale that I just might as well get them out-of-my-mind of actually buying , 'cause I can see that I probably won't be able to afford to (altho' Lord knows I'd LOVE to have them all).

A guy showed me 7 or 8 boxes crammed full of comics, mostly from the mid 1960's to the early 70's. The boxes were of various sizes, but I'd low estimate the number of them at (at least) 1200-1300 books. The average conditions were from Fair to VG as none had ever been bagged/boarded; just stacked into boxes after being read a few times off and on over the past 40 odd years.

Every company I can think of was represented in them: DC, Marvel, Charlton, Dell, Gold Key, Tower, ACG, Classics,Harvey,misc.companies. There was 2 big boxes just of DC's, another 2 boxes of Archies, another 2 of Harveys, another of Gold Keys, a box of misc. mixed; not that many Marvels (maybe 100 or better). A LOT of humor stuff; maybe 1/3rd. super-hero stuff. There was also one HUGE box of coverless,damaged and "pieces" of comics.

The problem was that he wouldn't give me any sort of "opening price" on the lot. He said he had never been an impulse buyer, so he wasn't going to be an impulse seller. About all I could do was tell him approximately what I bought lots for and leave him my name and phone number and not try to appear overly anxious about acquiring them. Maybe he'll get back in touch with me, and maybe not. But it sure was a Mother-Load!

But, I think in the future, when someone tells me they have any of these large lots of comics I'll just pass on even looking at them. I mean, it was great just seeing them, but knowing that they will either be out of my reach financially, or of ever having them for my own, is simply down right depressing! And I have to be careful about getting in such a mood because the last time I got depressed about my collections, I ended up selling them (something I've regreted ever since).

A bit over fifteen years ago a "friend" (former friend I should add) and I went in on a large collection. There were only a handful of comics from it that I actually wanted just to complete some silver-age sets. My share was only 1/3rd., with the other guy carrying the rest of the balance. This other guy went to pick up the collection and went thru them, and then wouldn't give me the books to which I was promiced, saying he couldn't afford to to make back his share of the money on the deal, or that those particular books weren't actually IN the collection (even tho' I knew they were). I ended up with books that my personal share in the deal could have bought outright, but for full book value, while my so-called "partner" made a killing on the remainder.

This deal soured me so much about comics and buying them, that on an impulse I sold nearly my entire collection and swore to never collect again. Of course, anyone that's a true comic book collector gets the "bug" again after a few years, and I started back re-buying books, which naturally cost me more this time around because I had gotten a lot of them before in "lot" deals. And my collection now isn't anywhere as good as before; all I can think about is how much money I'd have to shell out to ever make it that way again.

But I did learn a very valuable lesson in all of this, which was: No matter how good a friend you think you have, they may not be when there's money involved. That a true friend will never rip you off. One really needs to think about any experiences closely regarding those they deal with whose interests paralell your own.

I feel fortunate that today I do have a handful of true friends; ones that I could give a thousand dollars to and they'd never think a second thought about being honest with me. I only hope they know they can feel the same way concerning me.

P.S.: (BTW, what de heck is up with my Counter and Photos not showing up??? Please, Lord, don't tell me I'm going to have to go back thru and fix all of that again!)

Monday, May 02, 2005

"Happy Blog Anniversary to ME"

Yes, I've actually been bloggin' now for a whole year! Geez. Where do dat time go??? Looks like around 2400 hits here, which I guess is okay (means somebody besides ME is reading it anyway!)

I watched the Man-Thing made-for-tv flick the other night , and thought it wasn't all "that bad". The FX were pretty good, had decent lighting for a movie involving a swamp, fairly decent acting, a believable creature (altho' not exactly looking like the Marvel character, but that was expected), and thought it a nice tribute to name one of the characters Mike Ploog. It holds up well as a single flick, but I wouldn't think it'd do good as a regular t.v. series (which is something SCI FI Channel sorta tests the waters for with such).

And now here's something just to drive everyone nuts called:The Color Test.

(The first time I took this "test" I only got a 38%. Then I went back and RE-read the instructions and the second time got 88%, and finally a 100% on the 3rd. attempt.)

I begin a week's vacation today. Was supposed to actually start on the 10th., but as usual, my boss got her "butt in a sling" by not having enough people to cover the weekends. 'Got a LOT of work here around the house to try to do this week including trying to relocate 40 long boxes of comics from the computer room to some OTHER space just so I can move around in here!