Friday, September 30, 2005

"Things That Come Around---"

And the ol' counter on this page says: OVER 5,000 hits. That only encourages me more, you know (*heh*).

This is already the last day of September; do YOU know where YOUR Autumnal Equinox is?

(Okay...the post..)

'Sfunny how "things" can get around. Way back when the Batman & Robin flick came out (you remember; the really BAD one with "Mr. Freeze"), I remembered seeing a copy of Batman #121 ( of "Mr.Zero/Freeze") at a local antique store for ten bucks. That'd been a pretty decent deal had not this issue been missing both the cover and first wrap of pages. In fact, I mentioned it to a friend and he told me that he himself "might" go buy it 'cause he knew a guy that'd probably give him more than that even in its pitiful condition ('cause that guy was a Batman collector).

Unfortunately, the antique store owner had sold what comics she had in a lot before my friend could get back to her, and that comic along with the others she had sorta all disappeared into the oblivion of who-knows-what-collection-somewhere.

Then yesterday when I went downtown to get a haircut I decided I'd drop by the new pawn shop across the street and finally check it out. Naturally one of the first things I ask in such places is whether they have any old comics for sale. The owner drags out this box of mostly low grade bronze-age books,mixed with some (crap) modern and I go thru them to find that very same comic within. I pull out a "good"condition copy of Marvel's Werewolf by Night #32 (first app. of "Moon Knight") and that coverless, page missin' Batman and the guy charges me 3 bucks for them both. (Go figure.)

Said he'd bought them at a local auction. But it is strange how comics can "get around". I have sold a comic to a person in California, and a couple years later find it at a store 30 miles away and know for a fact it's the very same comic! Some comics must have an adventure to tell that'd be greater than Gullivar's Travels IF you only knew "the story".

And that's not the only times this has happened to me. I looked at a comic once in a comic shop a good 35 miles away and passed on it because it was well overpriced and missing the back cover. Later on, I found a copy of that comic for sale on an auction, bidded on it and won it for about a third of what the shop had it priced. When it arrived and I inspected it, I discovered it to be the same copy, BUT with an unattached back cover added! And it was the correct back cover for the book (due to some research I did)! There was no mistakening it to be the same copy, but the guy I bought it from was in Oklahoma, and I in Kentucky! How'd it get there? Who added the cover? Strange, strange, strange...

Unfortunately, the comics I'd really like to find again, I never have. Such as my original copies of either Amazing Fantasy #15, OR, Fantastic Four #1. But I know they are out there "somewhere" just awaiting for me to rediscover and bring them back home by me identifying the small letters "D.P." typed on the inside front covers of each.
So... Have Faith, "boys"...Daddy's STILL lookin'!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Squid, Bob, & Other Things"

If it wasn't for the physical evidence we've had over the years, The Giant Squid would have fallen into the catagory of such legends as "The Lock Ness Monster" and "Sasquatch". But there's been credible tales for centuries of these gigantic, rarely seen deep sea creatures attacking ships, battling with whales and even remains washed ashore. So...everyone knew they actually existed, but no one had ever filmed one in the ocean. Finally that's been accomplished by a Japanese crew. Here are some startling photographs.

Well, this cooler weather certainly has made my cat ("Bob") feel great! For the past few days he's been extremely active, running, chasing his toys around, playing with a tape measure and getting into general mischief to the point of being a bit of a pest! In fact, here on my day off from work he had me up at 5 AM tearing about the house. Rotten Critter, but one can't help but laugh at some of his antics. (Just look how "smug" he is in the above photo.)

In other things, I've had a couple people ask me over the years how "exactly" do I draw one of my comic strips? That is, do I do a complete panel-by-panel break down first? Do I do the story completely in roughs, then go back and redraw the whole thing the size I want it? They, never having done this, were simply "curious".

Personally, I've done comic strips every which way. I've done the before-mentioned methods, as well as writing it out as an actual story, then going back and adapting it into a comic strip, and even had a period there where I'd create the story from merely some idea I had in my head and did each panel, write, pencil and ink them, seperately, and then combinding into a complete tale. The last method takes the longest time to do though and you really have to be careful about your spacing of panlel on the pages. These days, when I actually DO one of my rare completed strips, it's more of a combination of all of the above. regard to my post of a few days back on "The Challenge" to do a full sketch book again with new characters, I've gotten close to 40 different ones in the current book. Everything in this one is in pencils so far. Really, I may stop for a bit and try to work out one of these new characters into strip form. I've done one that I really like, and have jotted down a buncha notes for a story that seems to be just "writing itself". This occasionally happens with some of my work. I'll hit upon an idea and it seems to just roll along like the tale's already been prewritten for me and easily materializes upon paper. (Usually, they're my best work.)

And in auction wins of late I've won a full run of my favorite work by Eddie Campbell: Bacchus, the god of Wine! Finally! Been trying to find the last 20 or so issues I've needed for a long time, and this lot I won of 73 books is not only that full set, but all of his appearances in Dark Horse Presents as well, plus a signed copy of Egomania (the successor to the Bacchus series). Gonna have a lot of duplicates, but perhaps I can sell them as a "lot" as well to make back some of the $ I put out for this set. (Wish I could find a proper "captain's cap" as I'd dress up as that character come this Halloween!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Close to The Hearth"

The gods may wish folly

On one so young at heart

And the clouds may sudden gather

In times we are apart.

But winds can change so quickly

In the absense of a love;

Your mind can change completely

When a kiss becomes a shove.

The arms that once surrounded

The warmth of lover's glow

Can turn cold as the Winter

If the heart's own fondness goes.

So, backside to the fire

To take pleasure in the hearth

While red ambers still have pleasure

And the room so cleared from dark.

Time steals those days unthinking.

A clock has not a soul.

Secure your grasp on happiness

Before sad season's cold.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

"A NEW Blogger Challenge!"

There's been other blogger challenges in the past: "24 Hr. Comics"..."100 Things You Like Most About Comics" now I'd like to offer a new one aimed specifically towards those of you who like to create new characters and ideas for comic book characters.

I propose that you take a new sketch book (doesn't matter what size, but preferably 50 to 100 pages in length) and on each page create either a new character (hero or villian) until you completely fill up the booklet.

You can do them all in pencil, or ink all of them or just part of them, or color them all, or do them all in pastels or charcols..."whatever". But they must all be original creations that you've already created in the past, or new characters of your own.

And, if you can't draw, do them in "stick-figure" form, or just write a description of the character on each page: his or her powers; her or his status or to being either a good guy, or a bad guy. Give them all names, both their "real" names as well as their code names.

I started doing this back four years ago and filled up a tablet with 68 original characters. I've already begun a new sketch book a couple of weeks ago and have thus far gotten more than 30 in it. It's a great exercise for both your imagination and drawing skills.

Here's just a handful I've randomly picked from each sketch book that I've personally done, just to give you an idea of this challenge:

(Note: All characters copyright 2005 ~D.Puck' Please excuse any yellow lines that may appear on illustrations. Yes, I know that my scanner needs to be taken apart and cleaned!



"Reality Chick!"

"Original Sinner"


"The Malachite Troll"

"Glass Girl"

And now, in other "things", I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Autumn! (since I didn't post a blog on the 22nd.). Also I hope that all my friends in Texas are okay after the current hurricane as well as all others who have been suffering from the natural disasters here of late. My prayers are with you all.

Collecting-wise I've started trying to reaccumulate sets of all the "Kirby 4th. World" stuff from the early 1970's. Just got in a lot of Mister Miracles, plus a New Gods I didn't have and am awaiting some of his issues of Jimmy Olsen (including those two silly ones with Don Rickles. Not that I've given up on sets of titles like Doom Patrol (the Vertigo issues) as well as Animal Man, but I'm getting down to the nitty-gritty on those and it's difficult to win just various issues that I need to fill up "the holes" now.

Just three months from today until Christmas. Time to start getting ones' thoughts together about that (at least for those of us who celebrate this holiday). It'll be here before you know it!

Monday, September 19, 2005

"An Addition to: 9/15/05"

Remember how I griped about those historic signs being painted over with that horrendous green paint a couple posts back? Recall how I wondered why no one in our city's government did anything about preserving them and saving that particular piece of history? Well, today I discovered there's a reason for that.

Come to find out that our town doesn't own that piece of land (but they'd like to) on which the monuments which contain those signs at all, but rather by one of the local rich dicks. In fact, when I heard which real dick it was, it was like, Say no more!, because that person could care less about our local heritage; just as long as a buck can be made off of it for her. In fact, it was her family that sold all the area for the local Cave Karst Museum. It wouldn't surprize me either to discover that the area for the proposed City Park isn't owned by that family as well.

And the following statement won't mean a thing to anyone who isn't from here locally or recalls all the great picnics, social gatherings and family reunions the locals used to be able to enjoy at Mammoth Onyx Cave, but with what I hear of "current events", I'm sure that "Dr. Poe is turning in his grave".

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Sunday Thoughts"

I can't ever recall me being claustrophobic.

Growing up in an area filled with literally hundreds of caves and caverns and water tunnels, I crawled thru my share of them. Some were so narrow that I could barely squeeze my sholders thru or not turn around, but I never had any real fear of being in any sort of tight places.

Until today. And it wasn't in some dark hole in the ground, but rather in an open, lighted area.

It was when I stopped by a local gas/grocery Quick Mart to purchase a few items while coming back from the flea market. I got in line with my newspaper, and "was" going to buy myself some breakfast and a couple other items, but everyone was so crowded up in an ununiformed line with only one cashier attempting to take care of everyone, plus the store has all of these racks right in the area containing gifts, and candy, etc.

The more I stood there, the more uncomfortable I became, like I was being closed into some sort of box, that when my turn finally came to be waited on I just paid for my newspaper and got the hell out of there back into the open space outside the store.

Then I went out of my way to another store just to finish my shopping. Such places are a real problem here, especially ever since the corner Quick-Stop closed some months ago. Locals have to either drive about a mile and a half out of town to such a place, or 4 miles to the next town to that afore-mentioned place, or yet another mile or two to the interstate area where there are numberous such stores. For a convenient "quick-stop store, the one I left certainly is not.

And it's not the employees fault, but those who own and operate such places. They pay their employees little of nothing to start out with, and many times hire unskilled teenagers, idiots or people who just don't care whether they have a job of not as cashiers. Their only advantage is that many of them actually do offer health insurance after you've worked there from 3 months to a year in a group plan that makes it affordable. I suppose that incentive is there to keep what good employees they can. I know personally that it meant a lot to me when I worked at such places. Where I am now, I make good money per hour; probably as much or more than others in the area doing twice as difficult labor (due to the length of time I've been employed at my current position), but there's NO health insurance. Working at the Quick-Stops I made less, but did have the insurance which made up the difference in salary, and it's the one thing I miss not having the most since I left them.

I've checked on health insurance (just for myself, mind you) and it was over $400. per month. When I had the group coverage at the Quick-stop, it was about 1/4th. that amount, and still only 2/3rd.s of that for coverage if I'd included my wife in on the plan.

We thought a president was going to finally have a National Health Care program in this country some years back. It was a promise Bill Clinton made (and never came thru on). But we can't blame Bill. He found that it was just too expensive an idea for this country to support. And, if you'll notice, no republican president has ever offered it to us, either.

The only problem with a National Health Plan is that your care and facilities are chosen for you, but anything is still better than nothing, and you could still have the option of a private health plan. And I think the government could probably still swing such an idea if they automatically took, say, $25. out of everyone's weekly paycheck.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Unfortunately, that'll never happen. There's too much money being paid to the goverment by those in the AMA for that to come into existence. Physicians want to claim their own rates of pay. They're afraid of malpractice suits. And, that's jsut a couple of the main reasons we have so many doctors from foreign countries which do have a National Health Plan, moving to this country, because they don't want to be told what they can charge for treatments.

The best policy to have if you don't have health insurance? Well, like me, it's probably just work until you fall over dead.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

"Local Observations"

Just a "catch up" day here at home, this being my first day off since the weekend. Got up fairly early and fixed the light out in my shop (no more having to hunt down a flashlight to find something out there now), then went and got a tall ladder and fixed the drain pipe that'd come loose from the side of the house, caused by the rains froma couple weeks past. Then I restapled some plastic up on the back porch to cover a leaking area.

Had a few errands I had to get out of the way; going to the grocery and the like, and back home again to put some backing boards in some books and put them in order, eat a little lunch and finally try to relax a bit for the day.

Noticed something here in this town just yesterday that reaffirms my belief that the local historical society cares to only try to preserve anything of any "historical" value IF there's any money in it for "somebody". For years there stood a tall obelisk on the edge of 31-W HWY in honor of our famous cave explorer, Floyd Collins. In the 1960's after it had been struck twice by large trucks (resulting in the death of a man who was repairing the damage from the FIRST accident), it was torn down. On either side of the obelisk stands square-shaped constructions of stone which originally contained signs saying: "Main Entrance to Hidden River Cave" (the cavern that's actually located in the center of Horse Cave, Ky.). Rather than removing these original much faded signs and restoring at least one of them and having it "somewhere" that the public could see and appreciate (the local bookstore comes to mind as its owner has a display of old pictures and the like of the area) and replacing the space with new boards, the idiots have painted over the signs with horrendous GREEN Paint! Once again, someone in this town has ignored anything for heritage-sake and destroyed it because it wasn't "making them a dime". In fact, we still have some very historic wall paintings on the sides of a couple of brick buildings here in town that have been ignore for years until they've gotten in very bad shape. One of them is a classic Coca-Cola advertizement, probably 10-12 foot tall and 6 foot wide of a hand holding the old 8 oz. bottle with lettering, and another of a classic example of a tobacco advertizement. Rather than having sign painters attempt restoration of these, the advertizements are left to the punishment of the sun and the weather and will some day completely vanish. It's so very sad to see people let part of their heritage just totally go like that. Such signs and advertisements have been here since before the majority of the population of Horse Cave was born. It was something that their parents and grandparents would have seen.

But, you see, this town likes to put on the air that it's something it's really not. It's Nowheresville, KY., and their local claim to fame is: #1: The National Cave Karst Museum, which they were only able to get to locate here because the downtown cave had finally been reclaimed and cleaned up after so many years of sewage pollution (and of course something some the locals made a bundle on selling them the real estate located adjecent to the cave), and (#2) a little "Summer-Stock" type live theatre (which is a good thing for local young people giving them some experience in live theatre, but really only gotten any reknown due to the locals talking a couple of fairly well-known actors into sponsoring). For years now they've tried to get government funds to restore a broken down, rat-trap of a hotel near the railroad tracks back to its original condition. This would be a nearly impossible feat. All that's left of the structure these days due to neglect, rot and a couple of fires, is the brick shell. It would have to be literally torn to the ground and totally rebuilt from scratch to ever accomplish a reconstruction. Now they've let the time limit run out on the government funds, so it sits there as a death-trap ready to collapse and harm someone and an eye-sore for the entire region.

This area belongs to the city and the old building could be torn down and the bricks used as a wall around a large play area for local children. If they want people to remember the way the hotel looked originally, a bronze plaque with its likeness could be attached to the walls or a historical marker erected. But they aren't going to do that. Instead they plan a park to the rear of the cave and the theatre area instead. Just more money for someone else.

They don't even call their annual celebration The Tobacco Festival anymore. No. Days of political correctness has made that name change to Hertitage Days. Perhaps they need to recall that tobacco was one of the chief products that built this town (and in fact a reason why we ever had settlements in any of the Southern States as well). Closed these days are ALL of the tobacco barns. This was one of the main ways for locals to have jobs through the Winter months in this area. Now they concentrate more on tourism and the local factories, and in the meantime, Horse Cave becomes more of a retirement village with the passing years.

Waste of efforts...waste of money...that's really all this area's good for. If you're a young person my best advice is to finish high school, then get the hell out of here, go to college and find a decent job. There's no future for you here at all.

And if the local town's administrators want to waste money, then, HEY! I've got what's probably the oldest cemetary with members of the founding families of this area more than likely buried in my back yard! Come over here and offer me all of this money you're wasting for my property and preserve it! Believe me, if I could afford a better place and a different town to live in these days, I'll listen to your offers.

And now, before I end today's blog post, I don't want to have it come to a close on a totally negative note. Instead, I actually want to commend some of the things locals have done to improve our little town.

The first of these is the renovation of an old doctor's building back into a restaurant with a circa 1930's atmosphere as it was originally built. On the square here we now have The Happy Jazz Cafe'"! They've even readded the original-type round lights on the posts around the building and the finished product is a joy to behold! Excellant job!

Also, next to it, another building is being renovated which was originally a DX Gas Station and added on to it to make, from what I've heard, a Subway Resturant. Why they think it's important to have TWO eating places next to one another, I'm not sure. But I guess they think the cafe' will get the theatre crowd and the Subway the quick-eaters and teenagers. It's this sort of "newness" that our town needs! It's concentration on getting all of these empty downtown store redone and new businesses established that can save this town for the next generation. Much more needs to be done and the "news is" that the whole town is going to go thru a change, a rebuilding, a renovation. I sincerely hope so. As I know that I sound like I'm really down on this area, but I have a soft spot and deep concern instead. I was born here. My parents have lived here for years and many of my relatives were born in this area. I really want to see our town thrive and have NEW life, but it's going to take a serious "wake up call" before it's accomplished.

I also want to congratulate whomever helped to construct wider lanes on the outskirts of this town near the Dart Container Factory to help contain the ever-growing traffic problem there. The extra lanes should help to relieve the thick traffic associated with those going to and leaving the factory during the beginning and ends of their work shifts. Personally I don't mind the inconvenience currently from the reconstruction and welcome seeing the finished project. Good job!

I also think the new sideways look great and my thanks too for repaving the streets. We really need to see about better parking downtown though, or go back to just single side parking and try to get more customers to use the parking lots available. I know just this morning I nearly struck someone trying to cross the street, not seeing him because I was concentrating on just not hitting cars parked on both sides due to the tight space to drive (we have VERY narrow downtown streets here), and I don't think we should make ALL semi's forbidden to drive through the downtown section, but let's face it. We can't have decent passing thru traffic and side area parking as well (one or the other will have to be eliminated).

Monday, September 12, 2005

"We Were Ranting Along..."

Wanted to let know know that I've fixed this blog site where anyone (and not "just" fellow bloggers) can comment on my posts. Why I hadn't done this before is beyond me. Just never came to mind. However, to prevent automatic spamming in the comments (which has happened 3 different times this week) I'd added a notification factor where one has to copy a specific set of numbers or letters. This will make it where, if someone tries to auto spam, cannot. Comments on posts are "just that" to anyone who's reading this and thinking about spamming my readers (and myself as well).I do not appreciate spam, and won't tollerate it. If it's done purposely, I'll immediately delete your post and contact the blogger home site and report such.

And with that out of the way, is anyone else here really tired of "trash" t.v.? I'm talking about Reality Shows in partciular, such as Wife Swap where they take two total opposites and let them live for a while with each others' families? Like the women, one with manners and another without. Do you really want "Jerry Springer" type shows to fill Prime Time? Didn't we learn that such shows are a total waste of time from the old "Joe Pine" shows of the 1960's? Can we turn the dial (or, maybe that's out-dated a bit: can we use the remote) and watch "something"...anything more entertaining than this on night time t.v.? Or, how's about we just turn the set completely off, spend more time with our families, read a good book, listen to good music or do something more constructive with our lives and give the networks that promote such garbage the message that our intelligence is higher than a chimp.

And---while we're at it---let's tell "the networks" that we neither need shows considered "World's Funniest Videos" which show rather discusting scenes of people vomiting, slobbering or any of a number of other stomach-turning activities being shown, in particular around the time we may have just finished an evening's meal.

BTW, just loved the way the head of FEMA was fired recently. Always nice to know our government is constantly on the lookout for a scape-goat to blame problems on rather than putting the fault on someone higher up.

And too it'd be nice if pro sporting events were started perhaps an hour earlier so that some of us that actually have to work for a living and would really like to listen to the local news broadcasts could do so before they went to bed. Personally I have to get up early each day to make a living and can't afford to wait until nearly midnight to find out what the local news was for the day.

And..what else can I rant about today. Maybe the cost natural gas will be this Winter. Reports are that it'll be as much as 71% higher to heat this time around if we use such heating fuel. Unfortunately, I happen to be one of those, so I guess I'll be paying higher electric heating bills this time around. Some of this can't be helped, I know; part of the problem with fuel costs being high is due to the recent tragedies of "Katrina". Of course...if we were to stop fighting a war that cannot possibly be won and used such finances to help our own people here at home, it would help. I'm in full support of our service men overseas and elsewhere, but I do not currently fully support our foreign war involvements (and this is coming from someone who is basically conservative Republican).

So much for the rants. Autumn's quickly coming upon us with the first layer of leaves covering the yard, sidewalks and gullies/gutters. It "would be nice" if we had Seasons again, but for the past few years the temperatures have gone from one extreme to the other. I miss long-sleave weather to do yard work. The slight coolness of oncoming Winter helped to keep me sweating like a hog (not that I wouldn't mind having a very mild Winter for a change around here as the past couple have been terribly cold). Ah, well...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

"Dollar Rental Bin Review"

UNDERWORLD (2003/Running Time: 103 Minutes/Rated R/Horror/Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman)

Which deals with an ongoing war of hundreds of years between Lycans ("werewolves") and Vampyres. Kate Beckinsale plays the part of a "master vamyre's" daughter who throughout this flick tries to figure out why the Lycans are after a mortal (played by Speedman), not as food for for experiments on his blood

Seems this whole war began a good thousand years ago when werewolves were the servants and protectors of vampyres, and watching over their hiding places while the undead slept during the sunlight hours. One lycan dared to fall in love with a vampiress (the daughter of the Master Vampyre), marries her and they produced children: a male that was a werewolf and a female that was a vampyre.

The Master Vampyre discovers this and chains the Lycan to the floor of a dungeon and his own daughter to a post, then leaves and opens a light shaft above her, forcing the werewolf to watch his beloved vampiress burn to a crisp.

The Master Vampyre then sends his assistant to kill the lycan, but he actually fails in this and the werewolf lives on through the ages taking his revenge out against all the blood-suckers he can. Plus he has the agenda to find the last heir to his lineage (Speedman) who now has the factor in his blood to become a mixture of both werewolf and vampyre: stronger than either!

Naturally, Beckinsale and Speedman fall in love even though she's been ordered to kill him, and a good deal of the film too deals with her protecting him from both sides... until he's bitten by a werewolf. Beckinsale then "puts the bite" on him herself to add the vampyre mixture, and he transforms into---what? (Well, I don't want to give away all of the spoilers and ruin the whole flick for you).

A fun and fast paced film for all monster lovers with the added attraction of a Quentin Tarentino-type gunfight every few minutes makes this flick a good choice for that Halloween evening viewing. I'd give it a decent B+ and recommend it as a discount rental.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

"My Visit to Dinosaur World"

I freely admit to being a dinosaur-freak

I was the biggest fan of The Flintstones in elementary school.

I was the kid that begged his mom to buy a cerain box of cereal just because it had toy dinos inside.

I was the kid who brought all of his toy dinos to school and give an hour lecture on prehistoric life, correctly pronouncing all their Latin names, and knowing their individual lengths, weights and heights by heart.

When I was a teenager I drove nearly 100 miles to see The Sinclair Dinosaur Exhibit that was on tour from The World's Fair.

I made a special trip to a local distributor to buy an unopened box of "Dinosaurs Attack!" gum cards (just to make sure I had a whole set.)

I've watched every dino-flick I can think of, no matter how "cheasy" the special effects may have been; sometimes as much as three or four times.

So, No Big Surprize that today when in the local town of Cave City (KY.) during it's annual "Good Ol' Days" weekend celebration, and the Dinosaur Park (located at CC's I-65 Interchange: exit 53 here in Kentucky) had a dollar-day admission price for the locals, I had to go! The admission usually is almost ten bucks per person. And, it's worth it for an individual, but would be pretty costly for a tourist family if you had several kids that were "into" dinosaurs. Still, it'd be a pretty nice visit. They have at least 70 different dinosaur exhibits along a 1/2 mile trail. Plus there's a free museum, free movie house and other free things for the kids to do. I'm sure one could actually spend a good half a day looking and reading the signs at the individual scenes. Plus it's only 10 miles from Mammoth Cave National Park and there's all sorts of stuff between the Dino-Park and The National Park. Hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc. They're just all sorta located altogther in that area and a good place for a vacation.

But, I digress. Back to the dinos!

There's a life-size T-Rex in the trees before you get to the entrance to the park. Plus a full-size tricerotops at the entrance gate. The front of the gift shop entrance (which you go thru to get to the main area of the park and where one also buys tickets) is decorated with various dinosaurs. The whole place has a very "Jurassic Park" look to it, which I'm sure is what they'd aimed at (and succeeded).

If you do go sometime, skip buying much at the gift shop. Jacked-up prices caused me to buy just a couple of postcards, but they do have a great variety of toy dinosaurs, larger detailed models, t-shirts, fossils and the whole nine yards dedicated to "the theme".

And here following are links to several photos I took today. I think I took around 60 shots and while editing them probably eliminated 10 due to lighting factors or clarity, so this is just part of them; the ones I thought looked the best and gave one a good idea of what they had to offer.

Entrance Dino

"You talkin' to ME?!"

Group Shot

"Hi, Yuz!"

Dinos Looking At Tourists

Beaked Dinos


Mama & Her Babies

Tricerotops Family

"A Nice Couple"

MYSELF Next to Interstate Sign (for size perspective)

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Let's Groan"

"An old hillbilly farmer had a wife who nagged him unmercifully. From morning till night (and sometimes later), she was always complaining about something. The only time he got any relief was when he was out plowing with his old mule. He tried to plow a lot.

One day, when he was out plowing, his wife brought him lunch in the field. He drove the old mule into the shade, sat down on a stump, and began to eat his lunch. Immediately, his wife began haranguing him again. Complain, nag, nag; it just went on and on.

All of a sudden, the old mule lashed out with both hind feet; caught her smack in the back of the head. Killed her dead on the spot.

At the funeral several days later, the minister noticed something rather odd. When a woman mourner would approach the old farmer, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a man mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement. This was so consistent, the minister decided to ask the old farmer about it.

So after the funeral, the minister spoke to the old farmer, and asked him why he nodded his head and agreed with the women, but always shook his head and disagreed with all the men.

The old farmer said: "Well, the women would come up and say something about how nice my wife looked, or how pretty her dress was, so I'd nod my head in agreement."

"And what about the men?" the minister asked.

"They wanted to know if the mule was for sale."

A woman comes home and tells her husband, "Remember those headaches
I've been having all these years? Well, they're gone."

"No more headaches?" the husband asks, "What happened?"

His wife replies, "Margie referred me to a hypnotist. He told me to stand in front of a mirror, stare at myself and repeat 'I do not have a headache; I do not have a headache, I do not have a headache.' It worked! The headaches are all gone."

The husband replies, "Well, that is wonderful."

His wife then says, "You know, you haven't been exactly a ball of fire in the bedroom these last few years. Why don't you go see the hypnotist and see if he can do anything for that?"

The husband agrees to try it.

Following his appointment, the husband comes home, rips off his
clothes, picks up his wife and carries her into the bedroom.
He puts her on the bed and says, "Don't move, I'll be right back."
He goes into the bathroom and comes back A few minutes later and
jumps into bed and makes passionate love to his wife like never before.

His wife says, "Boy, that was wonderful!"

The husband says, "Don't move! I will be right back."

He goes back into the bathroom, comes back and round two was even
better than the first time. The wife sits up and herhead is spinning.
Her husband again says, "Don't move, I'll be right back."

With that, he goes back in the bathroom. This time, his wife
quietly follows him and there, in the bathroom, she sees him
standing at the mirror and saying, "She's not my wife. She's not
my wife. She's not my wife!"

--A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The
stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one
carrion allowed per passenger."

--Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other
and says, "Dam!"

--Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in
the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you
can't have your kayak and heat it too.

--Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The
other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

--Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a
root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

--A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were
standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After
about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to
"But why?" they asked, as they moved off.
"Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

-- These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened
up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to
buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the
competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would
not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So,
the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug
in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed
their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop.
Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

--Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time,
which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also
ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he
suffered from bad breath. This made him .....
(Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good).....
A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"Random Reviews"

Early yesterday morning before I went to work, I turned on the Turner Movie Channel to find them playing the 1925 silent version of Doyle's The Lost World. I had never seen this entire movie. Over the years I'd seen clips of it "here and there", and maybe 15 minutes of so of it at some scifi convention in my younger days. Plus I'd seen various photos from it in Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine or some such thing years ago. So as I sat there drinking my coffee and attempting to get woke up, I watched the better part of it.

I'm sure that had I seen this old movie, say, 35-40 years ago when I was a little kid and big time into monsters and dinosaurs, I would have enjoyed it much more. But those many years now of high-tech special effects have jaded me a bit at quirky-looking brontosaurus's.

It's not that this film wasn't a masterpiece of its time. In fact, such stop-action photography is a painstaking effort to make anything non-animated appear to be so. Had it not been for this film we would probably never had King Kong or the multitute of other such movies afterwards. Even certain themes used in this 1925 flick were used again and again in other movies. Probably the most notable of those would be that a gigantic, prehistoric beast (or monster) is captured and taken to a large city, only to escape and wreck major havor upon its citizens. This occured in King Kong, and Gorgo, and 20,000,000 Miles to Earth (among others).

The difference between those movies and the original Lost World was that the creature actually escapes when the bridge its walking across collapses and it falls into the river to swim safely away (instead of the gigantic beast being killed by, usually, The Army). But, naturally, not until it destroys a few buildings, stomps on a couple people and maybe has one of two along the way for lunch.

And even though I didn't enjoy seeing it today as I would have long many years ago, I can still appreciate the efforts that went into creating such a film in a time when the movie industry was very young and such techniques were still experimental, rather than now, "old hat".

Somewhat of another disapontment to me recently was the reading of the 1990 Malibu Graphics' trade paperback collection of Cat & Mouse. I had several TPBs lying around unread and wanted something that was new to me, so I pulled this one out of the stack and read the back cover blurps to find that the characters were placed in, of all currently relevant newsworthy cities, New Orleans!
"How wonderful!" I thought, as the illustrations could be of many historic buildings that have now been either destroyed or damaged due to Katrina's wake.

But alas, no. Although the stories were well written and illustrated by the team of Roland Mann, Mitch Byrd and Steve Butler, it concentrated mainly on the characters themselves instead of their surroundings.

It's not that the backgrounds are poorly drawn, for they are not. But they are of the sort that they could be from anywhere or any city, and play such a minor part in the tales.

What a shame that this just doesn't "hit the mark"; it could have been a collection of stories of historical referance. But it was simply another "crime-fighting duos" book. And, I can't really blame its creators for they had no knowledge of what would happen to New Orleans those 15 years ago when the book came out. But it just could have been so much more to many of the New Orleans' displaced residents today.

Monday, September 05, 2005

"The Follow-Up"

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

As promiced, here's a full listing of the 38 different comic strips ("Blondie 75th. Anniversary" tribute) yesterday's post illustration characters were all from:

Arlo and Janis

Baby Blues


Beetle Bailey

Blondie (naturally)




Dennis the Menace

Dick Tracy


Flash Gordon

For Better or Worse


Frank and Ernest


Gasoline Alley

Hagar the Horrible


Hi and Lois


Mallard Fillmore



Mother Goose and Grimm


Rose Is Rose

Sally Forth

Sherman's Lagoon


Snuffy Smith

The Born Loser

The Family Circus

The Lockhorns

The Wizard of ID




Great job, Young & Lebrun!

Sorry, but no one took a challenge over on the eBay Comics Chat Board to individually name all of the characters themselves. (In fact, it took all of us Comic Experts a good 6 or 7 hrs. just to come up with this list! (LOL!)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Happy 75th. Anniversary Blondie & Dagwood!"

I'd like to wish the comic strip BLONDIE a Happy 75th. Anniversary!

Our local newspapers have always carried this comic strip as far back as I can remember. I've watched "Baby Dumpling"(Alex) and "Cookie" grow up, watched their dog, "Daisy" have pups, "Blondie" become an independent business woman and of course, "Dagwood" constantly be late for work and knock down their mailman! So even though Chic Young is gone, his legacy lives on!

(P.S.: Be sure to click on the link above for a nice "Anniversary" drawing including the strip's cast as well as many other newspaper strip characters!)

Saturday, September 03, 2005


So much has been already said and written regarding the tremendous trajedies caused by Hurricane Katrina that I feel I can add little more. However, I do wish to warn everyone that when you make donations for the causes of its victims to be sure you donate to reputable charities (especially if you're making cash donations) so it will be actually used to help those in need. And remember that blood donations are always needed. Also beware of e-mail scams that are already out there by a bunch of sickos trying to make that buck off of the sorrows of others.

And...on to otherthings.

Congratulations to fellow blogger "Robby Reed" on his 100th. Blog Post! You can read his blog by either clicking on the link at the bottom right column titled: Dial B For Blog, or by simply clicking HERE. (And, I'd like to thank him for adding my own "Beatles & Bizarros" blog to his own links!) You always do a great job, Robby!

Since the rain has moved on out of this area we've ended up with some just beautiful weather today; temps in the mid 80's, clear skies and wonderful sleeping weather at nights where we haven't had to run either the AC or the fans. Maybe what we're saving in the electric bill will help make up what we're losing on the gasoline prices! Been out mowing today, but that'll soon be over as well, for with cooler temperatures comes a change of season and Autumn is just around the corner. Of course, then I'll be mulching, raking and hauling off leaves, instead.

Time do fly and this year is quickly coming to a close here with less than 4 months until Christmas, and this being Labor Day weekend. I know that things will definately be slower where I work. Between the current economy and gas prices, people just are staying closer to home rather than making that last grand trip before the close of Summer. We usually have three people per day in the retail store where I work, and that's been cut back to just two now. A couple of the employees will be returning to school, but I don't think my employer will add others to take their place; probably just work us "regulars" extra days. In fact, this is the first day I've had off after working six days straight.

Haven't bought or gotten in much lately in the way of new comics. Haven't won anything on auction bids. In fact, I've cut way back on that. I did purchase a collection of 130 misc. issues of Nexus from a friend that needed a little extra cash. It consists of the first 80 issues of the Capitol/First Nexus title and full runs and all one-shots, plus the three issues of the Capitol Publications Nexus Magazine in which the character made his initial appearance. I always liked Mike Baron's work and the first 50 or so issues of the comic are beautifully drawn by Steve Rude, as well as some of the mini-series and one-shots, plus the mags. Fortunately I currently only had about 10 or so Nexus comics around, so I had few duplicates in the lot.

My wife and a couple of her friends are going in together to rent a small building space for a "Crafts & Crap" sorta store. Just an outlet to sell her crafts and put some flea market stuff in as well in the hope we can unload a bunch of it. I know for certain I have at least 300 comic book duplicates and probably that many paperbacks I can stick in there to sell for a quarter each and help make some room around here. Plus, after we took everything down and boxed it up to paint the living room this year we still have all of that stuff that my wife has decided she doesn't want back in that particular room cluttering it up, so there's more stuff, too. With what all we have in the storage building and other places I'm certain we won't have to worry about any "stock".

Have a safe Labor Day!