Monday, October 31, 2005

"Touch Upon Time"

When I was six years old, I got my first indication of how death can affect a family.

It was Halloween, October 31st., 1957. I was in the first grade. Scarcely had I been home from school but an hour or so that my mother informed me that my older cousin, Sue, had gotten struck by a train at the crossing that my older brother and I went across every day as we walked to school. Mom had gone to school that day and picked us up instead of letting us walk home, because that area had become a bit of a circus from the police and the morbidly curious. Sue was only 8 years old.

She lived two doors down from us on Water Street, walking home from school the same path as all us kids in the neighborhood. She just had not noticed the approaching train. She died instantly.

I can remember walking down the street past my cousin's house a little while later. Her 9 year old brother, sobbing, and leaning against a tree in their front yard. It was my first experience and my first knowledge that death was a real thing, and it meant a great loss.

Here nearly 50 years later, I have experienced loss from death many times. Some of these losses have been much closer that I'd ever wished them to be. happens. With my father now age 85 and frail, and my mother 80, I feel very lucky that I have been able to share so many years with them. Their lives have been very full ones. They are much loved by many people. I can only hope that if I personally live as long as they have, my life can be half as enriched.

I see death in a more realistic view than I did as a twenty or thirty year old. I see it as an eventuality. Time passes so quickly as we grow older. And yet...

That time when I was six seems both so long ago, and as well like it was just yesterday. Like I could just reach out my hand and see the world around me such as it was five decades past. I think time must indeed be a circle and we stand in the center watching all events at once, weighing the good and bad decisions we've made, and the good and not so good times we've endured.

It's just part of being human.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

"The Past, In Pasteboard"

Today at the local flea market I found a true piece of American history for a mere two bucks.

It is the A Century of Progress Exposition Official Book of Views, which was the guide book for the 1933 World Exposition (World's fair) held in Chicago.

The book in lavashed with beautiful color plates and percise diagrams and layouts of the exposition, some of which are almost surrealistic.

Such as "rocket cars" (a monrail) traveling above the exposition so tourists can get a better look, while propeller-driven airplanes and dirigibles fly in the background. Tall skyscraper sort of buildings, Halls of Science, etc., gives it all a very Things to Come sort of feel. Everything is very uplifting and full of promise, which is what the whole theme was meant to be in 1933.

That's because this nation was in a depression, and President Franklin Roosevelt was trying desperately to make his "New Deal" ideas work. For the majority of the people in this country were out of work, farms were suffering in the mid-west from the harsh dust bowl affect, and...well...times were rough. Very rough.

Anyone with parents old enough to have lived through this time period will tell you that people, in general, just had nothing. They lived on nothing, and they made little of nothing for a day's work (IF they were lucky enough to have a job).

People living today if they're under the age of 70, don't know what that feels like. Sure, there's poverty and people are out of work, but back then before social security and government benefits, you had nothing to look foreward to. You just existed and fought to live your life and keep those you loved alive from day-to-day. If the same scenario was to happen today, this country would be in piss poor shape to handle it.

Crime would escalate to such a degree unimaginable. We think about all of these poor, unfortunates here lately that are homeless and lost loved ones from natural disasters, but...what would it be like if there was NO government relief at all? Complete and total anarcy.

Things have changed since 1933. We never got a monorail in every city, or such things as personal rocket cars and electric highways. 'Course, we don't need them since, if you're reading this, you have a device right in front of you that'll take you anywhere in the world, pay your bills without having to get up out of your seat, contact your friends without lifting the telephone, play your music without turning on the stereo, and even play videos for you. This device can educate you, make you money (or, lose it), and even babysit your kids. Things have indeed changed since 1933.

And it's here for you to enjoy. But, don't get addicted to it, or take it for granted.

Things could always get "tough" again.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Things of The Day"

You know, about a year fact...over a year ago when I mentioned that DC Comics was publishing yet a 4th. Doom Patrol series, I promiced I'd review the title IF it made 12 issues.

Well, I think actually #16 is due out this week, so... Anyway, I've got the issues I'm currently missing from both that run as well as the 2001 DP series coming soon in the mail, and in the current series I'll be able to read them all up to #15. So' soon as I do I'll finally write that review.

And, in other things, thus far I've been able to acquire 11 different ones of those 2" JLA rubber figures currently in some lobby machines in your larger department stores. My wife has been picking them up for me at our local Wallyworld and she said that the machine displays 10 different figures. The ones I've gotten are: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Jonn Jonzz, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (John Stewart version), The Shade, Copperhead and The Ultra-Humnaite. (Haven't a clue what the 10th. one is.)

Raked the yard and hauled off leaves again yesterday, then covered the entrance to the house's under-space today, stoppin' up holes to keep the on-approaching cold Winter air from reaching the water pipes. I have a feeling this will be a very dry and cold Winter in South-Central, Kentucky. Exactly what we don't need with the majority of the state using natural gas for heating (including myself) since fuel increases are estimanted now at more than 50%.

Lots of sad things lately in "the news". 2,000 now dead of our servicemen in Iraq, 5,000,000 without power in Florida (5 dead) from the hurricane, and, of course, the passing of Rosa Parks.

Sometimes I wonder a What If? scenario regarding the late Ms. Parks. "What If" she hadn't been so tired from her job that day that she thought, "I don't need this hassle. I'll simply move and let that person sit down?" Well...I'm sure that the Civil Rights Movement would have occured anyway, but I'm also certain it would have been delayed at least a couple of years. I don't think the majority of people realize what a difference one's voice makes in this world. The simple statement of "No, I won't!" is the same as turning to walk down a different street.

History can be changed in an instant. All it takes is a little courage.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Quickie Post"

Sure was a dreary old day here, with temperatures in the mid 40's and rain off and on. We actually have the heat going, the house is so chilly. Speaking of which, it's good weather for chilly, which is what we ate for dinner tonight. Yum! But...I'll regret it later.

For those who collect action figures and the like, my local Wallyworld now has a fifty cent machine in its lobby containing 2" "Justice League" (animated series) heroes/villians. There's maybe a dozen different ones. The figures I've personally acquired so far are: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman and The Shade (the old Golden-Age Flash villian). There's also "Jonn Jonzz" and others. ( They're about the same size as Clix figures, but made out of rubber.)

Watched the Batman VS. Dracula animated flick last night on Cartoon Network. It's prettygood, but could have just as easily been done as 4 part episodes of the regular series. Episodes of the current Batman animated show are written well enough; I just have this problem with the way the animators draw Batman's face (can't say I'm too krazy about how tey draw The Joker, either).

And The Penquin's HAT is just way, too tall.

Otherwise...they're okay.

And, no other "news" today. Short blog. Gowan back to what you were doing. You spend too much time on "The Net" anyway(*heh*).

Saturday, October 22, 2005

POST #200(!): "A House Is A House, Of Couse, Of Couse"

I'm really glad I'm not claustrophobic.

Back in The Spring, I had a new CPVC hot water line run under my house to the kitchen sink. So, with colder weather approaching, I thought it a wise idea to insulate the same to avaoid any breaks and leaks come a hard freezing. This involved crawling on my stomach on the dirt underneath my house, snaking myself over sewage and gas lines with a clearance of anywhere from 12 to 18 inches, then wrapping tubing insulation around these pipes and using duct tape to secure them.

To a surprize even to myself, I had this accomplished in less than a half an hour. Wish I could have fixed the hot water side of the faucet in my tub as easily. From numberous past attempts of replacing seats, that side is now "frozen" where I can't even seem to loosen it with vise-grips or channel-lock pliers. Guess it's time to call in an actual plumber. 'Course, if I'm going to go that distance I may as well just have the faucet replaced with a "washer-less" one and avoid any such reaccuring problems with it.

I was pretty busy today. Went by the local flea markets, but few set up due to the colder weather. Came home and also did a couple of loads of laundry and mowed/mulched up more of the ever-increasing falling leaves which have already re-blanketed my yard even tho' I just raked last Wednesday; plus, I emptied out the back gutter for the second or third time this season. All of this being done on my day off from work, of course.

But when you own a home, there's always "something" that has to get done around it. If it's not repainting, it's repair work, or yard work, or plumbing problems or electric problems, or...something.

I've got four large trees and I'd love to have at least a couple of them just chopped to the ground, or cut way back, but even that has been quoted to me for at least $200. per tree. I asked one roofer about putting metal (instead of shingles) over the back part of the roof and got quoted $1600. Re-doing some electric was quoted at $1200. Re-plumbing at about the same. Blowing insulation into the walls (just the walls, mind you, and not the attic) at $800. So right there with just "the essentials" I'd like done is over $4000.. Each year I try to have one thing done, so "maybe" in another 5 years, I'll be satisfied with those. But naturally, there'll be a whole NEW bunch of things that'll be needed done by then.

And so, a word of advise to any and all who are comtemplating purchasing a house. Buy an Expensive One! No, really; I mean it. "Why" buy a home under one hundred grand that'll end-up just costing you that in the long-run anyway, when you can be paying for a house that's pretty much problem free instead? If you can afford the monthly payments, go for it, and just forget those "fixer-uppers" because you just think they're saving you a few bucks and that you will have the time to do the maintenance yourself. Enjoy life in a nice house!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Keeping One's Balance Straight"

I don't use a debit card myself. Being of the "old school", I like the feel of paper checks and good ol' foldin' green. But, for those that DO use them, you might want to be careful especially when paying with them at the gas pump. A recent report I read states that debit cards may actually tie up any funds in your account, freeze the account or even cause you to overdraw due to the rising number of gasoline drive-offs. Now many stations want to make certain they're paid, so the transaction may take up to 3 business days to complete, putting a hold on any other funds you have in the account.

In other words,if you pay for $30. with one at the pump, then later that day need $30. in cash, it may refuse the second transaction until the first one clears, which could be up to 3 days.

My wife and I are real careful about writing checks. I haven't had an over-draft in at least 15 years, and even then, it was accidental due to not knowing my wife had writtin more checks and not yet taken them off our balances. Afterwhich, we initiated two new methods of keeping up with our funds.

First, we started notebooks, beginning with our current balance, and when we wrote checks we'd each subtract them every night from said balance. (Since that time I guess we've gone thru over 100 such notebooks.),br>
Secondly, our bank started this Overdrawal Insurance deal which covered overdrafts at a fee. It can cost you a little more $ wise, but can save you a LOT of embarrassment at some store which had called you up to tell you that you have a "cold check" somewhere.

In other things, today we journied to Elizabethtown (Yes; the same place that current flick was made about) to visit with my father-in-law because we didn't think we'd get to next week. Next Tuesday he's turning 75 years old. Still in spry shape, he's even building a deck to the back of his house!

Picked up around 20 some odd issues of the DC Comics 1990's series, L.E.G.I.O.N. today while I was in E-Town. Going to have to find a longer comic box to keep my "Legion" titles in; currently I'm using a larger-type "short" box and it's just too crowded, so I suppose that particular collection will now graduate to a Long Box soon. There's just been so very many titles which contain Legion characters since they were introduced back Circa 1958. Off-hand I can think of: Adventure Comics, Superboy V1, Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes, Tales of The Legion of Super-Heroes, 2 different LOSHs titles, Legion Lost, Legion Science Police, Legionnaires, L.E.G.I.O.N., the current series, plus mini series and other such titles ("Timberwolf", "Karate Kid", etc.), not counting their guest-app.'s in other DC books. And, I'm sure I've forgotten some of the Legion series than those just mentioned.

I've also gotten interested in another character DC introduced back in '93 in Action Annual #5 called: "Loose Cannon". Granted, he's a Hulk-Clone, but an interesting one. He's seven foot tall, extremely powerful, and his skin turns different colors depending on his moods. And, when he's NOT LC, he turns back into a lame(as in, not able to walk and "not" pitifully written) regular sorta Joe. There were 4 issues published on the character back in '95, and besides the Action Annual he also appeared in Showcase '94 #5 (just in case you wanna dig thru the back issue boxes to take a "look").

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"Hindus, Bootleggers & Yard Work"

It appears that super-heroes aren't just updated to appeal to the on-coming differences in age gaps these days, but done so as well to appeal to different cultures. There's now going to be an East Indian Spider-man, whose powers will be based on magic, rather than science, and also a new version of The Green Goblin who is closely connected to Hindu Mythology.

As a long-time fan of the Spider-man character, I don't find this objectionable. Poor ol' "Peter Parker" and his crew has changed so vastly since the original concepts first appearing in Marvel Comics since 1962 that they are hardly recognizable today anyway. And personally, still the only issues that make a hill of beans to me will always remain those initial 38 issues and the first two Annuals, all of which were drawn and co-plotted by Steve Ditko. I look at this as simply just another interpretation, like the many interpretations of other personal favorite characters as Superman or Batman. As fans and collectors, we all have that particular favorite version of our heroes we'll never forget, with everything else being just "so much clutter". Much like the myriad versions we've seen of super-hero characters in animated shows, movies, newspaper strips, etc., someone--somewhere is going going to change these characters around to fit their specific standards. It doesn't matter. You can tell everyone that's Mary Magaline next to Jesus in the painting "The Last Supper", rather than "Thomas", but anyway you look at it, it's still a Da Vinci.

And, on the way to work this morning, I noticed in the near-by town where they're having an election soon to determine whether or not to serve alcoholic beverages in an restaurant there that seats at least 100 people (see my post of 10/13/05), that in a field someone has erected at least 50 white 12" crosses neatly in rows. With these crosses is a sign against the voting "for" alcohol stating that each cross represents someone locally who has lost their life due to drinking/driving.

I'm sure this has been done by some well-intentioned citizen, but, you know, with all this talk against having alcohol in that town, there's not been a single good Christian who has stood up and made an arguement that the local bootleggers should be closed down and arrested. Let's adult can't purchase a drink with their meals, however, the local bootleggers sell to anyone with the money in their hands whether they're of legal age or not? Sounds pretty hypocritical to me. Of course, I'm no longer a citizen of that particular town and what they decide makes little difference to me, personally.'s been a proven case that whenever any community allows the serving of alcohol, the crime rate in that area does indeed always rise. Personally, I'd rather not see it pass, but it's whatever those townpeople will it to be. It's still America and the majority still rules.

Yet another beautiful day here. Won't be very many of them left this year. Hope we have nice weather next week so I can finally get around to cleaning leaves out of the gutter and raking the yard.

Friday, October 14, 2005

"Time-Killer Comments"

A funny photo I found rummaging thru stuff around here the other day. This is a photo of (the "late") "Whiskers" sitting on top of a box of comics way back in 1991. Hard to believe that was 14 years and two cats ago! Even odder is "why" I was using those short, soft drink-type boxes to keep my comics in back then? Maybe I thought they took up less room? Who can recall.

Well...the weather sure is nice around here. Mid 70's today in Southern Kentucky, but other parts of the country aren't having it so good. I heard where NYC has had 8 straight days of rain. In fact, one report said if the rain had been snow instead, they'd already had 96 inches of it!

I consider myself lucky in the respect that where I live, we really don't have any real problems with the weather. That's not to say we don't get cold weather, or the ice or snow, but we're situated far above any rivers, and the knobs surrounding this area pretty much keeps all the high winds away. 'Course...if a tornado gets down INTO this valley, we're screwed as there's no place for it to get out!

The last time I can recall this happening anywhere locally was way back in the late 1980's when strong winds (not a tornado mind you; just extremely strong winds off of a storm) came thru the next town down from us, right thru the interstate section, blowing over a Ky. Fried Chicken sign on top of a car and blowing out some windows. Then, there was that time since when we had a really bad ice storm that knocked out our power for three days around 1990, and I had to pack up the wife & cat and move in with my folks for the duration. But, times like that around here are few and far between.

And...what else today...Oh,yeah. For anyone that has always thought Plan 9 from Outer Space was the worst movie ever made, they've obviously never watched Wild, Wild Planet(1965) which the Turner channel showed today. The only thing classic about that flick is that it's classically bad. I did learn one thing from watching it, however. If I'm ever attacked by four-armed aliens and have a firey, ray-gun, I can kill the same if I shoot them in the back.

Today must be the day for the worst flicks Turner could find in their "vaults". Early on the 1968 Herman and the Hermits flick, Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter was on, followed by Roy Orbinson's grand moment of embarrassment, The Fastest Guitar In The West. "Mrs. Brown" isn't as bad as, say, The Monkees' Head flick, but it does follow as a close second, with (what plot there is of ) Peter Noone more interested in racing his greyhound (dog; not bus) than singing with his group. Needless to say, none of these mentioned flicks are Oscar material.

And, finally...I see where the Batman Begins flick will be available for rental come this next Tuesday (the 18th.), and even tho' I've yet to watch it, I'm not that certain I want to. For one thing, I really don't like the way "The Batmobile" looks in this movie. Maybe that's trivial, but it's one of the things I always look foreward to in each new Batman movie. And from the first previews of saw of this vehicle, I could tell that it'd be nothing more than some remote control toy available at "Wallyworld" in a couple of weeks. Gimmicks. That's what they keep basing these super-hero type flicks on rather than good storytelling. Hollywood will never learn.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"What Would Jesus Drink"?

Here locally they're having an election regarding the serving of alcohol with a meal at any restaurant which seats at least 100 people. Naturally, the townspeople are split about the decision, but I think the silliest thing I've seen thus far in this is a sign at the corner of an intersection which states: "What would Jesus Do? VOTE NO!", and that makes me want to answer, "Well...Jesus would have probably HAD a shot with his meals since there's numberous cases in The New Testiment stating that He drank wine, changed water INTO wine, shared wine with his disciples, etc."

And, in all fairness, I should state that people did drank a lot of wine in Jesus's time due to the unsanitary drinking water. Usually it was new wine (unfermented); much like drinking a commercially sold grape juice, but that didn't mean they didn't know how to make intoxicating wine or drink such.

Back in those days, the grape vines were left to grow wild on the ground instead of on trestles (an invention I believe of The French and not started until after snippings of vines were brought back during The Crusades). The main reason for trestles is to keep animals: pigs, rats, rabbits, raccoon, etc., from eating the grapes. But the production of alcohol has been known since nearly the dawn of man. And, in The Bible, the mention of wine goes back as far of Genesis: Chapter 9.

And...speaking of wine....I finally got in my set of Eddie Campbell's Bacchus (the "god of wine") that I won recently on an on line auction. The set inscudes all of the title (#'s 1 thru 60 complete), 12 different app.'s of the characters in various issues of Dark Horse Presents, plus a signed copy of Eddie Campbell's Egomania #1. Being a big fan of his work, naturally I'm pretty excited to finally get to finish reading the rest of the Bacchus series. Almost everything else Campbell has written I've got in reprints or something. Everything except some issues in which his work appeared in the Trident comic (published BY "Trident Comics" in the 1990's), and the series From Hell by him and Alan Moore, which I'm trying to either pick up a set of or get the TPB version. (Shame the movie wasn't adapted well from this great series.) I even have a piece of original artwork (linked here) that Eddie did for me at a convention if you care to take a look at it; it's of "Jack the Ripper" from that particular series.

A piece of advice for those who have pawn shops in their areas and want to buy DVD's: VISIT THEM! There's 2 or 3 pawn shops in my area, all of which I've found comic books relatively cheap as well as DVD's. People bring them in and most of these shop owners know little or nothing about comics and price them in the 3 for $1. range a lot, or at least, within reasonable prices. And the DVD's I've found range from $3-$6. If you're patient you can find a lot of recent movies. (For instance, I found the double-disc Hellboy DVD recently for a mere $4.00). I'm keeping an eye out on them for a cheap copy of Sin City, next (or, "Catwoman", or "The Punisher"; neither of which I'd ever pay "big" prices for simply to watch).

Monday, October 10, 2005

"Frosted Monkey Testicles!"

The above photo of monkeys swimming in a hot spring in the otherwise frozen Himalayas is a good reminder to me that even when the surroundings appear bleak, there's always something good within it.

Take the Sunday Funnies for instance. When I was a kid growing up in the late 1950's and early 60's, we'd get a Sunday newspaper and the comic pages were just crammed full of great strips. I'd devour those eight pages from start to finish (okay; maybe I did only glance at "Apt. 3-G" and "Mary Worth", but otherwise...). And then in the afternoon after we came home from church (yes. I actually attended on a regular basis back then), we'd go over to my Great Aunt & Uncle's house and they got a different Sunday newspaper with a different set of Funnies; one that contained such classics as Hal Foster's "Prince Valiant", and "Flash Gordon" by Mc ("Capt. Marvel, JR") Raboy, and other strips like "Popeye" and "Maggie & Jiggs" (aka: "Bringing Up Father"), and I'd just eat dem up as well!

But currently, the Sunday Funnies we get around here aren't much to look at. They've been reduced over the years from a full eight pages with NO advertisements, to 4 pages, some of which do indeed contain ads. The only one I get is the paper out of Bowling Green, KY. called Daily News. I used to buy this paper just off-and-on, but one day I discovered that Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz were taking over "Prince Valiant", and being a fan of these creators I started buying it every Sunday, and haven't stopped yet. They've breathed new life into a strip that I felt had died with its original creator. This team has been on the strip since March of last year and have created a new saga of Valiant and his son going off again to seek adventure, and I'll have to admit, the story's got me hooked!

Otherwise I sorta skim the rest of the comics, looking at "Peanuts" or maybe "Beetle Bailey" and ignoring the rest. But, at least in the disaster that the Sunday Funnies have become, there IS something good within them.

Also today, I want to present a link to the Birthday Calculator which I found pretty interesting. It tells you all about what was going on when you were born, how long you've lived in years, months, minutes...even seconds! Plus it has some other neat links I think you'll enjoy.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

"Clueless in Kentucky"

President John F. Kennedy once made a statement during a speech which went something like, "All Americans can remember what they were doing when they heard the news about President Franklin Roosevelt'd death". Ironically, this became true as well about President Kennedy's own death for those who are old enough to remember that faithful day in November of 1963.

And for those of us who are old enough as well, and were tremendous fans of The Beatles, we can say that regarding the death of John Lennon, who, today had he lived, would have been 65 years old.

I'm sure that I've related this story before, but bear with me a moment, please as I recall that day nearly 25 years ago when I heard of Lennon being shot.

It was a cold, December day here in Kentucky. It hadn't been long since I had gotten divorced from my wife at that time, and my emotional state of mind still hadn't settled back into what was once again a single existence.

I had been to a nearby town and was driving back home, playing the AM radio on my old Ford Maverick. The station was playing Beatles' music. In fact, they had played several in a row, finally to the point that I was wondering just why? Was it some sort of celebration of the group? Was it some sort of anniversary?

And just as I pulled up to a "stop" sign, awaiting passing cars so I could turn onto the main road, it came over the radio. John Lennon was dead. Some idiot had killed him as he was leaving his New York apartment.

My mind temporarily shut down. I sat there, stunned at the news, not wanting to believe it was true. Wanting to believe that maybe he'd just been wounded. Wanting to think that a mistake had been made. Not capable of believing that someone that I admired so very much could actually die.

It hadn't been long before that I had bought his "Double Fantasy" l.p. John was getting back into music. He'd set his home life in order. This just all had to be some sort of foul joke and a nasty mistake!

But it wasn't. And I was suddenly jolted back into reality by a car horn blaring behind me, urging me to drive on. So, I turned onto the road, and then pulled off again, and sat there for a few minutes, listening to the news again as they related the incident.

For the next week or so, I don't think I left out of my house for much of anything except work. I was depressed. The dream that The Beatles would ever again reunite was gone forever. We'd never hear any new music again from my personal favorite of the group. But the thing that haunted me the most was how a man of peace, but could struck down in violence.

And 25 years later, I still can't understand that. I watch the world news every day, and every day there's reports of people being violently killed in wars, and in robberies and all manner of crime. I wonder how mankind, which has progressed so quickly from a race that rode in horse-drawn vehicles went in a mere 60 years or so to riding space crafts to the moon, created machines (computers) with which they can communicate instantly all over this world, created micro-surgery, cures to some of the worst of diseases, have such high-tech instruments that they can see the time on a person's watch from an orbiting spy telescope, and all other things they've achieved that would only be attributed to the genius of our human race, can still not get along with one another on this planet? If anything at all, this planet has become increasingly more violent during those years, which proves to me that intelligence alone cannot eliminate that beastial instinct from the human mind.

Nor does it seem that in a world constantly aware that education leads to a better existence, eliminate this trait. I wonder if it ever can? The closest I can see the goodness actually in people is the outpouring of kindness to those who this year have suffered in so many natural catastrophies. This, at least, shows me that mankind is trying. They are searching for that key to unlock a peaceful future, but the years upon years they have been warriors has left such a deep indention upon their ids that it's very difficult to fill up that space with the true idea of peace.

We, as a country, want to be left alone to live our usual daily lives, but those we keep putting in charge of our laws in this land, want to constantly get involved. And it's not at all just their fault. The majority of this nation wasn't alive during the last great World War, but we've been reminded, time and again, of the monstrosities of petty dictators and what can happen if we choose not to get involved with the problems of our neighboring nations upon this planet. We want them, to be like us, and, well...this can never be.

And so, the ever conflict. Man keeps killing man for a piece of property, or the right to rule a nation under their specific religious specifications. Our government hears a plea from those in that country who say it "isn't right", and we step in as the World's Peacekeepers, only to find we aren't peacekeepers at all, but policemen involved in yet another war.

And, in general, the people here ignore that this is actually happening...that is, until a loved one serving this country in The Armed Forces is killed, or a neighbor loses a son or daughter, or a terrorist, tired of us trying to stop his way of governing his country, strikes back here on our own soil and we deem it an act of terrorism.

I have no answers for those terrorists.

I have no answers to our own government on how to stop world violence.

I have no ready answers to any of these problems.

Nobody does.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

"Some Saturday Thoughts"

Still reading thru a "lot" of comics I got last week. I read a copy of 2002 DC Series of Hawkman (#4) and was pleasantly surprized that it had a lot of the feel of one of those old 1960 issues back when Fox and Anderson was handling the series. Just reaffirms my belief that not all modern comics are pure crap; but you still have to kiss a lotta frogs to find a prince (or, "princess", in my case)!

Well, the rain stayed away today and I thought about mowing my lawn for, what will probably be, the last time for this year, only to find that my gasoline can was dry, so...maybe tomorrow instead since I have no great plans for the weekend except to try to relax a little and try to catch up on a few things I need to do "around the house". I think here soon I'll start trying to scrap off all the old, chipped paint on the outside of the house and start repainting it before real cold weather sets in. Would make the place look better.

Went by the flea market, but nothing there much that interested me today. Talked with a dealer for about 15 minutes and the cold wind cut thru me so much my hands and ears were frozen and finally gave that up and got back in my warm car! I believe the sun is supposed to make an appearance tomorrow however, so perhaps it'll be a better day there for finding some deals.

Something that might be of interest to any comic book collectors here in Kentucky would be the October (current) issue of the FRECC ("Farmer's Rural Electric Company Coop") magazine given out free to their subscribers called Kentucky Living, which features both a cover photo and an interior article of cartoonist Keno Don Rosa, who tells about his experiences drawing for Disney and "Uncle Scrooge" stories. If you're not from Kentucky you might try looking up the company on line to see if you can grab a copy of this issue.

I'm still trying to complete sets of anything artist Jack Kirby did for DC Comics in the 1970's, and today completed a transaction for a set of his work on Kamandi (Issues 1 thru 40 complete). This being the longest run of any of the DC titles in which his artwork appears helps my sets considerably. Of course, I still need to complete all of the "4th. World" titles I don't have, plus some issues of OMAC, and I think one issue each of his stuff in 1st. Issue Special and the Boy Commandos reprint titles I don't currently have copies of.

And, speaking of comics, I finally got the enthusiasm to put one long box of 200+ comics in alphabetical order in 7 other boxes of such and get them out/off of this computer room floor where I'd been tripping over them for the past week. These days with my collections of comics always growing, I have what I deem as a secondary collection of several long boxes crammed full. This is because I'd otherwise have to find "somewhere" to drag 40 long boxes, line them up and put all the new additions in them. What exactly will happen when/if this secondary collection gets too large and I need to start a third one....well....that'll be a while, but it's food for thought!

Of course, it would help if I could find somebody to purchase over 600 duplicates I have in here, plus a good 200 or more sci-fi paperbacks, hardcovers, etc. There's never enough room for any collector of such.

Friday, October 07, 2005

"Rain, Pain, and The Girl of Steel"

I know I don't mention my other blog site, Beatles and Bizarros much these days, but it's still there (minus any illustrations, but all of those listings are still complete), and I DO occasionally still add new listings to it whenever I find them.

In fact, I've just added three new ones today to The Beatles app.'s in comic books, which are: Archie's Madhouse #48 (8/66), Iron Man V1 #114 (9/78), and Supergirl (DC/1990's series) #52 (1/2001), the latter of which cover I have posted above, showing her in battle with a "pseudo-Steel" and Superman looking on saying: "AHEM" (just 'cause i like it).

And, speaking of Supergirl, I hadn't kept up much with this character in several years, but after reading #52 and thoroughly enjoying it, I decided to check out auction listings to buy maybe some other issues as well. Little did I realize that she's a hot character these days! (Some of the starting bid prices were "unreal"!)

And... next... Autumn may have officially started a couple of weeks ago, but today (here) is the first time it's actually felt like the season with a cold rain and temperatures in the mid 50's, which knocks me out of mowing the yard either today, or probably tomorrow as well. Originally the weather forecast was for clear skies tomorrow; now they're saying "rain", which will also pretty much put a damper (so to speak) on the outside local flea market,too.

Was sort'a hoping today when I got home that a large lot of Eddie Campbell's Bacchus (that I won a couple of weeks ago) would greet me. I paid for it with an "e-check", which is something I almost never do. But I was wanting to finish reading that series (and this is a full set I won); no such luck. Paying for it that was isn't much better than sending a money order or even a personal check as it takes 5 to 7 days to clear thru PayPal's channels. Plus, it's being sent media mail, so tomorrow's the next bet, then Tuesday at the earliest (since the post office is closed Monday due to Columbus day).

Columbus Day: Now there's a federal holiday I could live without. Celebrating the beginnings of the elimination of The Native American Culture in this country, to me, is not a "good" thing to do. Plus, I don't see the post offices closing down to celebrate the TRUE people (The Vikings) who arrived on the North American Continent hundreds of years before. (Columbus didn't even do that at first.)

It's not that I don't admire the adventurous spirit of Columbus; on the contrary. He showed a lot of courage crossing an ocean not knowing for certain what lie ahead. But he was no more courageous than many other explorers of his time, and there's never been any "special days" of celebration given to them, so...


Finally, I'm sorry I haven't blogged in several days, but it's not just from being very busy at my job. I've been pretty ill this week, physically, with stomach problems which caused me to go on an unintentional fast from Monday thru Thursday. My stomach's only now settling down from the experience.