Saturday, April 15, 2006

"Well, I'm------"

Went to refinance my house yesterday. Was hoping for maybe a lower monthly payment, but it only reduced it by a dollar per payment. (Oh,well.) Anyway, this ol' homestead will finally be paid off in a mere ten years...if I make it that long. That'd be right before retirement age of 65. Well...maybe I can eventually double-up on some payments and get it done before then. One never knows what ten years will bring...or even 10 minutes.

The bank where we have our loan is about a 45 minute drive from here, and we got there around 10AM, and the whole transaction took less than a half an hour, so we went around to a local mall and then the antique mall where I always buy some comics.

At theregular type mall, there's a store called Deals, and everything in in it costs no more than one dollar. I picked up a DVD that was nice. It had the original silent version of "The Lost World", plus the 1950's hooter The Giant Gila Monster(wild teenagers, a giant lizard and a hot rod full of T.N.T.---what more can you ask!?), AND even a 1940's Superman cartoon ("The Artic Giant") all on the same disc! A dollar well spent for over two hours of movie entertainment.

And while my wife was still piddlin' around in a craft shop there I walked into a Christian bookstore to see what religious comics they currently handled. I noticed several issues of Archangels:The Saga for sale, but their outrageous cover price ($4.50 a "pop") kept me from picking them up. Interesting-looking comic, tho', and some nice artwork.

Then on over to the antique mall, where previously I saw a box on one table, one that'd been sitting there a good 8 months and from which I'd bought comics from before for a just .35 each (boarded and bagged at that!). I'd already pulled out anything really good from the box, but I did recall a handful of issues of First Comics' The Badger that I thought I might read. So I headed for that table first. Not only were all the comics now gone, but the box as well! Someone must have thought them all worth that price and cleaned that bunch out, alas.

So I went to another set up with comics and bought 7 misc. comics, mostly DC's. There was some gems in the bunch. A DC Comics Presents #77, which is a pre-his-own-title app. of "Animal Man", plus app.'s by other odd silver-age DC characters like "Dolphin", and "Congorilla" and "Rip Hunter" (and even a cameo of "The Faceless Creature" from old Strange Adventures stories). I'd looked for this issue for some time, but oddly had missed seeing it there on previous visits. Quickly, I snatched that up (now if I can only find the No.78 where it's continued!). Along with that issue of that title, I also found a #96, plus a Secret Origins V2 #24, both of which are app.'s of "The Blue Devil", a personal favorite of mine from the 1980's. Recently completing a set of his own title, these make my collection of him pretty complete.

Another "gem" I found was a copy of Charlton's E-Man #1, from 1973, which is his first app. and origin. It's also my favorite drawn character by Joe Staton.

Then I picked up two misc. issues of Action from the 1980's, one with a "Captain Strong" app. (a take-off on "Popeye"), and another with Giffen art that had a take-off of "Asterix the Gaul". Not sure just how many issues Giffen drew of various Superman's and Actions, but I really liked all of them I ever saw.

And the other comics I found was the scarcer last issue of the first run of Firestorm (#5). (I don't think I've ever had that issue.)

Then back home to go pick up the weekly paycheck and deposit that and chores around here, so it was a pretty full day.

But not over. After our evening meal, my wife and I decided to walk around the town and look at the various damage from the hail 1 week ago today during the tornado. Stained-glass church windows, some nearly 100 years old, had been totally smashed, any house facing the west which had vinyl siding was pitted and many, many glasses broken. I was talking to one guy who does local repairs, and he said that he hardly had time to do such repairs because everyone needed estimates. The local insurance company had well over 600 claims! He said that he'd work all day, then had to do estimates half the night, and couldn't do any more houses for a good six months.

The problem with this one-horse-town-insurance-company is (and the reason for the top little notation photo), that they bought out all of the other insurance firms around. So now, instead of handling two or two claims companies, they handle at least a half a dozen. My folks have their's thru them with Winfield, and anyone with claims under that company, an adjuster has already visited the sight, made estimates and written them a check for damages (in fact, my folks are already having their damage repaired and turned in their claim after I did). Unfortunately, I have MY insurance underwritten with the Planter's Co., which has yet to even send an adjuster around to check out this place. I guess Winfield only wants people who pay a high premium and have a low deductible (my folk's is $150.;mine's $500.).

Of course, that may be an unfair evaluation due to the large number of local damage claims. We'll see what happens, another week or so.


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