Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"More Days"

The report on Waverly Hills Sanatorium will air on the SCI-FI Channel Halloween night (for those so inclined to watch it). It's considered to be one of the most haunted places around.

Incidently, I've got a new photo host. I guess my old photo host, who let me use his service for free, finally got tired of me bumming off him without payment and cut me off. (Can't say I blaim him.) So...anyhoo...got another "free" service and I can't be sure of what this will look like (or if I even loaded them correctly here) until I post this. And that too is why the photo on my previous post doesn't show 9but take my word for it; that is/was one ugly dog!/Monday:10/29/07)

Got up early this morning and have been busy all day. Started it out by doing the dishes and emptying garbage, trying to help my wife "catch up" on house chores since she's ben putting some double shifts where she works. Decided to get all of the fans together and store them in the pantry for the Winter. That was some job. It was so crammed with junk (mostly craft items and supplies) that I had to work on that for a good half an hour. Then went down to my local insurance people to get libility on dad's old '93 Cheve S-10 pickup truck, which mom wanted to to go ahead and change the title over on so Medicade couldn't touch it (with him being in the nursing home). Did that, then when she got off from her job at the library at 1:P.M., we drove up to the county courthouse and had the title changed over.

While I was there I walked over to a little antiquey-type of place on the square that was going out of business and asked the guy if he had any old comic books. He had a dozen or so Gold Key misc. titles and I paid him $15. for the lot( which was probably too much since they were in lower condition, mostly, and humor titles like "Bugs Bunny", "Porky Pig", etc.). Couple of interesting comics in the lot. One was a copy of Raggedy Ann and Andy #1 (1971) in VG+ shape, and another was a Porky Pig #39(1971) with a barber cover. There was a Banana Splits #4(1970) with a photo cover, a Super Goof #19 (1971) with an app. of "The Beagle Boys", and a Harvey Wendy Witchworld #42(1971), which is a "square-bound" twenty-five cent Giant.

Went by the grocery for a few things including picking up a couple of bags of candy in case we have any "trick-or-treaters" tomorrow. I won't turn on the pourch light for them, but you never know; we may still have a few kids and I want to have something around for them.

Then back to mom's house where I cleaned out the leaves from her gutters and used a grumbin' hoe on some roots I wanted to clear out around an old stump in her yard, where this coming weekend she wants me to plant some various plant bulbs.

Back to my house where I rested a while then got out in the garage looking for the leaf blower. I "figured" I'd just blow all of the leaves out into the backyard this time, and use the push mower to mulch them up. Easy, ehh? It never is when you think it'll be, as I couldn't find the attachment which adapted the motor section to the blower attachments. Thus, here once again I got out the rake and got the leaves up into piles and away from the house, then used the push mower to mulch these all up. I worked on this for at least 2-1/2 hrs. 9from 3-5:30 P.M.) before I called it a day.

Sitting here now at the pc relaxing and watching that copy of the 1987 made-for-t.v. movie on "The Spirit" on DVD. Sam Jones as "Denny Colt" and Nana Visitor as "Ellen". Not too bad a flick. At least Jones played the part with a little more seriousness than he did in the 1980's "Flash Gordon" flick. (Tuesday:10/30/07)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Since Wednesday"

"Let me tell you 'bout my squirrel friend,

'Cause he's the only one I got.

(Chit, chit, chit, chit!)

Sticks his head

Into my pocket

'Cause he knows

I gotta




"Hello? Weird Al? I think I've got another hit for you!"

Yes. Sadly, I definately hear TOO MUCH AM Radio at work. Still it's better than country...Not much, mind you...but some. At least I no longer hear, "Your beautiful!" every fifteen minutes anymore. (But what's this "1973" crap??? I don't think that guy was even born by then, so what does HE know about it?!?)

Sometimes it's better just to turn the darn thing off and have some peace and quiet around there. But, since things have slowed down a bit this time of the year, it also gets one pretty bored without some sort of background noise.

Got out in the yard this afternoon and for the second time this Autumn, and raked the yard. The leaves were too wet, & too large of piles for me to mulch-up this time with the mower, so I emptied everything out of our city garbage can and wheeled it around to the various piles, crammed it full and hauled them off to the brush pile in the back. Did this twice before it started raining a bit too hard and I got a bit too chilled from the dampness and decided to call it a day. But got them all save for the two piles at the rear of the house which I'll finish off hopefully tomorrow. This new system of filling up the garbage can has replaced my old one of spreading out a large tarp and raking the leaves onto it, then dragging them to the brush pile. I'm afraid that way too many seasons of using that tarp has torn large holes in it and I lose as many leaves as I dispose. I figure I'll more than likely have to re-rake and haul off leaves at least two...maybe three more times before that chores over for this year. Worked on that a couple of hours. (Oh yeah. I also got out the ladder, got on the roof and emptied out the leaves from all of the gutters.)
COMIC BOOK REVIEWS: It's not really DC's fault. Will Eisner is an almost impossible act to follow. So when I heard that DC was going to do a new title of "The Spirit", I set my hopes high, but expected a low. This series falls somewhere inbetween those expectations. Some issues have been much better than others. But I'm afraid there's no real consistency of good quality per issue.

I just read issues #'s 6 thru 10, catching up on what I'd missed. One issue would be pretty good, and the next pretty dismal. It started out with the story about "Blue" in #6 being very entertaining, but I'm afraid the "Summer Special" trilogy in #7 left me cold. (Even Kyle Baker's work was a disapointment.) #8 was a little better with the return of "the Octopus" and "Satin", and #9 wasn't all that bad with "El Morte". Then #10 came along and broke that string with a pretty bland story.

I'm not sure how long DC can take this title before fans of the character ... And of Will Eisner ... simply stop buying it. Personally I think it'd been a better choice to have just reprinted Eisner's originals, two or three Sunday sections to an issue like Kitchen Sink did, only this time in color, because it's beginning to feel like a bad remake of a classic movie. Overall I would have to give this title (at least, presently), no more than a "C".

DESOLATION JONES (Wildstorm) #'s 1 thru 5. Now this is a difficult review, because I'm biased. I want to automatically just give this comic an "A+++!!!" and tell you just to buy it and forget any reviews because I don't want you to think about it. And that's because it's by one of the most perfect creative teamups around,i.e., Warren Ellis and J.H. Williams III.

But I can't do that. I need to be honest about a review. What perplexes me is that the first storyline in this series lasted 6 issues, and I have read only the first five. I'll just have to tell you what I think about what I've been able to read so far.

"Desolation Jones" is an ex-secret operative turned private investigator who gets hired by an aging, old, rich adventurer to recover a reel of porn film made by Adolf Hitler (and starring said insane "would-be-world-conqueror), only to discover that there's another secret hidden within the canister of film. The story has several sub plots as well; a delicate web of intrigue that the best compliment I can give this series is that I really want to find a copy of issue #6 that concludes this storyline. (Yep. I'll still give it my highest of ratings./Wednesday:10/24/07)

Today I got outside and worked on raking up the leaves again. After the wind last night you couldn't even tell I'd worked on it yesterday. I filled up that can to the brim of wet leaves 3 times, each load weighing probably 100 lbs., and hauled them off to the brush pile. Then cleaned out the rain gutter at my sidewalk, and swept off the walkway. Yet another 2 or 3 hours trying to make this place look a little better.

The photo above is of "Sam", three time winner of the World's Most Ugly Dog. You got to admit; that's one really ugly pouch. Something that probably should have been put down out of my misery of having to look at it. But, that point's mute. "Sam" died some time ago. (I could tell you who has the new 1st. Place in that catagoy, but I'd probably be sued by an obnoxious, former co-host of a certain daytime t.v. women's talk show.)

BTW, if you ever see a DVD in the "dollar bin" at your local Wallyworld titled: "V.I.P.: My Brother Superman", it's best to pass on it even if the cover does look sort of interesting. This 80 minute animated flick is by some Award-winning Italian, or Spanish, director, and honestly...it's REALLY bad. Little wonder they're trying to sell it so cheaply. The animation's poor, the writing's even worse.

Was looking thru a copy of Charlton's The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves #9 (1968) today, which I'd picked up in a deal at the local flea market last weekend. It's got a pretty nice nine page "Dr. Graves" story with Ditko artwork. But the real surprize was the quite lengthly letter by, of all people, Klaus Jansen in the "l.o.c." page. (Maybe I shouldn't make notations when i find such letters. Sumbodi will start digging up all of MY old loc's as well, LOL!)

And, speaking of Charlton Comics,another comic in that "flea market lot" was an issue of DC's G. I. Combat #283 (1986) which features a full-length tale of "The Mercenaries (Soldiers of Fortune)" all drawn by the old Charlton artist, Sam Glanzman. GIC was one of those titles which had a very impressive run, first being published by Quality Comics in 1952 and later taken over by DC around 1957, it ran consecutively until 1987. That's a 35 year run, 30 of which was by DC Comics.

BTW folks...only 2 More Months Till Christmas! (Thursday: 10/25/07)

Today was the usual back to the grind sort of day at work. I wrote up five pages of tools for my section and priced/put them all out, plus did a bunch of price changes, waited on people, worked the cash register, etc., etc. Absolutely "nothing special". I did, however, win a copy of Captain America: The Classic Years Vol. 2 on an auction, which now gives me both volumes and a complete set of the Simon and Kirby Golden Age issues of Captain America Comics (No.'s 1 thru 10). Several of these I've already read, mostly 40 years ago when Marvel reprinted these stories in Fantasy Masterpieces. But there's still some I've never seen, so that will be a treat.

Speaking of which, I recall reading somewhere once that "Tiny Tim", the old singer from the 60's (who was a bit of a weirdie) said in an interview that he owned a full set of the original CAC 1-10. I always wondered what ever became of those? Had they been sold I'd think there'd been "something" about it. I mean, whoever got them would have wanted to brag that they were from "The Tiny Tim Collection", don't you think? Maybe that piece of jailbate he married back then ("Miss Vicki") got them in the divorce settlement. (Who knows?)

For some time now I've been watching all of the news about the California fires. When I see disasters such as this one, or the flooding that was in New Orleans, it makes me glad I live where I do. Oh sure; it's in the middle of Nowheresville, Kentucky. A good thirty some odd miles just to get to some larger city that actually has a shopping mall, or a comic shop, or any sort, of airport of any size (actually, more like 100 miles to such), etc., etc. The closest thing we have to even a third class city around here in 15 miles away where there's a Wal-Mart, a Cinema, and the like. This is just rural, farm community. But we don't have these large natural disasters. We don't have floods, and we don't have uncontrolable fires, and we don't have hurricanes, and really, we don't even have much in the way of tornadoes (more than often, if anything, straight-line winds). There's no volcano looming over our heads, or snow capped mountains ready for an avalanche. Our biggest fear here might be if the power goes off and we don't have any heat or lights. That I can live with, and am grateful that this will be all I ever really have to fear from living where I do. My thoughts are with those who have it worse. (Friday: 10/26/07)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Some MORE Days"

Went to the "Customer Appreciation Day" at the Great Escape Comic/Record store in Bowling Green, KY.. They had 25+ tables full of "stuff" roped off on the far end of the parking lot near the HWY, a good distance from the store itself. Just table after table of old l.p.s, paperbacks, hc's, VHS tapes, some toys, etc., etc. The comics were all packed 5 to a bag and sealed, in three spinner racks, and a couple of tables of long boxes. There was so much there that it'd have taken forever just to look thru it all. Finally I just grabbed five of the 5 Pack comics that had some sort of interesting book on the outside and "let that go". Plus I signed up for a couple of drawings they'll have where you don't have to be present to win; one of which is for a $100. gift certificate in the store.

Then I mosied on over to the shop for their 30% off sale. Picked up the issues of the current title of Supergirl, All Star Superman and The Spirit I needed and bought the latest JLA Classified with the continuation of the "J'onn J'onzz: Year One" storyline. In their back issues I bought three comics: a Showcase #56, the second issue revival of Dr. Fate/Hourman where they battle Psycho Pirate (a pretty recognizable book), a real nice conditioned copy of Charlton's Strange Suspense Stories #31 (w/Ditko cover/art), and a 'Tec #487 (lst. regular comic book app. of "The Odd Man", also by Ditko). Got a pack of comic bags and boards, grabbed a couple of "Krystal Burgers" and a drink, and headed North. (A Good day that didn't cost me an arm and a leg.)

This was a extremely nice gesture for this comic shop today, as they opened an hour ahead of time and let under-priviledged children come in early in those giveaways and fill their bags full for free. I think of all the kids that couldn't afford comics and got a big bunch to read today, and how that may make them become comic book collectors as well, or someday, even inspire some hidden talent(s) among them to become a future great comic book (or, "regular" book) writer/artists. Or inspire them to become musicians (since there was a LOT of CD's & l.p.s), or actors/directors/producters of movies (with all of the VHS tapes). Not to say it didn't help the store as well since they have numberous locations running over with surplus stock they needed to move and give them some space.

Store owner, Gary Walker, and his wife was there as well, which was real nice to see him again after probably a good 20 years. Gary pretty much stays around his Nashville, Tennessee location and it's been at least that long since I've been down there.

This has been a very comic booky day for me. Went by the local flea market and bought 40 odd comics; over a dozen of which were issues of Jonah Hex I needed. Also in the lot, a few Gold Keys (including a Lone Ranger), and a 1957 Ajax issue of Swift Arrow. The most I've spent on comix in a while, but, "you know me"; just can't pass up a bargain.

"Just a Silly Piece of Trivia Department:" Was trying to find a drawing of Peter Parker's house for a sketch I was doing. Looked thru the first 20 some odd issues of Amazing Spider-man with no luck. Finally found the first actual app. in Annual #1(Summer,1964). For the first 2 years of Spider-man's run, all we ever saw were shots of various rooms inside the Parker house. (So if anyone knows of an earlier app., you'll have to tell me "where" and be real precise about it! (Saturday:10/20/07)

Don't think I mentioned this, but I won a DVD copy of the 1987 "The Spirit" made-for-t.v. flick recently. The only other times I've ever seen this was when it first aired (and then missed the first hour of it due to a misprint in the t.v. listings), then later when I borrowed a VHS copy my ol' bud "Johnny Bacardi" loan me (which he'd taped way back then), so I never had one for myself. This copy is a good, clean one that'd been sold as a special-type print at a comic con, so I'll be looking foreward to seeing it again and reavaluating how well it adapts Will Eisner's character. As I recall they did very well on capturing him.

Well...I was going to drive down to the local flea markets this morning and look around for a few minutes, but I just kept getting interrupted in my journey. First, my wife wanted me to go to the drug store for her, just as I started out the door. Then, just as I started to go again, she wanted me to wait until she cleaned up and got ready so she could go as well. By that time I was out of the mood and just stayed put. As late as it'd been by then, half of the dealers would have been gone, and, besides, I spent too much yesterday to really afford anything else.

Read those back issues of Supergirl I'd bought. They were like #'s 18, 19, and the current 21. I really like the Guedes art that began in #20. It reminds me a bit of Gray Morrow's more realistic approach to drawing figures. I hope he has a long run on the title. What I didn't like is the way Kelly tied-up his storyline run in #19. I grow so weary of these symbolic, tie-everything-in final issues for writers. As much as I love Grant Morrison's writing, he did the same thing at the end of his run on Animal Man. It just seems like an easy out for them to do. Maybe they feel like, "Well, the hell with it! I'm thru with this title anyway so I'll just throw in a buncha crap and draw a paycheck!" Personally, if I was finishing up a storyline, I'd want my readers to remember my work to the end and "bang my balls" to produce an unforgetable conclussion.

I also read through that old 1957 issue of Charlton's Strange Suspense Stories #31, which has a couple of nice short stories with Ditko artwork and a Ditko cover. Although I find this era to have produced some of Ditko's finest work, he really should have stayed away from ever drawing cats of any sort. He never could draw them correctly. The first time I noticed that was in some fantasy tale he did for Marvel (circa 1962), and then later in Amazing Spider-man #15 (1964) when "Kraven the Hunter" sicked some large, jungle cats on Spidey. The cover of the SSS shows a lion, and, in usual Ditko fashion, just not drawn very well.

Speaking of Grant Morrison, I read the issue I was missing of All Star Superman (#3), which was a lot of fun! Superman gives Lois super-powers for a day just to see what it's like living in HIS boots, and it guest-starred "Atlas" and "Samson". Reminds me greatly of those early 1960's issues of Supes when you'd see on occasion "Hercules", "Samson", "Atlas", etc. in some really silly story at DC.

The "Odd Man" story in 'Tec #487 (1980) was interesting to me simply because it was his first "regular comic book" app. (the previous being in the VERY short-printed Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2 in 1978), and the first time it was in color. Not the best of Ditko's work, but passable for his later creations, and probably the last time he ever created a male-type character that wore a suit of sorts. The only other app. "that" I know of" for The Odd Man was in an issue of DC's 52 run (maybe sometime last year). The rest of the issue was only so-so. Nice artwork by the late Don Newton (and inked by Adkins; a good team up on art).

JLA Classified #44 still had the "J'onn J'onzz" story going for its thrid issue, and it looks like there will be a forth installment. Me thinks they are dragging this story on too long, now. (Tie it up, guys before you run out of ideas!)

The Showcase #56 (1965) I got is a wonderful old comic, of course. Greatly written by Gardner Fox and immaculately illustrated by Murphy Anderson. Really love those old silver-age re-introduction issues of Golden Age characters! (Such a classic comic!) It read just as well today as it did 42 years ago when I was a mere 13 years old and bought one off a local drug store comic rack.

Had a little bit of a mystery today while mowing with the push mower the trim work on my folk's back yard. I was mowing right behind their shop, and there was this piece of concrete block nearly flat to the ground that I'd previously been just mowing around it. But weeds had started coming up there and the block was just a little too high to simply go over. Thus, I grabbed the thing and moved it around until I loosened it enough to remove and lay aside. Underneath it was a quarter.

At first I figured that quarter might be fairly old, even a silver one (which would be pre-1965), but upon further inspection discovered it to be just from 1999. I thought a moment about how that got to be underneath the concrete block, and finally decided that my dad, still in his late 70's and capable of weeding or mowing, probably was back there one day and pulled something out of his pocket and the quarter came with it. His eyesight not being very good, he moved the concrete block for some reason, and laid it unknowingly on top of the coin, where it has laid undisturbed now for 8 years. And I figured it was more than likely a new quarter at that time since there's no noticable wear, and very little shine gone outside of lying so long in on the ground with said block upon it.

It got me further to think about how many newer quarters most likely can be found these days, simply because that amount of money means so little to people anymore. Had it been a silver quarter from 43 or more years ago, I'd felt sorry for the person who lost it. Because, you know, back then a quarter actually meant something in the way of money. I'm not really sure at what point a quarter came to mean little of nothing; probably sometime in the early 1980's. But the further back you go, just like any other coin or dollar bill, it was just worth a lot more.

To us comic book collectors it meant you could buy a comic book back in 1973, and still have enough to pay the sales tax. You could still purchase a Coke from a machine, or a candy bar, or a bag of chips. You could stilll get a load of clothes washed in a laundrymat washing machine, or do TWO loads of drying, with a nickel left over. You could still buy a 1st. Class Postage Stamp, and (I'm not exactly sure) probably at least a half a gallon of gasoline.

Now you go even further back to say, the earlier 1960's and that would have bought a whole gallon of gas with some change. Or two comics at twelve cents each, or at least 4 candy bars, 25 pieces of bubblegum, 5 packs of baseball cards, a hamburger, 3 or 4 Cokes,etc., etc., seperately; tax not withstanding.

I'm afraid that the quarter has now become yet another useless coin, much like it's smaller brothers and sisters, the penny, nickel and dime, all of which I find on occasion where someone has dropped them and didn't think they were worth bending over to pick up. No one wants change anymore. More and more people use plastic. At work, at least 1/2 of the sales are plastic, with the other part split between checks and cash.

Change, like people, work better as a unit. Small amounts of change seperately make little or no difference. However, when you get several small amounts together, you have a lot of change. In two months time I put all of my own change every night into a bank on the dresser. Last count it was $124.00, (or, 12,400 pennies if it were broken down into such) and with that amount, you can actually buy something pretty nice. You get 12,400 people together and have them work towards a better goal for this country AS a unit, and you'll see a better country. The more change in one place, the better the change in our lives. Remember that the next time you think politics and the upcoming presidential election in 2008.

Was reading today about how it's been discovered that there were maybe three different printings of Superman #1 (1939). The 1st. print advertises Action #13, and the second and third ones advertise Action #14, with little or no way to really distinguish the latter two printings apart. Since the first issue of Supes was a reprint anyway (from Action #1), that means that the second print would be a reprint of a reprint, and the third print would be a reprint of a reprint of a reprint! Still the most expensive reprint comic in the world, though (and nothing I can buy out of pocket change). You might even say that that there was a FORTH printing of that particular book in it's original-type format when they put one the same size in "The Superman Masterpiece Edition" in 1999. Save for a small notation on the bottom of its inside front cover it's nearly an exact duplicate (size and all) of the original either 2nd. or 3rd. print (since it advertises Action #14). I also wonder how many scums out there have tried to pass off either that reprint, or the Batman 1 reprint (from the "Batman Masterwork edition") to some unknowing collector as an original.

I've been thinking about buying a new pc. This one I've had since 1999, and so far, it's had a longer and more productive run than George W. (however, much the same it's running out of memory as I'm currently working on just 102 MBs). Like "Ol' Yeller", it's being faithful to the end...and then I'll have to take it out behind the barn and shoot it.

(Poor, faithful "Ol' Yeller"........I think I might need a moment here.)

Don't think i mentioned finally watching all of The Incredibles flick. Much fun! Glad I broke down and got a copy and sat thru it. Looks like a sequel would have been made?

And, my wife did well at her craft show this weekend, so I suppose her taking a week off just to prepare for it was worth it. She said there were so many people at the festival that they ran out of places to park. I have found comics for sale there in the flea market section during this particular show, which are usually over-priced. Maybe last year (or the year previous) someone had around 30+ comics, some from the early 60's and several from the 70's that interested me but we never could agree on a price. I recall issues of The Phantom Stranger, early 60's Marvel humor/romance ("Millie", and the like) and others in that lot. Guess I really should have paid him what he asked, but it was one of those cases where there was nothing actually on my "Want List" except maybe two cheaper comics, and the better issues were individually over-priced, so I passed on them. (Sort'a regreted it ever since.) (Sunday:10/21/07)

We're finally getting this lack of water level down locally. It had been as low as 18", but now is just a bit over 11, and with more rain in the forecast all "burning bans" have been lifted. Cooling down quite a bit as well. Today I was out in the drizzle most of the day and now have a slight case of the sniffles and a little chill. Time for aspirins before it gets too bad. I may get a flu shot while I'm off work this coming Thurday since I haven't had one in a few years.

My wife and I are supposed to go to Elizabethtown tomorrow as she wants to visit the cemetary, but that may or may not happen with this weather. Such a long drive there and back in the rain. We had in fact thought about driving on up to Radcliff, which is about 12 miles further north (and the town adjacent to Fort Knox Military Base; you know---The Gold Vault) as the Wallyworld there carried some craft items she needed that our local WM does not. I had thought, too, about visiting a comic shop there I've heard about, but that's all iffy at this time.

I DO have several more comic books to review here soon, including several issues of DC's The Spirit and the first 5 issues of Wildstorm's Desolation Jones as time permits me to read them and express opinions.(Monday: 10/23/07)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"About a Week's Worth"

Finally I won a copy of a comic I haven't had one of in a good ten years by using a "Buy It Now" option on an eBay auction, and at a cheap price to boot! I found me a copy of the Super Comic reprint Plastic Man #11 (1963), and in Gd-VG for a mere five bucks (which looks like this above "lifted" image). This will complete a set of the three reprints Super Comics did of Plas in 1963-64, and is the first time I've compiled this trio of issues into my comic book collection since back around 1996. Oh, I've bidded on this issue several times, but it always seemed a bit out of reach price-wise, or I'd get sniped, or something everytime I saw one. So when I saw it at a "BIN", I didn't hesitate. And so, yet another of the super hero reprints that I.W./Super Comics did is down and will be off "the list". There's a LOT of those I'd like to have, but actually, I've already got the most of them now, what with completing the "Plastic Man's", I also have the two issues of "The Spirit", the single "Green Lama", the single issue of "The Avenger", "Human Fly" 1 & 12 (BOTH "Blue Beetle" reprints), plus a couple that reprint "Phantom Lady", (among others). The only other ones that I definately would like to own copies of would be the reprints of "Dr. Fu Manchu" and "Earthman On Venus" (due to the Wally Wood work). But I think there's a "Purple Claw" reprint, plus a reprint of the first Avon horror story, and some other super-hero reprints here and there which interest me. Some of the humor titles also have Matt Baker artwork (which is ALWAYS nice).

I've changed my routine of writing my blog posts now. And instead of just sitting down to write a post all at one time, I'm now stretching my time writing this over several days. So events that I mention may or may not have come to pass during that time. They're just some various instances.

Some other stuff I've recently won would include copies of DC's Showcase #'s 72 & 100, from the Silver and Bronze Age. The #72 is the re-introduction of DC's western heroes, "Johnny Thunder" and "The Trigger Twins", both of which originally appeared in the long-running comic (mostly from the 1950's): All-Star Western. That's an interesting title simply because it was a continuation of the original GA title, All-Star. I'm sure it has some nice Gil Kane and other reprints. The #100 Showcase has appearances (or cameos) by practically any character which ever appeared in that title.

Another win is a VF++ copy of DC's Tales of the Unexpected #100 (circa 1967), which rather surprized me to win as cheap as I did in it's condition grade. TOTU was one of my favorite "regular buying" titles back in the 60's, mostly due to the appearances of "Space Ranger", but I kept on buying it long after he stopped appearing in it. This issue's pretty neat due to the "Go-Go Checks" on the cover and nice Infantino art. DC was putting a LOT of esoteric heroes and stories into their mystery titles at that time, such as "Animal Man", "The Enchantress", "Immortal Man", "Auto-Man", etc., and this issue has one of those weird "Green Glob" tales.

Overall, TOTU was an impressive title which had a very lengthly run, first beginning in 1956 (and Ghod knows I sure wish I had that copy of TOTU #1 I had as a kid, again) and ran (albeit a title change where they dropped the "Tales of" off the title) 202 issues all the way until 1982. Somebody had to like it due to it running 24 years! And there were a small handful of app.s of a character, I think his name was "Johnny Peril" which ran in issues post #100 that were sort'a good.

And the last comic I've won here recently is a Marvel Tower of Shadows #8 (circas 1970 or so), with a Berni Wrightson cover and some Wally Wood artwork inside. One of those better Marvel fantasy-horror titles from the very early 1970's before they changed the titles on some of them and ended up filling them entirely with horror and fantasy reprints from the 1950-60's (rather than new material).

Wally Wood... what a tragic and sad story about such a great talent. Here's a guy that was a cornerstone of E.C. Publications, who created the unforgetable "T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents", who pretty much created the look that Marvel's "Daredevil" has today when he added the red costume back in the mid-1960's, who was one of the very few people that could actually ink Steve Ditko's pencils properly, only to meet his demise by his own hand due to depression from losing his vision and not being able to produce his fine, wonderful work anymore. I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't appreciate Wallace Wood, from his fantastic Witzend publication, to the inking of such titles as All-Star Comics, "The Stalker" (w/Ditko), and Hercules Unbound (some of his last work). Gone now a good 30 years from us, his fans, who will never forget him.


Checked the confirmation code on that copy of Forever People #1 that's waaayyyy overdue. The first time it said that it was actually "enroute", it stated that it had left Florida. Now it says it's in the Cincinnati, Ohio location! I tell ya...the United States Postal Service seems to me to be one very flubbed-up system at times. Instead of the package going to the central headquarters in Kentucky ( Louisville), it's sent first from Florida all the way to Cincinnati, and then BACK to Louisville to be sent on to me. They always seem to take the longest way around with the mail. Oh well...at least it's downhill all the way getting to me here now in South Central, Kentucky, so perhaps it'll make an appearance in a day or two.(Thursday:10/11/07)

Moving on... I've finished the pencils and writing a new six page comic strip that's related to an entire 20 page project I may just self-publish as a small press effort. To difficult to submit anything professionally anymore, so what I do is just "self-gratification". If I publish it it'll have a short print run and I'll end up giving away most of the copies, I'm sure. It's not like back in the days when The Small Press seemed so alive (early to mid-80's), and I suppose that's because just about anyone with the cash can do a comic of their own anymore. I really wouldn't mind making this into some sort of "slick" alternative comic type project if the cost was right. But if I did, I'd just be a labor of love and maybe some publicity for my work. More than likely if this sees print it'll be magazine-size and all B&W; a new fanzine of sorts. (I haven't really done one of these since back in '89 or so and I've got "the itch" again.) I'll talk more about this when the project's complete as I work on it in what little spare time I have outside of work and family issues.

(And, just to prove that I do indeed write this post over several days, since the above was written I got in those long long comics and now have my four sets of the Kirby 4th. World titles from the 70's complete! "Halle-frickin'-luyah!")

I'm not really sure how long I've been at trying to complete those Kirby sets. I looked back on various old blog posts but just couldn't seem to pin it down to an "exact"time. But I'd say going on 2 years now. The Jimmy Olsens were the easiest, then The New Gods, the Mister Miracles and finally, The Forever People. The most difficult ones for me to find are those 11 odd issues of Our Fighting Forces, around 4 misc. issues of the 70's reprint issues of Black Magic, and that one odd issue of the 70's reprint of Boy Commandoes #2. Not that any of those have a single thing to do with Kirby's "4th. World" stuff, but I'd like to have them for completion sake, as well as the two magazines he did: "Spirit World", and "In The Days of The Mob" (and I want them WITH POSTERS, TOO!).

Got to thinking about this year: 2007. My earliest memories of owning a comic book was 1957, which (Gasp! Choke! means my aquaintance with that American Art Form has now lasted 50 years! Geez. If I had all of the esoteric knowledge I have of comic books in mathmatics instead, I'd be a "rocket scientist" and not wasting your time writing these blogs, huh? Oh well. The relationship w/comic books have lasted a LOT longer than any of my marriages...and given me more entertainment and pleasure (in general) as well, I might add. (Save for my current wife, of course, of nearly 20 years.)(Friday:10/12/07)

Today at the flea market I found a nice 2 disc set copy of "The Incredibles", a flick that I had never watched in its entirity, B-I-O-N. Looks like at some point in the past year that I would have rented this multi-million dollar Disney hit, simply due to its contents ("superheroes"). So, sometime in the next few days I'll pop in this WS version and kick back for a couple hours and relax. (It's always nice to buy a $25. DVD for a mere $5.). There was just a few set up at the flea market this morning on the way to work, and I only had a few minutes to walk thru. One guy had a large "Batmobile" for $5., which I passed on just because I thought it was a little too much for it; plus I have something in the neighborhood of (at least) 50 different B-mobiles already, and no place to really display it.

Today's work started out slow. There was a gun & knife show at the local convention center, and I suppose that customers didn't come to the place I work at until they'd seen that, but after 10 A.M., things started picking up and we were pretty steady all the rest of the day. The boss sent over a bunch of Halloween things to sell, here a couple weeks before day; metal stand-up black cats, white ghosts, hanging cats with the word "spooky" on them, some pumpkin yard ornaments, some 48" hanging ornaments with witches, ghosts or bats on them, etc. I think only one sold before closing. Might be a little too late to sell much for Halloween this time. (Saturday:10/13/07)

RANT POST: Back on October 2, I went to a local doctor due to having contacted poison ivy, and it was in my system to the point that I knew the only way to stop it from spreading and eventually making me very ill, was to get either a steroid shot or pills.

At the time, the nurses remarked that I hadn't been to see him in 4 years, which is true. I'm generally a very healthy person, and even if I am sick, I can't afford to be running to see a doctor every time I don't feel well. I usually just take some aspirin and try to get some rest, and suffer through it until I am better. But...anyway...I asked beforehand how much the office visit was going to be and was told, $50. After the visit I went to pay for it and asked once again, "How much do I owe?", and once again, was told, $50., and paid it the same day while I was there. So last Thursday I get an additional bill from this doctor for $30. I couldn't figure out why I'd gotten it? I thought it may have been because the nurse thought I'd gotten a shot (which IS $30.), but I didn't, having opted for the 10 day's worth of pills which I filled at my local pharmacy (and was only $8.). So I try to call the office only to discover that no one would be back there until Monday. And so, Monday, I try calling again and the receptionist tries to connect me with the billing person, whose line keeps wanting to give me an answering machine message. I'd already done this once and the billing person never returned my call, so I finally get the receptionist back and try to explain "why" I was wanting to inquire about it, and she hands the phone over to the billing person for me to talk to.

One of the rudest people I've ever talked to from a doctor's office par none. And in her nasty voice she states that since I hadn't been there in 4 years that "by law" after three years I'm declared a NEW patient and have the additional fee. When I inquire as to why I wasn't asked to pay the fee that day, she says that no one there knew I hadn't been in the office in so long, EVEN THOUGH THREE DIFFERENT NURSES HAD COMMENTED ON IT INCLUDING THE RECEPTIONIST. She said, "Well...mistakes happen", and that I still owed the bill. She also used the term, "well...whatever" (meaning she could care less. "Whatever"? Is this person in the 6th. Grade? Is she 12 years old? Is she definately one nasty bitch? (Affirmative on the last one.)

So today I mailed off the money for said bill and made a notation that "I knew he really needed my extra $30. (after all, he needs a 1/2 tank of gas in his beemer), but he might want to invest it in a personality for his billing manager instead, since, obviously, she doesn't have one." The billing manager, incidently, is his wife, so she'll just take that $30. off my bill and toss the letter so he won't see it. This I discovered wasn't the first time such a thing had happened there. Another person I knew got an enormous bill from them less than a week after her visit, threatening legal action if it wasn't paid. And when she went to pay it she told them that she'd never be back. Her mother saw this doctor later and told him why she would never be there again and he knew absolutely nothing about it. In fact, he apologized and told her to definately come back to see him and such a thing wouldn't happen again. And, when I see this doctor, I'll tell him the same.

On to nicer things, I got in those copies of Showcase #72 & 100, Tales of the Unexpected #100 (the first three all DC's) and Tower of Shadows #8(Marvel) in today's mail. That TOTU #100 is indeed in a VFINE grade; at least a $25. comic. Neat book from 1967, with a "Green Glob" story and those krazy DC "Go-Go Checks" on the cover. The TOWs#8 has a nice Wrightson cover from 1970, plus a wonderful fantasy tale drawn by Wally Wood, plus a Ditko fantasy reprint. The SC #72 (1968) is the silver-age re-introduction of DC's westrn heroes, "Johnny Thunder" and "The Trigger Twins", sporting classic reprints by the like of Gil Kane, Alex Toth and Joe Kubert from the 1950's. The #100 of this title is drawn by Joe Staton and guest-stars virtually every character which ever appeared in the title up until that time (from 1978). I was VERY pleased with this 4 comic book purchase to say the least


BATMAN (DC) #669 concludes "The Club of Heroes" storyline, and as usual it was well-written by Grant Morrison with the ever-pleasing artwork of J.H. Williams III. Both Batman and 'Tec have had unusually striking covers this past year, with this issue no exception, showing only the raised arms of the various heroes each holding up either their fist or their weapon of choice, shown in a red against a B&W and grey background. This really makes your eye center to the cover when on the stands. This whole storyline of "Club of Heroes" has been really good. It's one of those "A+" issues.

JLA CLASSIFIED(DC) #43 is the second part of what I like to call, "The Martian Manhunter: Year One", and it continues to tell of J'onn J'onzz's first teamup with the JLA while battling "Starro". Even though I feel that the writer (Justin Gray) is farting around with the JLA history and continuity, this issue read well and rendered, as usual very well, by Rick Leonardi. We're treated to a Walt Simonson cover for our $2.99 as a bonus. An "A Minus" to "B+" for this issue.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (DC) #13 begins a new story arch where the "INjustice League" is being intruduced into this title. As usual, Lex Luthor's there, along with Grodd, Dr. Light, Poison Ivy and a host of others to follow. Joe Benitez loves to draw panels which feature the full-length body shots, and I have to admit that a few of these this issue was somewhat impressive (especially those of Batman and Poison ivy). But this sort of thing can get old and he needs to concentrate just more on the continuity of his panels. (Too much of this leads to the old "Image" look, which I never liked.) Dwayne McDuffie begins writing it this issue, and I wasn't overly pleased with what i've read so far, but maybe it'll get better as he gets usued to the interplay between the large number of various heroes and villians he'll have to work with, and overall I'll still give it a "B". (Monday: 10/15/07)

Some other notations on those older comics I just got in recently, the SHOWCASE #72 (1968) has now gotten a notation in "Wickapedia" for those characters. I was looking them up and the information stated that they didn't have an appearance from the 1950's until the early 70's, which, because of the reprint in that particular issue, makes that information incorrect. So I corrcted it. But the main thing I wanted to mention about the "TT's" reprint in this issue is that they battle a western character called...of ALL names..."Doc Doom"! Yes, ol' Doc Doom was plaguing heroes in the 1800's out west even before the FF. Guess he made good use of that time machine he built was back in FF #5 (1962)*heh*. Well, okay. No this isn't the same Doc Doom, or even the same character, or even the same "company" for that matter. But I thought it was sorta funny. Names get picked up by one writer or another, and the "TT's" reprint originally appeared "sometime" between 1951 and 1958, since after that they didn't have any stories in the original series of All-Star Western.

Another notation is about that Showcase #100. Just how many times did DC use that "Crisis on Infinite Worlds" idea BEFORE they finally did the limited series. I wrote here once before about an issue of Justice League from the 1970's that used it, along with the good ol' "Spectre" trying to hold worlds apart, and yet there in this 1978 issue of SC we see something very similiar once again. I guess they (DC) thought that they just couldn't keep a good idea down, ehh?

When I was down at the local library this morning, visiting my mom (whose a librarian there), and making some photocopies, I looked thru the discarded books they sell and found a 1945 Whitman hardcover of "Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter", based on the famous long-running newspaper strip, of course, and written/illustrated by her creator, Dale Messick. It wasn't in the best of shape, but all of the story was complete. The dust jacket was gone, as well as the first leaf where they'd had a library card stuck on it (the policy there is to cut out that first page with the card when discarding books). They'd also cut into the title page and it was loose, but not unrepairable with some 'majik tape", and they'd stuck tape on the spine. So, I removed the spine tape, repaired the title page and made it still a collectible item to add to my collection. Whitman hardcovers from the pre-1950 era are especially nice to collect, and they certainly did a lot of them (including some super-heroes, and, in particular, one VERY collectible volume of "Superman" in 1942).

Also found a little hardcover about the size of a paperback and maybe half as thick called, "Zoric the Spaceman", which was actually done in full color in 1983, published by "Ladybird Books", and written/illustrated by its creator, Peter Kingston. It's in much better shape (save for a few "date stamps" on the inside front cover), and was done in a comic book format like a small graphic novel. I always check out these library sales and have found a lot of neat, older books in them for next-to-nothing prices. Even with my 4 photocopies the whole thing was about a buck, and the money goes for the good cause of promoting the library and the purchase of new books and supplies.

Read today that veterin artist, Marie Severin is recuperating from a stroke. Wishing her a very speedy recovery. She's done some wonderful work over the past 50+ years, for EC and Marvel in particular.

I'll have to admit that the first time I ever saw Marie Severin's work, I wasn't impressed. It wasn't until she started doing cartoony-parody artwork for the Marvel title, Not Brand Echh! in the 1960's, that I started taking notice and becoming a fan. The first super-hero art that I liked by her was Sub-Mariner #14(circa 1969) where Namor fought what he thought was the Golden-Age "Human Torch", only to discover it was the Torch's sidekick, "Toro". After that issue I became a fan of her work as much as I was any of the other artists then working at Marvel, and to this day, I consider Marie Severin, and Harvey Kurtzman, the two biggest influences on my own cartoony-type of artwork.

In today's mail...I got in that copy of the Super Comics reprint Plastic man #16 (1963) which now completes my set of the three issues they published, along with a copy of DC Comics Presents #45 (1983). The Plas reprints the golden-Age issue #16 from the Quality Comics run. The DCP really has nothing special about it, save that this issue is signed on the front cover by both artist Rich Buckler and inker, Bob Smith. I had Smith's signature on some book in my "autographed comics" collection, but not Buckler's (which is the main reason I bought it). It features Superman teaming up with Firestorm, and it's one of Firestorm's "inbetween appearances"; that is, between his original title, and the second one called "Fury of". Just barely so, tho', as it advertises the first issue coming of FOFS in the same issue.(Tuesday:10/16/07)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Cooling Down"

I guess Autumn has finally arrived here. This was the first morning that I noticed the real leaves falling in the yard (and not just the leaves from the top of the tall trees here that had died during Summer's relentless lack of rain). Temperature today is a high of 72, and 42 tonight in contrast to the previous 80s and 90s.

I've added a couple of modern "Bizarro" app.'s over on my "Beatles & Bizarros" blog site, as well as perhaps a new Beatles cameo. In one of the new comics I've bought this past week, there appears to be an app. of John Lennon (panel 6 of page 16) in the Dark Horse title, Emily the Strange: The Death Issue special. Since I'm going to review a few new comics I may as well begin with that one.

The "Emily Special" is from a previous series by Rob Reger (among other writers) and artists such as Buzz Parker, Ryan Hill and Tim Biskup; 28 pages plus a two-color cover for $3.50. I'm sure there are those who really like this character, and I'm also sure that it appeals mostly to those who like alternative-type comic book titles, "new wave" imagery and goth-type artwork. Personally it didn't appeal to me. Oh, it's okay for what it is, but what little plot there is in this title is erratic and it feels more like just a "jam" book for misc. artists and writers rather than anything that can be taken seriously. I won't rate it because of that aspect. (IF I had to do so, I'd give it an "A+" for those who love this sort of thing, and a "D+" for those that do not.)

The one Marvel Comic I got this time is the latest Fantastic Four (#549), which continues their battle with the "Frightful Five" from the previous issue. This is yet another decent issue of FF, and The Black Panther and Storm still play well within the storyline. We see Susan Storm very assertive with her powers in this issue, showing that she's indeed a valuable (as always) player in the FF. I do wish that Michael Turner would pay a little more attention to the elements actually playing within the book though, as his covers seem just a bit too symbolic no matter how well rendered.

The rest of these are DC titles.

Action Comics #855 is by Johns, Donner, Powell and Stewart, and it has Superman visiting the square "Bizarro World". The artwork is a little quirky, but it just seems to fit this particular issue and the first part of a new storyline called "Escape from Bizarro World". We get to see some Bizarros that haven't been around in a long time, such as twisted versions of "Perry White", "Lois Lane" and "Clark Kent". It also brings up an interesting point I had never considered about Superman's powers under various other color suns. If Supes is powerless under a red star, has powers under a yellow star, then what about a younger BLUE star such as that near the Bizarro planet? Would his powers be stronger, or would he even develope NEW powers? (I'll give dis suck'ca a "A+", just cause I'm such a Biz-Fan.)

JLA Classified #42 gives us some new insights on the origin of "The Martian Manhunter", as well as his first meeting with the JLA. This story read "okay" and was pretty decent, but it destroys some continuity to my mind which to this day is still hung in a Silver-Age mode. Because when the JLA first appeared back in The Brave & The Bold #29 (1959), "J'onn J'onzz" was a foremost player. In fact, Superman and Batman were purposely left to the side to emphasize on OTHER DC heroes such as The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and The Flash. It was the same scenario that was used in "The Justice Society" title in the 1940's to give their lesser-known heroes more time. Okay. I know this ISN'T the Silver-Age and all of that's changed these days. Still a good read, so: "B+".

Superman #667 has cameos and app.'s by Zatanna, The Phantom Stranger, and the Atlantian wizard, "Arion" as the man of steel does battle with "Subjekt-17". This is actually a pretty good story by the likes of Busiek, Pacheco and Merino. Especially impressive are the fight scenes in the rain. Hey! We even see "Lana Lang"! (Give it an "A Minus".)

And lastly, Teen Titans #49 continues the "Amazons Attack!" thingy, of which, over-all, has not impressed me a bit. Mostly I bought it for the Supergirl appearance, but there was a nice little play between Robin (or, I guess he's called "Nightwing" these days) and the current version of "Wonder Girl". About a "C+" on this comic.

And, on to "other" things.....

This past weekend was VERY hectic for me. As I previously blogged, we had that auction business to get over with, and I noticed that on the way home from it that the car sounded a little "off". I hadn't wanted to even take the car that day as I knew we couldn't haul anything large in it had we won a bid. And, sure enough, my wife won the bid on an antique sewing machine and some tables, none of which I could haul back in the Taurus so we had to leave them there to pick up "sometime" else this week. Plus mom wanted to go and there wasn't room in the van with the back seat taken out to haul junk around in, so the car it was.

The next morning (Sunday) was a work day for me. I got about 1/10th. of a mile from home and I thought I had a flat tire. Got out and checked them and they "looked" okay, so I continued on to work. Got about another 2 miles further and a large chuck of tread came off the front, right tire! It didn't "blow", mind you; just 12-14" inches of rubber came loose and was flapping around leaving the thin, bare undertire. So I pulled in next to an office building and called mom on my cell phone to come follow me home as all I had as a spare was the doenut. I had already got it changed when she arrived and when I got the car back home I was going to simply walk down to her house and borrow the old pickup truck to go to work.

The battery was dead in the truck and it wouldn't jump.

So I get mom to give me a ride to work (and later come pick me up). I knew I was going to HAVE to buy me at least two new tires. Well, I've been saving all of my loose change for a couple months now and had over $100. put back, so I had my wife go Monday and get me a couple of new tires. In the meanwhile, Sunday night when I got home I had to go back down to mom's, hook up the battery charger for a couple of hours on the pickup, then go back down again and get the truck and bring it home to use to ride to work on Monday.

Monday night I took the truck back to mom's and changed the doenut spare to ride to work yesteray (Tuesday). When I got home last night, not only did I change one of the back tires with the other new one, but rotated all four tires by hand. I did that in 30 minutes. I don't think I've ever changed 4 tires that fast before, but my wife was fixing dinner and said it'd be about a half an hour, and sure enough, I had them all done before it was ready.

So at least all of that's squared away again now and I have some tires back on the car (or, at least until yet another of the old ones go).

And, to close today...

I haven't seen a single comment on this site now in a month. This leads me to believe that perhaps it's time for this to go into yet another sleep mode for a while. I've really got a lot of other things to do than just blog, and it'd be different IF I knew some people were reading my comments. Looks like it'll be the occasional one or two times a month again for a while. (See you then.)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"The Big Auction"

Well, the big auction was today on my late father-in-law's estate. Overall, I thought it a bit of a disapointment. After the house and land and antique autos all sold, the auctioneers were practically giving things away in this where all sales were final. I saw a whole bed w/mattress go for a couple of bucks. A sectional for a couple of dollars. There were a few things that interested me that went for a few bucks more than I wanted to pay for them; namely all of the old l.p.s. But I had already gone thru those records (more than once) and pulled what had really interested me, so when the boxes started getting in the $30-range, I let them go.

In fact, the only thing I bought for myself was an old combined turntable/radio/8-track system of which I paid the grand price of $1. The only reason I wanted it was for the two nice Magnovox speakers (which are better than the ones I have on my old system). My wife did spend thirty-some-odd bucks on an antique peddle-type sewing machine and a couple of tables.

The '39 Ford in the antique cars went the highest at almost $6,000., but the other ones, some mainly just for parts, went about that much "as a whole". The house and 4 acres of land sold for $128,000.00, and the adjacent lot for $12,000. Box after box of misc. stuff went for just a few bucks in lots and tools sold fairly cheap. We won't know the totals for a few days, but my rough estimate would be somewhat over $160,000. for everything (but I could be mistaken). This finally brings some closure to my wife and her family which began with her mother getting ill from cancer in 1999. It's been a long 8 years for us all.

My mom rode up there with us, so part of the day I spent mostly relocating her a seat somewhere that it was shady. I spent more money on drinks and snacks than anything else, but it was for a good cause as all sales from this concession went to a family member who has a cancerous tumor. I think they raised around $200. in donations for this person.

On the way back I stopped at both Waldenbooks and B&N bookstores and picked up several new comics, such as Action 855, Emily the Strange The Death Issue 1, Fantastic Four 549, JLA Classified 42. Superman 667, and Teen Titans 49, all of which I'll review after a read. ( I also found a nice hardcover book on George Harrison in the markdowns at B&B.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Over the Hump"

Went down to the nursing home to see my dad today. He's going downhill pretty fast. In fact, he was taken over to the hospital (next door to the home) to have some chest x-rays because they were afraid he was developing pneumonia. He was also a bit dehydrated and was given some liquids thru an i.v..

Just got back from going by to see him again and this time he was sound asleep, so I didn't disturb him. Won't be able to find out anything from the x-ray results until tomorrow. (One of those things where you hope for the best, but expect the worst.)

Got outside and mixed up more quik-crete mortar mix this morning and tried to level out the walkway a bit more. Also mortared the bricks that I had previously laid. Then got out the push-mower and went down to my folk's house and finished up the trim work there, and back home to do a little I missed here last night. Finially this afternoon I got back to finish work on the walkway, remortaring and patching a few places that had cracked from not setting up good, and using about 3/4's of a bag of mix that I had left in some other shallow places. As far as I'm concerned, this project is now finished, or at least, all I think I can do with it. If I decide to do more to it I'll have to buy more "mix" as I've already used up all 9-1/2 (80lb. each) bags I had of it, and thus far invested something like 17 hours of my time off from my "regular" job, and at least $60.00.

'Was thinking about emailing eBay and seeing if they could get a seller to respond to my numberous emails regarding items I had won from him back on the 15th. & 19th. of August which had yet to arrive. They weren't all that costly, but one of them was that copy of The Forever People V1 #1 (1971) that I needed to, not only complete that particular set, but all four of the "4th. World" Kirby sets from the 1970's. (The other books were copies of JLA #107(1971) which was the introduction of the Quality characters in the first app. of "The Freedom Fighters", plus 3 misc. issues of The Fury of Firestorm from the 1980's, including a #1).

But I decided to check my email just one more time and sure enough, I'm glad I did because I had finally gotten a reply. According to him they have indeed been mailed, media of course (which peaves me in a way since I paid seperate shipping fees for these items and they'll all be mailed at once; which means he could have sent them priority). So I suppose I'll wait yet another week and if they don't arrive, email him yet again.

Sitting here listening to a "Best of Artie Shaw" double l.p., which is one of the Big Band people I like from the 1940's. Benny Goodman's another of my favorites, as is, of course, Glen Miller. All of these guys used a lot of woodwinds in their music, which I like a lot since I "tried" to learn how to play both the clarinet AND sax "way-back-when" I was in the high school band. Really wished I had mastered at least one of those instruments.

Got the auction coming up Saturday of my late father-in-law's estate, which will put a close to most of my casual visits to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and probably cut way back on my picking up any new comics (since the Waldenbooks, there, was one of my main sources for new stuff). I know I'm already behind on issues of both Supergirl,Justice League and Justice Society by now. And what with both my wife's work schedule and mine, plus the fact that she's not all that close to her other family members, I'd dare say that these trips will be made now only maybe every six months or so.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind again at my regular job. Just never enough time to really relax.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Tuesday's Child..."

Busy day for me.

I was only scheduled for 5 hours work at my regular job today, getting off at 1PM, but last week while ridding the side of the house which belonged to my late father-in-law from vines and the like, I got into some poison ivy (of which I am deathly allegic!) It began popping out on my arms almost immediately, then began to spread, and I knew that I had to break down and go see a doctor today and get something for it before it infected my entire system.

Last time I had a case of it really bad was in '78, when I cleaned out a fence row wearing only flip-flops, cut-offs and a pair of sunglasses. Within a week I was VERY ill, so I knew what I'd be facing again if I let it go too long.

So after work I had made an appointment with my family doctor to see me, which he wasn't there so I opted for his "nurse practicioner" (a lovely little gal who I'd met numberous times at the nursing home where she visits and checks over my dad). The receptionist and she alike were somewhat taken back when they noticed I hadn't been there in nearly 4 years, but, I'm just the sorta guy that rarely gets sick. Besides, I really have to be on a death bed to see a doctor. I have absolutely no health insurance and knew this was coming right out of my pocket (You know what I mean? I'm the "working middle-class", which pays for EVERYONE ELSE'S health insurance). The receptionist got a little tickled when she asked me if I had any insurance and I replied, "Sure! I've got auto, house, theft, and everything else sort of insurance. Get someone to pay for those and maybe I can afford health insurance as well!"

Anyway, I was given the option of either a shot ($30.) or steroid pills ($8.). I asked the practicioner which one she would recommend, and said that she had a case of poison ivy recently and used the pills and they worked just as well; just took a few days longer, so I went that route.

Before I left she said she wanted to take my blood pressure just in case she didn't get to check it for another four years! (LOL!) It was perfect, really: 120 over 80. Couldn't be better.

Then I went and got my meds, came home and went down to my mom's house and mowed her yard with the riding mower, then over to my own house and did my back yard. Finished that and came home and used the push mower to complete the yard here, and will return tomorrow afternoon to do the same to mom's yard. Tomorrow morning will give me a chance to finish work on my walkway on a full day off.

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Quickie Movie Review Part TWO"

SHOOT 'EM UP: Starring Gary Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci, it reminds me of a "carrot-eating" Punisher except that is has a lot more violence and bullets and blood, and a bit of wry humor along the way. In fact, had I a nickle for every round shot off in this flick I could safely retire and hire someone else to write these blog reviews.

The premise of this flick is an ill senator harvesting DNA from babies in an attempt to cure himself, and the flick begins where Owen is sitting in an alley and suddenly a pregnant woman runs past him being chased by a gun-toking assailant. She tries to defend herself by killing (shooting) the attacker, but her gun jams and the guys starts to kill her, which gets Owen involved in the story, killing the man, and delivering the woman's baby right in the midst of a heavy gun battle.

The woman's gets killed as they persure her and Owen (who calls himself, "Smith") so he spends the remainder of the flick trying to keep the baby safe as well as a hooker (Belucci) lover of his that's helping protect the child, and trying to find out what the hell's all going on that everyone wants the infant dead.

He shoots a LOT of people. He does a lot of great acrobatics, whether himself or stunt doubles, and there's just a ton of action all thru the thing, whether it's a car chase or jumping from an airplane with gun-toking skydivers after him, firing as he heads to the ground at 150 miles per hour.

And it ends happily.

Giamatti does well as a quite evil sort of bastard intent on killing both the infant and "Smith".

This is sort of a flick that I can't honestly grade since it's one of those perfect-for-what-it-is sort of things. A lot of people won't like it; a lot of people will. Just depends on whether you like a movie with a lot of people getting shot all to hell all the way thru it. As to whether or not I personally enjoyed it, all I can say is that I was able to watch the entire flick, and was able to make sense of the story. Once again I do have to state that I'm not sure if it's worth paying to see at an actual theatre. Rental is probably one's best answer here.