Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Post No. 652"

Here lately I've been just too tired to either read much, work on any reviews, or even try to post, but I'll attempt to do this one today just to catch up a bit.

As I probably stated before, July 20th. when the gas meter man came by to do a monthly bill reading, he discovered a leak. According to him the gas amount under our house was a whoppin' 12%, thus he turned it off and sealed it until we could make repairs. And in that is the problem.

Our house is pretty old; about 100 years in age in fact, and houses built back in those times around here were almost sat right down on the ground. There's only about 2' of clearance for anyone to work under there, and that's the taller spots as it angels upward on the east side. This was a reason "why" we couldn't fix a hot water line one time to the kitchen in that area, and had to crawl as far under as possible, use a hole saw to cut it to the edge of the kitchen wall and "t" PVC pipes up to the ceiling and across, then down to the sink to fix that problem.

These gas lines under the house are probably the original ones, and if one area is pitted enough for a leak, then others may be as well. Instead we needed to not lay new ones under the house at all, but either on the outside or around the interior baseboards.

Plan "A", was to have the gas company (Atmos Gas) relocate the meter to the opposite side of the house in a area between the heater in the living room and the dining room, tie into both of these and then eliminate the gas water heater altogether and replace it with an electric one. The gas company quoted over $600. just to relocate the meter.

Plan "B", was to run black pipe along the side of the house from the meter, "t" off through the wall to the old water heater, then "t" off again to the front of the house and run the line under the door frame and over to the next corner and around to the same location between the two heaters using elbow-connection, of course, and reconnect. Black line is NOT a cheap method, and our plumber (who's also an old friend), suggested a Plan "C".

He had plastic gas line that could be connected the same way. It was cheaper, but we'd have to have it earth-bound; that is, it had to be buried 6 to 8 inches under the soil. We'd start at the meter, "t" off at the water heater, then up to the corner. When we get to the sidewalk he had a long auger bit to bore a hole, then we'd go in the house on the corner, connect that heater, run the line down the baseboard, bore through that wall and connect to the other heater.

So. For the past two days while I've been off from my regular full-time job I've been digging, by hand of course, a 50 foot trench, 8 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep to lay that line. Thus far I've got about 30 foot or more of that completed. In the meantime, I've either been heating up water on the electric stove to take a bath, or walking down to mom's house to use her shower. Presently we don't have to worry about heat in the house, but Winter's not that far away, so we've got to get this finished ASAP.

I haven't watched any new movies lately, but I have read many comic books that have come in from various deals.

A single book called "Bugs Bunny Comics-Go-Round" (published by Golden Press in 1979) was fairly interesting as it contained over 200 pages of Looney Tune character reprints from 1950 to 1961; probably the better period after the 40's for any of such as by the time Dell stopped handling the characters and Gold Key took over, stories got pretty bland.

There was a set of No.'s 1-4 of the DC-Vertigo title, "Terminal City", which I thought would be more interesting than it was, but quite frankly I couldn't really keep any interest in it after reading through just the first two issues.

There was a dozen of so issues of the current DC Wonder Woman title, but I've yet to get to read these. I'm sure they'll be enjoyable as I've liked what they've done with it thus far.

There was a big bunch of various 1980's Archie titles, many with Bob Bolling and/or Dan DeCarlo art, and several issues of the Marvel "Dennis the Menace" (by Wiseman), all of which were the typical stuff, but worth a laugh or two.

Several issues of the 1980's DC title, "Arion Lord of Atlantis", of which I'm working on a set and always liked that book.

The first 3 issues of DC's "Amazons Attack" limited series, that weren't too bad.

The first 2 issues of Marvel's 2009 She-Hulk limited series with the "Dark Reign" storyline involving Lyra, who is the daughter of The Hulk and Thundra that were decent and I wouldn't mind reading the rest of that 4 issue series.

Four of the six issues of Dark Horse Comics' Apocalpse Nerd by Peter Bagge, which involves Bagge's usual bizarre take on characters in more than just a humorous way, the story taking place supposingly after a someone nukes Seattle. Definately want to find the other two issues of that one.

The first issue of the new DC Power Girl, which as usual they continue to confuse everyone with her origin. (It was okay.)

Some issues of DC's Outsiders and Marvel's West Coast Avengers from some years back that were a fair read.

I suppose the most interesting of all of these comics was a full set of Eternal Publication's Archangels the Saga (#'s 1-9) published just a few year back by Patric Scott (writer/editor), Andy Orjuela (artist/inker) and John Leger (co-writer/colorist). This is a religious-based publishing company and the book is produced by Christian creators, but don't expect something like a "J.T.Chick tract" if you read one. It's a tale involving angels battling demons for the possession of the prime human characters souls. It's a 9 issue series with the storyline complete in such, full color, and resembles a comic published more by a company such as Image. I'd been wanting to read this for some time but was put off by the high cover price of $4.50 per issue, but found a full set "on line" for less than $10. on an auction. Since some issues of this went through as many as four printings one might find a set of later printings even cheaper. The cover to issue No. 1 shown above; recommended series.

I did get to watch two episodes of the SyFy series, "Hanger 13", which wasn't too bad for recyled ideas. This series is loosely based on the final scene of the first Indiana Jones flick where a huge warehouse is shown filled to infinity with strange and mystic artifacts. Other ideas thrown in are those from the series "Friday the 13th." and "X-Files". The ones I watched were entertaining enuff and I'll probably try to catch some more of them as they play.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Post No. 651"

Two (of several) lots I've recently won came in. I must say that I was very pleased with both.

The first lot was a binder filled with the first nine issues of Eternal's Archangels, the Saga; a religious-based company title which has always interested me to want to read, but I always deemed a bit too expensive to purchase due to its $4.50 (Ouch!) cover price. But I was able to win this set for less than $10.

The second lot contained 49 various modern comics plus 3 trade paperbacks. There was several issues of the current Wonder Woman title, DC's Amazons Attack L.S. 1, 2,, the new Power Girl #1, Dark Horse's Peter Bagge's Apocalypse Nerd 1, 2, 4 & 5,, the first two issues of Marvel's new Savage She-Hulk L.S., and even an issue of America's Best Tom Strong's Terrific Tales that I needed. Also in the lot was a large number of Antartic Press "Gold Digger" titles (which I'll decided to either keep or re-sell after I read them), and lastly, three trade paperbacks: DC's Power Girl(collecting various stories), Marvel's Shanna the She-Devil (collecting the limited series by Frank Cho), and Spider-man and the Black Cat: "The Evil Men Do".

So....I got a WHOLE LOTTA good reading ahead of me I'm sure.

From good news, to bad news.

Yesterday while at work the man who reads the gas meter came by and turned off our gas! No. We'd paid our bill. What it was, was that he found a leak! So currently we are without heat (not needed at the moment) or hot water (which IS needed, but just an inconvenience not having). I had someone I could trust come by to see about repairs and it looks like that due to the lack of crawl space, and to save money, we're going to have to have the local gas company relocate our gas meter on the opposite side of the house and run a new line to connect to "the main". This will save us a lot of repair costs if we can get it done as then a line can be run straight through the wall and connect up to the heaters. The water heater we'll replace with an electric one. It's something we've needed to do anyway since we moved in here. It's about past its warrenty date anyway, and an electric one will save us some fuel costs. (I'll update you on this situation as it unfolds.)

In even sadder news..."R.I.P.: Gidget" (No. Not Sally Fields.) Gidget, the famous symbol for Taco Bell, has died at age 15. Her doctor said it was from a massage stroke. (An autopsy will be performed, however, just to make sure she wasn't doing any illegal drugs.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Post No. 650!"

"A Happy Moon Landing 40th. Anniversary Day!" (July 20th., 1969 - July 20th., 2009)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Post No. 649"

That copy of Funny Folks (DC) #6 (2/3-47) finally came in, and the neatest part about an otherwise obscure humor comic from DC in the late 1940's, was a wonderful inside back cover in house advertisement (in B&W) of other titles with a Feb. (or Feb.-March), 1947 cover date, and ALL superhero titles! Click on the above image to bring this up to size where you can see them better. Clockwise, starting with the right corner, are: Star-Spangled Comics #65 ("Robin"), All-American Comics #82 ("Green Lantern"), Green Lantern #24, All-Flash ("The Flash") #27, Detective Comics ("Batman & Robin", and a PENQUIN cover, yet!) #147, Adventure Comics #113 ("Superboy"), Comic Calvacade ("Green Lantern, The Flash & Wonder Woman") #19, and Sensation Comics ("Wonder Woman") #62.

With this comic were three others the seller sent; sort of an "early birthday present", which included a lower grade copy of the Harvey The Spirit #1(1966) (which I already had a copy of but he sent so I could keep one in my regular collections and stick this copy in my collection of "Beatles mentions"), and a couple of early Classic Illustrateds in very nice shape. One, a #61 ("The Woman in White") from 1949, and the other #87 ("A Midsummer Night's Dream") from 1951, both of which were first printings! The odd thing to me about the latter is that "AMSN'sD" has a cover date of September, 1951, which means it was on the newstands probably in July of 1951, the month and year I was born, and the central character in this tale is "Puck". Did comic books herald my arrival? (*heh*)

Okay, in other things, my old push mower finally went ka-put. The mount that held the bolt from the gas tank to the motor broke and I couldn't get it reattached where it'd stay. I tried a little of everything from duct tape to bailing wire to "fix" the thing, but to no avail. Finally I got some strong wire to hold it in place but when I pulled the cord, THAT broke and went up into the head of the mower. That was the last straw, and the end of this Frankenstein lawn mower I've literally put together from other old mowers trying to keep it running for yet another Summer (it's at least 10-12 years old). I found a good used one with a 3.5 Murray motor for $60. and even if I get no more than the rest of this mowing season out of it, it's worth it.

Also today fairly early I went over to my mom's and trimmed her hedge. My late father ("bless his heart") was even worse than me at trying a quick-fix on something or another. The cord attached to the electric trimmers had been cut at least a half a dozen times and he kept taping it up with black electric tape. Today while trimming the hedges, it kept cutting out, and even sparking from shorts in the wire. I finally had my fill and removed all of the tape to try to fix the wiring and discovered that this cord wasn't even needed. He'd stuck a short, 3 ft. cord onto it, whereas all one had to do was plug a regular extension into the end. I took the cord off, threw it away, plugged a regular cord back in, and it was fixed like new. The hedge looks pretty damn good even if I say so myself.

Hoping something else might make it in today's mail.

P.S.: Almost forgot this. I'm looking to BUY issues of the first Moon Knight (Marvel) series. The one from 1980. I've only got a couple of these so any issues I'd be interested in if anyone out there has some for sale. (Thanks!)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

"Post No. 648"


Not a whole lot new to report this week. My wife, who got laid off from her job some weeks past, finally got at least one unemployment check. She got a job here locally and worked around 5 days until she got tired of the boss's constant flirting and spying on her via his computer (at home), then calling her a half a dozen times at night to tell her to do things she'd already done, so..."that was that". Now it might mess up her getting future checks. I feel like I'm to blame for her even getting that job as I told her she should put in an application since it was within (literally) walking distance from our house. I'd forgotten that this store couldn't keep help over a week at a time, and now we know "why". But we have faith that all will work out in the long run.

Where I work at stays steady. 'Can't tell the economy's in much of a slump there as we seem to have just as many tourists (and locals alike) in the store every day, and I still work at least 5 days a week and usually with a little O.T. at the end of the week even with the part-time extra help they hired, although I still occasionally have days where I have to work by myself.

Our yard sale went okay this past Fri-Sat, but we closed it up early on Saturday due to lack of people out because of the 4th. (I imagine). I'm off work this coming Saturday the 11th. and plan on having it again and this time working it myself.

Picked up well over 200 comics cheap at the local flea market; kept about half of those and the rest assigned to the next yard sale's quarter box which are either duplicates and just stuff I don't want in my collections. I did find several issues of DC's Jemm Son of Saturn, a Captain Atom (1987) #1(which, BTW, is a "Beatles mention" of John Lennon, page 14, panel 7, and thus listed over on the "B&B" blog), and issues 2-4 of Shazam: A New Beginning limited series (all of which I'd been looking for). It brings my CA set down to just four issues now to complete a set.

Won a set of Archangels: The Saga, which you may or may not be familiar with since it's a religious comic book with a superhero theme published a few years back. And, of course, it's about angels battling demons, drawn in sort of a "Michael Turner"-type style (in color). They always looked pretty slick and I wanted to buy them, but they had what I considered too high a cover price ($4.50-4.99). So I won a whole set of 1 thru 9 for less than $10. After I get the set in a read them, I'll review them here (naturally).

And my neighbor and I have been discussing what we were going to do about this big pile of stuff we cleaned out of the pile of leaves and the like we cleaned out from the back of our yards. Everyone here locally wanted $300.-$400. just to bury the mess. The Fire Marshall we talked to about doing a controlled burn on it told us we'd still have to remove any treated lumber or metal, then mostly all we'd have is weeds and dirt, so it wasn't worth doing that either. So now I think we're going to wait until colder weather and let the weeds die down and drag out anything we can't get rid of, spread out the dirt on the back yards, mulch up the weeds, cut up the trees into sizes the city will haul off and the rest cut up into wood and give that away to people who burn that for heat, and then maybe just haul off anything else to the dump. I hate to have to do all of that work, but it'd be worth it to save us some bucks.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"Post No. 647"

Snitched the above cover of Doom 2099 #30 (Marvel) from a chat site. There was a comment about how they were amazed any of that "Marvel project" lasted as long as it did, and I agree. Those 2099 titles went on for at least 4 years (1992-96) and there was actually 44 issues (I think) of that particular comic (the Spider-man 2099 lasted the longest with 46 issues + an annual). Just has an unual look to it I thought. The 2099 books were only mildly interesting to me, but I think I've read a few issues of most of them. "S-M 2099" was probably the best one (in my opinion). But, in general, I'd say their "New Universe" venture was much better.

And here we are beginning the second half of the year 2009. The weather today in S-Central, KY. is absolutely perfect at about 80 degrees with a light, cool wind and the past few nights have produced perfect sleeping temperatures and no need for the A/C. Wish the whole Summer could be as nice.

Won a couple more silver-age Marvel 25 cent square-bounds, being copies of Millie the Model Queen-Size Special (Annual) #8, and Mighty Marvel Western #6. Both of these are the last issues published in the 1960's, and it brings the number of SA Marvel Giants I need now to have all of them down to five: Millie Annual 1, Strange Tales Annual 2, Silver Surfer V1 #'s 2, 4 & 6 (although I really do need a replacement for SS #1). Needing only that '62 "Rudolph" Giant from DC having all of those and that makes a total of just a half a dozen having all of those now from both of those companies from the S-Age era.

Also won some other small to medium lots of titles such as early 70's DC Weird Mystery Tales, Unexpected, House of Secrets and some modern stuff inclduing some issues of the current Wonder Woman title.
And today and tomorrow makes the first two days off from work in a row I've had in two months. "Maybe" I can get a little rest. The last time I had a day off I really over-did it working on mine and my mom's yards. I trimmed up a large bush in her back yard, then weed-eated, mowed, trimmed her hedge, etc., then used the push mower on my own back yard the same night. Ended up getting too much sun and got sick and had to lie down for a couple of hours, then liked to never got to sleep that night, so the next day I was just a walking zombie all day at work (plus that leg I injured some time back was killing me).

I've gotten back to work on my main project of doing that 12 issue limited series comic book of which I've shown some samples occasionally here. About finished 50 pages + 3 covers now, but of course, that's a total to be at least 240 pages and another 9 covers to go. I'm sure it'll take me at least a couple of years (if not more) to complete especially just working on the thing off-and-on as time allows.

We've had our first Big expense since my wife lost her job a couple weeks back. Two days ago while I was at work I got a call from her saying that her van was stuck in the parking lot of a grocery store across the highway from the store and wouldn't start. I took a few moments to drive across there and use the jumper cables on it and got it running enough for her to drive it home. Then when I was off work and got home that night, I tried jumping it again since it'd died as she pulled into the driveway, but we couldn't keep it running. I put the battery charger on it for an hour or more and got it started and running again then drove it to the mechanic we always use. I knew it couldn't be the starter since (duh!) it wouldn't start at all if it'd been that problem, and the battery wasn't all that old, so I figured it had to be the alternator. Sure enough, that was the problem. The mechanic said a new one would be $140., but he'd try to re-build the old one, and told me the belts were shot as well, so we had them replaced. Total: $193.00 (Ouch!)

I told my wife "it could have been worse!" And, it could have. She could have gotten stuck 10 miles from here in the nearby town where she had to go to the employment office. It could have been something more than the alternator. Things can always be worse, folks, so we need to make sure to are thankful for the "little" blessings.

And this coming Fri-Sat we're finally having that "Big Yard Sale" that I wanted to have way back the first week of May (when I was on vacation) and got rained out. It'll be a LOT of work for me even though I personally won't be running it (that'll be my wife, & mom) since I have to work those days. Thursday night or evening helping them get things in the yard ready for it, putting out signs and maybe a few bulletins here and there advertising it, then Friday morning before I leave for work helping them set it up early (like, 5:30AM), then helping them take part of it down or covering it real good for the night when I get off Friday, then repeating this all Saturday morning and evening. I hope it's worth it!

In other things...

Not too many people collect comic strips these days. Good reason. Most of them suck. And the grand ol' multi-page Sunday Funnies have all but disapeared over the years or been reduced to next-to-nothing, filled with medicore material. ( In fact, the last time I personally collected such things was a few years ago when Gary Gianni started doing the artwork on "Prince Valiant". I collected the Sunday's for a couple of years until I grew tired of it; thinking about all that cash I spend on solitary newspapers which contained little or nothing else of interest save that one third page size strip and realizing if I had the money I spent on them I couldn't have invested it into a few nice comic BOOKS. ) But, USA Today may prove interesting starting next Wednesday July 8th. with their full page "Superman" strips. I'll buy at least the first couple; maybe all of them if they look real good since it's not something planned for years to come. And one can subscribe to a multi-paged section starring other DC characters as well "on line".