Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Post No. 657"

Had today off and was extremely busy. My wife and aunt went to set up at a craft show some 40 miles away, so I filled my day with just, a lotta stuff.

It was doing anything to keep myself going after a fitful night trying to sleep. I have this problem with leg cramps and have tried every remedy I can think of, and last night was one of the worst. I finally got up out of bed and tried sleeping on the couch just to keep from waking my wife from my legs jerking constantly, and the last time I looked at a clock it was around 3AM.

Then her alarm went off at 5:30AM, waking me as well, and I was up for the day.

Trying to get awake the first thing I did as I ate a bit of breakfast and drank my coffee, was to watch a DVD I'd acquired of "Batman and Robin", the last of the four Batman movies made before the Christian Bale ones. This one, of course, starred George Clooney as "the caped crusader", Chris O'Donnell as "Robin", Alicia Silverstone as "Batgirl", Uma Thurman as "Poison Ivy" and Arnold Schwarzennegger as "Mr. Freeze".You would think with such an all-star cast as this that the movie would really be good, but I'd seen it before; at the theatre actually I believe, and always thought it a bit too campish, but so much better than the over-acted "Batman Forever" with Val Kilmer, Jim Carey and Tommy Lee Jones.

The problem with the older Batman flicks was that they started out very well. In fact, when I first viewed the 1989 version, I thought it to be the best adaptation of a comic book character to the screen. Although I still enjoy that flick, I don't feel that way in the over-all picture of more sophisticated super-flicks produced since that time, but it was probably the best up until then.

The flick wasn't too bad. Not quite as campy as I remembered, but still, pretty bad. I can see why there wasn't another made for several years of the character until someone came along and tried to produce a more darker, intelligent version of Bats.

After the flick ended, I went down to the local flea markets and looked for some deals. Found a few, such as 4 different DVDs for $10 which included the Val Kilmer/Michael Douglas film, "The Ghost in the Darkness" (a fair remake of the old "Bwana Devil" flick), the 2003 version of "The Hulk", the original version of "The Punisher", and the third "X-men" movie. The seller also had a copy of "Blade: Trinity" of which I passed on as I've never been much of a fan of that Marvel hero and always considered him as just a secondary plot of Tomb of Dracula, but it seems he must had had some fan following as there was three films made of him.

At the second flea market I ran into my old friend, Mala Shaw, doing one of two set ups a year at that market. Mala had several comics but the only one I saw that was in my price range and really interested me as a copy of the 1967 Charlton Judomaster #97. Really, the secondary feature in that title interested me more, which is "Sarge Steel".

Another set up had a stack of nine comics that the seller wanted .50 each for so I took them all. The best of the lot was a Marvel Spotlight #7, the third bronze age app. of "The Ghost Rider" w/Mike Ploog artwork. Others included Whitman versions of Superman 330 & 333, a Whitman UFO & Outer Space 16, a Captain Carrot 1, a D.C. Special 23 (with Russ Heath and Lee Elias reprints), a Luke Cage Hero for Hire 4 (with Graham art), and two issues of DC's Mystery In Space title (when they revivied it for a short time in the 1980's), #'s 114 & 116. The MIS had some nice artwork. Both had Ditko, Von Eeden, and Craig. The 114 had a Joe Kubert cover, and the 116 has, (I think), a Jim Starlin one.

Back to the house I started trying to catch up on housework. Cleaning the litter box, washing dishes, laundry, emptying garbage, etc., etc. Even vacuuming the carpet in 5 different room, plus making the bed, etc., etc. (Such druggery.)

I had a couple of "fix-it" jobs such as repairing the dryer exhast hose and replacing an outside bulb, then I went and got perscriptions for mom, went to the grocery and got something for my lunches at work. Came home to be there when a friend came by to borrow a price guide. Later I went out to the brush pile and brought another big load of limbs down to the sidewalk for the city to pick up and mulch. The day was been extremely full for me. Perhaps I'll sleep better tonight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Post No. 656"

You know, I clean forgot about last Friday the 20th.

I knew there was 'something" about that date, but it just struck me today that it marked the 10th. year anniversary of when I registered on eBay, so that was my "eBirth-Day", so to speak.

Things haven't always been rosey for me as a seller on this site. In fact, before I ever registered, I had others selling for me on it, and back then business was really booming, even with the guys selling for me charging me listing fees and commissions, I was bringing in roughly twice what I drew per week at a regular job, pay-wise.

Then, 9-11 happened, and the bottom fell out of a lot of things; eBay especially.

So when I decided to start selling on my own, I began by selling items such as toys and comics and old pulp magazines. The first item I can ever recall selling was a Mego Spider-man doll from the 1970's, probably for around four bucks. I've made good money on ebay, and lost money as well on items that went waaayyyy too cheap; much less than what I had "in" them, but I suppose, it all evens out.

Sometimes as a seller I've had hassles, and still do. In fact, I sold some action figures just recently and the bidder didn't read my description stating that I mailed ONLY to U.S.A. addresses, i.e., the lower 48 continental states.

At first I didn't want to fool with sending the item at all and emailed him stating such; that he hadn't read where I mailed merchandise and that we should just cancel the transaction. But, he insisted he wanted them, so I did make a trip to the local post office to inquire as to how much that would cost.

The postal clerk looked up a generalized sum for the location (Brazil, South America) and told me $13.00, and that I wouldn't be able to put either insurance or tracking on the item since it was going out-of-the-country (so once mailed, the merchandise would be entirely out-of-my-hands) and I emailed the bidder back that information.

So...he pays me and I take it to the post office to mail and go through a good half an hour of filling out custom forms and the like, and then the clerk says the cost would be $23.00! Naturally, I cancel the mailing and go back and email the guy again.

I tell him about the additional cost and that it simply wasn't worth sending the items, especially since they were only three little action figures I'd picked up at the local flea market for no more that fifty cents total. That's when all the hassle began.

I was acussed of not wanting to mail them because I thought they went for less than they should. I try to explain to him that it'd be $10.00 out of my own pocket and that I didn't mind breaking even on a sell, but I certainly didn't want to get in a hole on the costs. I refunded his amount back through Paypal and told him the deal was over and that we should just let it go. But....noooooooo.

Then he says he'll willing to actually pay me $23.00 to mail the items. By this time I'm pretty worn out over this whole mess. Frankly, IF he wants to send me the postage costs alone I might mail them on to him when I have the time to fool with postal paperwork again and not even charge him the winning bid amount. But, you can see that not every sale goes well.

Not like today when someone bought an item I had listed at a "Buy-It-Now" price of $9.99; something I'd gotten free, and the buyer paid $6. postage for it, and when I mailed it even with complimentary confirmation, it cost just $4. on THAT, I made a few bucks. It evens out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Post No. 655"

Well I decided that I'd try to locate and collect the various reprint appearances of the two 1950's Charlton characters, "The Mysterious Traveler", and "The Green Man". I looked through a couple of sites and thought I had them all listed, but wasn't sure so I finally just went to the GCD and looked up the individual issues that contained the characters as I only wanted reprints drawn by Ditko. I discovered there's 6 different comics as such: "Mysterious Traveler" = Tales of the Mysterious Traveler (1980's series) #'s 14, 15, Haunted #'s 49, & 70, and on "The Green Man", Scary Tales #39, and Ghostly tales #163. I already have two of the before-mentioned so the other four can't be too difficult to locate. (Of course, if you want the most complete TOTMT reprint collection, there's a TPB just of that (which I have) if you don't mind them being in B&W.)

Other reprints of TOTMT can also be found in issues of Pure Imagination, as well as The Ditko Collector, but I don't believe any of those are in color either.

One Charlton comic I just got in is a copy of the 1967 Charlton premiere V1 #19, which features "Marine War Heroes", and since I have V2 #'s 1-4, this now completes my set of the title. (How can I have them all if I only have 5 books? 'Cause the first 18 issues of CP were titled Marine War Heroes and in the typical Charlton fashion, they changed the title for a single issue.)

Well I'm off work tomorrow but my day's already pretty much shot. Got to take my mom to the doctor at 9AM, then to a nearby town to clear up some matters on her social security, then back to where I work to get my paycheck and deposit that, then mail off a package from something I sold on eBay. After that I'll have yet another four days in a row to work straight again until my next day off.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Post No. 654"

"R.I.P. Les Paul"


In brighter news....

Got in three different Charlton Comics I'd bought on line: Thunderbolt 58, Special War series 4, and Judomaster 90. The Thunderbolt completed my set of the 1960's Charlton issues, plus the Judomaster had a 2 page app. of the character in it as well, which now, as far as I know, completely fills out a set of any app.'s of T-Bolt from that company back then.

The Judomaster gives me now his first app., plus an extra issue, and I definately want the others as they all have "Sarge Steel" app.'s in them save for issue 89 (which may as well get too since it'd complete the set). That title will probably be next on my re-completion of the 60's Charlton hero stuff. Thus far, I've completed sets of Fightin' Five, Sarge Steel/Secret Agent, Charlton Premiere (save for that odd issue from V1 with "Marine War Heroes"), the "Wander" app.'s by Jim Aparo in issues of Cheyenne Kid, Go-Go, Retilicus, Mysterious Suspense, almost all of the Ditko Blue Beetle (in his own title) including his first app. in Captain Atom, the first few issues of Ghost manor and Ghostly Tales, Jungle Tales of Tarzan 1-4, several early issues of Dr. Graves (including #1), & most all of The Beatles app.'s by that company in the 1960's. Titles I still need to work on would by the first series of Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Peacemaker, the two app.'s of "Mercury Man" in Space Adventures (and, IF I could ever afford it, the Capt. Atom app.'s in that title), and maybe some more issues of such titles as Gorgo, Konga, Space War, Mysterious of Unexplored Worlds, Army War Heroes (with "The Iron Corporal"), Abbott & Costello, plus a few others I fondly remember from now 45+ years ago.

I wouldn't mind having those Blue Beetle app.'s from Charlton from the early 50's, too, but they've gotten fairly expensive now.

On my day off this week I did a lot of work down at mom's. I replaced a large section of her handicap ramp that had gotton humps or soft spots and made that safer, then lopped off large sections of three different huge bushes she has in her back yard that were just getting out of hand. They'd gotten so over-grown that I was having difficulty even mowing under then. And I trimmed her hedges again, so her yard's in fairly decent shape again for a while.

Although I got that trench dug for the new gas line, the guy that's laying it has yet to show up. Was hoping he'd come by and at least reconnect the hot water heater today, but, no such luck.

My wife filed an appeal on her unemployment case and she'll have a tele-conference with that in September. She may have a part-time job coming up, however.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

"Post No. 653"

(Where to start??)

I just finished a 10 day straight stretch at work, and finally finished digging that 85' X 12" trench for my new gas line as well as getting all the mowing done for both my mom and myself this week, when my wife gets bad news.

After she was laid off from work from her job of six years, she signed up for unemployment and received a few checks. She finally found a job at a little convenient-type gas/grocery mart, but quit after a week due to the owners constant sexual harrassment and spying on her from his house via the pc (one of the reasons multiple other emplyees quit before her I'm sure). She told them at the Employment Office that she'd quit and the reasons "why". Then she gets a phone call from the main office saying that she can't draw any further checks because that dumb a$$ at the local office put down that she left because of lack of work. Also, she has to pay back ALL of the checks; a total of $1,056.00.

She could file for an appeal, but everytime I've gotten just legally laid off from a job, the Employment Center here has always sided with the former employer and rejected my application.

(It's always sumthin.)

Anyway...That's the prime reason I haven't posted here on the blog for a little while. Not that I don't have a LOT of comments and reviews. In recent days I've received multiple lots of comics, most of which I've read. Runs of the current Wonder Woman title, Jim Lee issues of Batman, The Stormwatch TPB which reprints Warren Ellis's best run on the title, another TPB which reprints Ultimate X-men 1-3, Lobo Unbound 1-4, a big buncha bronze-age comics, etc., etc., all of which I just haven't had the enthusiasm to comment upon due to my every waking moment filled up with sumthin else.
Plus it's been hotter than hell the last few days. This sort of heat just drains me of any real energy. (I preserve much better in cooler weather.)

I did use the "Buy-It-Now" feature on eBay to purchase a copy of the late 1960's Charlton Comics' Thunderbolt #58, which was the only issue I needed to complete a set. I'm thinking about trying to get a full run of Judomaster as well as they contain back-up stories of one of my favorites from that company: "Sarge Steel"(who appeared in issues 91-98 of the title).

Found a few items at the local flea market in the past couple of weeks which included copies of Spider-man II (the only "store copy" I needed of those flicks), & the regular wide-screen edition of 300 both on DVD, plus the 2002 Paul McCartney 2-CD live Set.

Lastly, my best wishes to an old friend, Donny Jolly, who is in the local hospital with a bad lung infection. I've known Donny since I was 15 or so, which now makes around...ummmmm...43 years. Traded comics with him as a teenager. I recall the first time we traded I got a copy of Showcase 22 (1st. S-Age Green Lantern) from him (sure wish I stillhad it!). Hope he gets better and back outta there soon!