Thursday, June 19, 2008

Movies, movies, movies.

Tuesday night at the movies with Vickie was Cars. I had not seen the entire movie before. I had only seen about half of it. Pixar continues amaze me. When I first heard about this I wasn't real interested. Racing is not something I enjoy, although I have a better understanding of it since last February. I didn't know my Dad was a fan and I watched a race with him and he explained a few things. This is a fun movie with a moral message delivered the best way, subtly, not beating you over the head with it. The message of course is think about others, not just yourself, which covers a lot of my personal philosophy. IMDB rates this movie 7.6. I gave it a 9.

When it comes to comic books, I am more of a DC fan than I am a Marvel fan. However, when it comes to movies Marvel seems to do a better job. The Incredible Hulk has been in a tv series and a previous movie. I have not seen that version yet, but I plan to. It has Sam Elliot in it, so that puts it on my list. Anyway, no Sam in this movie. In fact it is my understanding they were trying to ignore that movie as much as possible. The Hulk did not appear that much but I was impressed when he did. After the movie I went to the Fantasy Factory, where I buy my comics, and one of the owners told me he wasn't impressed with the movie, especially the Hulks' appearances. He thought it looked too much like a video game. Different strokes. Overall I enjoyed it, which is what a good movie does. IMDB gives it a 7.9, my vote was an 8.

I couldn't find a larger picture of this movie. It ranks number 29 on the bottom 100 of the IMDB. The movie is not that bad. First of all, it stars Larry the Cable Guy so this is not going to a classic movie. If you like Larry, which I do, it is an enjoyable tale. It is a good old boy going up against some very heavy characters and he manages to bumble his way to defeating them. It is a fun movie where you can turn your brain off and just go with it. I would have rated the movie a 5, but since it was ranked so low I gave it an 8 to try and bring the ranking up slightly.

Grover Cleveland actually had more popular votes , but lost the election due to the electoral college. Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, our President with the shortest term. He won with an electoral college vote of 233-168. Cleveland would come back 4 years later to regain the presidency, thereby making him our 22nd and 24th President.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wasting food.

There is a lot of food wasted every day in grocery stores across the country that could easily be avoided. How? If people who change their mind about perishable food would put them back instead of leaving it wherever they happen to be. Every night I throw away at least $100 of food. People leave frozen foods, dairy, meat and produce all over the store. It really is sad that they don't care more than that. Sometimes I wonder why people have that apathetic attitude. I know I wasn't brought up that way. It is one of those questions that there is no answer for. I think some feel that Wal-Mart is such a big company that however much the item costs doesn't matter. That shouldn't matter. I just hate seeing good food wasted when there is so much hunger in the world. If people would only stop and think.

I got another presidential elections card from Topps. It was a close election with Madison winning the electoral vote by a count of 128-89.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Born To Play A Role

As I mentioned last week, every Tuesday I get together with my lady, Vickie, and we watch a movie. Last night we watched Popeye, with Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelly Duvall as Olive Oyl. Has there ever been any better casting than Shelly as Olive? She not only had the right look her acting was superb. The whole movie had the feel of a live action cartoon. I liked the songs and I thought the Sweethaven set was perfect. The IMDB rates this movie as a 4.8. I think that is way to low. I gave it a 9.

I watched the season opener of Ice Road Truckers. My understanding is the people who run the ice road did not like the series and did not give them permission to film there last winter. They found another road which goes over the Arctic Ocean. This season is not as good as the first. I am going to watch a few more episodes to see if it picks up, but I don't believe they are going to come close to season 1.

Jack Of Fables-Jack Of Hearts. Jack is a spin off of the Fables title. It is equally as good. I am catching up with Jack through the trade paperbacks. This is the second one, covering the issues 6-11. It is a great story of Jack in Las Vegas. I am looking forward to catching up with the rest of Jack's tale.

Firebreather 1. His mom is an ordinary housewife. His dad is a 300 foot tall monster. I liked this story and I want to see where they are going with it.

Final Crisis 1. DC changed everything 22 years ago with Crisis On Infinite Earths. Now they are trying to put everything back. This is a good start. I hope it has a good ending.

Tales Of The TMNT 46. Soon I am going to do a post, good things from a bad relationship. One of the things is an enjoyment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This story is an untold tale from a previous TMNT story. One great thing about this tale, you can go to the TMNT website and read about the story so you can fully understand where this fits in.

Topps 2008 series 2 is now out. This card is from another subset they are including in it. The back of the card reads:

Wilson established the Federal Trade Commission, outlawed child labor, enacted a lower tariff and kept the U.S. out of the World War during a successful first term in office. Though he would not be able to avoid the war forever, his popularity was high entering his bid for re-election. Former New York Governor and Supreme Court justice Hughes made a strong bid for an upset that fell just short. Winner Woodrow Wilson (277-254 Electoral Vote Count)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ice Road Truckers

Tonight at 9:00PM, EST, History channel is premiering season 2 of Ice Road Truckers. Last year when Season 1 debuted I wondered why is the History channel doing this? Circumstances happened, I am not going into detail about them, and I ended up watching an episode. I think it was the second or third episode. I was hooked. Ice roads are the only way certain heavy machinery can reach some diamond mines in Northern Canada. They have to wait until lakes freeze solid so they can start hauling. Of course there is a limited time to haul and very strict rules on the drivers. I have read this season is being done on a different road. The owners of the diamond mines felt the drivers were shown being too reckless and only interested in the money. Since I work tonight I will be taping this and watching it tomorrow. I am looking forward to it and will talk about it in depth Tuesday.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sand Vader

I don't feel real well so I am going to make today a quick post. They are making a sand park in Portugal. This sculpture of Darth Vader is one of about 60 they will have.

I only read 2 comics yesterday. They were:

Thor 9. Thor is now being written by one of my favorite writers, J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of Babylon 5. I am intrigued with this tale, but I came aboard late so there are a few things I don't understand. A trade paperback containing the first 5 issue will be out soon which will help tremendously.

House Of Mystery 2. House of Mystery used to simply be an anthology book which was hosted by Cain. He simply introduced the stories. I believe his character was fleshed out a little by Neil Gaiman in his Sandman series. This series seems to focus more on the house, where people are more or less trapped in the house. This is a fascinating book and I am looking forward to seeing where they are going with it.

Todays card is the second McCain/Hilary card.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mixed Bag

This post will be a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing. First of all, thank you to everyone who read this yesterday and a special thank you to those who left comments. I am very blessed with some great friends. I owe you all a hug if we ever get to meet.

One more story about my wife's passing. The day after I called her doctors office to cancel the appointment she had for Thursday. When I explained to the receptionist what happened her response was "OK. Thank you for calling." Click. I sat in the chair staring at the phone and asked myself, speaking aloud, "Did that just happen?" I laugh about it now, but I wasn't laughing that day.

I have been buying comics since February and I am behind on getting them read. I am trying to read at least 4 comics each day. If I succeed, I will give mini reviews with no spoilers here. Yesterday I read:
Fables 73. War and Pieces, Part 1 of 3 Fables has been my favorite comic book since its first issue. The war to regain their homelands is on. Another excellent tale from a great series. Highly recommended.

Justice Society Of America 16. One World, Under Gog Part 1 He Came And Salvation With Him. This is a continuation of the mini-series Kingdom Come. I never thought they would revisit that story, which is one of my favorites. I enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the next chapter. Highly recommended.
Trinity 1. Boys And Their Games. This is the start of a weekly series. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have been having the same dream. They are not sure what it means. I realize this issue is just the set up, but I was unimpressed. I am giving this one 5 issues to impress me. If it doesn't, I will drop it. Unimpressed.

Futurama 37. Full Metal Racket. Fry and Leela get put on a farm planet where they meet, who else, the Transfarmers. I liked it. Futurama fans will like this one.

My card for today is one of two McCain/Hillary cards. Tomorrow I will post the other one.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

8 Years ago.

This is an event in my life that I have told parts of the story but never the whole story. I have refrained from discussing about it the last few years because it was a sticking point in the relationship I had for 4 years. Since that is now over I can resume talking about it.

Monday June 5, 2000 was like any other day. I got up, got dressed and went to work at K-Mart where I was the manager of the Hardware and Automotive departments. 6 weeks previously my wife had had knee surgery and was still not moving real well. She was due to see her surgeon on Thursday to see if she could start moving around more. She had an appointment to see a counselor so I came home at 12:30. The plan was to take her to her mothers house, which was very close and her mother would take her to the appointment. All she wanted for lunch was a piece of watermelon which I got for her. When the time came to go we headed for the car. She was using a walker so she did not put much strain on the knee. As we headed out the door I patted her on the butt and she made a joke about it. When she got to the car she froze. I still don't know how she managed to get into the car but she did. Her eyes rolled back and she coughed. At this point I didn't think it was extremely serious and I told her I was going to run in and call her mother and tell her to meet us at the hospital. Her exact words to me were "No. Now." We got into the car and went. The hospital was 4 miles away, straight down the road. As we headed out we met a small funeral procession. In Georgia it is customary to stop for those. I slowed down and she hit the dash with her palm and said "Go Go Go." I talked to her on the trip, telling her to hold on and that I loved her.

When I got to the hospital I ran into the ER waiting room and was told to go around to the ambulance entrance. I went into the ER and told them. Immediately 3 people went outside. They pulled her out of the car, laying her on the sidewalk and started CPR. Someone brought out on of those carry boards and they put her on it, then lifted her to a stretcher and took her in. I was told to go register her and then I called her mother and work. We were put into a small waiting room and were there about 45 minutes when our doctor came in. At that point I was fully expecting for him to say what was wrong and I figured she would be staying in the hospital. Instead he apologized and said they had tried all they could but she was gone. At first I was shocked and had a brief moment of denial. I didn't want to believe it but then reality sunk in and I knew it was true. They asked if I wanted to make any calls, so I called work to let them know and I called my mom. A couple of sheriffs deputies asked to talk to me. They said it was routine in a sudden death like this. After I talked to them the doctor asked us if we wanted to go see her and we did. Her body had a bluish tinge to it. I said goodbye and then left the hospital. I went to Arby's, which was nearby and I was working part time at. I let them know and I went on home. I picked something up out of the passenger seat and noticed it was wet. I then realized she probably was already dead before they pulled her out of the car. The deputies were waiting for me and took all of her medicines. I called my mom and she told me that my brothers, her and dad were coming down. I had not expected that. It is a 600 mile trip and my dad's health was not good. I truly appreciated their coming.

The cause of death was never determined. My doctor and I had requested an autopsy, but for some reason they simply conducted a physical examination and nothing else. I believe she died from a blood clot caused by the knee surgery. She had clots before and the previous week had complained of pain, saying she didn't know if it was from the surgery or if it was a blood clot.

My message is one that you have heard before but for most of you have not had to face. Appreciate those you love while you have the chance. You really never know when the end will come. I am not posting this looking for sympathy. Life goes on. Right now it is looking brighter than ever. I have found love again with a wonderful woman who truly knows what I am going through. Her husband was killed in a factory accident 4 and a half years ago. I have 2 jobs that I like very much. In fact, today I will be working both of them, which helps keep my mind occupied. I have a great friend in Illinois who I talk to constantly. I have some great friends that I have never met on the Captain Comics Board. You can bury yourself in the past and never go on. Life is short enough as is. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Remember the past, but don't make it your chains dragging you down. Give those you love a hug and tell them you care. To all my friends reading this, you are a great group of people. We may have never met in person, but your friendship and encouragement is valuable to me. Words alone cannot express how I feel. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Dedicated to the memory of Debra Kay Bagby June 19, 1955-June 5, 2000.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tuesday Night At The Movies

Every Tuesday night I go to my lady friends house where we watch a movie and spend some time together. We work together and are fortunate enough to have the same nights off. Both of us have large DVD collections, so we take turns providing the movie. Last night was Vickie's turn. She has a ten year old grandson so she has a large part of her collection is animated. That works for me because I am a 51 year old kid. I haven't grown up yet and I am too old to do so now. Barnyard reminded me of the Gary Larsen Far Side cartoon where the cows were standing in the pasture until a car comes along, then they get back on all fours until the car is gone. It is the classic coming of age story where the irresponsible son has to grow up fast and learn how to be a man. Sam Elliot voices Ben, the wise cow who runs the barnyard. Kevin James voices Otis, the irresponsible son. The story was very predictable, but well done. I really liked the gag where the cows get revenge on a young boy for cow tipping. Sam Elliot is a personal favorite so any movie he is involved with gets bonus points from me. The Internet Movie Data Base rated this movie 5.4. I am a member and I voted on it giving it a 7.

On a personal note, Dad is still in the hospital. They have moved him from the hospital in Lincoln, Illinois to one in Springfield so he can be closer to his heart doctor. His blood pressure is too low. They took him off his blood pressure medicine, but it still is too low.

I had been reading two newspapers every day, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Chattanooga Times Free Press. as of Monday, the Journal-Constitution is no longer available. due to higher gas costs they are no longer delivering this far north. I had been reading the papers on my breaks and lunch at work. Since I now only have one I am now reading a book plus the paper. My current book is one my buddy Tom recommended to me. It is The Twilight Of Courage by Bodie and Brock Thoene. It is a historical novel that takes place at the start of World War 2. In fact the opening chapters were set in Warsaw. I have enjoyed what I have read so far and will do a full review when I am done. I also listen to a book on tape while I am driving. My current book there is A Cooks Tour by Anthony Bourdain. This a book version of his show with the same title that can be seen on the Food Network. I love the show and this book is a perfect companion. If you want to see the show it is broadcast every Tuesday night on Food Network at 10:30 P.M. EST.

On A baseball note, I am a die hard Cubs fan. The Cubs came into June with the best record in baseball. The last time they had the best record in June was 1908, which is also the last time they won the World Series. I am hoping that the cliche history repeats itself is true.

Today's baseball card is from 2008 Upper Deck Series 2. I have 2 more cards in this subset featuring Hillary and McCain. I will posting them in the next few days.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cocaine Jesus

I am tired and this will be a quick post. Mondays are my worst day. From 10:00 P.M. Sunday night to 7:00 A.M. Tuesday morning I work 20 hours. Well, on with the subject. The picture you see here looks like a religious icon you would find in homes all over the country. This particular one however is made out of cocaine. You can read the whole story here. The levels some people will stoop to are simply amazing. More tomorrow. Good night.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Life In The Fast Lane

It has been almost 2 months since my last post. Lately I have been fully expecting to meet myself going out the door as I'm coming in. I tried to cut back my hours at Taco Bell, but my replacements have not been lasting. There currently is a one now who seems to be lasting, so I am only working 3 days a week there. In what little time I was home I have not been on the internet as much. I have been trying to get my apartment and my collections organized. I still have quite a bit left to do, but I have decided to resume blogging. I have missed it. I am going to try posting something everyday. Some days it may just be a picture or a baseball card with a few comments. We will see how it goes.

Right now I am concerned about my Dad. He is in the hospital and they are not sure what is going on. He had a seizure at the Doctors office and was taken to the hospital by ambulance last Thursday. They are changing some of his meds and hopefully he will go home tomorrow. I am planning on going to Illinois around Labor Day. My Dad is made out of tough stuff. He has beaten prostrate cancer, has a weak heart and diabetes but he is still kicking. I am praying for the best.

My baseball card today is that new Shakespearian actor Ozzie Guillen as he entertains the Cellular Field faithful with his version of Hamlets Soliquoy.