Saturday, August 27, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I have come to the conclusion that I have way too much stuff. If you came to my apartment you would agree with me. I keep telling myself that I'm going to get organized, but it just isn't happening. For the last couple weeks have been changing that somewhat. The plan has been to take stuff to a flea market, and sell what I could. Most likely that will still happen, but a lot of stuff is going to the Salvation Army first. Posts here on this blog will be short for the next couple of weeks. Part of that will be from trying to get organized and the other part will be because I will be on vacation and in Illinois. Saying I am going to do this is not be getting the job done, getting off my lazy butt and doing it will. Let the show begin.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
This was a very light week for new releases. There is one movie that came out this week that I'm not including here because I didn't see any copies of it. That one is the movie The Beaver, which starred Mel Gibson. I'm not sure why we didn't get any copies of it, but I'm only putting in here what I saw. Of the three movies that I'm going to mention here. Only one of them was released in theaters here in the United States. So, by default, the money winner this week is Win Win. I don't have an opinion about this movie because I have never seen it, nor had I ever heard of it. It is rated a 7.5 on the IMDB and did $10,179,275 at the box office.
The second movie released was Blitz, which was seen in theaters in the United Kingdom but not in the United States. The movie stars Jason Statham who plays a cop chasing after a serial killer. It is rated a 6.3 on the IMDB.
The final movie was a re-release of Walt Disney's Bambi II. This was originally released in 2006. It is rated 6.2 on the IMDB.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
In November Archie comics will be running a four-part series where the rock band KISS comes to Riverdale. What will they be doing? Fighting monsters, of course. One of Sabrina, the teenage witch's spells goes wrong and Riverdale finds itself inundated with monsters. The Archie gang and KISS team up to defeat them. The storyline starts in Archie comics number 627. KISS will also be appearing in an ongoing series being published by the comic book company, IDW. KISS has appeared in comics before, but this will be the first ongoing series they have been in.
This is not the first time that Riverdale has seen an unusual guest. In 1994, Frank Castle came for a visit. For those of you who are not comic book geeks like myself, Frank Castle is better known as the Punisher. It was an interesting story where the Punisher was sent to Riverdale to apprehend someone who looked a lot like Archie. Of course, Archie was mistaken for the man the Punisher was after, and that man was mistaken for Archie. I believe I still have that comic in my collection and someday I need to get organized and find it. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen, unless you like your face turning a wonderful shade of blue. I will be passing on this series. I have nothing against Archie, but I'm not that big of a KISS fan.
I do have one other Archie comic in my collection. A few years ago they reprinted the very first Archie comic. It was published in digest form, which is smaller than a normal comic book. It was interesting in a nostalgic sort of way, but like a lot of comics from the 40s it wasn't really good. The stories in it were very dated. That one I do know where it is so I think I'll reread it again soon. I'll write about it when I do.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I have been saying for a while now that this time, I really don't want a relationship, but I would like to have a lady friend to got to eat with once in a while. I think I may now have found that lady. I had been talking with a lady that I work with and several weeks ago I asked her if she would like to go out to dinner with me. she was totally taken by surprise and she didn't immediately say yes. Not wanting to seem pushy, I didn't bring the subject up again. Monday night she told me that she would like to go out with me.
We went to a Chinese restaurant and had a great time. She was a little nervous because it had been some time since she had been out with anybody. It was refreshing to talk to somebody where the only expectations were having a good time and getting to know each other. The fact that we knew each other out a little bit helped out, and there really weren't any awkward moments. Considering that the last two ladies that I had gotten to know had turned into wallet leeches, it was extremely nice to just have somebody to talk to without having to worry about being hit up for money. We will probably doing this about once a month, which is exactly what I was looking for. It's always nice to have a new friend.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The political correctness of this world amazes me. Usually it takes place in this country, however, we are not alone. For the first three days of the recent rioting in England, the BBC referred to the rioters as protesters. Quite possibly when the event which led to the riot first started, they were protesters. They lost that designation when the first window was shattered and the looting began. The BBC did not change their stance until criticism began in the newspapers and they still are not very apologetic about it. Obviously, they just don't get it. Too often today the media tries to downplay terrible events, as if they are afraid to offend the guilty parties. I do understand and accept that before somebody is tried and convicted you call them the alleged suspect, but you don't have to minimize what they did. If it is only an accusation you can give the person the benefit of the doubt, but when someone is witnessed in the act why are we protecting the perpetrator?
We have not seen anything in this country on the scale of what happened in England, but we are seeing some well-planned mob action. Early this summer Philadelphia had a major problem with flash mobs, but arresting 70 youths and returning them to the custody of their parents seems to have calm down the situation. The flash mobs have now taken an extra step. On August 13 a 7–11 in Germantown, Maryland, was robbed when a flash mob appeared and just started grabbing merchandise. Here is the video of that robbery:
Hopefully from that video at least a few people will be identified and arrests will be made. Should we be calling that group protesters? Of course, I'm not sure what they would've been protesting. Maybe it was the fact that society requires them to actually work and earn money to buy things and not just give them what they want.
I have no answers for the solution of this problem, but I do believe a lot of it is caused by the upbringing of today's youth. Some schools don't want teachers to fail their students. Life's best lessons come when you learn from your mistakes. Rules have become more guidelines then something that is actually enforced. Unless, of course, the rule is absolutely ridiculous, then is it administered with an iron fist. I will do another post on that topic later. Right now it seems enforcement is done at either extreme, and we need to get back to the middle, but mostly we need to be consistent about the rules. Children today get enough mixed messages. We don't need to send them more.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The top drawing DVD that came out this week was Something Borrowed, a romantic comedy. It is rated a 5.5 on the IMDB, and brought in $39,046,489 at the box office. Personally I have no desire to see this movie.
Priest is one of those movies set in a post-apocalyptic world that is inhabited by vampires. Priest's niece is kidnapped by the vampires and he goes to free her. It is rated 5.7 on the IMDB, and had box office receipts totaling $29,136,626.
The Conspirator is a historical drama directed by Robert Redford. It is based on the story of Mary Surratt, who was hung in 1865 because she had a lousy choice of tenants in her rooming house. One of her borders was a gentleman named John Wilkes Booth. I trust I don't have to tell you who he was. This one looks like it would be right up my alley, but I will wait a while and by it after the price goes down. It is rated a 7.0 on the IMDB, but only brought in $11,533,409 at the box office.
Jane Eyre is the latest film version of the classic novel. It is well-liked on the IMDB and has a 7.6 rating. at the box office. It brought in $11,242,660.
Hoodwinked Too:Hood Versus Evil is one of the movies that I saw in theaters. I liked it a lot more than a lot of the others. The IMDB rates it a 4.4, and it brought in $10,143,779, which is not good for movie that cost $30 million.
Marley And Me: The Puppy Years is a direct to DVD sequel to the Marley And Me movie from a few years ago. It currently is rated a 6.4 on the IMDB, but that rating is only based on 12 users. It will definitely change as more people vote. On a side note, last night there were actually two people waiting until midnight to buy this movie. That amazed me. I can understand it for a Harry Potter movie or a Twilight movie, but not a direct to DVD movie.
The final movie is another direct to DVD release. This one was John Carpenter's The Ward. It is the story of a woman in an insane asylum where the patients are disappearing. This movie was released in Europe, but not here in the United States. It has a rating of 5.7 on the IMDB.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Most years it can be very trying being a Chicago Cubs fan. This is one of those years. However the last couple of weeks have been going very well for the team. They had a seven-game winning streak, and had won nine out of their last 11. Then came last Friday night in Atlanta. It was Bobby Cox night, when the Braves retired Cox's number. Carlos Zambrano was pitching and was being extremely hospitable to the Braves. He allowed five home runs, including back-to-back home runs by Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla. The next batter was Chipper Jones and Zambrano threw two pitches at him. Of course, the umpire tossed him out of the game for that. Zambrano is well-known for tossing temper tantrums when things don't go his way. At those times, a two-year-old shows more maturity. He has fought with his catcher, destroyed a Gatorade container, ripped his teammates in the press, and generally acted like a spoiled brat many, many times. This time he went to the clubhouse, cleaned out his locker, and went home, claiming he was retiring. It was a real mature way to handle the situation. I don't think he was prepared for the Cubs reaction, however.
The Cubs have placed him on the 30 day disqualified list which means he not only is not playing, he also is not receiving any salary. Of course, the players union has already filed a grievance, but I really hope the Cubs stick to their guns. I appreciate the fact that Carlos is a very intense player who doesn't like to lose, but we have seen this kind of behavior too many times. His teammates are tired of the drama that he brings. They have made it pretty clear they don't want to see him return. I am sure he will pitch again but I don't believe it will be in a Cubs uniform. He has come close a few times before of burning that bridge, but this time he used gasoline. He can be a very good pitcher, but his skills are clearly diminishing. Factor in that personality of his and he becomes a liability instead of an asset. Some team out there will be willing to give him a chance. Let them try and tame this man child.
The Cubs seem to play much better and August and September. If we could only start the season, then we might see some success. No matter what, I will still root for them. I am a die-hard Cubs fan, not one of the fair weather fans that only root when their team is winning.
The baseball card pictured here is from my collection. It has in it a piece of uniform that Carlos wore during a game.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Last night I had a gentleman who came in looking for a new printer. He asked me how much the ink cartridges for the printer cost. I looked on the box, found out which numbers were needed and then went to the shelf to find out. He told me that he had bought one of those printers and had figured out that it was cheaper to buy another printer, rather then to buy the ink cartridges for it. He had a point on that. It was actually was cheaper to buy that printer than to buy even one of the cartridges. The printer companies today are basically giving you the machine to get you to buy the ink for them, which is where they make their money. I personally wouldn't go that far, but I can see where some people would. It won't work again for him in our store because the printer he bought is not one that we carry on a regular basis, however, it did work last night.
We are living in a very disposable society. It's rare to find products anymore that are meant to last any length of time. We have become so used to things breaking down that we just accept that that's the way it is. It's not going to change anytime soon, it's just a sad commentary on our everyday lives. It is harder to find someone today that takes pride in their craftsmanship. Fortunately there still are a few who do, and it is always nice to run into them. Sometimes all you can afford is the cheapest available, but that doesn't always make the best deal. If you buy something and then six months later have to replace it, how much did you save? I've started using that as a factor when I buy anything. That kind of scares me because it makes me think I'm becoming a responsible adult. (shudder)
During the night my cynical side began kicking in. I thought of a way that the gentleman could be using that to scam us. He could take the printer home, remove the ink cartridges, place the used cartridges back in the box and bring it back for a refund. I'm not saying that he's the type that would do that, but I have seen it done before. When I was working at Kmart I was called to the front to take a gas grill to the back. The first thing that I noticed was that the gas tank was gone. That particular model came with one provided. Then I did what the person who refunded it should have done. I opened up the grill, and saw where the person had used it as a charcoal grill. Sherlock Holmes would've been proud of how I made that deduction, the used charcoal briquettes were still in the grill. What the person had done was come in, bought a new grill, took that home and then brought us back their old grill. Had the person up front been paying attention, it would've been caught. Instead, the guy got him a brand-new grill for free. There are plenty of scam masters out there and you really have to watch out for them. A lot of times is the most unlikely people who will get you.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Unless you are lactose intolerant, very few people don't like ice cream. However, there are some flavors that you might not be adventurous enough to try. I know I'm not. I ran across a list titled 101 Frightening Ice Cream Flavors From Around The World. A majority of those flavors are from Japan, but there are a few that you can find here in the United States.
Several of the Japanese flavors are fish and seafood based. It does make sense considering how much seafood is a part of their diet. I personally cannot see me ever sitting down and eating Octopus, Crab, Shrimp, Fish, or any other flavors of that type. Of course, outside of fish, I am not much of a seafood eater. Food Network used to carry the original Iron Chef series, and some of the things they served there I wouldn't have ate on a dare. Number 43 on that list, I might've liked as a baby. That one is Charcoal flavored. My Grandma Bagby heated her house with a coal burning stove. I have been told that I often could be found eating out of the coal bucket that she had there. However, I'm not so sure that I would enjoy that flavor today.
There are a few American flavors listed here. The Chunky Bacon that I showed here is one of those flavors. That is one I would actually be willing to try. Doesn't bacon make everything taste good? However, I will pass on the Mustard, Chicken Fried Steak, Chocolate Garlic, and the Sauerkraut Sherbet. I do like ice cream, but there are very few on this list that I am willing to try. How about you?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Yesterday I went and saw the fourth superhero movie of the summer. Out of the four movies, this is the one that I was least looking forward to. That doesn't mean that I did not want to see it, I just wanted to see the other three more. I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I expected to. In fact, I now rank this as my third favorite of all the Marvel movies. This is an incredibly fun movie, with plenty of nods to us comic book fans. The basic origin story is very close to the comic books with a few minor additions that didn't hurt at all.
The movie is set during World War II, but instead of fighting the Nazi's Captain America is fighting an evil organization from the Marvel comic books, Hydra. They are led by his arch enemy from the comics, the Red Skull. In the original comics Hydra did not exist until the 1960s. I have no problem with them appearing here, in fact, it made it a better movie than had Cap been actually fighting the war. Hugo Weaving was great as the Skull. Weaving is always great as a villain. Chris Evans also did a great job playing Captain America. This is not Evans first time in a Marvel movie, he also played Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies.
This movie sets up what looks to be like one of the big blockbusters of next summer, The Avengers. Of course us comic book fans knew how Captain America went from World War II to the present day. There was a small preview of the Avengers movie after the credits. I am looking forward to seeing that next year.
On a personal note, I have now started a Facebook account. If you are reading this and want to be one of my friends, click here. This is actually just what I needed, another way to waste time on the Internet.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I'm going to change the way I do the new DVD releases a little bit. They will be listed in the order of how they fared at the box office. None of the movies this week were big box office draws. Leading off the list is Paul, a comedy about two friends who find an alien. It is rated 7.1 on the IMDB and brought in $37,412,945.
Coming in a very close second to Paul, was Jumping The Broom, a film that was produced by the T.D. Jakes ministry. The people on the IMDB were not very impressed with the movie. They only rate it a 4.2. While it is not my kind of movie, I don't think most people who did like it voted. I say that because at the box office it brought in $37,295,394. That is pretty good for a movie of that kind.
Your Highness is, as the title implies a stoner movie. It is nothing that I want to see but it did get rated a 5.8 on the IMDB. It was a little disappointing at the box office and only took in $21,596,445. The producers had higher hopes for this movie. ( pun intended)
Mars Needs Moms was a huge disappointment for the Disney company. The budget for the movie was $150 million and it only brought in $21,392,758. Those rating the movie on the IMDB were not very kind, either, rating it a 4.7.
The final movie was a direct to DVD title, Tactical Force, starring Steve Austin. It is not yet rated on the IMDB. To be rated a movie has to have five votes.
Monday, August 8, 2011
It is sad to see that some politicians today just can't take a joke. I am not making a reference to our current president, by the way, even though that is his picture at the head of this blog. What you see is a product that what was available at the University of Tennessee bookstore. The product was removed when State Representative Joe Armstrong, a Democrat, went to the store and made a complaint. Armstrong is quoted as saying, "When you operate on state and federal dollars, you ought to be sensitive to those type of politically specific products. If it was a private entity or corporation or store, (that's different), but this is a state university. We certainly don't want in any way to put the university in a bad light by having those political (products), particularly aimed at defaming the president."
Of course Representative Armstrong doesn't see this as being a free-speech issue. It's just plain offensive to him. I wonder if he's ever looked at political cartoon? The mints are made by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, who love the put out products with unusual names. Are they just singling out President Obama for ridicule? The answer to that is very easy.
The mints you see here were sold at the University of Tennessee bookstore in 2004. There were no Republicans going in there demanding that those be removed from the shelves. In 2008 another product appeared on the shelves:
Where was the outrage over that product? Personally, I find them all very funny. As usual, when someone tries to make a huge issue out of nothing, it has a tendency to backfire on them. The Disappoint-mints have sold out and are appearing on eBay as collectors items. Representative Armstrong is finding himself becoming an object of ridicule. He should have seen this coming.
As far as I know, that is a mockup, not an actual product. However, I'm willing to bet very soon you will be able to buy those. It'll be interesting to see if Representative Armstrong gets reelected. He really needs to lighten up a little bit.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Last night was very interesting. Every night before we start work we have a short meeting where we learn how sales are doing and the managers bring up anything they feel needs to be discussed. As soon as the meeting was over and I went to the sales floor the phone was ringing. There was another person working electronics, but she was helping a customer, so I answered the phone. The caller started out by asking, "Doesn't anybody answer the phone there." According to the lady she had been trying for a week to contact the store. I really don't believe she was telling the truth. All I told her was that I didn't understand why nobody had answered, but then asked her what could I do for her. She was wanting to order something from our website and was having trouble doing so. The way the website works is you can purchase anything listed and have it shipped to the store for free. The item has to be paid for before it is shipped, but what this lady wanted was to have the item shipped to the store and then she would come in and pay for it. I told her that we couldn't do that. She did not want to register an account on the website, and did not want to use her credit card there either. I told her that if she came in a got a gift card that that would be an acceptable form of payment, which didn't make her very happy either. Then she told me she didn't understand why we just simply didn't have every item on the website in the store. I tried to explain that there were simply too many items for that to happen and that some of the items purchased were in limited quantities so there were not enough items to send one to every store in the company. She grumbled a little bit more, but then did thank me for my help and hung up.
That was quite a way to start the night. I have always said, there are some customers that no matter what you do, you could shine their shoes and wax their car, they would still find something to complain about. A lot of people don't seem to understand that even though our store is part of a corporation, not every store carries the exact same merchandise. For one thing, the stores are all different sizes. The one I work in is smaller than several others in this area. For another, they try and merchandise accordingly to what will sell in the area the store is located in. One example of that is being here in Georgia, we would be very hard-pressed to sell any snow blowers, where as in Illinois they wouldn't have a problem. I do everything in my power to make people happy, but the last time I tried walking on water I nearly drowned. Fortunately, people like that are in the minority.
The prank phone calls seem to have totally ended. Maybe they're just taking a break, but if I get any more I will let you know about it.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
I had mentioned when I made the Florida trip that I had four goals in mind, to see the Atlantic Ocean, to go to Tallahassee, to see the Gulf of Mexico, and to go to Warm Springs, Georgia. The Gulf of Mexico got pushed to next year, and I decided to delay Warm Springs. The reason I'm delaying Warm Springs is that it is close enough that I could do that on a day off. It is about a two-hour drive from here. I decided instead to go to Andersonville, which was home to a notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp. I considered a side stop to Plains, Georgia, but I would had to have waited there about half an hour for the Jimmy Carter Museum to open, so I went on.
About 5 miles south of Andersonville, I saw a sign which led to the place where Charles Lindbergh made his first solo flight. I had never heard of that and decided it was something to check out. The picture at the top of this blog here is the Lindbergh statue, which is in front of a the Jimmy Carter Regional Airport. It is nothing fancy but made for a nice stop.
In addition to the Civil War prison, there is a Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville. The building you see here is the Welcome Center as well as the Museum. The museum is a fascinating place to visit. It covers all of the wars that America has been in. There are many items that former POWs had saved and had used during their incarceration.
Naturally, there is nothing remaining from the original stockade. They have not reconstructed the entire fenced area, just to them at the opposite ends of the area. This is the gate that the prisoners first saw when they entered Andersonville. The stockade was built to house 10,000 men, but eventually over 31,000 were held there.
This was taken at the opposite end from the gate. You can see a guard tower, which were built all away alongside the stockade.
This is a reconstruction of some of the shelters that the men used to shield themselves from the weather. Very little of this was provided for them.
One of the reasons that Andersonville was located where it was, was there was a stream that ran through the center of the stockade. This was to provide fresh water for the men kept their. Unfortunately, there was a drought. After the men started arriving in Andersonville. Conditions had gotten very bad. Several months after the place was filling up, a summer storm came up which help to wash out the camp. Lightning struck where you see this little shelter. The men there, said water came up from where the lightning it hit, and they named the place, Providence Springs.
Here is a view of the fountain that is found inside that building. They do post warning signs not be drinking from that fountain.
There are fence posts all the way around the area where the stockade stood. The first post that you see was where the where the outer walls stood. The inner post was called the deadline. Any man who went past that line was killed.
Several attempts were made to tunnel out of Andersonville. This is one of the holes that was dug. There is a fence surrounding it to preserve it.
There also is a national cemetery at Andersonville. It is still used today. I wasn't able to take a tour of the entire cemetery because they were doing a burial that day.
After touring Andersonville, I was ready to head for home. I considered several different ways to go and decided to take Route 41, which took me right through Atlanta. I have always avoided Atlanta because of the traffic, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. This is the first time that I've taken a trip like that, and I will be doing more, because there is a lot I want to see while I'm still able to.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
There were only two movies that came out today, not counting those that have just been released on Blu-ray. The only movies that I will talk about will be those that have come out for the first time. The first movie was Rio, an animated movie about a bird who does not know how to fly. The previews that I have seen of it have not convinced me that I need to see this movie. It does have a rating of 7.1 on the IMDB, and it did $143 million at the box office.
Soul Surfer is another movie that I will pass on. It is not that I think that it's a bad movie, it's just something that I have no desire to see. It is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, who at age 13, lost an arm during a shark attack while surfing. It is rated 6.5 on the IMDB and grossed $43 million at the box office.
Monday, August 1, 2011
When I was telling my friends about my Florida trip, I always said that I was going to see the ocean and going to Tallahassee to meet a friend that I had never met. I got a few strange looks from that comment. Several times I have mentioned in this blog that I belong to the Captain Comics Board. There are several people on the board that I have always considered friends, even though the only way we know each other is through what we have posted there. Most people on that board post under an alias, however, I am not one of them. One of my friends there posts under the name Dagwan. He is one of the followers of this blog, and has commented on it several times. He also is the owner of a comic book store, which is called The Secret Headquarters. Since I know that he reads this and I wanted to surprise him, I didn't post much before I left on vacation. That way he didn't have a chance to leave town.
His store was very easy to find. All I had to do was take exit 199 off I-10 and go south. It wasn't very far down that road. I didn't park directly in front of the store because I wanted to take the picture that you see and didn't want him to see me taking it. When I entered the store he asked if he could help me. I told him that I was the ambassador from the Centauri Republic, and I had a question that I wanted to ask him. (On the Captain Comics Board we gave ourselves titles. If you been reading this blog long enough you know that the my title comes from the TV series Babylon 5 and the line was said by the Centauri ambassador, Londo Mollari. I have been the Centauri ambassador on that board for years.) He gave me a look like, oh my, the lunatics have escaped the asylum and I forgot to lock the door. Then he asked me to remove my hat and he knew who I was. Up until that point I didn't even know his real name, which is Brian. His daughter was also in the store with, and he is always affectionately referring to her as Baby Bean. She is a delightful little girl.
We had a very nice visit, and I did buy a couple of books from him. He also gave me a couple of books, one of which was a copy of a Godzilla book which shows Godzilla destroying his store. While he is running away from a carrying his daughter. Here is that cover.
The question that I had for him was how can you call your place The Secret Headquarters and then tell everyone where is at? He told me about once a week someone comes and says that they didn't know he was there. He tells them that's why it is a secret headquarters. Brian is a great guy and has a very good comic book store. If you want to know more, you can go to his website here. Incidentally, Brian, I am planning next year to go see the Gulf of Mexico. I will drop in again when I go there. I'll try and let you know I am coming this time, so you can leave town if you'd like. All kidding aside, Brian it was great to meet you and your daughter. I wish you the best luck in the future.
One of the things that we talked about was my feelings about the changes that are coming from DC comics. Closer to the time that those changes take place I'm going to be devoting a blog post to it. Brian knows how I feel about it, but thanks to him I am changing my stance just a little bit. That, however, is a discussion for another day.
After leaving Tallahassee, I went to Albany, Georgia, where I spent the night. What I did on the return trip I will talk about Wednesday. I am making a slight change on my Tuesday posts. Instead of it being Baseball Card Tuesday, it will now be New Release Tuesday. New movies come out every Tuesday and since I am now the one putting them out I will tell you what is available.