Sunday, February 28, 2010
I have mentioned before that I have been to three concerts in my life, the last one in 1977. For the next three weeks I will embed one video from each of the performers. Harry Chapin is one of my favorite singers. He did not get much radio play other than his song Cat's In The Cradle. For the most part his songs were too long for radio.
Today is the National Rare Disease Day. I have mentioned before that My Lady has neurofibromatosis. According to the website of NORD, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, there are over 7000 rare diseases and over 30 million Americans affected by them. Those of us with good health sometimes take it for granted. If you are not effected you should count your blessings. My Lady does not let her condition get her down. It is part of what makes her unique and what I love about her.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I got some news at work last night that makes me feel like these guys. It concerns inventory at Wal-Mart. I have discussed before, here and here, just how much of a thrill I get at inventory time. I look so forward to this time of the year. The only thing comparable would be Black Friday. Just the thought of working the night before, when most of the night is spent just straightening the counters to get it ready for counting is so exciting. The bad news is this year inventory takes place on March 18, which is a Thursday morning. That is my regular day off so I will miss out on all the fun of preparing for it. I am so depressed. I thought about jumping out the window of my apartment, but I'm on the ground floor. Sticking my head in the oven wouldn't work because it's an electric oven. I tried taking a bunch of pills, but they turned out to be M&M's. Oh, well, I guess I will just have to be brave and suffer through. Now if any of you actually bought any of that I deserve this.
Not only am I off, My Lady is too. Since it is a payday, we will go out and eat. We will try very hard not to laugh at our co-workers who are stuck in the store getting ready. I find straightening like that to be one of the boringest things that can be done in retail. It is a necessary evil, like enduring Black Friday. The work is not hard, but the night seems to go so slow. This is the first time in the five years that I've worked at Wal-Mart that I have missed an inventory. I promise not to celebrate too much.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I remember in the '70's a young man bought a copy of Action 1, the first appearance of Superman, and paid the then-shocking price of $1800. The fact that he paid that much was known because he basically called up a reporter and bragged about what he had done. His 15 minutes of fame also got him an appearance on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. I had not thought about him in years until this story caught my attention.
The story claims that someone has bought a copy and actually paid a million dollars for it. I have not looked into it much yet, but I am a little skeptical of this story. First of all, the buyer and seller are both anonymous. Granted, if I paid a million dollars for a book I wouldn't want much publicity. Of course, if I did it the first question the authorities would have for me is where did you get the money. Secondly, the person quoted in the article is affiliated with the Comic Book Collecting Association, an organization that has been active all of 24 hours. I may be wrong, but I smell a publicity stunt. Tonight I will look closer into this story and will say a little more about it tomorrow.
Monday, February 22, 2010
I have mentioned before at Wal-Mart we periodically take what we call CBL's, which is short for computer based learning. They cover everything you need to know to do your job properly. Wal-Mart is instituting a new program that I am calling retail for dummies. I took it over the weekend. It starts by asking you, have you ever not been sure what to do? For me, no. I have a total of 21 years retail experience. I have been a department manager and an assistant manager. I have always believed that anyone who works retail and claims they have nothing to do doesn't want to do anything.
Basically what this new program is doing is creating a checklist for each job. The list will be broken down into times and by a certain time you should have certain tasks done. This will effect first and second shifts more than third. For me it is not necessary to have that list, but it really is needed to keep others focused. I have seen a lot of wasted time where the general attitude is let someone else do it. This checklist makes them more accountable, which is a good thing. Too many people have the attitude that retail is easy work. I have mentioned before that my mother-in-law kept asking my wife why didn't I go to a factory and get a real job. I enjoy working retail more than anything else that I have done. hopefully this new policy will get some of the other shifts doing more and make our jobs a little easier.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Last week I mentioned one of the 10 things that makes me happy is comic books. Al asked me what my favorite title was. I should have mentioned it in the post but obviously I didn't. My favorite book is Fables. If you aren't a comic book fan you have probably never heard of it. If you are and you haven't read all of them be warned that I am going to reveal some surprises that have come out in the course of the book. Fables is published by DC Comics under their Vertigo line. The Vertigo line is for a mature audience. If we were using a movie rating system most of the books would be an R.
The premise of Fables sounds like something out of the Twilight Zone. Imagine a neighborhood in New York City that looks like any other neighborhood except for the fact the residents are story book characters. They call the neighborhood Fabletown. When the series started the mayor was Old King Cole. He was replaced by Prince Charming. We have met, among others, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, The Frog Prince, Rose Red, and Boy Blue. I have not mentioned several because I will get to them shortly. They are living in New York City because they were all chased from their home worlds by someone who was called The Adversary. The book ran for awhile before they decided to battle The Adversary, who was revealed to be Gepetto. These aren't the Disney versions of the fairy tale world. They can die, but the better known they are the harder it is to kill them.
What about the Three Little Pigs, the Three Blind Mice, and the other animal Fables? Except for one they obviously couldn't pass for human, and if people saw talking animals they would get a little suspicious. There is a farm in upstate New York where they stay. How come no one hasn't stumbled on it? The witches have placed charms so that no one sees anything unusual.
I selected four of the Fables to show you.
This is the one I mentioned who started out in animal form but has developed a human looking appearance. Meet Bigby Wolf, as in the Big Bad Wolf. If he needs to he can assume the wolf form. One of the reasons that he has taken human form is none of the other animals trust him. If you have trouble understanding why, just ask the Three Pigs. Bigby has reformed, for a while was the sheriff of Fabletown, has taken a wife, and has six children. Who would marry Bigby you ask?
Meet Snow White. Don't ask about the dwarfs. It seems that they weren't as nice to her as Mr Disney would have had you believe. She removed them from the picture. What about Prince Charming? Well he was a charming individual, but not a very faithful husband. Besides Snow he also married Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. So how did Snow White and Bigby get together? They were hexed and had amnesia. They were then pursued by an insane assassin, Goldilocks. While on the run they found time for a diversion, which resulted in their children. The six are sextuplets. Bigby and Snow still appear periodically, but they are no longer center stage as they once were.
This lovely lady is the Fables super spy, Cinderella. When things need to be found out she is the perfect one for the job. She also owns a shoe store in Fabletown, called The Glass Slipper. Currently she is involved in a mini-series called From Fabletown With Love. Someone is selling magical items to ordinary people and she is investigating it. Assisting her is Aladdin. The mini-series runs six issues and there is one more to go to wrap it up.
The last one I am mentioning was given his own title. Meet Jack of Fables. Jack has had many incarnations, the beanstalk, the giant killer, Jack Frost, etc. Jack cares only about one thing in the world, and that is Jack himself. His tales are more comical than the Fables title.
ABC has put Fables in development for a series, but I don't have a lot of faith in it. Fables was created by Bill Willingham, but he is not being involved with the series. I can see it being messed up, if it is ever made. They announced the development deal in December of 2008 and I have not heard anything more about it.
In a future post I will discuss the other comics that I read regularly. I am reading a lot less than a few years ago and I will talk about that at that time.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Before I get to the desk, I was going to talk about my favorite comic book, Fables, today. I decided I want to have plenty of visuals for it so I will do it tomorrow. Tuesday mornings are always busy for me. I go to Dalton, Georgia to pick up my comic books. Calhoun doesn't have a comic book store. When I first moved here there were three. One of them was a branch of the store I go to now, Fantasy Factory. They decided to close the Calhoun store and concentrate their business in Dalton.
If you have a spare $5500 you can own your very Han Solo in carbonite desk. This is one of the many things you can get from Tom Spina Designs. He does custom work so if you have any ideas, and plenty of money, you get something made. If you have a little extra time, check out his site. It is a lot of fun. Now if you have a desk like that and you deside to eat on it, there is only one proper thing to have.
If you want to see some other weird pizzas, go here.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Last Friday a man I used to work with a Kmart came in. I don't want to use his real name so I will call him Dave. When I started there I worked in the garden center and he was the department manager. He left Kmart a few months after I started. Dave's wife also worked there. I don't remember where she worked when I started. She had several different jobs in the time I was there. I liked her but we were not close. I knew that her health has been bad for some time now. A month ago she and Dave were shopping at Wal-Mart. I didn't recognize her at first. She looked terrible. Dave told me Friday that she is at home but is under hospice care. I don't know how old she is, but she is younger than me.
Dave was back in the store Sunday morning. We were never close friends, but I have always liked him. Both times he came in I listened more than I talked. With what he is going through that is the best thing to do. I have debated in my mind many times which is harder, what he is going through, watching your loved one slowly dying, or what happened to me, where death is sudden and unexpected. I still am undecided on it. Either one inhales vigorously.
At times like this some people will tell you, I know how you feel. They are well intentioned when they say that, but I'm sorry, unless you have lost a spouse you can't know what it feels like. My Lady and I have both been through it. She has had an extra whammy because she had a son who was born with spina bifida die at age 13. That I can't imagine. She doesn't talk about it much but I am there for her anytime she wants to.
I have done for Dave the best thing that I can do. He now has my phone number and I told him anytime he wants to talk just call. Sometimes the best therapy is to just get things off your chest. It helps to have someone who knows what you are going through. Sometimes we get so rushed with everything going on in our lives that we overlook others. It never hurts to slow down occasionally and lend a friendly ear. I learned that lesson many years ago when I worked in the nursing home. The small things can have a tremendous impact.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Last week I put a couple of Red Green videos here. Caron commented "Red Green is OK and that's pretty good praise coming from a girl since it's a man's show!" Besides Caron, I know there a few ladies who read this blog so I am curious. Most women don't get the Stooges. Do you ladies like them, or it just another thing that makes you shake your head and mutter, men.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
This is the view standing above the apartments where I live. In the summer time you can't see much because of the leaves, but I enjoy looking at the view.
There are three buildings where I live. I live on the lower level of this building.
This is the view from the end of the building where I live. I am in the city limits of Calhoun but a lot of the area where is hills and woods.
This area is below the apartments. I am not sure how long this snow will last. They are calling for more Monday.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday a 23 year old man entered the Lilburn, Georgia Wal-Mart. His first stop was the sporting goods department, where he selected an Easton baseball bat. Even though the weather here isn't quite showing it spring training is just around the corner. The young man felt he needed some batting practice, so he went to the electronics department, where he proceeded to destroy 29 television sets worth $22,877. Why he did that remains a mystery. After smashing the sets he simply sat on the floor and waited for the police. After he was read his rights he kept silent. He did have some medicine on him for depression. I am hoping at some time he explains his actions but I am not holding my breath waiting.
I am starting a second blog that I am calling The 1956 Adventure. To save you the trouble of going there I am putting a copy of the first post here.
I am starting a second blog to record something that I have been considering doing for a long time. The main focus of this blog will be Topps 1956 baseball cards. I was born in 1956 and I thought it would be fun to put a set of those cards together. At this time I have one card and will be getting a couple of more very soon. When they arrive I will scan them and research the player and write about him. Of course the first posts will be common cards. I probably will never get the entire set because the cost of the star cards will be high, probably more than I want to pay for them. Posts here will be sporadic as I will only be updating when I have something to add.
The secondary focus will be other things from 1956. I also collect comic books so any that I find with that cover date I will add and post here. The same with any magazines that I can find. How far I get will remain to be seen. The first actual post will be soon.
Whenever I add to it I will post a link here. Sometime soon I will also be doing a third blog, but I doubt anybody who reads here regularly will be interested in it. It will be a list of the baseball cards I need to finish the sets that I am putting together. I have been trading cards with a few bloggers and this way they can see what I need for our trades.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I got this idea from my friend Caron's blog, I have A Piece Of News For You.
10. Ice Cream. My favorite flavor is Butter Pecan, but there are not very many flavors I would turn down.
9. Pizza. Like with ice cream, there are not many that I would turn down. My favorite is sausage and pepperoni on a thin crust.
8. Reading. I have always enjoyed reading. My Dad once told me that my grades in school should have been better because of all my reading. He was right about that. I just didn't want to read what my teachers wanted me to.
7. Comic Books. I still enjoy reading comic books as much as when I was younger, but my tastes have changed considerably. In future posts I will talk about what books I currently read.
6. Cemeteries. I like walking through cemeteries, looking at the stones and the designs that some have. I find it peaceful and relaxing. When the weather gets nicer I am going to take some pictures of some headstones and post it here.
5. Chicago Cubs. I have been rooting for them since 1969. Hopefully they will be in the World Series sometime before I die.
4. History and Historical Sites. My favorite historical period is the Civil War. One of the great things about living here is there are so many sites around here. I will also be posting pictures from those sites later this year.
3. Puzzles. I like doing all sorts of puzzles, jigsaw, crossword, and various word puzzles. I think it keeps my mind sharp. Of course, there are those who would make the argument that I have no mind.
2. Baseball Cards. I like telling people that I collect baseball cards and comic books. I haven't grown up yet and I'm too old to do it now.
1. Babylon 5. Babylon 5 is my all time favorite show. Obviously, since the title of this blog comes from it. One of the many things that I like about it is it told a complete story. You see that more now but it was one of the first to do it.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
"I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together."
"If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
The Men's Anonymous Pledge.
I'm a man
and I can change
if I have to
Thursday, February 4, 2010
1. You walk into a room, someone turns and looks at you and laughs. What do you do?
Take a bow. It is nice that someone else recognizes the comedic genius that I possess. (And if you buy that I have a real estate deal that I want to discuss with you.)
2. You find an egg, take it home and keep it warm. It hatches. What type of dinosaur is it? Do you keep it and name?
Whatever kind of dinosaur that Fred Flintstone had. Of course i would name it Dino. If that was good enough for Fred it is good enough for me.
3. Which superhero would you want to be related to and why?
Batman. That way you would not have any financial troubles and if anyone messed with you, Batman comes for a visit.
4. A drunken sailor comes up to you on the pier...he begins harassing you in a most repulsive way....what'll be your defense?
A simple push off the pier will give him a chance to reconsider the evils of alcohol.
5. Entering a CLASS A piano bar, you're encouraged to sing atop the grand instrument...you grab the microphone and sing.....
6. If you were a character in a Dr. Seuss book/movie, who would you be and why?
Horton. I am always hearing things.
7. If you have just been called to be a substitute in the Winter Olympics for your country (apparently everyone else was busy), what sport(s) will you compete in?
If they are calling me in for an athletic competition they are extremely desperate. 4 man bobsled.
8. Did the audience from the piano bar in question #5 applaud when you were done with your song?
Audience? What audience? They stampeded out after I started singing.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
One of the series that I like is Deadliest Catch on the Discovery channel. A couple of years ago Phil Harris , owner and captain of the Cornelia Marie had a heart attack while they were on the Arctic Ocean fishing for crab. He sat out one season but came back last year. The other day while they were unloading crab he had a stroke. It was fortunate that they were in port when it happened. He was airlifted to a hospital in Anchorage, Alaska where he underwent a twelve hour surgery. He has come through the surgery fine, but of course still has a long way to go. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. I like most of the captains on the show, but Phil is my favorite. Hopefully he will have a complete recovery.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
In the movie Galaxy Quest, Tim Allen played an actor on a science fiction television series whose motto was "Never give up. Never surrender". I believe that someone who I have blogged about in the past has taken this motto to heart.
Roy L. Pearson, Jr is back. Do you remember Roy? He was the judge who sued a dry cleaner for $64 million because he claimed they lost his pants. Of course he lost that suit. When I wrote about him last August he was suing to get his job as a judge back. He lost that one but he has filed an appeal for that dismissal. His statement runs 65 pages and as I understand it is very rambling. Not surprising considering his claims for the pants. I'll give him credit for persistence, but there comes a time to call it quits. Hopefully after this Roy will catch on. The last time I wrote about him I compared him with the Black Knight from Monty Python And The Holy Grail. Here is that scene.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Got milk? That is a question that we had to answer no to over the weekend. By Saturday afternoon we did not have a single gallon of milk in the store. I have mentioned before that there is a run on milk every time snow is in the forecast.
Normally on Friday nights we get a milk delivery. You have to go down a corridor to get to our milk cooler. There are bread racks filled with bread that have to be moved. The amount of racks vary depending on the time of year, during holidays there are more. I had to move about 10 racks. I like moving them first thing so that when the driver gets there we can start unloading immediately. When it comes to milk deliveries my job is easy. I have to make sure that all the milk is there. The driver takes it to the cooler. Normally the truck arrives between midnight and one. When I went to lunch at 3:30 I was still waiting for it. It never arrived.
The dairy we get our milk from is located in Athens, Tennessee. They had a snowstorm and were not able to deliver. They weren't the only ones. Our meat and produce truck, which comes out of Shelbyville, Tennessee, was scheduled to be in at 5:00 A.M. It didn't arrive until Saturday afternoon. Deliveries are made seven days a week. Conditions were so bad that the truck for Saturday night was canceled. That is the first time in the five years that I have worked for Wal-Mart that has happened. The milk was finally delivered Sunday afternoon.
We were fortunate here in Calhoun and never even had a snowflake. I like it that way. I have seen enough snow in my lifetime.