Saturday, April 23, 2005

Good News, Everyone!

Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
...he said in his best Professor Barnsworth voice!

As you may have been able to guess from the photo accompanying this, I found the adaptor cable to connect my digital camera to the computer!

I also found my extra checks, to boot! Life is good, eh?

I'm kind of annoyed by myself... you know where I found them? In the same box. A box of stuff that, when I originally looked into, I figured was all stuff that I was planning on selling on eBay sometime soon (soon being relative). I decided to unpack the box, and there the cable and box were, right at the bottom!

Anyway... thanks to finding that, I'm able to share some views of my home office with you guys... assuming any of you are interested in it... or even if not, I'm posting 'em anyway!

This is the first view, of the wall to the right of my computer. In the biggest frame is a photocopy of the original artwork from FANTASTIC FOUR #4, with the return of Sub-Mariner. This was purchased for me by my late wife, Barbara, from Dick Ayers at the first Mid-Ohio Con we attended, and is signed by Ayers. To the right of that is an award I received in my senior year of high school, from the ANPA (The American Newspaper Publisher's Association) via the News Tribune (the Tacoma paper) recognizing me as the most valuable staffer at the Curtis High School Viking Shield. It's an award that I'm still proud to have received.

Below that, in a smaller frame, is a set of Beatles caricature cards that I don't remember whether or not they're originals or reprints. Clockwise from that is Barbara and my wedding picture, and next to that is a photo from our first weekend together.

I have about 14 photos altogether that I took to give you a peek into my world, so I'll probably post two or three of these each day.


Another Collection of Random Thoughts

OK, this will probably be a bit spotty, because there's a bunch of different things I feel like talking about, and since it's been since Wednesday that I posted, I kind of feel I owe my faithful readers with a new posting tonight!

1. The Procession of the Species/Artswalk -- One of the cool things about living in Olympia is that there's so much going on all the time. This weekend has been Artswalk, a twice-a-year event in which local artists' works are displayed downtown, and all the downtown businesses have special sales going on, plus there are other special events. This was the first one I'd gone to, although Jessi has been to it for the past few years.

The neatest thing about today's events was "The Procession of the Species," a parade that's all-volunteer. Everything, from the costumes to the floats, are all hand-made from donated materials, and no, it's no Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, but it's very cool and fun... where else are you going to see people dressed up as various animal species, from the lowliest insect to sealife to wolves? It's a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the weather here has been sunny and warm (well, it was just as soon as we'd brought the last load of stuff into the new house), today it got cool and cloudy, and even rained a bit. Yep, I'm griping about rain in Western Washington (I ever mention the Western Washington Rain Festival here? It starts January 1 and runs through December 31)... we were very cold, and more than a little wet by the time the parade was over, but we still enjoyed it.

2. The Wireless Network. Guess what? The dishwasher doesn't cause network problems after all... it was just coincidence. The dishwasher's running now, and there's no loss of signal. There's apparently some other kind of interference that crops up every four days or so around here, and I suspect (since the last time there was a problem, a new wireless network was showing up on and off on the pop-up list) that someone's using a portable wireless network on the same channel, and it's definitely mobile. Hopefully, whoever's doing that will stay away when I'm trying to access the net!

3. Dollar DVD's. If you go to dollar stores or overstock stores like Big Lots, you've probably seen these. I've even found them at Wal-Mart. Well, I love finding these, because you can find all sorts of neat stuff on them, from old Jack Benny TV shows to Fleischer Popeye and Superman cartoons to other stuff. I'll be the first to admit that the quality on these is variable -- just like the public domain VHS tapes that can still be found every now and then -- and you don't always know exactly what's going to be on the DVDs (for example, I was watching one earlier, "Popeye and Other Cartoon Classics," and it only mentions the Popeye cartoons "Gopher Spinach" -- which is a Famous Studios/Paramont Popeye clip cartoon -- and "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp"... but it also has the Superman cartoons "The Mad Scientist," "The Mechanical Monsters," "Billion Dollar limited," "The Arctic Giant," "Bulleteers," "The Magnetic Telescope," and the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Pantry Panic" -- the Superman toons are pretty good quality, but the Woody cartoon is terrible, as is the "Gopher Spinach"), but I think overall they're a pretty good deal. I'm currently watching "Popeye Vol. 2", with 7 cartoons, starting with "Popeye Meets Sindbad the Sailor," and the quality is pretty good on the first cartoon. Who knows if we'll get a definitive high-quality DVD collection of these Fleischer Popeyes?

I used to have two DVD's of the Fleischer Superman cartoons, and I can't honestly say the quality was that much better than the ones on the "Popeye and Other Cartoon Classics" DVD... and those other two DVD's cost much more than a buck each!

I'd love it if someone would take the time to do an absolutely perfect digital remastering of these 'toons... assuming there were excellent prints to work from... but I don't know that we'll ever see that. If any exist, I'd appreciate knowing about them!

4. Bissell Carpet Cleaners. How's that for an abrupt change of topic? A few years back, I bought one of these at Wal-Mart, and have only used it intermittently... well, the new place we're living in had some stains in the carpets, so after vacuuming the carpets, I fired up the Bissell, starting with the master bedroom. It did a great job on the master bedroom (I used a full tank on that), but when I went to use it on Jessi's office, the spray function stopped working. I have cleaned the darn thing, checked everywhere it could be clogged, downloaded a PDF with troubleshooting info, and none of it has done a darn bit of good. The freakin' thing cost me about $80 brand-new, and I'd hate to think it's stopped working before I could completely use up the first batch of cleaner... and besides that, there's still the two offices, the hallway, and the living room carpets to clean! So, if anyone reading this has a Bissell Quick Steamer, and experienced the same kind of problem and solved it, please let me know!

5. The Weekly Column. Some time back, I mentioned some vague thing about a weekly column that would be appearing in the future, and that I'd say more about it when it got closer to being a reality. Well... tentatively, it's going to start appearing in May at the World Famous Comics website. The column is called "Cover Stories," and it sort of recycles some of my previous postings to the DC History Yahoo Group, with added information. Hmmm... that's still not very clear, is it? Well, each week, I'll be presenting four to five covers of old comics that feature a common theme... this could be anything from covers featuring the characters doing a high-wire circus act to sports to whatever! Plus, about every four weeks or so, I'll be presenting some of my "Comics They Never Made" covers!

What does this mean for this blog? Well, for starters, I won't be posting any more "Comics They Never Made" here until after they've appeared on the WF site... just to be fair to webmaster Justin there. Since I've written the first 20 columns or so to date, and the first several ones with CTNM content feature covers that have appeared here, too, there won't be any of those here for quite some time!

However... if you sign up for that Yahoo Group (search their listings for DCHistory), there are still some covers that I created but never posted there, which will be their debut. When will I post those? Well, that's a darn good question, because I haven't written the text to go with them yet... I've been a bit busy posting my current series there, "1-10," in which I present the first 10 covers of a different comics series each day, Monday through Friday.

6. Digital Camera Woes. Somehow, during the course of the move, I've managed to lose the cable that connects my Kodak digital camera to the USB port on my computer. How the heck this happened is beyond me, because I know I packed it in the same box with the mouse, keyboard and other cables! Then again, I just found the charger for my cell phone on Thursday (fortunately, Jessi uses the same brand of cell phone I do, so our chargers are compatible), so it could still turn up. If not, well, then I'll have to find out what it'll cost to replace that. Then again, I am still trying to figure out where my extra checks are, too (even though I need to order replacements with the current address on them).

7. Mail Forwarding Woes. Wow, it's going to sound like I'm having pretty much nothing but problems these days, isn't it? Well, here's another problem... for the past four days or so, I've had no snail mail at all... nothing's been forwarded to the new address, and nothing's showed up in the mailbox at my old address. Well, at least nothing has been arriving at the old address since Friday... I didn't check today (I'll check again Monday, when I have to run over there anyway... first day off I've had since Krypto arrived, and I get to use part of it to attempt some repairs on the fence around the patio... some fun, eh?).

8. Taking Care of the Old Apartment. So, I've been completely moved out of my old apartment for a week... have I done the move-out checklist with the property management company I rent from yet? Nope! You see, there's been a delay there... the friend of Jessi's who's starting a housecleaning business hasn't been able to get it done yet, because she's been tied up with a different job. Hopefully, it'll get done before too long this coming week, because it'll be probably 2 weeks after the move-out checklist before I get the deposit back -- or at least, whatever's left after whatever they do that they're going to charge me for, and given my deposit there was $700, I'm expecting to get at least $500 of that back.

9. The Wrap-Up! Honestly, my life doesn't really suck! I still love my job, and Jessi, as well as Krypto and KO (even though KO didn't impress me the other day when she got up on the kitchen counter and ate what we were going to have for dinner)... and I'm continuing to lose weight thanks to Weight Watchers (nearly 52 lbs. so far!). The house is really starting to come together, with only a few more boxes left to sort through, and we'll get to start shaping up the yard soon (as soon as I get either my check for the He-Man transcriptions or the deposit back on my old place so we can afford grass seed, Weed & Feed, a mower and a weed-whacker).


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Little Bit of This N That

Well, since the problems I was having with the wireless network the other day, so far I've managed to stay connected for several days in a row without problems! Hoo-hah! Guess if you're patient enough, you can get anything to work.

We're still settling in to the new house, although most everything's been unpacked. I finally got my change of address in to the post office, so I should start expecting to see my mail arriving here soon, I hope!

My old place is not ready for the official move-out inspection... a friend of Jessi's is supposed to be cleaning it for us today and possibly tomorrow, as well. She's starting a housecleaning business, and offered to do the clean-up of our old apartments for free if we tell people about her service. I did run over to the old place last night after work to run the last of the trash to the dumpster, something I didn't get a chance to do while moving out of there Saturday. And *sigh* I still have to get the cable and utility service cancelled there, so I can turn in my digital cable box (we have a new one at the new house). I also need to go there sometime when it's light out to make some minor repairs to the patio fence, which was damaged when I backed my car into it once (and windstorms after that made it worse).

I don't know whether or not any of you have seen the commercial for this new product they're promoting on TV... it's basically a lazy Susan with storage containers, where any lid fits on any container. It's a very neat product, takes up very little space... but the containers are pretty small, to be honest! Yep, we got one, and tossed out all the Glad-Ware and Glad-Ware style containers we'd accumulated before we opened up the box for the new thing! So, none of the new containers are as large as the largest of the new containers. Fortunately, I have one of those vacuum bag sealer things.

If anyone reading this blog happens to live in the Olympia area, we are planning a housewarming party, probably around late May. Get in touch with me, and I'll make sure to send you an invite!

Once I find my cable that connects my digital camera to my computer, I'll take some photos of the new digs and share them here. Another thing I need to find is my cell phone charger!

The only bad thing about this new house is that I'll have to deal with yardwork for the first time in 15+ years... so we'll have to buy a lawn mower and weed whacker, and figure out how we'll get rid of the weeds in the yard and get the grass regrowing in the bare spots. The good thing about that is that we'll also be able to get a barbeque grill, which will be nice when we invite people over.


Monday, April 18, 2005

Networks and Net-Doesn't-Works

Well... apparently, the dishwasher isn't the only thing that sometimes causes interference with the wireless networking here... this morning, I spent about 20 minutes trying to re-establish the connection!

However, for the last hour and a half, the connection has been perfect... flawless... speedy.

I know there's another wireless network nearby us... it shows up on the "available networks" listing... and I suppose it's possible that's also causing some of our occasional products.

On an unrelated note, I've begun to see on various websites promotions for "The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" DVD set that I was doing transcriptions for. Even if you don't have much of an interest in He-Man, if you have an interest in Filmation, I'd recommend this DVD two-disc set!


A Moving Weekend... pretty much over! Sheesh, it's been a busy couple of weeks! Of
course, you guys already know I was tied up with the He-Man transcripts for
a week and a half, but what I don't think I mentioned was the fact that
Jessi and I were moving in together.

We found a great house in an excellent location (the comic book shop is
close enough I could walk there if I wanted to!), and we started moving
stuff into it on Thursday, and have been staying here since Friday night.

Saturday was when most of the furniture was moved in, and we spent most of
Saturday afternoon and evening, as well as all day Sunday, unpacking and
getting things set up.

Frankly, it's been freakin' exhausting! I just moved into my last place a
little less than a year ago, but I don't remember it being that tiring!

Of course, moving by itself is a lot to deal with, but we complicated it
further, naturally! Jessi and I both have Comcast internet accounts, and we
figured we'd combine them together.

Well... we called once, and the person we talked to said, "Oh, yeah, we can
do that." The next time we called, they said we couldn't. We called again,
that person said we could!

Of course, nothing could be done until we had things finalized on the move.

Then we called again... and suddenly it was impossible to do so again. I
called them again, and was told the same thing!

Finally... I talked to someone who knew what they were doing, and also put
in a work order to accomplish it. Sheesh... this after I'd pretty much
given up and started emailing people to tell them to use a different email
address for me.

But that wasn't enough for us... we were also setting up a wireless network
between Jessi's PC and my Mac. That took some doing! First of all, we had
one of Jessi's friends who does this for a living to help us out. Well, she
wasn't familiar with Macs, and when she tried to install the Airport card,
she put it in upside down, and then closed the machine. When I went to
check on it later that day, the card was sticking out too far to open the
case up again, and when I did get it opened, the corner of the card cracked.

Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I pulled the card out and put it
in the right way. Still had no idea how to get it connected to the network,

That happened on Sunday, when Jessi's friend came back. And it worked the
first time!

Well... that wasn't the end of the story, of course! Later that day, the
card lost the connection, but I had no idea why. A few hours later, I tried
again, and it worked fine. Weird, eh?

So, since I work a different shift than Jessi does, I stay up for a few
hours after she goes to sleep, so I first emptied the dishwasher, and then
reloaded it and started it. Then I went back to my office to do some stuff
on the 'net.

And the connection was lost again.

The obvious conclusion, of course... is that the dishwasher interferes with
the network connection.

I guess that means that I don't need to plan on doing internet stuff when
there are dishes to be washed, eh?