Saturday, April 15, 2017

My exciting life...

New toy... 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Jollibee in Jax!

So, I was excited when I learned, several months ago, that Jollibee was coming to Jacksonville. I had heard of this chain before, but had never experienced it. They opened last weekend. I did a drive-by, and there were just too many people, with a line around the building. I decided to wait. Today, I went. There was still a line when I got there, but it was not a large one.

The line moved quickly, and I went in and ordered. I got the Chickenjoy, with corn and rice, a peach & mango pie, and the frozen drink... the flavor is Ube according to the ticket. I'll be honest, I asked about the drinks, and I think I heard the young lady tell me that one was sweet potato and the other coconut. I couldn't hear her well - it was crowded and loud in there. I choose the purple one because purple is my favourite colour. (I'll try the other one next time!) The cashier was friendly, and gets an A+ from me!

I was able to find a seat, which felt like a miracle. Did I mention it was crowded? I sat down to wait for my food to be ready. It took a few minutes, but with the crowd, I expected that. One of the workers who was keeping the dining room clean stopped at my table. She asked what number order I had, and went to check on where it was in the queue. After telling me, she did the same for the table next to me, and I assume several others. The same worker stopped by later to ask how I liked everything. She was very nice and friendly. All the employees were friendly! A+ on customer relations!

I got my food, and it was yummy! Chickenjoy is their fried chicken, and it had a nice crispy coating and tasted delicious. The corn was fine, and the rice (with gravy!) was excellent! I enjoyed it a lot! I also enjoyed the hand pie. It wasn't too sweet, nor too tart. Just right! The Ube drink was interesting. It was a drink flavor I hadn't encountered before. I liked it. It had those little pearls (tapioca?) at the bottom, which made for an interesting texture to the drink. I take a while to drink a frozen drink of any size, so it came along with me when I left. I drank it all and enjoyed it! As I said earlier, I will try the other one the next time I go.

I will be heading back to Jollibee soon, probably within a month. I admit, it's a drive for me. Jacksonville is a large city, and pretty much each area of Jax is almost a small town unto itself. I'm in the Mandarin area, and this was out past UNF, on Atlantic & Kernan. Fingers are already crossed that they will open another location closer to me. Until then, I'll make the trek out there every so often to enjoy more Chickenjoy! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I went to Collective Con...

...and the best thing about it was leaving! 

Okay, okay, I'll be serious. Gonna give a review of this convention. To start off, I've been going to comic shows for about 30 years. While I understand that the nature of the comic convention has changed, that doesn't mean that I'm not looking for comics. Seriously. Comic dealers, collectible dealers, comic artists & writers, etc... Anime is fine. Cosplay is fine. Even a few celebrities. But I don't want to see shows that are dominated by cosplay, anime, and celebs. I go to buy comics!

I bought the tickets for this months ago, after this con's first strike. Con is the right term. After advertising a lower ticket price on Facebook, I went to the web-site and the tickets were almost twice as much. And no kid's rate. Most shows either have a cheaper rate for those who are 12 and under, or they get in free. Their customer service, when contacted, was terrible. They missed an opportunity to gain some good will. I eventually saw the tickets on Groupon, and for less than the advertised bait and switch rate. I decided to give them a try, since they are a local convention. I don't know how much the tickets got to on the web-site, and prefer not to. From the looks of it, they were trying for MegaCon prices.

So, pulling into the parking lot I encounter strike two. They charged for parking. This year, Collective Con was at the Morrocan Shrine Temple. I've been to shows at this venue before, and have never had to pay for parking. Until today.

So, we (my nephew and I) were early, about 15 minutes before the doors opened. There was a line. Not unreasonable (see photo). When the doors opened, it moved. What I didn't see was where to get tickets until we had moved up some. Fortunately, no one was in the Groupon line. We got our tickets quickly, and the people who had been behind us in line were nice enough to let us back in.

So, we got in. And it's hot in there. Bleh! It took us 45 minutes to take a turn around the entire thing, and we were done. Maybe 5 dealers with comics. 3 with super-hero action figures? Maybe 4. Lots of anime stuff. Lots of artists, and not just in the art room. Some cosplay stuff. Lackluster. 

The good stuff.... in order...

Someone had built a T.A.R.D.I.S., and my nephew took a pic of me in front of it. There was also a cool R2D2 replica in the lobby.

I got a Marvel Select: Electro action figure for $10 (normally they're $25)

I met Steve Cardenas, who played Rocky on Power Rangers. I got a signed photo from him. He was very nice, and since Rocky was one of my favourites, it was nice meeting him. Check out his Facebook page at Meeting Steve was the best thing about this show for me.

I got a few comics, mostly issues of Justice League and Brave & Bold from the 70's. $2 each.

I budget money for comic shows, with the expectation that I will spend more than half my budget. I spent maybe 25% of my budget, and that because I got the signed photo.

Sadly, this convention follows the trend of an organizer just wanting as much money as they can make. I've been to a lot of really good comic shows where the dealers and the organizers obviously made money, but at the same time I didn't feel like I was just there to have my money taken from me. For what I saw at Collective Con, this was a mid-level convention trying to charge like a large convention. They aren't even a mid-level convention, truth be told, but they are a little larger than some of the small shows in the area. $15 would have been a reasonable ticket price - parking included. 

Honestly, while we were glad to give the show a try, my nephew and I will not be returning. At least we've got MegaCon coming in May, and there are always small shows (the Comic Book Connection show being our favourite!) going on. And even though this show was a disappointment to me, I hope that others, especially younger fans, had a good time! There's room for several types of shows, and I hope that someone will organize a local, mid-sized convention that focuses on comics! I picked up some stuff, so it obviously wasn't a completely bad experience. "Meh" fits the bill nicely. 

All was not lost! We hit the Chinese Buffet for lunch afterwards. Yummy!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Retroesque Mix 3-1017 Volume 7

* I Break Down 2015 - Tommy Page
* Should Be Higher (Maps Remix) - Depeche Mode
* Chained To The Rhythm (DMC Remix) - Katy Perry f/ Skip Marley
* Cruel Summer (Select Mix) - Ace Of Base
* Everything She Wants (Scotty Boy Remix) - Wham!
* Made Up My Mind (909 Club Mix) - Safire
* The Beat Goes On (Offer Nissim Remix) - Madonna
* We Are Family (Long Version - 1984 Remix) - Sister Sledge
* There’s Only One Of You (7th Heaven Club Mix) - Nathan Sykes
* This Is How We Do (Chris Cox Mixshow) - Katy Perry
* Where’s The Revolution (Ewan Pearson Remix) - Depeche Mode
* Workout (Blueroom Mix Show) - RuPaul
* Thank You For Being A Friend (12") - Golden Girls
* Stumblin’ (Sec0ndskin Remix) - Sergey Lazarev
* Step Back In Time 2017 (Mastermix)
* September (Original Mix) - Throttle vs Earth, Wind, & Fire
* Pop (Select Mix) - N*Sync
* Lost In Music (Dimitri From Paris Alt. Break Remix) - Sister Sledge
* Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous (D1 Music Redux) - RuPaul
* Limbo (Boris Blank Remix) - Yello
* I’m Too Sexy (Tastemakers 12") - Right Said Fred
* Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (Clivilles / Cole 1991 Hip-House Club Mix) - C&C Music Factory
* Fun (Eric Kupper Disco Remix) - Blondie
* He’s On The Phone (Eurotracks Mix) - St. Etienne
* Channel Z (Rock Mix) - The B-52's
* Constant Craving ‘95 (Eurotracks Mix) - Abigail
* This Is The Moment / Moment To Moment (Momentum Club Mix) - Ernest Kohl
* Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know (Hex Hector Club Mix) - Britney Spears
* It’s Raining Men (Almighty Mix) - Martha Wash
* Video Killed The Radio Star (12" Klub Mix) - Klub Kidz f/ Damian

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Jacksonville's HRO passes!

This past week, the City Council and Mayor of Jacksonville passed an HRO bill, protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination. While it saddens me that such protections are needed, I am happy that Jacksonville has this bill on books! To me, it shows us that we are willing to show hated the door, and be a progressive city. You can read more about it here:

I just fired off a letter to the editor of our newspaper. Looking back at it, it's a little disjointed, but hopefully will see print. I am sharing it here...

"I want to say THANK YOU to the City Council and the Mayor for passing the HRO. It's about time that Jacksonville showed itself to be a city of morality and progress by not allowing hate and discrimination to continue.

To those who oppose it, shame on you! How can you support hate? Before you answer with some sort of religious balderdash, remember that we all learned in Sunday School some form of "Love you neighbor as yourself." I suspect all religions teach something similar. Religion is a choice we make. Being LGBTQ is not.

I often wonder, what would happen if, instead of wasting our time on hating one another over how we're born, or over things that don't affect us personally, we channeled that energy into helping each other, regardless of any identifiers. What would happen if instead of spending money fighting equality for all, we spent that money on feeding the homeless? Or on improving our schools? I guess I'm naive in thinking that we're meant to get along and help each other in the world. I just know I'd rather live a life of compassion instead of hate."

 I hope that the day is soon coming where no one in this country, or even in the world, needs such protections. Let's be honest, unless someone is an active part of your life, what they do, feel, etc... has little to impact on you. For example: if I chose to pack up and move to Canada, that would have an impact on my parents, nephew, brother, and even on my niece & sister-in-law. I live with my parents and help out around here, so they would see the largest impact. I see my nephew and brother each week, so they would be impacted. My niece and sister-in-law live in NC, so the impact would be less, but still felt. Whereas, maybe you like reading my blog, but you don't like certain posts, so you drop it. Not that big a deal, is it? Or, maybe I see you once in a blue moon at a comic show, so again - not a big deal.

I do my best not to judge others, or to allow judgements affect how I deal with people. So many people do things that I don't approve of, but it's not my place to sit in judgement. What they're doing really doesn't affect my life, so why bother getting upset over it? Where I do judge is when people choose to be hate-full! Hatred and discrimination are choices. They hurt people. I don't approve of that. I'm sure we can't stop that from happening completely, but it would be nice if people learned to mind their business a little bit more.

Oh well, I'm rambling on. I hope my readers have gotten something out of this post.

Take Care! Be good to one another!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mid-month progress report...

I hate to admit it, but I've been depressed as hell the last couple of days. If you ask me why, I wouldn't be able to tell you. All I've mostly been doing is re-reading books. But, I'm ready to come out of that. That's part of why I'm writing a mid-month update on my goals.

I'm still working my way through a book called the Four Hour Work Week, and trying to apply advice where possible. The best thing from it so far has been cutting back my news and Facebook consumption. I'm really trying to avoid news right now - most of it just pisses me off, and serves no purpose because it either doesn't affect me directly, or there is nothing I can do to affect it. I don't want to be completely ignorant, and I want to do what I can, but there's only so much news anyone can handle. I've also pulled back from Facebook. I did a week plus of no FB, except for checking private messages. Now, I post some again, and look at the news feed a little, but I've cut way, way, way back.

I've done some walking recently. Not where I want to be with that, but getting a start is better than sitting on my ass saying "I want to go walking" and then not doing it. I've also cut my soda consumption to one a day, and kept it there. My next goal is to tackle my night-time snacking and cut that back. I've also done a little more cooking for myself this past week. Small steps, but small steps often add up and before you know it, you're where you want to be.

I haven't done much creatively. I tackled some sketch cards recently, and they are up at along with beefcake photos. One card was a commission, and the other was a special request from the same buyer. The third card, of Wonder Woman ally Donna Troy, is available along with other cards.

Nothing else to talk about right now. I have my goals in mind, and I will continue to work toward them. Take Care!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Change... in-the-works

So, I wrote in an earlier post that I'm wanting to make changes, and while I haven't made too much progress, I'm working at it. That said, I know I can work harder. Sad to say, I've fallen into a routine of reading in the afternoons. Now, in general, reading is a good thing. But I seem to be using it to escape making changes, so I gotta change the script on that one.

I have been doing some writing! I'm about halfway finished with a short story featuring some of my super-heroes. Once the draft is finished, I'll edit and rewrite, and then I'll slap it up on Amazon for everyone to read! Woo woo!

I've been working on reducing my soda consumption from 2 a day to 1 a day. I hate to admit it, I love drinking Coke. Part of me misses the days when I would drink 5 or 6 in a day. I stopped that several years ago, and worked my way back to 2 a day. My goal for Feb is to have 1 a day, and then my goal for March is to go without soda for the month. The idea is to have just a few each week. It should be a treat (like it was when I was a kid) and not a regular thing.

I haven't been walking yet. I was "busy" reading, so I didn't make myself walk. I also haven't been drawing like I want to, but I've been doing some art. Again, I just have to work at making both walking and drawing a regular habit.

I have been listing photos (beefcake) & sketch cards (comics) on eBay:  and listing photos on eBid:

For those who are interested, my photos are beefcake, inspired by the old photos of the 1950's & 1960's. Now, while I've worked with plenty of muscular men, not all my models fit the so-called ideal of masculine beauty. I think all types of men are beautiful, sexy, erotic, and interesting to look at, so there ends up being something for everyone in my work.

I have been hoping to change some things up creatively. The beefcake photos have been my biggest money maker, artistically. But I do realize it's a niche market. I mostly sell prints. I'm trying to adapt to the modern age, and have my photo zines available for the Kindle. I also have comic art available on eBay, as t-shirts on a variety of sites, and abstract works available on Etsy (as well as jewelry), and on a variety of sites. Check the links to the right if you're interested. Even if you can't buy, I'd appreciate it if you can share a link or two. Thanks for looking and sharing.

 I suppose that's all for now. I'll keep plugging away at making changes. I have goals that I want to meet this year, so I will keep working towards them. Sometimes, all you can do is make small changes and keep making those changes. Eventually the small changes become larger and before you know it, things are different.

Take Care! Be good to yourselves and to one another!