Saturday, August 19, 2017

More rough times...

So, August has been a bit of a rough ride so far.

I had intended to use this month to do some self work. I want to make some changes in how I earn money, the work I'm doing, get some more writing and art in, etc... That seems to have gone out the window as I haven't been able to do much self work.

Uncle Bob (Dad's brother) passed away at the end of July. He was in his late 80's, and had several health issues. My sister-in-law & niece came down for the funeral. I saw several cousins I haven't seen in years at the funeral. The service was very nice, and afterwards we all congregated at one of Uncle Bob's favourite places for lunch - Bono's Barbeque. Unfortunately, Dad was ill the day of the funeral. He did attend the service, but did not go to lunch afterwards.

About two weeks later, we found out why Dad had gotten sick. Last weekend, I took him to the emergency room early Saturday morning. He had to have his appendix out. So, that was done, and he was released late the next day.

Yesterday, we had the follow up with his surgeon. His gall bladder needs to come out. That is set  for a couple of weeks off... about a week before Dad's birthday. Dad had been improving since the ordeal with his hand. He was driving again, and starting to see improvement with his hand use. Now, this hits. I'm back to driving both parents everywhere, which is fine. I want to do my best in taking care of them.

The self work I wanted to do? I feel to exhausted most days to work on the changes I want to make. Right now, I'm just going on as best I can, and I will work those changes in.

Next week is my birthday. I will turn 48. 

Off I go. There's work to be done, errands to be run, etc... I will work harder at keeping this blog updated, and will hopefully have some more interesting posts in the near future.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


...or something like that!

With August coming up, I've decided to take a bit of a holiday. Don't worry, I'll be around to fill orders and answer questions. I will be taking a break from listing on eBid for August. I will continue to list on eBay, but mainly because I have limited listings there.

Why am I taking a break? Well... the past couple of months have been rough, dealing with my Dad's medical problems (he's doing better now!). Taking care of elderly parents is not always easy or fun. I am generally driving one or the other somewhere on any given day, running errands for 3, running the house, etc... It's tiring. That means that work (ebay, ebid, etc...) has been on auto-pilot for me.

Now, maybe that's not a horrible thing, but I haven't been doing much creatively. There have been NO new models (or old ones) to work with this year! I've been trying, but can't get anything sorted. Dad's illness didn't help matters. I've taken very few photos in general this year. I've also been too run down (tired) to do much in other areas. I've produced some sketch cards, and written a little, but nothing like what I should be doing. So, part of August is going to be dedicated to getting back on track creatively.

I am also going to work on finding new revenue streams in August. With sales declining, I have to find ways to survive. August sales will determine the future of my eBay store. In the future, I will mainly list 4x6 photos on eBid. Sales-wise, I've been in tight spots before. I understand it's a cycle of highs and lows. That doesn't mean I should just wait it out. I've run sales, but that's not helping anymore. I may have to find new ways to make product available, and I'm open to suggestions.

As always, please visit the links below. I'm a solitary artist/photographer, and not a big business, so if you like what I do, please consider supporting me. And, if not me, please lend your support to other artists and photographers out there who are working on their own. Nothing against the big guns, but often the "little guy" is producing worthwhile work!

Take Care! Have a Groovy Summer!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Updates and Sketch Cards and Doughnuts

So, it's been a while since I updated...

Dad was in the rehab facility for two weeks. They took excellent care of him there, but he was ready to come home. He's doing much better. The incisions on his right hand have been healing, and no longer require bandages. He's in physical therapy, and that is going well. Dad still can't use his right hand, but he's been learning to use his left for a lot of things. He's progressing.

So, in regards to other things... for the most part, work has been on auto-pilot for me. The exception being that I did a drawing of my friend Tim. During Dad's stay at rehab, there was a week where Tim was posting a selfie each day with a "Have a great day" type message. I was catching that at the right time of day and it was nice to see. I had decided I wanted to draw something other than my usual sketch cards, so I tried drawing Tim, based off one of the photos. I was going for more of a realistic style, and it's been a while. I got something decent enough to send to him, but I wasn't overly happy with it.

A couple of weeks later, I decided to try again. This time, I did it sketch card style! It was a success!

This past weekend, I met up with Tim at the Riverside Arts Market and gave him the card.
It was nice seeing Tim, but we didn't get to visit for long. He was with friends, who were doing some sort of run they were having that day. However, my next stop wound up being his next stop also! After Tim left RAM, I took a quick turn around, was underwhelmed, and went on to Good Dough in San Marco. I ran into Tim there! Awesome! We got to visit for a few minutes more there, and it was a better visit for me as we weren't competing with the band that had been playing at RAM. It was good to see Tim. I'm happy that he liked the card, and hopefully I'll get to hang out with him again soon.
Now, on to the doughnuts.... Good Dough is relatively new to Jax, and I've been wanting to try them out for a while. I got four doughnuts, and they were all yummy! I tried the hibiscus, blackberry thyme (my fave), the Molly Ringwald, and salted caramel. The doughnuts had a good chew to them. They were soft, like a doughnut should be, but still had a little texture to the dough. The flavor was delicious, without being too sweet. I was happy, and I'm looking forward to going back for more!
That's all for this update! Take it easy!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Katching Up With Korey...

To be honest, it's been a rough month, and I haven't written anything here.

So, my Dad had to go into the hospital. He had a staph infection in his right hand. I had taken him to his doctor, twice, where a diagnosis of "psuedogout" was given, with the only test being an x-ray. Meanwhile, Dad is losing weight, his hand is swelling, and he is growing weaker by the day. I finally told Dad that he was going to the emergency room. We got to the ER at 8 in the morning, and by 11ish, he was being operated on. The orthopedist told us before surgery that he was concerned with saving Dad, and then his hand. After surgery, the doctor was hopeful. He said he didn't see where there had been much damage, so he didn't anticipate much loss of the use of Dad's hand.

Dad spent 8 days in the hospital. He then moved to a rehabilitation facility. He's been there these past couple of weeks, and it looks like he comes home tomorrow. Dad has been healing well, and all the doctors and therapists are pleased with his progress. It's still a long road to recovery as Dad has occupational therapy for the hand, as well as building his strength and endurance back.

I've spent the past weeks driving Mom to the hospital, then the rehab facility. I keep up the house, Dad's laundry and needs, driving Mom to other appointments, running errands, etc... It feels never-ending. We have been eating out or getting take-out a lot. Fortunately, there is a lot of walking, so I don't seem to have gained any weight. I'm just exhausted from the time I wake up until I go to bed.

Gonna bounce for now as there is more to do today. I'll try to write again soon.

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!