Sunday, September 27, 2015

Monkees fan art / New DJ Mix

The other day, I indulged in a bit of Monkees fan art. I digitally manipulated the cover to the Headquarters Sessions cd. It's a low-res picture, and done only for fun! Enjoy!



*******

Yesterday, I completed a new dj mix. You can check it out here...

https://www.hulkshare.com/djkor/dj-kor-retro-esque-2015-volume-4

DJ KOR: Retro-esque 2015 Volume 4
*Lay Your Hands On Me (UK 12”) - Thompson Twins
*Diamonds (Cool Summer Dance Mix) - Herb Alpert with Janet Jackson
*Some Kind Of Heaven (Thin White Duke Remix) - Hurts
*I Was On Pills! (With Nude Remixing!) - DJ Kor
*Advertising Space (German Club Version) - Robbie Williams
*It’s Raining Men… The Sequel (Super Popalicious Club Mix) - Martha Wash & RuPaul
*She Blinded Me With Science (AudioDile’s Recalculated Formula) - Thomas Dolby
*Summer Of Love (WIP Remix) - Steps
*Chorus (Unreleased Club Mix) - Erasure
*You (Bold And Beautiful Swishy Disco Mix) - S Club 7
*You Needed Me (Jewels & Stone Remix) - Boyzone
*People Are Lonely (Christoffer Lauridsen Remix) - Gravitonas with Army Of Lovers
*Sixteen Tons Of Hardware (Poker Pets 12” Mix) - BWO
*Only In My Dreams (1997 Dance Edit) - Debbie Gibson
*Hold It Against Me (Discoblue Club Mix) - Britney Spears
*I Still (Passengerz Remix) - Backstreet Boys
*Parts Of Me (Lenny B’s Club Mix) - Madison Park * Beechkraft
*Imagination (1994 Vocal Mix) - Belouis Some
*Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love) (Retromatik Extended Edit) - Kylie Minogue
*I Heard A Rumour (PWL Extended) - Bananarama
*Domino Dancing (Disco Mix) - Pet Shop Boys

Saturday, September 26, 2015

More Papa Nez...

Back in late 80's / early 90's, when I was watching the Monkees (in reruns), I don't know how I missed that they had solo careers. I guess it's because it wasn't the club-oriented music, with 12" mixes, that I was focused on at that time. 

With my current Monkees obsession (let's just call it what it is!), I have been getting not only their music, but Michael Nesmith's solo music. Previously, I have purchased Rio (Greatest hits) and The Prison. Yesterday, I received in the mail the Magnetic South & Loose Salute cd, and Tropical Campfires cd. Both are awesome, and have sent me back to Amazon & eBay looking at what other cds I have saved in my watch lists. Both of these cds have a great vibe to them, and I've enjoyed multiple listenings of both since I received them! 




 I've said it before, but I'm really enjoying having a lot of new music to "discover" and listen to! 
 
And not to be forgotten, it was awesome seeing Micky Dolenz on the Tonight Show the other night! 
 
Now, it's back to work for me... listing like a madman on eBay...
 
 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Apple Cake

I made an apple cake today. The recipe I use is a Paula Deen recipe, and you can find it here: http://www.food.com/recipe/paula-deens-fresh-apple-cake-195502

This is a yummy cake, and I make it several times each fall! Sadly, there are no pictures. There's a downside to making this cake, at least for me. About half the time I make it, it falls apart when I'm taking it out of the pan. I prepare the pan as instructed. I cool it as instructed. And it's hit or miss if the cake comes out whole or in halfs. That said, it tastes great no matter how it comes out, and that's the important thing!

Go print the recipe out and give this cake a try! You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Atomic Thunderbolt Custom Retro Action Figure!

**FINALLY** I have finished my first custom "Mego"! ATOMIC THUNDERBOLT! Now, he's not perfect! My sewing needs work (more practice), but for my fourth time sewing the costume, and the first time sewing this particular pattern, I'm happy. I forgot to get gloves for him, and didn't want to do the classic "oven mitt" type gloves that Mego's had. I learned a lot working on this figure... and will apply that to my next figure! 




For those who don't know, Mego figures were produced in the 1970's by Mego. They had the license for DC, Marvel, and other properties. The figures were about 7 or 8 inches tall, and had cloth costumes. I had so many of them, and not a one survived my childhood. In the late 1990's, Marvel did a Mego-esque figure in their Famous Covers line. These figures were slightly larger, and they did a fine job on them. DC produced some retro figures around these time, but only a handful. A few years ago, Mattel produced several DC Mego-esque figures, both reproductions and new figures. Around 2000, AC Comics did a few Mego-esque figures. Now, Figures Toy Company has the DC license, and they are doing a spectacular job! 



I have long wanted to throw my hat into the ring of creating custom Mego-like figures. I have seen so many amazing figures online! I found a character, from the 1940's, who I thought I could do a decent job with, and went for it. I found a head sculpt that I hand-painted for the figure. Then I went to work on sewing the costume. The first three attempts looked like crap! I know there are flaws in what I finally did, but these were worse. I switched out patterns, and went to work. I have double stitched, and worked hard to get it right. I know there are flaws... a seam that's wandering, and a few places where I could have stitched it better. To be honest, the head sits precariously on this figure... I still need to whittle down the neck a bit to get it to fit better. Or super-glue it! I just got to a point of "it's done!" 



So, this is my first custom figure, but I don't plan on it being my last. Even with frustrations, I enjoyed working on it, and I like the idea of bringing to action figure life characters who might never get figures otherwise. I have ideas for my next two figures, so once I get supplies, I'll get started on them...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rainy Days, Listing in eBay, and other such stuff...

Today is another grey day, after a day full of rain yesterday! Well, according to the weather forecast from yesterday morning, NE FL is in for rain for several days.

With it raining, I decided I would read yesterday afternoon. So, I settled in to finish the Arrows Of The Queen Trilogy (Arrows Of The Queen, Arrow's Flight, Arrow's Fall) by Mercedes Lackey. I love this trilogy, which are the first Valdemar novels. As always, when I read her novels, I was transported to the world of Valdemar. I finished the last book of this trilogy last night, and now the decision before me is: do I go and read other books, or do I continue re-reading more Valdemar novels? I suspect I'll be in Valdemar for a while.

Today, however, I am working on eBay. This morning I signed into eBay and had an offer for free listings. So... I'm listing away. I'll be listing beefcake (ie, semi-nude male) photos, which I know is not to everyone's taste. If you want to check them out, go to http://stores.ebay.com/korokstudios I also have some comic art cards up for sale.

If you would like to check out my paintings and bead-work, turn your attention to my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/korokstudios  I have plenty of affordable art there!

eBay is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this month. I think I've been a seller for most of that time! I think I've been on eBay about 17 or 18 years now, and with PayPal for just about as long. I have changed seller names once, for reasons I no longer remember. eBay was an amazing discovery for me. I had been selling my photography some, but it really opened up an audience for me. Times have changed, and I remain a bit old-school, continuing to sell prints. I do have a few digital offerings, but I stick with the prints. Fortunately, there are still people who collect and want prints instead of just digital downloads.

We recently celebrated Dad's birthday. For the dinner, Mom wanted to cook Shrimp Jambalaya. The recipe has been in our family forever, and I remember Grandma cooking it. It was always a special occasion when it turned up. I ended up doing the cooking of the jambalaya, with direction from Mom. This was my first time cooking this recipe, and it turned out well if I say so myself. A key lime pie (from an OLD cook book of St. Augustine recipes) finished up the meal!

Creatively, I've been working on a custom Mego figure. Sewing up the costume is time consuming, but it's turning out well this time around! This is only my fourth attempt, and I think I finally have it! Knock on wood! I'll be posting photos when the figure is done.

That's about all the excitement of my life for now. Take care, and have a Groovy Day!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Monkees Comics



If you're a fan of the Monkees, you may (or may not) be aware that there was a Monkees comic back in the '60's. It was published by Dell, and the stories are fairly silly and fun, often breaking the fourth wall. According to Wikipedia, Jose Delbo was the artist for most of the issues. Not sure who the writer is. There were 17 issues of this series.




I've only managed to pick up two issues of this comic, both a reasonable prices. Yes, they do get pricey on eBay. I buy comics to read them, so I will only part with so much for an individual issue. These are fun, and hopefully I'll be able to get more issues in the future.

The scans are the two issues I have managed to get. #14 is the top issue, and #10 is the other.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Listening to Michael Nesmith...



I recently wrote about reconnecting to The Monkees, thanks to reruns on IFC! My favourite Monkee is Michael Nesmith. I did some poking around online, and discovered quite an extensive post-Monkees musical career from him. 
 
After listening to a couple of songs online, I ordered a greatest hits double cd set: RIO. I've really enjoyed this, and look forward to getting other albums. Right now, favourite songs off the cd include "Cruisin'", "I Am Not That", "Papa Gene's Blues" (Live), "5 Second Concerts" (Live), and "Capsule". 



I think one of the things I'm really enjoying about the rekindled interest in The Monkees is that there is a lot of "new" (and by that I mean new-to-me) music for me to discover.  I have always loved music! I have listened to disco, country, 80's pop & alternative, 90's club techno, hi-nrg, and much, much more. While I mostly gravitate towards dance music and electronica, I appreciate a wide range of music, and styles of music. That said, many of today's artists don't do much for me... I don't mean that as a slam. It's neither good nor bad. There are things I like in modern pop/dance music, but a lot I'm indifferent too. It's nice to have someone "new" to listen to, and explore their back catalog. I used to watch the Monkees in reruns during my late teens and early twenties, but I don't think I got much further than a couple of greatest hits lp's/cassettes back then. Now, I get to make up for lost time.

By the way, please feel free to share in the comments any favourite Monkees (or post-Monkees) songs you really like, or even some new or new-to-you groups/singers that you are currently digging. 

note: The photos I've shared in this post are scans I've made from the cd. A most excellent cd, and worth checking out!

Monday, September 7, 2015

On quitting the gym and walking to lose weight

Today I quit the gym! I had been a member of Planet Fitness for almost 3 years. It's a great concept, and a nice gym. I do like it a lot (and hope to rejoin in the future). So, why did I quit?

I couldn't get up there on a regular basis. I'm able to go walk several times a week, but can't seem to make it to the gym at least once a week. I would go for months at a time without going! It's been creating stress for me lately, and I just can't deal with that. I have enough stress in my life, and don't need not getting to the gym to add to that. I can't afford a gym membership when my attendance is sporadic.

While I feel bad about quitting the gym, it doesn't mean that I've given up my efforts to lose some weight and get in better shape. My goal has never been to be some muscle god anyway. I walk several times a week, for at least 30 minutes each time. I often walk in the mid-afternoon, when it's hottest. 
 
I really got going with walking at the beginning of summer. About 5 years ago, I had lost 20 pounds, mostly from walking. I have since found it again. I started walking again, with the goal of walking every day. I knew I'd miss a few days, but I have been able to walk 3-4 days out of the week, which I feel is good. I have fallen off the wagon a few times... mostly due to weather. I'd miss a week, but instead of beating myself up over it, I just started walking again. I am keeping up the walking. I also have some weights at home, and plan to use them since I won't be at the gym anymore. I have recently begun to see the weight come off.

When I lost that weight 5 years ago, I did not have the best diet. I drank soda all day long, and ate tons of junk food. My diet has since improved. I'm down to one soda a day now, and rarely drink that entire soda. (I sometimes have a second one, but try not to.) I drink lots of water! I have a fruit smoothie for breakfast. I still eat some junk food, but I portion it out, and I have set a curfew on nighttime snacking. I don't eat out as much, or get as much fast food. I keep looking for small changes I can make, and implement them. I have found that for me, it works best if I work on one thing, make it a habit, then move on to the next. 
 
We're all different, so find a plan, or plans, that work best for you. I do encourage you, no matter what shape you're in, to get up and walk around some. A benefit I have received from it is that it helps me deal with my depression.
 
Right now, my short term goal is to lose 20 pounds. My long term is to lose about 60 pounds. I'm at 260, much heavier than I'd like. It's the health issue of it that bothers me... I've always been comfortable with what I look like. I do want to have more energy, and to reduce risks of diabetes, heart disease, etc... I also work at my desk all day, so getting up and moving around helps... It gets ideas flowing, keeps me from getting too stuck in my depression, etc... 
 
I'm out of here for now folks! Take Care!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Hey! Hey! It's The Monkees!

In recent months, my interest in the Monkees has been rekindled. You can thank IFC for the Monkees reruns! I've always liked them. The show, which ran from 1966 to 1968, was just before my time as I was born in 1969. I remember reruns of the show on cable in my teen years, and in my early twenties. Fun stuff! I had tracked down a couple of vintage albums at that time... including one cassette, which I think I still have somewhere.

That said, I started watching again with the reruns on IFC. I'm really enjoying them, and as I said, it's rekindled my interest. I bought the dvd of their film, Head, and enjoyed that. A trippy satire about pop culture! I'm listening to the music again too, which is awesome!

Mike Nesmith is my favourite of the Monkees. I've started tracking down his solo material, and have some cds on the way. Today, I received in the mail, a vintage trading card that I got off eBay! I've scanned it in, both the front and back sides. A cool little card. 




That's about it now. It's nice to have my interest in The Monkees sparked again. For some reason, the show and the music seems to resonate more with me now than it did in earlier days. 

Have a good weekend, Daydream Believers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chicken Salad Chick

Today I got lunch at Chicken Salad Chick!

I had heard about it, and read a good review in the paper, and wanted to try it out. I was out that way, so I decided to stop in and get some take out! Nice restaurant... I liked the atmosphere. I ordered take out, but will likely go back to dine in. I was greeted, and the server who took my order was very friendly. Since it was my first time, he recommended that I try to sample, which is three different salads of your choice. I took him up on it. I got the original, Mimi's Mix, and Barbeque. After a very short wait (like 2 minutes), I got my food and headed for home.

Now, I know I was a bad blogger today. I got home and instead of taking a picture first, I just dove into my food. What can I say... I was hungry and it looked good! All three chicken salads were awesome! I really enjoyed them all. The barbeque had a nice smoky flavor that enhanced the salad without overpowering it. Mimi's Mix has cashews and apples mixed into the salad. The pops of sweetness and texture of the cashews made for a great salad! This platter came with wheat crackers, and I used them all to eat my chicken salads! It was a lot of food too! I actually have enough left to have for dinner!

Check them out... Go to their web-site www.chickensaladchick.com to find a location near you. They have locations all over the South! It's worth it to go! Lots of choices of chicken salad, and if that's not your thing, they have some deli sandwiches as well. 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Graze and making your own portion controlled snax!


I got my Graze sample box today!



So, I had seen Graze online, and that you could get a free sample box. Cool! I signed up. You have to sign up for your subscription when you sign up for the free box, and they will bill you for the first box before you even receive your sample box. However, you can put your boxes on vacation to avoid this! You can also choose the frequency of your boxes, as well as rate snacks.



I got the box today, and I tried one of the snacks before I thought of taking a picture. The snack I tried was a dried fruit and gummy ("peach gem") combo. It was fine, but nothing I can't find locally. After taking a few pix, I tried the Sour Cream & Garlic Crostini. YAWN! I don't appreciate having cashews with sour cream powder on them, and the over-all flavour of the snack is dull. I'm not looking forward to those Thai Bites, even though I like Thai food... I have since used mouthwash, and cancelled my subscription. 



Graze might work from some people. I won't deny that there is appeal to having your snacks portion controlled for you. And the choices might work for some, and not for others. It's a matter of taste. This just isn't to my taste. I think the snacks are too small, and that they are a little over-priced for the portion.

Good news! You can do this for yourself! Here are some tips to making your own portion controlled snax! 

1) Go to your supermarket and look for snack size baggies and the small, inexpensive plastic containers that are usually found with the baggies and aluminum foil. I shop at Publix and these items are put together. You can often find store brands that don't cost too much. I took a photo of one of mine... it's seen some use, so it isn't as pretty as when they're brand new. 


2) Buy the snacks you like! If you're trying to lose some weight, lean towards the trail mixes, nuts, fresh fruit or veggies, etc... Even if you're getting some cookies and chips, using these can help keep snacking under control. I also recommend going to some different stores and checking out their selection. I shop at Publix, but I go to the nearby Whole Foods from time to time for variety, and hit Fresh Market up as well. I even like trying things from ethnic stores, like the Indian Supermarket. I also get things from farmer's markets from time to time.

3) Divide up your snacks in a manner that works best for you. Maybe you keep a bag or container with your bag of trail mix, and just fill it when you want a snack. Maybe you will portion out your snacks as soon as you open a package or get home from the store. Maybe you'll only portion out in advance the snacks you take to work and portion up your home snacks as needed. It's all up to you.

4) Hit it internet and look for some snacks you can make yourself, and then portion them up. Every now and then I like to make a sweet & tangy walnuts recipe that uses rosemary and Worcester sauce. Make cookies, savory crackers, spiced nuts, your own trail mix and/or granola bars. The sky's the limit. There are so many recipes to be found online! If you're on Pinterest, check out the food boards there. I often find recipes on Pinterest that my pals have pinned from various sites. 

So, why waste money with subscription snack boxes when you can do it yourself with just a little bit of effort. In fact, you can probably do a better job because you know what YOU like! How awesome your snacks are is up to you and how much time and effort you want to put into it. While I do like to bake, and make things for myself, I also get lazy and go with what I can find at the stores. Just have fun with it.

Now, I do encourage people to read labels. At least have an idea of what's in your food - especially pre-made items. Try to stick to the recommended serving where possible. And combine things... have some trail mix if you're still peckish after eating the 2-4 cookies in the recommended serving size. Don't be afraid of the 100-calorie snacks... they're usually good! And don't be afraid to try some new things. I had a "Miss" with this Graze box, but I've had some "Hits" when I've gone shopping for snacks, like the chili-lime cashews I got from a farmer's market a couple months back and need to go find again...

Take care, and Happy Snacking!