Thursday, June 30, 2016

Today's Outing!

So, I had to run an errand for Mom this morning, and it was going to take me to an area of town I wanted to hit for a while. Sooooooooooo, off I went!

On my way out to the Regency Mall area, I took J. Turner Butler Blvd, where there is construction/destruction going on.I was sitting at the light, and thought that the view, with the cranes rising up, looked neat... so I snapped a pic. I would only do this at a stop light! Had the light changed, this shot would not have happened. I do believe in safety.

My first stop was Ollie's Outlet. It just opened in Jax, and it was interesting. It's basically a giant Big Lots type store. I found a couple of things, but got out of there for less than $5. The cashier wasn't too bright... he could have signed me up for their rewards program, but failed to do so. C'est la vie. I don't see myself heading to Ollie's very often, but I'll turn up there again.

Next, I drove across the parking lot to Books-A-Million. This particular BAM has a decent selection of bargain graphic novels. Yay! They had rearranged the store some, but I found what I was looking for, and got a few new graphic novels to read.

So, now it was time to head over to St. John's Town Center. Before I went to get what Mom needed, I stopped in at Five Below. Everything is $5 or less. Nice little store. I'll check it out again. I got Mom's stuff at Dillard's, and decided that I needed some lunch! 

I was craving taco's, but didn't want a fast food joint. I forgot to look up where the taco truck I like would be today, so I ended up at Los Loros on Baymeadows & Old Kings Rd. I haven't eaten here in a l-o-n-g time! It made for a nice change of pace.

As you can see, I ordered Enchiladas Rancheros, which comes with a guacamole salad. The dish is two cheese enchiladas covered with sauce and cooked chicken. It was delicious! The cheese has a mild flavor that is enhanced by the sauce. The sauce has a nice flavor without being overwhelming, and the chicken was perfection! Good guacamole too! Like most places, chips and salsa were served. The guac salad on a chip was a great bite! (Yes, I'm weird. Get over it!)

Now I'm back home, and it's time to get some work done... I had fun running around today. It was nice to step away from the desk for a bit.

Take care everyone, and Have Fun!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What Financial Health Means to Me

So, this morning I'm working on organizing part of my personal space. It's a mess. It's always a mess. I feel like Hoarders will be here to tape a segment soon! Look at what's piled on my bed... books, comics, and some miscellaneous stuff...

So, what does that have to do with financial health? Quite a bit. I don't have my own house or apartment... I live with my parents. It benefits both them and me. I have some issues that relate to my severe depression, and find myself unable to hold down a traditional job. My parents are also getting on in years, and while they could get by, my being here makes things easier. Honestly, Mom can't drive anymore, so if nothing else, driving her around is a big help.

So, I'm a photographer and artist. My photography is mostly "beefcake" style photos, and I draw a lot of sketch cards. I sell a lot in my eBay store. I also sell art in other places, like Etsy, Redbubble, Society6, Zazzle, etc... See my links and other blog posts if you're interested in checking out my art. (Hint: buying something from me, or any other living/struggling artist is a big help!)

I have also been working on other things to improve my financial health. I am an impulse spender, and I try to curb those impulses. If nothing else, I tell myself to wait an hour or a day and see if I still want that item. This works well. I don't need every t-shirt I see, or every action figure, comic, cd, etc... And all that stuff piled on the bed? Most of it has not been read yet! So, I need to spend time catching up my reading. Like many book-lovers, I do have piles of unread books.
Long ago, I learned that I will always want more! This helps with being able to walk away from things I want.

I also look at other ways to earn money online. It might just be taking surveys to get a rewards card, or it might be a small job to earn some cash or submitting receipts to earn cash back. I even enter a lot of contests - mostly ones that have a cash prize or a vacation. I long to travel, and I did win a trip to Montreal a few years ago. It was a great trip!

So, to me, financial health means that I'm able to take care of myself, pay my bills, get my own place, and still have some cash on-hand to buy things that I want.

It's an on-going process. I opened an online banking account, and use it to save money. My goal is small right now... I try to put a small amount in every week. Sometimes I miss a week, but I keep plugging away at it. I have ideas about what I want to do in terms of business/earning money, and I'm taking (small) steps towards making that happen. I'm also trying to be open to different ways of earning.

For your financial health, I recommend reading articles. Take inspiration from personal stories (like this one, even if you think "that guy's cray-cray!"), look at alternative methods of earning some cash, and how to save and budget. Take the advice that works best for you.

Take care, everyone! I hope you have a great week!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gay Pride 2016

For 2016, I have created two new pieces of digital art to celebrate Gay Pride! One, a bokeh style rainbow flag has been seen in a previous post, and this remixed flag with "PRIDE" emblazoned across it.

These two pieces are my artistic expressions of Pride! I am also working on a new painting that is inspired both by Pride, and the tragic shooting at The Pulse in Orlando. I am still reeling from that news, and trying to work it out. I am hurt, sad, and most of all - angry! I'd like to channel that anger in a positive manner.

So, what does "Pride" mean to me? Well, I'm a gay man. I have been openly gay since I was a teen-ager, and let me tell you, when I was a teen, I was the only one who was openly gay. In the 80's, you just didn't come out. Of course, I was kind of crazy, and even then I had stopped caring about what people thought about me, even though I also wanted to belong.

It's taken me a long time, but I realized I do not belong. I do not fit in. And that's okay. I don't have to be part of a group to enjoy meeting people. I feel blessed that I have all kinds of friends. I get can get along with just about anyone because I accept them as they are. I expect people to accept me as is.

I tend to think of myself as more of a comic geek than a gay man. Maybe I'm just a comic geek who happens to be gay. I love action figures, comics, reading books, watching tv and movies, and listening to music! I like being creative. It doesn't matter if I'm drawing, painting, taking photos, creating a dj mix, stringing beads, etc... I love it. Most importantly, I like myself and my own company. I'm an introvert, but I also like going out and seeing friends. My world can be small at times, and at other times it feels like I have the entire multiverse to explore.

Now go hug your friends and family. Tell them that you love them! And most importantly: accept them as they are. 

FYI: If you like my Pride design, it's available in my Zazzle store -

Monday, June 13, 2016

Let Love Win!

As I write this, I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the massacre at The Pulse in Orlando, FL on Sunday morning. I cannot properly articulate the incredible sadness, shock, horror, anger, and more that I feel as we learn more about the event.

It is now Monday, middle of the afternoon. I consider what happened to be both a hate crime and an act of terrorism. I encourage you to seek your news about this from a variety of sources, including ones you might not normally turn to.

Most of all, I encourage you to do what you can to help! How? Follow this link for a few ideas:

In the wake of this tragedy, we need to come together. It's time to set aside this culture of hate that's been allowed to grow in America. It's never okay to hate. It is okay to disagree with one another. In that disagreement, take time to listen to the other person. You may never agree, but you might learn something. Show some compassion for one another. We need that. We ALL need that.

We are all equal! We all deserve the same rights! 

Now that we've established that, let's learn to live together, and work together. Let's make sure no more acts of violence, hatred, and terror happen on American soil.  Let's love one another and celebrate both our differences and the things we have in common! 

Allow love into your heart!

Let love win!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Peterbrooke Chocolatier re-opening in Mandarin

Today, 11 June, is the Grand Opening Party for Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Mandarin! They've moved their location to the Publix shopping center on San Jose Blvd and Mandarin Road.

I arrived around noon to check out the new location. The outside was decorated with an arch of balloons, and the store was buzzing! While it wasn't crowded, the store was not empty either. They had a face painting station set up for the kids, and all the yummy treats out on display! In addition to fine chocolate, you can get ice cream and baked treats. A greeter was handing out bags with Peterbrooke's signature chocolate popcorn - a yummy treat that they are well known for!

Peterbrooke has been in Jacksonville since 1983, according to their web-site. I remember their location in the San Marco shopping center when I would go there as a teen-ager. There was a used bookstore that I bought comics from, so whenever I was at Grandma's house, I walked up to San Marco. I often got some chocolate from Peterbrooke, and I remember one of the co-owners liked comics, and he was always nice to me.

So, today, I picked up a couple of treats as well as my popcorn. I got a milk chocolate bar, which has to be my favourite treat from Peterbrooke. I also decided to try one of their pecan pie bars. YUM! I love pecan pie, so this was a no-brainer for me to get! The crust has a good snap to it, and the bar is sweet and gooey, just like your best pecan pie recipe! I will be returning for this treat again! Sadly, my budget was limited so those were the only treats I got today.

Peterbrooke has locations all over Jacksonville, as well as Orlando, Tallahasse, Atlanta and other cities. Check out their site at for locations, and more info about the shop and what they have to offer.