Package full of Pride

When I got home yesterday, I found a package waiting for me. When I opened it, I found this fabulous scarf, a gift knitted by this awesome blogger.

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(My best Little Edie Impression: “This is the best thing to wear for today, you understand…”)

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I absolutely love it!!!! Thank you so much, FMBTMM!

 

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A Life in the Day

 

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Things have been quiet here, lately, so there hasn’t been much to share. It’s been bitter cold more often than not, and the darkness and cold just can’t compete with a roaring fire, warm cuddly dogs, and a mug of hot tea, cocoa, wine or beverage du jour, so our adventures have been few and far between. However, we have our first trip to Florida (Key West) coming up the second week of March, so the hiatus will be ending soon. Also, the local temperatures are starting to climb and we’ll be jumping from the 20s to the 60s this week, although I doubt that will last long.

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I took my official, final trip to the comic store for my last batch of new print comics 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been exploring the world of digital comics ever since.  I’m enjoying the reading experience, and the convenience of it all, but the lack of availability of the older comics I prefer (Golden and Silver age, 1940s – 1980s) means my older back-issue comic collecting will continue for the duration. While I don’t foresee swapping out my entire print collection for digital regardless of how much content eventually becomes available, (e.g. my Green Lantern Comic Collection) I am more likely to dispose of the newer comics that I can obtain digitally and access easily, thereby reducing my collection to a more manageable size. To that end, I am going to begin pouring through my collection – A to Z – and weeding out the “I can live without owning print versions of these” issues over the next year. Ideally, I will sell them and use the money to buy digital versions. We shall see.

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In an effort to combat my ever-increasing digestive discomfort and waist size, I have been trying to return to a healthier diet and getting back on the treadmill. It is always hard to get back into a proper diet and exercise routine, but if it were easy, everyone would do it.

 

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Work has continued to be a steady source of stress, but with 8 Years 2 Months and 26 days to go before I retire, I try to find ways to cope. There might (big might) be a promotion and raise in my future, but it remains to be seen if A.) it will happen; or B.) that will make things better or worse. If it does happen, at least I’ll be paid more to be stressed. Stay tuned.

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Last but not least, these 2 continue to make me smile and laugh and melt, day in and day out. There are days when they are the only thing that can coax a smile out of me, and their affection is rarely incapable of curing what ails me, or at least anesthetizing my physical or emotional pain.

And so it goes…

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Make Mine Marvel

I’m more of a DC Comics boy, at heart, but if Marvel Comics hadn’t retracted this from a recent issue of Marvel Two-in-One, they might have won me over:

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Digi-tally-ho

Something huge has taken place in my life. Something I never thought would happen…as of this week, I quit collecting comic books.

(Pause for a chorus of gasps.)

It’s true…sort of. As of this week, I am no longer purchasing print copies of current comic book series. I cancelled all my subscriptions at my local comic shop, a shop I have been going to for over 2 decades, and said good-bye to a weekly routine I have practiced for almost 30 years: driving [out of my way, I might add] to my local comic shop to pick up my stash of new comics, reading them the following weekend, cataloguing them, bagging and boarding them, and filing them snugly away in my now filled to the brim comic boxes.

What could have brought an end to my years of collecting habits?

Digitization.

Many moons ago, publishers started offering digital copies of their comic books for purchase and reading on computers, iPads, tablets, phones, Kindles, etc. Marvel Comics began including digital codes in their print comics that you could enter to receive a free digital version of the comic book you bought. I started entering the codes, downloaded a comic reading app, and read a few of the comics on-line. I even purchased a series on live and read it over the course of a few months as new issues came out, but the experience just didn’t appeal to me. I preferred my comics printed on paper, and preferred flipping pages with my hands as opposed to swiping my screen to move through pages. But then I started reading posts by a certain blogger who is a big fan of digital comics. After reading enough posts about them, I began to get curious once again and, about 2 weeks ago, I dusted off my old iPad, deleted all the other crap on it, downloaded the digital comic apps I use to purchase and read digital comics (Marvel, DC, and Comixology) and started entering the digital codes again from my comics and exploring the different digital comic apps content. Sadly, digital codes expire after a year, so I couldn’t go back and enter all the codes from my collection, just those from books less than a year old (boy do I regret not entering all those codes now.)

I don’t know  why, but this time around, I fell in love with digital comics almost instantly. I spent the weekend reading digital comics and adding my digital comic collection to my comic log spreadsheet (175, so far.)

Then I got to thinking how great it was to have all these comics at my fingertips, totally portable, no bags, no boards, no digging into boxes. No weekly runs to the comic shop, no more money for bags and boards (or more boxes as my collection grows.) Being able to buy the latest issue, or whatever issue I feel like reading, wherever I am, any time, day or night.

No fuss, no muss.

But I really struggled with actually putting the kibosh on my print comic subscriptions and saying sayonara to my  comic shop. A 31 year “habit” isn’t easy to break, especially going cold turkey, but my “pros” list just kept getting longer and there wasn’t a single item on my “cons” list. So, after about 24 hours of thoughtful consideration and a good night’s sleep…I pulled the plug on paper comics. I bagged and boarded the last of my sitting print copies and filed them away, then I e-mailed my comic shop and finalized the deed by canceling all my subscriptions.

I’m so excited.

Having said all that, I still have about 200 comics on my “need list”  that I want to buy to fill in my various (printed) series I’ve almost competed, so I’ll still be rummaging though back issue boxes in comic stores I come across in my travels. Also, I still have (and love) my collection of 1,030 book collection, which is comprised of:

  • 9,506 Comic Books
  • 401 Graphic Novels, Trade Paperbacks and Hardcovers
  • 49 Digest Size Comics
  • 76 Treasury Edition (Oversized) Comics

I may consider selling off some of it and buying digital versions with the money I make, but I’ll probably keep the bulk of them as print copies.

So this is what my old comic collecting habit entailed: A printed comic book, a backing board, a sleeve, and some scotch tape to tape the sleeve lip shut.

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But (mostly) NO MORE!

Here’s how I redeemed my free digital copies.

On the cover of many comics, you’ll see something like this, letting you know there’s a free digital version of the comic insider (or maybe even different comics all together – it varies) :

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Inside the comic, you find the page with the digital code:

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You peel off the sticker cover:

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Which reveals a digital code underneath (sorry folks, I’ve already redeemed this one):

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You take your handy digital reading device (in my case, an iPad):

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Then navigate to the website to enter the digital code:

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Now you have a digital version of our comic. In order to read it, just open the applicable digital comic book app on your device:

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Go to “My Comics”:

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Touch the image of the comic you just purchased/redeemed:

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Download the comic to whatever device you’re on:

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And begin reading:

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Soon, you’ll build a nice digital collection:

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So.

Freakin’.

Cool!

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Room Redo

My latest house project is complete. The guest room has gone from Green Lantern to Giraffe Chic. When we first bought the house 6 years ago, I was merely a comic geek and collector of all things Green Lantern, so our guest room became my Green Lantern Room. Since that time, however, I have developed a fascination for giraffes, and my collection grew quickly. Unfortunately, the two themes just didn’t work well together, so I had to make a choice. I though giraffes might be a little more pleasing to guests than the Green Lantern/superhero theme, so I chose to change the guest room to a Giraffe theme.

First I had to take down and pack up all of my superhero stuff (no easy task):

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Then I had to patch up the walls:

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Then I primed the room (the same day our new queen size sleep number bed arrived)

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Then I hired a family friend to do the final repaint:

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Finally, I redecorated in Giraffe motif:

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I had to use the lamps and curtains we had around the house, for now.  I have a bed skirt, new lamps and new curtains on the way. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

For those worried that I’m no longer a diehard comic geek, fret not. I plan to redo our basement and turn it into my comic book cave.

So, anyone know how to redo a basement?

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What I learned from Comic Books

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A voice of Reason

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Panther Placeholder

I have a couple of longer posts brewing in my head but I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t found time to sit and write. Please accept, as a placeholder, this picture of me in my new Black Panther Tee (a gift from a coworker who recently went to Disney World “and all I got was this cool T-Shirt.”)

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That’s what it’s all a-gout!

A few months ago, a developed a sudden bout of gout, for the first time, in my left foot. I had never had gout before, and had no warning. I went to bed feeling fine, and woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain in my left foot. Wearing a shoe really hurt and, by mid-day the next day, I could barely walk on it. I was fortunate to get in to see my doctor that afternoon, and he diagnosed me with gout. I was prescribed two Meds: one was a pain killer for joint pain, the other treated the gout. Within 24 hours, I was almost back to normal.

A few weeks later, while I was in Phoenix visiting my brother, the gout can’t back in the same foot. I contacted my doctor, and he sent an Rx for the same two Meds into a local Pharmacy. Again, I was feeling much better within 24 hours.

In the middle of the night last night, I had another sudden onset of gout (I assume,) this time in my left wrist. I woke up in pain, unable to get comfortable, no matter how I positioned my hand or arm. Fortunately, I had leftover pain Meds, which have helped mitigate the pain. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t use my left hand for anything, as any attempt to move it or lift anything resulted in pain. My only relief from pain was to avoid moving it or using it. So instead of doing any of the projects I had planned to do today, I have spent the day in a recliner, by the fire, watching episodes of Angel, Friends, and the Orville, napping off and on, as the painkillers cause drowsiness. I have a request into my pharmacy for the gout medicine refill, but it requires an Rx renewal from my doc. I assume my doc will want to see me first to assess my wrist and confirm it is gout. Since it appears I will be getting gout regularly (I have no idea why I’m getting it, all of the sudden) I think it’s time to discuss a more regular treatment or prevention measures. I have tomorrow off, but use of the pain Meds after tomorrow won’t be an option, because I wouldn’t be able to drive or be at work since the pain Meds make me drowsy. But without the pain Meds, my pain level is pretty high.

It’s a medical catch-22.

Sigh.

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It’s Cosmo’clock

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