Thursday, December 22, 2011
The oddest thing about this Bigfoot model kit from AMT is the Glow in the Dark feature. If Bigfoot really glowed in the dark those goobers on TV wouldn't have to use infrared film; they'd find him wandering around the woods at night easily. Or maybe just that little puddle glows and he doesn't.
The next oddest thing is the scale, 1/12. To know the scale of something you have to know the size of the original. Since no one has ever measured the elusive Bigfoot, we can't know if the size of the model is 1/12 the size of the original. If there is an original.
Also, note the human skull on the ground and leg bone in his fist. Maybe some of those Sasquatch hunters discovered a more formidable foe than they expected.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I had a few cars before this, but this is the first one I bought new. A 1972 Mercury Capri. It looked like the one pictured only mine was yellow. I think I bought it at the end of 1971. A few months later I lost my job and sold it. Well, not so much sold it as signed it over to someone willing to take over the payments. I think I made about $76 on the deal.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Here's a head scratcher. The Hogan's Heroes jeep was issued in 2003, in 1/25 scale from AMT/Ertl. This of course was long after the show was canceled and Bob Crane was murdered in a motel. The fact that there was no jeep in the TV show apparently didn't bother the makers of the kit, or that if there was Col. Klink wouldn't have allowed it to carry US national insignia. If you can't read the text on the vehicle it says, on the hood, "PRIVATE PROPERTY STALAG-13" On the side it says, "IF FOUND, RETURN TO COL. HOGAN."
Just as odd is the scale. Most WWII figures, vehicles, and accessories are made in 1/35 scale. Many car kits, however, are 1/24 or 1/25. So this kit is compatible with automobiles but not military materiel. I'm assuming someone had the mold for the jeep on hand and decided to merchandise it as a Hogan's Heroes tie in. The show was popular in reruns at the time. I believe there's also a M*A*S*H jeep kit and I know there's a M*A*S*H Swamp kit, so anything's possible.
You can purchase this kit right now on eBay for $22.50 + $8.67 S&H.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
I wanted to post this before midnight but got sidetracked. Anyway, in addition to Dec 5 being my baby's birthday it's also that of Lt. Gen. (brevet) George Armstrong Custer. Born on 12-5-1839 in New Rumley, Ohio, died 6-25-1876 on the banks of the Little Big Horn River. Flamboyant, controversial, fearless, and a man who inspired strong reactions during his lifetime and right up to the present.
Monday, December 05, 2011
The landmark 21st birthday has arrived for my baby girl, Kristine. What a talented, poised, lovely young woman she has become. We're very proud of her and love her dearly.
The lower photo was taken when she was 22 months old. The upper when she was 18. The guy is her fiance, Jacob.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I wish all of you a happy Thanksbuddy. May you have more than enough to eat and spend the day in convivial company.
This is also the first birthday of my granddaughter, Sofia. Hard to believe she's walking already and starting to talk. May this be the first of a hundred more, baby girl.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Ok, only Bill Crider asked, but he's pretty popular, isn't he? What he wanted to know was which books I bought in Tucson. Bear in mind I had very little room in my suitcase or there would have been more:
GUNS OF ARIZONA, by Charles N. Heckelmann. A Magnum Easy Eye edition. It's about cavalrymen and takes place in Arizona, so I couldn't resist.
FORT STARK, by Wade Everett. Cavalry, Apaches, and a fort. Also takes place in Arizona.
TWO PISTOLS SOUTH OF DEADWOOD, by Merle Costiner and NO MAN'S BRAND, by William Vance. An Ace Double, which I bought for the Constiner novel. I'll read the other, too.
SLOCUM AND THE LOST COMMAND (Slocum #331), by Jake Logan. More cavalry, and I may know the author of this one.
WARRIORS OF THE PLAINS, by Karl Lassiter. Historical novel based on Fort Bent and the fur trade days. I do know the author, albeit slightly.
LONGARM AND THE VANISHING VIRGINS (Longarm #245), by Tabor Evans. I do know this author and this shortens my list of his Longarms by one. There was another of his at the same store but I rejected it for a badly creased cover.
TRAGG'S CHOICE, by Clifton Adams. This has nothing to do with the police lieutenant from Perry Mason. I'm trying to amass as many Westerns by Adams as I can.
That's it. A cowboy shirt, some postcards, and two model kits found in thrift stores round out my souvenir shopping.
The pinup is here just because I like them.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Last night I returned from six days in Arizona. The purpose of the trip was to let my mother and granddaughter meet. I also spent a few hours with writer Steve Mertz, who's great company. We explored a brace of book and thrift stores and ate the only Mexican food I had down there. I also went to Tombstone again, despite forecasts of thundershowers. It rained all the way there and most of the way back, but we had a respite from the wetness most of the time we were in The Town Too Tough to Die. On the return leg we saw a van full of people stopped by a Border Patrol wagon and a cop car. It was dark so we couldn't see what transpired, but a good guess would be that they busted some illegals. Que lastima.
I've never had so much trouble finding my way around as I did in Marana, north of Tucson. Some highway department genius decided to mark the north-south freeway as east-west, and I was turned around the whole time I was there.
We couldn't find the motel when we arrived, tired and grouchy. The map directions from the computer were wrong and the Best Western we sought sold out to Comfort Inn a week earlier. There was no notification and no sign advising people of the change. The room wasn't bad, especially if you like train whistles throughout the night.
A family of javelinas lived by the motel and one evening they chased my daughter's fiance down the street. I wish I'd witnessed that.
Finally ate at a Golden Corral. *Gag, choke* Second worst chunk of steak I've ever had.
Finally ate at a Cracker Barrel. My advice: Avoid the chicken and dumplings. At all costs.
The weather was mild, with temps usually around the mid-70's. I went into a number of stores that had their heaters going during what was to them a cold snap.
It's good to be home.
Friday, November 04, 2011
At about 1:15 pm today the pair of blacktail deer pictured here wandered into my front yard. This past summer I showed a photo of a buck who was in the cul-de-sac where I live. Now, he and his mate have come onto the property. At one point the doe was right outside the kitchen window (located in the front of the house) to nibble on an evergreen. I was about 15 feet away, inside. You can't tell from the picture, but the one closest to the street is the male. He has a long spiked antler on the right and a forked antler on the left. My younger daughter took the picture on her phone/wayback machine. I also saw our local hummingbird twice this week after an absence of over a month. I love when this happens.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
I went to my usual haunt, The Emerald Queen Casino, today. I like to play Quick Hits, the slot game on which I've won jackpots of over $1700 and $1600 recently. I was having no luck with the machine on the right so I thought I'd move to the one on the left. To explain, there are four machines. Two on the right of the row and two on the left, with two Asian-themed games in between. So, I approach the one on the left and discovered a woman is playing both of them on that side. She asked me if I wanted to play and I said yes after a little hemming and hawing. She was down to 29 cents on one of them so she moved over and gave me that one. I had a few good spins, including one for $30 and one with five Quick Hits for a tad over $25. These are progressive machines and the pot for the Quick Hits grows as the machines are fed money. There's also a minimum amount with which each jackpot starts. For example, five Quick Hits is $15, Eight is $1500. I hit seven, which paid around $175. Not a great payout (someone else must have hit it recently for the payoff to be so low), but it was great to see the woman who'd turned the slot over to me seethe with envy. She was less than gracious when I thanked her for giving up the seat.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
A Masterpiece picture puzzle from Whitman Publishing. Titled "The Roundup," it has 204 pieces, measures 10 3/4 X 14 3/8 inches when completed, and is one of eight puzzles in this series (#102). There's a sticker on the side of the box that says "J.J.N.Co, 15 cents" It actually has the cent sign, but that's not available here, or if it is I have no idea how to create it. Anyway, the box this came in was pretty small and the colors on the box top didn't match the puzzle that well, which is not unusual. But I did have fun putting it together and the finished product displayed well. You can see by the photo that the pieces had some interesting shapes. I don't know when this puzzle was produced, but I'm guessing the 1950s. Degree of difficulty: Easy.
On another subject entirely, I'm not that happy with the contenders for the baseball World Series. They deserved to get there, but I'm in the position of rooting against one team rather than for one. So, Go Cards!
Friday, October 14, 2011
I had a lot of fun with this puzzle. The shapes of the pieces were interesting, the picture was neat, and the degree of difficulty was medium. Just the facts: A Guild puzzle by Whitman, 304 pieces, finished size 18 X 14 inches, and it says proudly all over the place that it's Machine Cut. The title is Two Friends. I started with the water and the cowboy, moved to the background, and finished with the horse. Best of all is the cover price, 29 cents. I can't even get them in a thrift store of that price now.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
All I can say about this one is that it was a killer. The pieces didn't interlock and every time I breathed too heavily they moved and separated. I started this one with the mountains, moved to the sky and smoke, then the horse in the center. The foreground came last. The maker is Milton Bradley, finished size is 16 X 20 inches, there are 500 pieces, and the title is "Forest Rangers in Action." It says there are 24 pictures in this series. What cracks me up is that is says right on the box "500 interlocking pieces." Maybe in the whole 24-piece set, but not this puzzle. Even a lot of the border pieces didn't interlock. In the early days of jigsaw puzzles it was common to have pieces abut without holding tight, and this is a classic example of that.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I bought this one on eBay. The shipper wrapped some packing paper around the box instead of protecting it inside of another box, so it arrived crushed on the top, bottom, and two sides. Since I like to keep the box in top shape I was bent out of shape and complained to the seller. He refunded the postage, which was nice, but I'd rather have had a box in good condition. It's the collector mentality in me.
The puzzle is called Whooping It Up, painting by John Leone. Maker is SunsOut, there are 550 pieces, and the image is 18 X 15.5 inches. Average difficulty, and a nice picture when it's finished.
The puzzle is called Whooping It Up, painting by John Leone. Maker is SunsOut, there are 550 pieces, and the image is 18 X 15.5 inches. Average difficulty, and a nice picture when it's finished.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Looks like this idiotic site cut me off for no reason yesterday, or maybe today. I'm not sure why. Something about "unusual activity," which is odd since I haven't posted in ten days.
So here's another puzzle. My technique for doing a jigsaw puzzle is probably the same as most people's. I study the picture on the box, then dump all the pieces into the box top--the part with the picture. Next I transfer the pieces to the box's bottom, sorting out the frame/edge pieces as I go. I also make sure every piece is face up. If there's a lot of sky I might put that into a freezer bag, but if it has sky plus an object on the horizon on it it goes into the box's bottom. Then I look for a good place to start building. For example, in the puzzle I'm showing here I separated out the red coat, the cooking pot's tripod, and the checkered shirt. I also set aside all of the colorful leaves on the right of the picture. Once I got all of those assemblies fairly complete I did the mountains and the heads of the men where they meet the sky. The sky followed, and lastly the forest floor in the foreground. You can also see the rug on my office floor under the edge of the table. I should have cropped this first. This puzzle is 750 pieces, made by CEACO, and measures 18 X 24 inches. The picture is titled "Sergeant Beaubien," painted by John Buxton, and is part of their Each Picture Tells a Story series. Here's what it says on the bottom of the box:
"This group of Rogers Rangers are on ground overlooking Lake George, New York, which stretches Northward behind them. Captain Robert Rogers' men scout deeply within enemy territory, supplying the latest intellegence of French activity, and their daring hit-and-run tactics not only delivered great annoyance to the enemy but also boosted English spirits.
"Experienced Ranger lieutenants are briefing several new cadets and a volunteer from the 42nd Highlanders, as to the basic rules outlined by Captain Rogers--rules still employed by Ranger forces today. Among the Ranger 'cadets' in the fall of 1756 is William Stark, brother of Ranger Captain John Stark, with his wolf/dog Sgt. Beaubien. At one point throughout their history, Stark entered the wolf/dog into the official Ranger muster roll to draw a sergeant's rations and pay. It has been said that Sgt. Beaubien dispatched his share of the enemy and was well deserving of his pay."
Friday, September 30, 2011
So, did anyone else win $1631.29 playing the slots today, or was it just me? Yep, I hit eight Quick Hit symbols and collected the above-named sum. This is the same game (but not the same machine) on which I won $1733 about 5-6 weeks ago.
There's a bit of a back story. I was on the machine next to this one and the lady playing the winning machine was doing all right. But she said she had to leave and I took over her machine. She came back a little later and took a slot and the end of the row--four machine away. You can imagine her chagrin when I hit the big money on the machine she'd abandoned. Also, I was in dire need to hit the latrine and almost walked off, but decided to play a little longer. And, BOOM! Jackpot.
I've been away from the blog for a while, but not vegetating completely. I've been to Portland and back, read a number of books, finished a batch of jigsaw puzzles, wasted time at the casino, took Molly to obedience class, and generally did all the usual lazy retiree activities. More when I get my pix ready.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
A puzzle that's also an ad for the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. I like the action, the Western trappings, and the composition. It also shows you could get the idea for the product across without a lot of flashing lights, blaring music, and those abominable flash cuts.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Another recent mania has been my attempts to buy Bachmann Birds of the World on eBay. These birds came out in kits from 1959-1960, and were a cross between plastic model kits and arts and crafts sets. The birds were created life sized and came with paints, brush, instructions, and a combination paint thinner/glue. I recall a day when my visiting cousin, Georgie, and I sat down at the dining room table and put ours together. I did a Goldfinch and he had a Scarlet Tanager. The kits were simple and straightforward. Anyone with a functioning brain could produce one, and the results were satisfying. What follows is a Wikipedia entry about them:
"During the 1960s Bachmann produced plastic models of animals (Animals of the World series, Birds of the World series, and Dogs of the World series) called Nature Craft Kits. They also produced their own Mini-planes, Slotcars, military models (with Fujimi) that include fighter planes, helicopters, and Tanks; and toy robots called "Toys of Tomorrow" (with Tomy).
Complete list of 22 Bachmann Birds of the World officially released to the public: Baltimore Oriole, Goldfinch, Bluebird, Scarlet Tanager, Woodpecker, Robin, Parakeet, Cardinal, Barn Swallow, Blue Jay, Canary, Painted Bunting, Hooded Warbler, Parrot, Hoopoe, Kinglet, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Bohemian Waxwing, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Screech Owl, Meadowlark, European Goldfinch. [Announced but never put into production: Evening Grosbeak, Pitta, Weaver Bird.]
Complete list of 11 Bachmann Dogs of the World officially released to the public: Collie, German Shepherd, Pointer, Wire-Haired Terrier, Poodle, Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, St. Bernard, Boxer, Dalmatian, Mongrel.
Complete list of 9 Bachmann Animals of the World officially released to the public: Squirrel Monkey, Giant Panda, Deer, Cow and Calf, Tiger, Lion, Zebra, Morgan Horse, Leopard."
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I've been buying jigsaw puzzles recently. I prefer Old West themes, or TV cowboys and the like. A recent acquisition was this studio shot of Buffalo Bill, Jr., and Calamity. The TV show BUFFALO BILL, JR ran from 1955-56. Here's what someone had to say about it on IMBD:
Gene Autry was in television in a major way during its early days. Not just as an actor on his own show, but his Flying A productions brought many other shows to television like Range Rider, Annie Oakley and this one Buffalo Bill, Jr.
The premise for this show involved a kinder, gentler Judge Roy Bean character, Judge Ben 'Fair and Square' Wiley played by Harry Cheshire. That moniker was always how he was addressed and referred to. Cheshire found the young adolescent Dick Jones roaming the Black Hills after an Indian massacre of a wagon train. The adolescent was carrying an infant girl who was to grow up to be Nancy Gilbert.
Wiley took them in and raised them and renamed them after those western icons Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane. Jones was most assuredly not the son of Bill Cody. But he certainly could ride and shoot.
From his earliest days Jones was a trick rider and all around western performer since his discovery by movie cowboy hero Hoot Gibson. He got into acting and kept real busy as a child actor, probably most famous as the Senate page in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Jones was in that tradition of Hollywood child stars who grew up and played callow youths until way beyond his actual years. Jones was 28 when he played Buffalo Bill, Jr. and his family name in the show was Bridger who was certainly another western icon.
As this was a kid's show young Jones had absolutely no contact with the opposite sex other than helping to raise his kid sister. The more sophisticated audience of today would not appreciate this film. Still it wasn't a bad series for the year it lasted.
Monday, August 15, 2011
My older girl said she dreamed last night that I'd win a jackpot at the casino today, on the dragon slot machine. I played a couple of them and won nothing. They don't have jackpots anyway, just bonuses. I ended up at a progressive slot called Quick Hits and POW, eight Quick Hit symbols came up. I won $1733.18. It took a good half hour to deal with all the paperwork connected to this win (I'll have to pay taxes next year), but it was nice to finally hit big. The attached photo was taken on my daughter's phone. I don't know if it'll be clear enough to see the winnng symbols, but it's the best I have. The Quick Hit is the one that looks like a red ball. Middle of the first column, etc.
I haven't blogged in a while so I thought I'd pop in to prove I'm still alive. I had jury duty from Aug 1 for two weeks. I reported on the first two days and was never called back. I could have been doing better things but I had to wait around each evening to call in and see if I had to go down there the next morning. Grrr. I used to love jury duty because it got me out of work, but now that I'm retired it's as much a pain for me as it is for most people.
Our Chihuahua has to get surgery Wednesday. They think a bad tooth is causing the constant leaking under his right eye. Poor little pup.
Last week we went to the zoo. This is me riding a camel named Dale. I'm not a humpback, I had to sit that way to maintain my balance. Lawrence of Suburbia.
I've been on a small eBay binge recently. I'll have more to say about that soon.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I spent the 20th thru the 26th in Las Vegas, playing slots at some of the better casinos on the southern strip. A few comments:
Don't stay at Harrah's. It's not a fleabag, but the rooms lack coffee makers (not that I drink the swill, but Linda does). The climate control was a joke. The hoydens in the next room were too loud. Okay, the latter could have happened anywhere, but thicker walls would have helped. The TV in the room was of low quality, too.
If you can walk along the strip for more than ten feet without some pimp trying to press a flyer for escorts in your hand, you beat my record.
If the street pimps aren't enough, the ones waiting in all the shopping areas and hotels add to one's annoyance. These aren't selling escorts, but show tickets or some other crap I didn't want.
It was hot. In the neighborhood of 106 every day.
Everyone lies. Every deal has fine print. The hotel's alleged airport shuttle doesn't exist.
The braised pork and eggplant I had at Ming's had less meat than a can of Campbell's pork and beans. Not a bad meal, but the menu was misleading. Linda's chicken dish had no chicken meat.
The buffet at Harrah's was mediocre.
Prices were high for most things. The only deals I got were from my rewards card, which made lunch at Toby Keith's just $15 and Ming's under $7.00, for two.
I had my first encounter with an airport body scanner leaving LV. You have to remove everything from your pockets--front and back--and hold them over your head while they flash you. Okay, not so bad. But then you have to go to another TSA idiot who looks through the items you had in your hand.
The art show at the Bellagio was a dissappointment. Small, and with a lot of artists I'd never heard of. Not that I keep up with artists, but all I knew were Monet (one small painting), and one Lichtenstein (IIRC. The guy who does op art with dots)
On the up side:
The toilet at Harrah's was great. It sucked overthing away in the blink of an eye.
Some of the casinos were works of art. Caesar's Palace, The Venetian, The Bellagio, and The MGM Grand were nice to visit.
The dancing water show at the Bellagio's pool was neat.
The lions at the MGM Grand were great.
The foot-long hot dog was tasty.
I hit some nice wins on the slots.
We got Lorna Doones on the airplane.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Go here for a cause near to my heart and one that ought to interest anyone who believes in freedom. It's not political and you don't have to pony up any money despite the pitch at the end. Make sure you play the video. I am NOT trying to rope you into a cult. Just the opposite; I want to warn you about the evils of one.
Monday, July 04, 2011
On the third day of action at Gettysburg, as Pickett's division attacked the federal center, confederate cavalry swept around the federal's right flank. Had they been successful they would have won the battle and we'd all be eating grits for Thanksgiving and whipping our slaves in America today. The charge was stopped by General George Armstrong Custer, although heavily outnumbered. By this day, the 4th, Marse Robert was heading back to Virginia in bitter defeat.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
What do the following phrases have in common?
Chomping at the bit.
Congressional Medal of Honor.
Over and out.
I could care less.
The answer is--they're all incorrect. Horses CHAMP at the bit. The word Congressional is not part of the MoH or its citation. In radio transmissions you say either over or out, never both. It's FEWER calories. If you could care less then you might care a lot. To show ultimate contempt or disinterest you should say I COULDN'T care less.
Now that you are armed with this knowledge I want you all to spread it throughout the world.
There's one other that drives me up a wall. In a Vonage commercial some over-excited twit says, "It's the white elephant in the room." Obviously the fools who wrote that line don't know what a white elephant is. And I'll bet they were high fiving each other mercilously when they came up with it.
On a positive note, the photo of the pretty girl is Doreen of the original Mouseketeers.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Yesterday, my wife told me there was a deer in our cul-de-sac. I walked outside and found a buck across the court, near the entry. He saw me but showed no fear. I talked quietly to him. He ambled onto the grassy area in the center of the cul-de-sac, into the yard of the house at the 12 o'clock position, and then to the yard of the house next to that. He nibbbled a few leafs and ambled towards the backyard of that place. As he was browsing in the grass my daughter drove up and I pointed him out. She pulled out her phone/camera/Swiss Army Knife and shot the accompanying photo. Around here we have blacktail deer, smaller than whitetails and muleys. This fellow had short antlers still wrapped in summer velvet.
My house is to the left of the brown one in the photo.
Yes, troopers, it's that day again when we pay homage to the brave men of the 7th Cavalry who fell on the field of honor on this date 135 years ago. And their foes who did them in, of course, the mainly Sioux and Cheyenne warriors who won the day but sealed their fate in doing so.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Another couple of pix from the post-Bouchercon gathering at Art Scott's. I see I was wearing contact lenses. Oh, to have thick hair and a thin waist as I did then, rather than the other way around.
The top photo shows (l-r): me, Steve Stilwell, Bill Crider.
The lower photo shows (l-r): Ron Harris, me, Steve Stilwell.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Molly is now four months old. The bundle of fuzz we brought home looks like a miniature German shepherd these days. She's 30 pounds of playful energy and a joy to watch grow. If you wondered where I've been lately, I've been watching her. She'll chew anything in the house--including the house--if we don't watch her constantly. I had her here in my office a couple of times but had to stop that when I found her with a paperback in her mouth. Luckily, I stopped her before she damaged it. But I'll be along soon and play catch up. Hasta lumbago!