Monday, November 30, 2009

Political talking dolls

Head on over to Talking and check out all the political dolls they sell. There is also a Dennis Miller doll as well as a Kinky Friedman doll and many Presidental Dolls.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So how's the roofing going?

So if you remember, I am getting a new roof. I went with Millennium Roofing and my field Representative is Ted Webb. So far the whole process has been like trying to buy a car. I got the main house roof replaced but I feel the work is sub par. There are still broken boards clearly visible in the attic, some of the shingles appear to have been laid to close together causing them to bow up, the siding has still not been replaced, I had to fight with them about the ridge vent, the shed still needs done, & we haven't even gotten to the work on the inside of the house yet. There is little or no communication from Ted & I have no idea when they are supposed to finish. I emailed Ted today & I received a call from someone speaking for Thomas in broken English who said they were from Millennium but sounded like they were 12. What I got from the conversation is that they wanted to know when they could finish. Funny, as of Friday, Ted said they would come out Monday. Now it's Tuesday & they are calling me? This is getting really irritating. Ted said he'd bring me my receipt for the $4007.99 that I handed him on Thursday for the work they started Friday but now, on Tuesday he has yet to bring it by. I have a bad feeling about this. I did copy the checks before I cashed them & have all my bank receipts. What have I learned from all of this? Never go with a company that says they will help you with the insurance or seem eager to cover everything for you based on what insurance money you get. Never even let the company you go with know what insurance company you are with or how much you are getting. Make absolutely sure you don't mention that you have replacement coverage. Get a detailed estimate, figure out all the costs beforehand, make them go into the attic with you & watch them like a hawk when they start putting the new roof on. Whatever you do, do NOT sign a contract until you have everything down to how many nails they use per shingle, what kind of shingles, etc, and a total cost of replacement & repairs. The insurance company will cut you a check before the work starts, so you don't need to worry about any up front money. The estimate should let you know exactly how much money it is going to cost you & when you get your insurance money then you will be able to go with the estimate & roofer that best suits your needs. Many of these roofers tell you they will work out the insurance for you, but that is really just their way of making sure they get all of your insurance money & they make more profit. Do not let them handle the insurance for you. If you get the estimates, work out the costs, & keep all the insurance stuff to yourself, you may end up a little ahead of the game. They will push, like a car salesman will push to find out how much you can pay per month as opposed to letting you know the full price of the car. This is how they make more money. All in all this has been a real pain in the ass, and I wish I would have known all of this beforehand, but at least I've learned & seem to have a roof that is way better than the one that was on there. Still, if you are looking for a roofer, Millennium would not be my first choice. Then again, I've got coworkers & friends that say Big Sky messed up their chimney & Affordable Roofing sucks. In Oklahoma getting honest work done by honest contractors is nearly impossible.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Star Wars Illuminating Stained Glass

Above is an illuminating Stained Glass piece celebrating the original Star Wars movies brought to you by the Bradford Exchange. 5 installments of $33.99 will deliver this nearly two foot wide collectible to your home. I've got to tell you, this would look pretty awesome behind my couch. Want to check it out for yourself? Click here.

Star Wars Hawthorne Village

So in the same vein as the Hamilton Collection or many of the Time Life collections of the past comes the Star Wars Hawthorne Village collections. You pay a certain subscription price & eventually you own the entire Star Wars galaxy recreated in miniature. They illuminate & come with miniature figures from the movies. For three "easy" installments of $19.98 you can get started with the Mos Eisley Cantina. And I thought it was all over in 1983. Hahaha. My checkbook is never going to recover.
Click here for Star Wars Village

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blade II Figure

Sideshow Collectibles & Hot Toys have done it again with this amazing sculpt from Blade II. The details are amazing & the figure comes with tons of accessories. There are sunglasses, shoulder Holster, Two (2) foldable glaives, Two (2) extendable hand armors, Sword with scabbard, Interchangeable sword handle with blades, Five (5) stakes, Two (2) UV Bombs, Machine Gun, Two (2) Handguns, & Four (4) sets of interchangeable gloved hands.

The figure has 32 points of articulation making sure you get just the pose you want. The costume has been made film-accurate as well. If you are a big Blade fan this is a must have. The figure is on Pre-sale now at Sideshow Collectibles & carries a price tag of $159.99. It may seem a little steep, but if past Sideshow 12" figures are any indication, it will only increase in value as time passes. These generally sell out fast, so if you want it, I suggest you hop on over to the site & secure your pre-order now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Cat Clock

I've always loved the kit cat clock. You know, the clock that hangs on the wall in the background of so many movie walls & TV show houses. It's even made appearances in cartoon shows & anime. The kit cat clock is a classic. Now, NJ Croce has created a classic style animated cat clock using a classic cartoon icon, Felix the Cat. Entertainment Earth has them for $39.99 + S&H here.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Why I HATED the G.I. Joe movie, part 2.

Okay, so far in the last post I hit on my main problems. Be reminded, if you still want to watch this horrible atrocity there are spoilers ahead. Now, on to more of why this movie is just a giant pile of FAIL. The entire plot was centered around Duke & Baroness & their relationship. Destro & his weapons building company & revenge were the second main story going on. I thought the idea behind Destro & the Mask were acceptable & going somewhere until the end where Destro is pumped full of the same gunk as everyone else, which happens to be nano-machines that can apparently do absolutely anything you could ever possibly imagine, and the nano-machines make his head a metallic silver. Cobra Commander does this to him as almost a punishment. Speaking of Cobra Commander...ahahahaha. That is about all I can say. I can not even begin to explain how incredibly stupid this character was. Remember how Cobra Commander in the cartoon always made you kinda chuckle 'cause he was so whiny & silly? The movie Cobra Commander makes the cartoon Cobra Commander look like Osama Bin Laden. Back to plot though. The third main plot was Ripcord's continuous tries at getting into Scarlett's pants. Seriously. The fourth main plot, oh yes, there's more, was Duke & Ripcord trying to prove they were good enough to be in G.I. Joe. The technology in the movie was way over the top and ultimately silly. The Serpento storyline in the cartoon, one of the cheesiest, was way more believable than anything in this movie. I realize that it is indeed a movie and things can be portrayed as fantastic in a movie sometimes, but when a storyline is grounded in reality (the military, USA vs. Terrorism, special forces) there are lines you can't cross. G.I. Joe was never meant to be science fiction. It was meant to sell toys and encourage youth to want to grow up & join the military. Just watching G.I. Joe as a kid made me want to grow up to be a Marine & then get selected by a special ops group because of my superior spy or ninja skills. Once I got older I realized there really isn't a special group that fights for freedom, only groups that fight for money & that the Marines don't particularly care for women. Just look at the rape statistics in the Marines. The G.I. Joe movie however made the US military seem laughable. What about Storm Shadow & Snake Eyes you ask? Eh. That's about all I have to say. Eh. Costumes were cool, fighting was good, but in the end really, just eh. They didn't use the characters properly & they were never very important in any of the ongoing plots. Oh, one more thing, then I will shut up about how much I hate this movie. I have never seen a movie with more flashback scenes. I swear, every 15 minutes somebody was flashing back. Save your money and your time and skip this sad excuse for a film.

Why I HATED the G.I. Joe movie

The G.I. Joe cartoon came out when I was an impressionable youngster between 8 and my teens. My brother & I used to watch it religiously. We bought the action figures and had an agreement between each other when we did. He got all the Joes & I got all the Cobras. Together we amassed quite a collection. The things I loved about the cartoon where that for one, all the Joes seemed to have their own special uniqueness. Each member had a skill that no one in the world was better at. There were also many kick ass chicks. Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Cover Girl, Baroness, Zarana, Jinx...and more. What other animated show or non-animated for that matter included so many awesome female characters? These chicks held their own! I loved how, even tho' they were a military unit, their distinct personalities stood out. The diversity of the individuals is what made the team so strong. Cobra was the same way. They were a terrorist organization full of distinct individuals but there was a difference. The were not praised for their diversity. Many times they were laughed at or made fun of because of it. They were bullied. They were also individuals who were follows instead of leaders. That's what I always got from this silly little cartoon show from the 80's. Now, let's fast forward to 2009 and the so called G.I. Joe movie. First off, there are no similarities between the 80's cartoon and the movie except for character names. Who are these people? Second, (don't read any further if you plan on renting this piece of crap, 'cause there's spoilers ahead) Scarlett is portrayed as bad ass only because she doesn't allow emotion to be part of her person. That's right, women are too emotional to make great soldiers, so the only way Scarlett is such an awesome soldier is that she suppresses all her emotion. WHAT!? Third, the Baroness is not Russian & has no accent & really isn't evil. She is in fact mad at Duke her Fiance` for not comforting her after her brother is killed by a military jet strike gone wrong. Duke was supposed to protect her brother in battle & because he failed he can't face her in her greatest time of need. Seriously? Cobra gets a hold of her, pumps some memory crap into her & "ta-da!" she's bad. Now in the cartoon, Duke always came off as an old fashioned fellow. He was quiet & polite & got the job done. The Duke in the movie, close for about 5 minutes, but not going to comfort his woman in her time of need, very unDuke like. Not to mention stupid plot device. Fourth, (there are still spoilers so be warned), Cobra Commander is Baroness brother that Duke failed to protect. Is he evil because of Duke's failure? No. He is evil because he is a scientist. I am not kidding. He's the one that kidnaps his sister & pumps the crap into her to make her do his bidding to get back at Duke for not saving him, but the main underlying reason we are given for him being evil is that he is a scientist. So the youngest kid in the movie with the least character development is Cobra Commander. OMG...stupid. Fifth, you could see everything coming a mile and a half away. There were no surprises, no OMG moments except when you were expected to suspend disbelief every ten minutes & you found yourself saying "OMG...for real? This is stupid.". Next, Zartan. Zartan is such a cool character in the cartoon & comic. He is a master of disguises and an expert in cosmetics. Seeing him transform using just the stuff in his metal briefcase was always pretty cool. In the movie? They just pump him full of the same stuff they pump everyone else full of which gives him the ability to alter his appearance by just thinking about it. His bones break & crackle and he screams as he turns into an exact replica of whoever. Ugh. I liked him better as a genius at make-up art. (to be cont.)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

My first insurance claim

So, finally I have a roofer. The one to get out to the house & most willing to meet with me at a time convenient for me was Millennium Roofing. They helped explain things & came out when the insurance adjuster came out to make sure he didn't skimp on anything. The actual owners came out as well. I asked them how many nails they use per shingle & Ted, the "recon" guy answered 6, which was the answer I was looking for. We talked about ridge vents & turbines & I felt satisfied. Now the whole process with the insurance & the roofing company was very circus-like, but I think I will have a new roof within a couple weeks. Hopefully next week. There were times when I had to ask things to to make sure I was clear on the process, but all & all these guys were very polite and professional. They even put my neighbors trash in her dumpster for her so she wouldn't have to go through her gate. Step one accomplished. Cross your fingers everything goes smoothly & that when all is said & done, I will have a new awesome roof & be out $0.00. If you want to know who not to go with I will tell you this, Affordable Roofing did no shows on me twice. They seemed to have no interest at all in coming out & giving me an estimate. TRS took two days just to call me back & by that time I had already decided on Millennium. Big Sky came out immediately & were very nice, but I would have had to come up with some dough for them. Still, part of me is worried I missed something & am going to have to come up with cash before this is all over. We'll see. Hopefully though, everything will turn out great. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Great watercolorist

So Sarah Larnach does some great watercolor work. Right now she does album covers & art for the band Ladyhawke. She started a blog. Go check it out here.