Vehicular Manclutter

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Definitely not my car.

This week’s project is one I thought I would be doing last week, but I got my date wrong for a family gathering. This week I thought I was also racing against the rain but that didn’t happen. It was warm this week but not too bad. Still, I exhausted myself with this project. My car hasn’t been cleaned in years. Between unemployment and medical issues it hasn’t been a priority. This week I had the opening to make it happen so I washed down the car, vacuumed it out good with my dad’s shop vac, and then turned to the part of the project you care about, organizing the stuff inside.

I’ve never really had what you’d call a messy car. I only rarely travel with others, never let wrappers and stuff in my car, or any of that usual clutter one finds in your typical automobile mess. However I do keep stuff in it for convenience and safety, so this week the job was to see what I actually needed and better sort it through the various places to put stuff in a car and got rid of stuff I didn’t need. There wasn’t a lot of the latter since like I said I don’t keep a lot of junk in my car and I do have one of those garbage bags that hangs off the headrest of the front seat. The stuff I did have required a lot of resorting to better organize and maximize stuff. Combine this with the car washing and vacuuming and I was pretty beat by the end, but it was worth it!

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No Report This Week

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“Wanna race?”

Due to a family gathering I thought was next week and delays this week I didn’t get to do any clutter clearing this week. I’m hoping to tackle this week’s project next week depending on the weather. The image above is a hint as to what that project will be.

Book Report: Transformers Armada: The Battle Begins

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After the last book I read I wanted something short and lighter…and something that understood how to create chapter breaks. So for the recent Chapter By Chapter book review over at my other site I took a look at a book aimed for younger readers. I don’t know if I expected it to be this young when I bought it. This was something I would have picked up from the Weekly Reader’s Book Club as a kid. (My mom encouraged me to read.) That may be why I didn’t pick up the next book but I probably wish I did now.

Although I’ve reviewed some of the Transformers toys in my collection I really haven’t discussed Transformers Armada outside of my love of the Mini-Con figures, smaller Transformers that could connect to the larger Transformers, and my review of the last of the classic Mini-Cons, the Assault Team. I’m sure I’ll get to one of those boxes in the future, but here’s the important parts. In this toyline the Mini-Cons not only linked to larger Transformers but in toys specific to the line, some of the “active” hardpoints could also activate special gimmicks, usually an additional weapon but sometimes unlocking alterations to their robot or vehicular modes. My complaint was always that the Mini-Cons themselves could also serve as extra weapons, armor, or tools but unless they combined into a larger robot or weapon this was not acknowledged in the media. The book, by author Michael Teitelbaum and illustrated by Dreamwave Studios (so no credits on individual illustrations, which appeared once per chapter like many books for the 5-7 age group), is yet another take on the origin of the Autobots, Decepticons, and Mini-Cons in the Armada multiverse (Armada gets to have its own multiverse within the larger Transformers multiverse–it’s not really important to most of you out there) following the cartoon, the Dreamwave comics, and the UK comics.  So how is the book?

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Quick Report: Paper Project Complete

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I wanted to be more alliterative but I ran out of “P” words.

Just a quick update on this project. I finally finished off the stack of loose papers and records. While there are a few things I need to go over or put with other things I’ve cleared out what I need to for now, put into recycle what should go there, and shredded the rest. That’s one less project to deal with. Next week should be another book review and then I have my next cleaning project already planned. That will hopefully be a longer report as I feel like I’m doing a disservice to email and WordPress subscribers as well as returning readers doing three short reports like this in a row. Hopefully you got something out of this anyway.

Quick Report: Business Card Cutdown

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Tony Stark’s business card

Actually it isn’t but I forgot to take pictures. I usually do my clutter work on Saturdays but this Saturday was way too hot here in Connecticut, and the week wasn’t much better. If it gets hot in Connecticut it gets really hot in my attic living space. I did do something even if it wasn’t much. I had a stack of business cards from various conventions I went to, and I just went through them all. This required me to go to websites on the cards to see what I’d like to visit again, which I bookmarked or added to my RSS feed list, and what ones I didn’t (if they had a website, and some of the ones listed were long since down). Either way the business cards went into the recycle bin.

Now if this heat would go away I could get something done. Since I’m tired of sweating onto the keyboard, I’ll keep you updated next time.

Quick Report: Recycle, Shred, Keep

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The reason I’m not making a full-size report is two-fold. I’m writing this on Saturday and it’s my birthday, plus a lot of personal information is involved. It’s not a record organizing project but the papers I worked with do have info I don’t care to share on the internet. There are old bank statements, stuff I’ve collected from other situations, and this week I decided to go through a few of them and reorganize a drawer because I went hunting for something and couldn’t find it in the mess. Actually I couldn’t find it because I forgot what it looked like at first but shuffling through the mess said that I needed to get this done.

I set up three piles: one for papers that can just go in the recycle bin, one for papers that need to be shredded, and one for stuff I want to keep…at least initially. I have to further break down that pile, which I plan to do during the week. I’ll be continuing this process during at least this week if not more and I’ll keep you updated on my mission. When this is done hopefully there will be less papers, business cards, and other stuff around here for me to burrow through or to be found by less than reputable visitors (welcome and otherwise). This is one of those things that can get built up if you don’t take the time to do it, and when one is sick or otherwise distracted (me for the past few years on both counts) it’s time for a larger project. It’s one that has to be done. And frankly it looks better already. I just can’t show you.

Untranslated Manga Report: Mach Go Go Go remake

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This wasn’t your father’s Speed Racer.

Known in the US as Speed Racer X, this was a new version of the classic manga and anime series about auto racer Gō Mifune and his amazing race car, the Mach 5. It received wide popularity when brought to the US as Speed Racer and a resurgence when MTV reaired the original dubs. There have been two attempts to create an American spinoff, only one of which went past one season, a series of comics, the most influential being the NOW Comics run, and a recent live-action movie that had mixed reviews.

I had heard about the remake and some of the changes. Go’s new last name is Hibiki for some reason, Spritle’s counterpart is now the brother of Trixie’s counterpart, and Racer X (the only brother Speed keeps is the one thought dead) has a new outfit that’s something Batman or Gatchaman/G-Force would wear. Also no chimpanzee pet for the little boy. While the show didn’t have a comic in the US a two-volume manga for kids was created, and that’s what I ended up ordering. I’m pretty sure I knew this one was in Japanese but curiosity won out.

In deciding whether or not to add this to the manga I want to purge I have to figure out if this is something I can still enjoy despite not reading the language. The only English is Go’s name, the letters on the steering wheel that activates the car’s famous gadgets, and oddly a couple of computer displays when the “Safety Seven”is activated or when the engine overheats in one story. That means the art is really going to have to get the story across, or at least enough of it to enjoy reading. How does it do?

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Comic Organizing Mega Project: Manga Sorting

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Time for more with the project that doesn’t end. I have collected a lot of comics and some of that collection comes from Japan. I don’t just mean the translated stuff either. As noted in a previous report before the Mega Project began I ended up with these sometimes out of curiosity and sometimes because the solicit from the catalog failed to mention it was in Japanese. With so much manga being translated I didn’t always know what was and what wasn’t in English. I had considered translating this but the Japanese grammar system is so far removed from Western languages that it’s a lot more work than I care to do. I have other projects that interest me more.

However, as of this writing, the four listed in that report I still don’t know how to sell off. I tried eBay but there were no takers. Still, I decided to organize all my manga, translated or not, and move forward on the attempt with the others. I still need to look over the untranslated stuff and see if I can still follow the story enough to keep any of it. While I have collected some translated manga put into typical Western comic style I still have plenty in Japan’s usual digest form, just in my language. That I’ll go over as I do the rest of my comic collection, but first I need to sort it all alphabetically and by language. That was this week’s project.

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Light Maintenance Project

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Not every clutter maintenance project is some big thing. With things I had to do for my other site this weekend I did some light cleaning, like finally cleaning out and packing away my humidifier for the season and going through some papers. I hope to have something more exciting to talk about next week.

Book Report: Tom Clancy’s Op-Center

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When I used to work at a grocery store they had a spinner rack of books. Every now and then I would buy one because I love to read. This one it took me years to finally get to. I bought on the strength of the co-creator, Tom Clancy. I’ve heard all kinds of good things about his writing. He’s created books that were turned into movies and ideas that were turned into video games. He’s a pretty big name in storytelling. One of the books I picked up was Tom Clancy’s Op-Center, the first in the series, and later picked up a couple more as well as the first volume from a spin-off series, Net Force. I thought these would be interesting reads, even though I’m not usually into stories of political intrigue. I wish I had actually read this book before I bought the others.

It should be noted that various sources on the internet credited the author as Jeff Rovin, despite him only getting an assistance acknowledgement in the book itself. While the creators are credited as Clancy and Steve Pieczenik (his constant and rather controversial collaborator) there is no actual author listed on the book. If you want to see my chapter by chapter review of the book that I did for my other site, here you go. It will better explain why I didn’t enjoy reading this book but I will summarize my thoughts here.

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