No project this week

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Due to a family event I didn’t get any clutter cleaning in this week. I had hoped to pack away my remaining Mini-Cons to refresh my display, but I ran into a problem. Remember when I talked about my comics being all over the place? Well, this is true for my Transformers and my instructions. Near the end of my collecting this got disorganized as well. Even a few Mini-Cons aren’t with their package partner, meaning I have some hunting to do. But family comes first, which is how life should be. And I have another next weekend so we’ll see if I have a report or not for you next week. I can’t afford to many breaks to get this project…well close to finished, since maintaining the mess and collections is neverending…which is how I got into this mess in the first place. The mission continues.

Quick Project: Shredding Day!

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You can just barely see in the corner of the picture a cardboard box. Until yesterday this was part of my cleaning process. I had amassed a lot of bills and junk mail and after one of the cleaning project I put stuff in there to be shredded. And promptly forgot to bring them downstairs to be shredded. Over time it kind of piled up and while I was willing to bring a little down at a time, my dad said I should bring the whole thing down so we could go over it. This “quick” project took all afternoon.

However, that’s one pile of papers tossed out or shredded. Now the goal is to not let the pile get that high again. I should read the mail downstairs when I get it and toss out or shred where appropriate rather than bringing it upstairs to read later and never getting around to it. And that’s what I intend to do. I don’t want a pile like this again. Now I just have all of that other reading to do, and other projects to handle. Does this project ever end?

Opening More Closet Space

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First order of business: as of this writing I’ve started restructuring the “clutter for sale” page into a section. Currently I’ve moved the comics and toys to their own pages, and will be working to further clean things up and redo the main sale page to reflect it. I’m hoping to do that during the week.

Next up: So remember that record case my dad bought? Well, he moved all the records he had downstairs to the case, but there were more in the spare room closet, the room that is slowly becoming my multimedia studio. As we were pulling them out he saw all the other cases, most of which was more stuff my late mother had bought and forgot were up here (and at times so did I). My dad moved them elsewhere, where we will have to go over them someday. But now what do I do with that space?

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The Case For Analog Music Storage

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Old Congolese 78 rpm records, being the three ...

Old Congolese 78 rpm records, being the three on the lower left examples of Ngoma discs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tough title to come up with. Thanks to an allergy attack knocking me out for a few days (maybe I should wear a mask when I go out shopping until allergy season is over?) I didn’t get any of my own clutter clearing done. My dad got lucky though. On the aforementioned shopping trip we stopped in at a Goodwill store because he had store credit and needed to use it up before it expired. I got a nice jacket (I still need something more like a windbreaker but I haven’t worn it out yet so it might still be good) but my dad picked up something he’s been looking for since he picked up a new record player, namely a case to put their old records in.

My generation still had vinyl records but we were making the transition to cassette tapes as the 8-track was already looking for a replacement, while the generation after me made the transition to CDs. The current generation has gone from the CD to MP3s downloaded off the internet and it looks like physical media is on the decline…he said not having actually checked sales figures. Now you can get your music any way you want. Vinyl records are actually making a comeback. CDs are still being made, although cassette tapes have gone the way of the 8-track and VHS tapes. Recording on magnetic tape is pretty much dead folks. Now it’s digital (CDs and MP3/i-Tunes) and I don’t see the magnetic tape following records in the retro game.

So what does this have to do with clutter you may ask? Well, it got me thinking of all the ways there are to convert previous formats to digital. We have another record player that can be used to convert records to MP3s, and I can hook a decent cassette recorder to the computer via a headphone to microphone wire. (8-track is still out of luck. I don’t even think you can buy a new machine that plays those and we still have a bunch left that will never be listened to again.) And I was thinking “could someone think that they could convert all their old records and cassettes to MP3 and convert CD files to MP3 and just put them on their player of choice, usually a cell phone or SD card, and then get rid of them in favor of the less space-taking SD cards and flash drives?” and then I thought about why that would be a bad idea, at least as a clutter removal project.

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Book Report: The 1st Phase Shifters And The Omega Capsule

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Before I start, here’s an update on the latest phase of the Comic Organizing Mega-Project. All went well, I found the comic I wanted to, and now I just have the final integration to do as soon as I can get to it. Also I found a few comics I may want to pull from the oversized library because I already remember not liking them. So that’s a positive event. And now on to this week’s book review.

Over at BW Media Spotlight I just finished a “Chapter By Chapter” review of The 1st Phase Shifters And The Omega Capsule, the first of thus far two books by Theresa Broderick. It wasn’t an easy review, because Broderick also happens to be my mother’s cousin, so I had to be respectful since she’s pretty much family but still give a fair but honest review of the book. If you want to know my thoughts during the 17 chapter reading session (although on a few occasions I actually combined chapters) here you go. This is an overview of the book and what I thought of it.

The book must have a fan base. The first book, which is out of print as of this review, goes for surprisingly high prices on Amazon. Barnes & Noble, and eBay where you can expect to spend around $100-$500 for it. The second book is also out of print according to Amazon. That’s not bad for a young reader’s book. At least I think that’s what it is, since Broderick is known for writing children’s books before writing this one and the chapters are rather short. That doesn’t stop the story from being good. I can enjoy a shorter book just as easily as a longer book. It just takes less time. But was that the case here?

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Comic Organizing Mega-Project: Phase 4ish

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I was trying to figure out what project I wanted to do this week, but it came rather late. And it came by necessity since I have a few comics I need to find from the Marvel and DC set for my daily comic reviews over at BW Media Spotlight. This project won’t start until Tuesday and with only four drawers and a few loose ones to go through, unlike the more massive work of the last phase, I expect to be done sooner than last time. But if I’m going to start looking for work I need to get this going.

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Three Quick Projects

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So this is what I was going to do this week. The last time I worked on that corner of the closet I had fixed it up pretty well. It’s gotten slightly worse since then even though I don’t toss things back there like I used to. Still, it needed a revisit project…or so I thought. When I actually started I only had to worry about one thing. Not much of a project so I figured why not tackle a few minor projects that still needed a little time to devote to it. So that was this week’s projects.

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Comic Report: Batman: Digital Justice

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I went out for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday and grocery shopping earlier in the week. So I didn’t get a chance to do any clutter clearing. I do know what next week’s project will be, and it’s another revisit. It’s not one of the usual clutter magnets but it is one I need to work on again. In the meantime I get to swipe from my other website (it’s okay to steal from yourself, right?), and the Scanning My Collection series over at BW Media Spotlight, where I recently looked at a Batman graphic novel that gets little attention in the comics world. Enjoy.

Scanning My Collection logo

The world is an ever-changing place. Some are good and some are bad. Thus is the way of things. For example, I was a kid when video games became popular and we even had an arcade in walking distance (at a time when parents didn’t freak if their kid left the yard…if they’re even that “brave”). I was a kid when home video game consoles were first being sold in stores, from the Odyssey II to the Atari 2600. I was a kid when home computers were first marketed to homes. My cousin had a Commodore Vic 20, my friend had the same kind of TRS-80 that was in the corner of our homeroom in school, and my dad eventually bought an Atari 800 where my mom schooled us in Ms. Pac-Man.

This morning I took a walk since it’s good for my recovery and it’s unusually warm today. (It should be back to normal by the weekend.) In a case strapped to my belt was a device that was more powerful than all of those machines, can do everything those old machines can do and more, and was thinner than the manual for any of those devices. We are all now more connected than ever thanks to data plans, wi-fi, texting, and that rare moment someone actually makes a phone call. I still remember one day when I walked past someone talking to a friend on her cell phone in the days before smart phones, walked a little ways down and saw her friend as they were trying to find each other. (Of course I pointed her in the right direction. It still makes me laugh.) But in the days when the internet was just starting to exist and required a separate service that would tie up your telephone, people were still worried about what this brave new world would be like. Some people are afraid of it now as there are those who are more than willing to cause you harm in one form or another for their own benefit and amusement.

1990’s Batman: Digital Justice is a combination of Tron and Blade Runner, a predecessor or early contemporary of the rising “cyberpunk” movement of science fiction, where man and machine fought for control. And technology even played a part in its creation. While characters are drawn on the computer (long before programs were actually designed to make comics on the computer), 3D modelling was used for backgrounds and other imagery. It followed on the heels of Marvel’s gimmick of using a computer to create a comic, 1987’s Iron Man: Crash. While I have never read that comic, this one is more Tron that what I’ve read about it, while set in a computer-controlled Gotham City. But does Digital Justice go beyond the gimmick? Yes…until things get weird.

batman-digital-justice

“Darn static electricity. Why did I buy this carpet?”

Batman: Digital Justice

DC Comics (1990)

WRITER/ARTIST: Pepe Moreno

DIALOG: Doug Murray

ADDITIONAL DESIGN: Javier Romero

ART ASSISTANT: Bob Fingerman

PRE-PRESS: Anaya Systems

ANAYA PROGRAMMER: Vincete Sosa

The closest I could come to finding a computer drawing program called Anaya was a plug-in for Photoshop whose website hasn’t been updated since 2008. I know he made this on a Mac II. Computer geeks would find the full stats interesting, but there are better computer programs released for free now while most of the comic creators I know split between Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint (formerly under the more fitting name Manga Studio). But you’re here for a comic review, not a computer/art geek lesson.

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Transformer Report: RID 1 Megatron (Car Robots Devil Gigatron)

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It’s time for the last of the leadership from the original Robots In Disguise Transformers line. (I didn’t get Sky-Byte because, fun as the character is, I hated the Transmetal II Cybershark figure from Beast Wars whose mold Car Robots used for his counterpart, Gelshark. Instead we’re looking at Gigatron, or rather his Hasbro incarnation, the third character to be called Megatron (the first outside of G1 continuity and no I don’t care what controversies are going on in the fandom–I read it and it doesn’t matter to this discussion so don’t bother!).

What separates this Megatron apart is that he has multiple modes. In addition to robot mode he has numerous modes added in, and because Hasbro used the later “Devil Gigatron” mold (saved time using the same mode for both Megatron and his suped-up “Galvatron” state) this figure can do those extra modes as well. Because apparently six modes wasn’t enough. While they were left out of the Megatron instructions a scan for the Galvatron instructions reveals the other modes and how to form them. So while I will spend time on the robot mode, I’m going to breeze through the alt modes or you’ll be here all day. I, however, WILL be here all day because I have to transform and photograph all those modes.

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Transformer Report: RID 1 Scourge

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Scourge (Transformers)

Scourge (Transformers) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For whatever reason Takara loved making evil versions of Optimus Prime around the time of Car Robots. So we got Black Convoy, who in-story was an Autobot protoform (ask a Transformers fans) who was merged with Gigatron’s spark and Fire Convoy’s design. The toy was actually a redeco of Optimus Prime…from the Generation Two line. Laser Optimus Prime had a light-up gimmick removed from Black Convoy as well as Scourge, the name used for the original Robots In Disguise line by Hasbro. For whatever reason, Scourge was a Toys R Us exclusive figure because none of the other stores wanted to sell him if memory serves. He’s an evil Optimus Prime from when G2 started to finally improve on Transformer articulation, so I don’t understand why. Especially since they did sell the Decepticon combiner team that was redecos of old Generation ONE figures with terrible articulation. I mean, what the heck guys?

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