Comics Overload and a Splash of Retro

I finally got my main Atari 1040STE (“Jules”) set up with STiNG 1.26 (TCPIP stack) and CAB 2.8e (Crystal Atari Browser). Browsing the web on a computer that was created 10 years before the web was is a pretty rough experience. I expect the real endgame will be to realy get a decent two-way transfer system set up like FTP (SMB is not an option without considering MultiTOS or something like that). I’ve been slowly assembling a nice collection of popular and useful utilities, applications, and even a few games. The main focus, however, will be to use Jules to archive the large stack of in-box games I got last year.

I also ended up jailbreaking my Sony PS Vita 1000 handheld console and have been enjoying playing some games on it here and there.

Moving away from retro computers and on to retro comics (back issues), I’ve been on a bit of a tear with that too. I’ve been filling in some missing issues, but also tried my luck on buying three 30-issue random grab bags, of which I was quite surprised on what I got.

Comics added to collection:

Grab bag comics added to collection:

  • Alpha Flight, Vol. 1: 24, 32, 36, 37
  • Alpha Flight, Vol. 1 Annual: 2
  • Alpha Flight Special: 4
  • Cable, Vol. 1: 15, 84, 104, 105
  • Cable, Vol. 2: 12
  • Cable and X-Force: 1
  • D.P.7: 3, 5, 12
  • Darkhawk: 4
  • Deathlok, Vol. 2: 2, 4, 21
  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme: 25
  • ElfQuest: 22
  • The Eternals, Vol. 2: 7
  • Exiles, Vol. 1: 40, 78
  • Fear Itself: The Deep: 4
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: 2
  • G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Vol. 1: 1
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: 4, 5
  • Heroes Reborn, Vol. 1: 1/2
  • Heroes for Hire, Vol. 1: 1
  • The Infinity Crusade: 1
  • Infinity Wars: 1
  • The Irredeemable Ant-Man: 12
  • Ka-Zar, Vol. 4: 9
  • Mandrake the Magician: 1
  • Marvel Team-Up, Vol. 1: 99
  • M.O.D.O.K. Assassin: 2, 3
  • The Micronauts, Vol. 2: 7
  • The ‘Nam: 56, 58
  • The New Defenders: 150
  • The New Mutants, Vol. 1: 17, 20, 22
  • Nightmask: 1
  • Night Thrasher: Four Control: 1, 3, 4
  • Nova, Vol. 4: 12
  • The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Update ’89: 6
  • Poe Dameron: 28
  • Power Man and Iron Fist, Vol. 1: 71, 82, 107, 112
  • Powerless: 2, 6
  • PSI Force: 1
  • Sleepwalker: 14
  • Solo Avengers: 16
  • Spider-Man, Vol. 1: 57
  • Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse: 1
  • Spitfire and the Troubleshooters: 1
  • Star Wars, Vol. 2: 47, 48, 49, 53, 54
  • Star Wars, Vol. 3: 15
  • Star Wars: Age of Resistance: Rose Tico: 1
  • Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters: 3
  • Strikeforce: Morituri: 1
  • Terror, Inc., Vol. 1: 1, 2, 3
  • Thunderbolts, Vol. 1: 166, 168, 172
  • Ultimate Power: 1, 8, 9
  • War is Hell, Vol. 2: 1
  • Winter Guard: 1
  • Wonder Man, Vol. 2: 4, 14
  • Wonder Man, Vol. 2 Annual: 1
  • X-Calibre: 3
  • X-Force: Killshot: 1

The Consistency Challenge

For some time now, I’ve been aware that I have a problem staying consistent. This affects several areas of my life and, although not causing me and my family any real degree of pain, it is making the days that go by feel less and less fulfilling.

What am I lacking? What do I feel I could be doing better? Where is my time not being optimized? All of these questions (plus others) plague me from time to time. In the context of consistency, I’ve realized that I’m “floating” through a lot of things in my life. Again, this isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but it’s also not helping me obtain some goals.

And, yeah, I know, this is a retrospective of the year gone by, compiled during the last few days before a new year is upon us. Cliche, but the holidays are one of my most nostalgic times and with that comes the memories of how I used to do things, complete tasks, appreciate what I had, and altogether be happy.

The first, and biggest thing I need to get better at is my health. I’m very overweight, have a sedentary lifestyle, and don’t workout. Other than the normal aches and pains that accompany being almost 50 years old, I luckily have no major problems, so I feel lucky that, if I get my health under control, I may be able to ward off some bad things as I get older.

So, what am I going to do about this? I know I need to lose weight, monitor my caloric intake, and start moving. How am I going to do that exactly? I’m not entirely sure yet, but a plan is forming.

My time management skills have been for shit in recent years. Reading between the lines, I’ve been lazy about things. I think motivation is the problem, and my motivation comes from two things: being organized enough to know what needs to be done plus riding on the high of just having completed something recently. I’m starting to come up with a way to enumerate, detail, and execute my to-do list. I know I don’t have a lot of visitors on this site, but I may post a lot of these goals / tasks up here for accountability’s sake. The key will be the momentum, though. The more I get done, the more I’ll want to do.

Being creative and producing a cool thing has always been in my blood. And, like everyone, I have things in my head that need to be brought to fruition. That is about to start as well, as soon as I’m able to get my time management back under control.

All of the above things have led to inconsistent productivity, and ultimately, I feel like I’m not living up to my full potential. I’m starting on this today, and will do my best to post my progress up here (and to post less serious stuff too).

Comics added to collection:

Prepping for the 4th

I’ve been spending the weekend getting some minor projects around the house completed along with buying the groceries for our little July 4th party. There will only be eight of us for the day, but it should be a lot of fun. Along with food, we’ll likely play some board games, possibly watch a movie and play some video games. I’d guess there’ll be a lot of sitting around and talking too.

More DeLorean parts came in as well. I received Issues 156, 157, and 158 (which is the final issue). And there was also a surprise in the box: a movie poster for the documentary OUTATIME: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine.

Items Added to the Library

  • Movies:
  • Comics:
    • Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent Vol. 1 #4
    • The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 6 #27 (Legacy Vol. 1 #921)
    • The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 6 #28 (Legacy Vol. 1 #922)
    • The Avengers Vol. 9 (Legacy Vol. 1 #768)
    • Doctor Strange Vol. 6 #4 (Legacy Vol. 1 #430)
    • Dungeons & Dragons: Saturday Morning Adventures Vol. 1 #4
    • Fantastic Four Vol. 7 #8 (Legacy: Vol. 1 #701)
    • Scarlet Witch Vol. 1 Annual 1
    • Silver Surfer: Ghost Light Vol. 1 #5
    • Star Wars Vol. 3 #35
    • Superman Vol. 5 #5
    • Superman: Lost Vol. 1 #4
    • Thor Vol. 6 #35 (Legacy Vol. 1 #761)
    • Warlock: Rebirth Vol. 1 #3


A good friend of mine, Dale Lewis, has been going through a tough spell medically, so me and some friends are trying to raise some money to get him a mobility scooter through GoFundMe. Please take a moment to read Dale’s story and donate if you can. If you can’t donate, please help us spread the word. Thank you!

Over the past several months, I’ve gotten back into buying and reading comic books. One of the roadblocks that I had before was time. And that was two-fold as it takes time every week to get in the car, drive over to the local comic book store and pick up your subscriptions, then haul it all back home. As much as I want to support local businesses, I found that Midtown Comics in New York was able to ship out subscriptions monthly. So, I started getting my books through them and have had a great experience so far.

The other facet was having to find the time to read the books. I’m slowly getting better at this and hope to get caught up soon on all the books I’ve been buying over the past six months. I did get a chance to visit the local stores a bit in early May for the Free Comic Book Day event. While I did get several free books, I also took advantage of some sales that got me good discounts of trade paperbacks, back issues, and even a full set of 1990 Marvel Universe Series I cards, complete with holograms. Here’s a list of all of the cards in the set, and here’s a list of all of my comics.

Those of you who’ve been reading these blog entries over the past couple of years know that I’ve been building a model of the DeLorean from Back to the Future. The subscription service would allow you to build out the car with a new, weekly parts kit (that were actually delivered monthly, so you’d get four kits at a time). In total, there were 159 weekly parts kits (a.k.a. Issues) that, once complete, would not only give you the famous time machine model, but also a bunch of other great little extras.

Well, back in the summer of 2022, EagleMoss, the manufacturer and distributor of the kits, files for Administration in the UK, which is akin to filing for Bankruptcy in the US. The last kit/Issue I received was 154, leaving me five kits behind. Luckily, Fanhome (De Agostini Publishing) seems to have purchased EagleMoss since last year and recently they emailed me telling me I could complete my model. Today, kit/Issue 155 showed up. Can’t wait to finish everything off.

Issue No. 155 illustrates the parts needed to attach the 1885 time circuits to the hood of the DeLorean.
Issue No. 155 parts include straps, bands, and buckles to affix the 1885 time circuits to the hood of the DeLorean.

I’ve got a few minor projects to complete today, and afterward I’ll be working on getting my 3D printer up-and-running again.


Carl has been back in the groove of podcasting and he recently offered me a spot where I could write a short story and he’d read it. I’m publishing the story here today, but you can listen to it on The Carl King Podcast:

Part I

There was no way his eyes would adjust anymore. After standing in one spot for what seemed to be an eternity, Cantau realized that the darkness in the tunnel was all-consuming. It was surely created by magic, and he was confident that if he cast any spell now, it would dissipate instantly, and he would have wasted what little energy he had left.

He steadied his breathing. Even though he could see nothing, he closed his eyes to gain higher precision with his other senses. “Yes… there we go…” he thought to himself as he focused on the faint echo of slowly dripping water coming from ahead.

He took a step and his battle-beaten body reminded him of the fracture he had in his ankle. And even though he didn’t wince audibly, he was sure his face was showing the pain. Well, if anyone could see his face right now.

As he progressed down the tunnel, he withstood the urge to reach out to his side to feel the walls. He knew that the tunnel was made of damp, sometimes mossy stone by the way it felt under his boots. And by his own sounds lightly bouncing off the walls, he could tell there wasn’t a lot of room to maneuver. Maybe a meter to the left and right. Not ideal for drawing his sword, if it came to that.

“Ah, wait.” He stopped walking and his ears opened up. He was at a junction point. Left, right, and forward. He turned is face side-to-side and then down to the floor.

Cantau quickly realized that he could use this to his advantage and reached to his belt where he retrieved a sinched pouch. Yes, there was the Calzamite. He could feel how lumpy and crumbly it was even though the leather hide.

He stopped and strained his ears again. There were new sounds. Not close, and not loud, but there was something down these corridors. Scurrying sounds maybe? Definitely breathing.

He thrust his hand in the pouch and with his arm outstretched to the right, he pirouetted around while releasing the Calzamite. As it hit the ground, it started to emit a pale, ghostly blue light. And as he came back around to his initial position, he could see that the circle he just deposited perfectly touched each of the four corners of the intersection’s walls.

“Eel support-aunt-hey thigh-rye effort-oozium de zaal.” Quietly left his lips. And immediately the dim dust circle brightened by one hundred-fold, forcing Cantau to throw his forearm over his eyes and drop to one knee.

After a moment, he could feel that the protection spell had fully cast, and he was able to slowly peer out from behind his robed arm. The darkness had lifted, but his eyes took a moment to adjust.

But as soon as his sight returned, he wished it hadn’t. Outside the circle – to the left, right, ahead and back from where he had come, Cantau saw something he hoped to never see again in his life: Pure evil.

Part II

Evil stood all around him. The first thing Cantau noticed was how the boiled flesh was sliding off the infant’s arm onto both the cobble of the tunnel floor as well as the pus-engorged blacked, burnt flesh of a demon’s foot. Re-focusing, he looked up and saw It was Chol, one of the most powerful demons Cantau had ever fought. The putrid skin sloughed off his body regularly resulting a disgusting trail of carnage wherever he went. Body parts, skin and sinew dropped off the half-eaten baby Chol carried around,

A clicking sound caught Cantau’s attention and he tuned to see Tertex, the most successful of all of the Minotaur gladiators. The beast measured almost two and a half meters tall and was hunched over in the tunnel. Tertex held a one-meter wooden club in one hand and in the other, his prized Death Sticks. Even though he had never seen him fight in the stadiums, Cantau knew the power of those Sticks and feared them more than the man-bull.

Yet another corridor revealed a large, gelatinous object had filled the hallway from side-to-side and top-to-bottom. It was there, waiting to dissolve Cantau’s flesh, and probably his bones as well.

And from behind him, from the way in which he had come, Cantau heard a familiar chortle of a laugh. He turned and was surprised to see a familiar face.

“Three moons have past, Cantau. Three!” The anger in Pilmar’s voice grew. “I would have thought you’d have come back for me by now.” He posited while slowly bringing his hand up to touch the protection spell that encased Cantau in the middle of the dungeon intersection. As couple of small sparks jumped from it to Pilmar’s fingertips.

As the air lightly hummed of magic, Cantau spoke softly. “Pilmar… We had all presumed you dead. After that fall from that bridge, we went down into the crevasse, and searched until we were weary.”

“Weary!?” Pilmar burst out. “It took me three days to dig myself out of the rubble! Any magic I could conjure only lasted for a short time. Many bones were broken. I was frequently passing out due to the blood loss and pain not to mention all of my fingernails had ripped off from clawing through the boulders. I DO NOT want to hear about your weariness…” he trailed off as the features of his face twisted into utter rage.

Cantau could feel the danger rise in that instant. The creatures behind him were restless and they began to probe his arcane shield for weakness. Trying to calm Pilmar, he uttered a phrase that comes all too naturally from a cleric’s mouth.

“My friend, please. You must understand…” But he was not allowed to finish. Pilmar’s entire body grew by three or four inches as he leaned forward toward Cantau. And at that time, a red glow emanated from his hands. Pilmar raised one of them and began slowly, arduously forcing his hand into a fist.

The bluish sphere around Cantau jolted for a second and shrunk three inches. The force was so violent that it caused a slight tremor in the ground and Cantau fell to one knee. Small pebbles rained down on top of the shield and rolled down the sides to the ground.

“Friend!?” Pilmar’s voice boomed. “You are no longer a friend of mine. As I struggled to find you…”  Pilmar closed his fist more and the shield crushed down another few inches. “… as I struggled to rejoin my friends, the hate for all of you grew inside of me.” He crushed the bubble down more and the gelatinous being began to creep over the top whilst the demon laughed, punching the shield with the baby. The minotaur pushed his club into the magic as if a spear.

“And you see my NEW friends here.” Pilmar motioned with his free hand. “I need not worry about their loyalty beyond that of a few coin and some simple sorcery to fulfill their contracts.” Pilmar smiled as he closed his fist further. Cantau pushed upward against the ceiling of the bubble. “No!” The cleric uttered as he struggled against the shield. “Yes, my old friend. Yes. This is where you die.” Pilmar beamed as he closed his fist further.

Part III

The collapsing energy shield surged and Cantau could feel the cobblestone under his boots crush to pebbles. The heartbeat in his ears grew louder, and more sweat tumbled down his face.

A whisper and his free hand started to glow blue.

Pilmar’s face switched to worry as he noticed that Cantau had cast another incantation. Pilmar struggled to crush Cantau with his own protection shield.

The monsters all roared as the shield vibrated with their every hit. Cantau was pushed more toward the floor.

He reached down through the stone floor as if nothing was there. He pushed the arm deeper. To his wrist. Then, to his elbow. He stopped and jerked his arm up an inch or two, then with all of his might.

The cracks between the cobble began to glow yellow. At first it was gentle, but it quickly escalated into streaks of light. He tugged at his arm to release his wrist. The ground shook so violently that it threw the blob off the shield and the minotaur to the ground.

An ear-splitting roar thundered through the halls and everything went white.

At first, he saw and heard nothing; just white everywhere. Then appeared a washed-out visage of huge white and yellow arms ripping the demon Chol limb from limb at a supernatural speed. Roars erupted.

The quiet white returned. And another roar.

The white and yellow arms shot beams of white light. Such was the power that they evaporated the gelatinous foe.

Again, quiet. A view of the arms. A roar.

Tertex was crushed into a pulp, his eyes popped out and brains spilled to the floor.

Another moment of peace, quiet, and stark white came and went.

Before Cantau stood a Lesser God of Light. He strained to see the being, but all his eyes could see were blurred features, as if he were not meant to know its form.

Pilmar had been knocked to the ground. Cantau stood just a few feet from him, the same light emanated from his own flesh and from the god’s. With confidence, he dissolved the shield.

“Do not.” Cantau calmly said as Pilmar angrily began casting another spell. He chose not to heed the cleric’s words, and red mist enveloped his hand. In the old tongue, Cantau spoke to the god.

White light blinded them all. The arms of the god ripped into the wizard’s stomach tearing and removing his entrails. Pilmar screamed and colored light erupted from him as the arcane he once controlled, spilled out of him. Ribs cracked and splintered as the deity pulled each one to the side. Some of them separated from his spine with a crack. Pilmar’s body flopped against the wall. The god continued by forcing his fingers up though the soft skin under the human’s jaw.

A twist. Bone snapped and teeth popped out. Pilmar’s tongue wagged to the side.

A gurgle. The wizard’s eyes rolled back as he fell unconscious.

The god then reached through Pilmar’s lifeless body and tore out a length of spine. With that, Cantau knew that the deity’s usefulness had ended. A burst of magic, and it was swept away.

A soft glow of light still hung in the air as Cantau turned to the wizard’s body. He placed a silver medallion on the carcass.

“I am sorry, my friend. I truly am. Bless thee.” Cantau stood and blinked out of existence leaving the dungeon corridors pitch black once again.


Post-Ian, Pre-Dominican Republic

I figured I’d finally post up here to let everyone know we made it through hurricane Ian just fine. Since the storm shifted trajectory at the last minute, we dodged the majority of the winds and water. As a result, there was no damage to the house. The only mishap we had was that several trees in the preserve out back fell over in a domino effect, with the last tree landing in our back yard. Since we have nothing in the backyard, there was no damage to anything. The tree still needs to be removed, but since it originate from off-property, the CDD is expected to remove it. I reached out to them on October 9. I suspect it’ll be a little bit before they can make it around.

A view from the treeline.
The opposite view, from the lanai.
The trees covering the walkway in the preserve.

Carl flew out from L.A. on Oct 3rd to help his mom, who lives down in Venice. She was without power and water (she has well water and no electricity for the pump). He used my place as a sort-of base of operations for a week and went back to California on the 10th after her power and water came back.

This weekend was pretty busy getting small tasks done around the house. I’m back into using a detailed Excel spreadsheet to plan out blocks of my personal time, so several thing were able to get done. I also have gotten tired of way I feel and have decided to go back to Keto to lose weight and combat how terrible I bottom-out when I eat carbs. I’ve been good the last few days, but had some rice tonight with dinner. Back on track tomorrow. I intend on tracking weight up here publicly at some point, but I need more momentum first.

I bought and watched Clerks III today. I think those movies are a great little trilogy, but this third one really had me on an emotional rollercoaster. Hat’s off to Kevin Smith on a fun one!

Lastly, this week and next is shoring up nicely. Becasue of all the hard work during the hurricance, my boss is forcing me (oh shucks!) to take off Thursday and Friday this week. This is even with the knowledge that I’m off all next week as Cari and I and another couple travel to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. So, after I “clock out” on Wednesday, I’ll have eleven days off. The plan is to really relax in D.R. and reboot myself physically and mentally. I hope this makes up for the debacle that was Christmas time.

Waiting out the Storm

Ian just made landfall down in the Punta Gorda area. So far, all is good here except for some heavy wind gusts. Friends nearby, including us, have had some power flickers over the past couple of hours, so I think it’s inevitable we’ll lose power for a bit at some point.

I’m the blue dot.
Getting a little dirty out there.

The Ian Shuffle

Things are looking better for us with the storm. It has decided to shift and go more easterly which means it’ll make landfall about 200 miles south of us. Downside is that, since it’s been slowing down and soaking up so much warm water, there’s a good chance that it’ll turn into a Category 5 hurricane. Here are some of the latest diagrams.

We were able to get all of the storm shutters on the house yesterday. All outside items have been stowed in the garage. All hurricane prep-items are at the ready. Generator’s ready with 25 gals of extra fuel. All-in-all, we’re looking quite good.

Staring Down the Barrel

Oh, Florida life. I’ve been keeping my eye on Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ian the last couple of days and it’s not looking good.

This is forecasted to be strong with a lot of storm surge and rain. The house is out of a flood zone and we’re not in an evacuation zone, so I feel good about that. There’s a decent chance we’ll lose power, so tomorrow I have to focus on getting storm shutters up and gas for the generator. I’ll keep everyone updated here.

Meanwhile, congrats to the DART team!

And, oh yeah – Fuck Hurricane Ian for fucking up our view of Jupiter tonight.