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.

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.

It’s February Already?!?

Wow. I just looked and saw that it’s been about three months since I posted last. I guess a quick recap is in order of what transpired during that time.

Thanksgiving was great. I took off from December 18 through January 2 to relax and get some projects around the house done, however I was mostly bedridden that entire time as I threw out my back on the FIRST DAY off. As a result of that, and that the girls were out of state for Christmas, Cari and I did very little and postponed Christmas day for a couple of weeks. Last week I got a little bit of the flu. That’s about it.

I finally received my Bobcat Helium coin miner that I ordered in June of 2021. It’s up-and-running, but is mining slowly. I intend on replacing the stock 4 dBi antenna with an all-weather 8 dBi one that I’ll mount to the side of the house. I’m currently working on adding some movies to the library. I plan on also working on the DeLorean today, so there should be some updates on that coming soon.

A Needed Break

I took Thursday and Friday off this past week to have a long, four-day weekend. And for the first time in quite a while, I went into this break with very little planned. Resting, consuming entertainment, and generally clearing my mind were the top priorities. So as I write this in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, I feel like this was a successful break.

But, that doesn’t mean that I did nothing. As we slide into the cooler fall weather, I’ve had a hankerin’ for some goulash the last few weeks. It had been so long since I made it, I dug around the internet to find a recipe, and stumbled across this one (original link at the bottom of the page). I made a double batch and have been eating it every day.

I did a couple of small projects around the house too. I fixed a broken vertical blind blade and re-hung it, I also hung up two wrought iron art pieces in our bedroom. And this morning I trimmed the palm tree and the two oak trees in the front yard.

And, of course I spent some time assembling the DeLorean. I was able to get caught up with Issues 111 thru 118, which all deal with the nuclear reactor on the back of the car. Here are some photos.

The nuclear reactor plate assembled with parts from Issues 111 thru 118.
A close-up of the reactor. Mr. Fusion will eventually sit on top of the clear disc.
A view from the opposite side showing the wiring, hoses, and miscellaneous reactor parts.
The reactor plate sitting on the car.
Another close-up of the reactor plate sitting on the car.

The rest of the day will be devoted to doing some testing on the 3D printer.

TinyTV and Weekend Plans

Cari is away in Miami for the weekend and I have a bunch of little household projects I want to complete.

Out in the yard, I need to replace the old garden hoses and sprayers, pull some weeds, apply lawn fertilizer, and trim the palm tree and Bird of Paradise in the front yard.

In the garage, I have a few tool holders to hang and need to recycle some old rotors and a car battery.

Inside there are some pieces of iron artwork I need to hang, as well as some normal chores such as laundry.

And, if I can get all of those things done, I have some work to do on the DeLorean and some more organization to do in the office.

I recently saw a YouTube video from Norman Chan of reviewing the TinyTV from TinyCircuits. Instantly, I needed (and ordered) one. It arrived a few days ago and I spent some time painting it and putting it together. Here’s a quick video.

And some before and after pictures:

This is the printed “case” right out of the box.
The front. Painted and assembled.
The back.
With the remote.

Storage and More

As noted before, I got the new boxes in for my nerd collectables et al. And today I’ve transferred everything into them. Behold.

The box.
The main collectibles box.
The second storage box has a bunch of lanyards, badges, and materials from cons.

This last image shows the new boxes in one of the cupboards (top right). I pulled everything out of here today and re-organized it all. I don’t have a “before” picture, but this is actually a lot better. Still not done, though. More organizing to come.

And, lastly, here’s a quick view of the state of the DeLorean.

Slinking Along

A few days of extended work hours at the day job has messed up my schedule a bit. I wasn’t able to get as many things accomplished as I had hoped, but I did make some progress. We’re back on track now, though.

I’m writing a small import utility in PowerShell with a XAML UI. The software ingests Excel files and adds entries to a database. I’m running into an odd roadblock today where the specific Commandlet that performs the import is not able to properly latch into the Excel file and read its data. I need to get this tool ready before tomorrow, so this issue is really slowing me down. I’ll be in the day job’s office all day tomorrow, so my weekend won’t see many more personal projects completed.

The wooden boxes for my geeky collection of items have arrived and they’re great. They’re raw wood (sanded, but otherwise unfinished) and, other than lining the bottoms with some felt, I’m not sure yet how to decorate and/or finish them. Will likely address this next weekend.

Also, the magazine organizers arrived and I’m already starting to put them to work. All-in-all, I’m feeling excited about the office reorg.

I also had a mobile window company come out to the house today and replace the rear window of my car. Another checkbox has been checked.