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Topics - Morgbug

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Watto's Junk Yard / Fast Food Nation
« on: March 1, 2005, 10:08 AM »

This is a book Scott and I have been throwing little, friendly jabs at each other about for quite some time.  I think we mentioned it at a time when we were both active on RS and exchanged a few comments.  I kept planning on reading it, rather than just dismissing it out of hand which wasn't at all fair.  I finally got around to reading it in October of 04, but never found time to start the thread, as I always promised Scott I would.  Well, I finally did.

I won't say too much for right now as I want to re-read the book in the next coming weeks so I can annotate it so my nit-picking is more specific and can be placed appropriately with context and without vagaries. 

I will suggest this: my perspective is going to be different simply because we do things differently (better, from the perspective this book brings) in Canada with respect to meat/nutrition/labeling etc.  Not to suggest we are perfect, that's far, far from it.  But in a lot of instance there are regulatory issues that we simply don't have, for a variety of reasons. 

I will preface my comments by saying I am a skeptic by nature and anything raised in the mass media garners my immediate skepticism, regardless of any particular bias or side.  I am, by nature, suspicious of groups with agendas and I think there is a good deal of that going on here.  I will warn you that much of what is discussed in the book relates to agriculture and I think a lot of it doesn't have much to do with reality, or conversely is trying to point out was considered normal not more than 20 years ago is now unacceptable.  Not because practices changed, but because sentiments changed, owing largely to an urbanization of the population.  I think the book makes some fair points in instances, but it often carries them too far. 

I'll leave my comments at that for now and would welcome comments from anyone at all into this thread.  It is by no means just a forum for Scott and I as should be obvious, given this is a discussion board. 

Watto's Junk Yard / Just an interesting page with pics - Iwo Jima
« on: February 23, 2005, 04:16 PM »
I was passed along this link from another, non-toy board I go to on occasion.  I'm not trying to glorify war or condone anything in Iraq.  This is simply WWII related and I found it an interesting read.  I have yet to finish going through the comments on the message board it is posted too, so cannot comment on whether or not I agree with the comments therein.  But the first post with the original story and the pictures is fantastic and a grim reminder of what happened in past generations to buy our freedom. 

Iwo Jima photos and story

LEGO / UCS Deathstar
« on: February 23, 2005, 11:31 AM »
I just noticed Jesse's report on the front page (damn, I should go there more often).  Wondering if anyone has more details - price, availability, etc.

Just picked up on the fact there'll be a mini saber from MR at C3, so that's two lines that I know of thus far.  I thought we should keep track, if only for fun....

1. C3 exclusive talking Vader figure
2. C3 Master Replicas mini-saber (details?)

Revenge of the Sith / Enjoying the quiet?
« on: February 16, 2005, 03:58 PM »
In terms of shopping, that is.  I know I am.  And it applies to Star Wars as well as everything else. 

I'm as caught up as can be right now.  Got the preview figures locally, got the clone wars animated stuff (thanks JuvyD and Mikey), caught up on post-OTC (again, thanks Mikey).  Even with other lines, I'm pretty much up to date thanks to local finds and trades (thanks Scott). 

So here I sit, not spending money and I have to tell you, it feels really weird.  I don't have any real urge to go to a store (halfway across the city for the other TRU - I don't think so).  The only thing coming available that over the next six weeks (leaks not included) is McFarlane NBA stuff and if I miss it, who cares?  Nope, nothing much at all.  I suppose ML9 could show up, but since I have a case on order, it's one of those things that don't bother me either. 

April will be a bitch though - depending on what comes out for star wars.  I'm still intent on passing on a lot of early figures to pick up loose for cheaper down the road.  If the clones end up coming at the same time, well then there will be some expenditure of cash for sure.  McFarlane is releasing NHL11 (Canadian exclusive with Jets Khabibulin) and Legends 2 hockey at that time.  I think it's May before NBA legends come out.  Otherwise just sitting peacefully. 

Ebay is my only real danger and even that I just look at.  If it's a good deal, I'll bid.  If not, oh well, no harm.  If only I had some restraint, I'd be so much better off. 

How about you?

Watto's Junk Yard / Talk about frustration...
« on: January 28, 2005, 10:25 PM »
My latest two orders online for Star Wars stuff have been a fiasco.

EE - Sith bust ups case. - chrome bust and stormie bust ups

Background: I've ordered from both of these retailers before with great success, using one of two credit cards, depending on varying factors.  I've always listed the delivery and billing address as the same, chuckles address in Minnesota.  Why?  Simply because both organizations pretty much rape Canadians on shipping, then we get bent over again for customs and/or brokerage fees.  It is (SADLY) cheaper for me to get them shipped first to MN and then on to me here via USPS.  That is first order pathetic.  I've ordered from EE about 3 times and a good half dozen from 

Situation: Both of my credit cards have been rejected by both retailers this week.  Two different credit cards, two different retailers.  They are telling me that the issue is with the bank.  Nuh-uh, not buying it.  I called both card issuers, explained the situation, both in terms of what I'm ordering and where it is being shipped.  No big deal they say, do what you want, we're not declining anything, you spend way too much money. 

Why it's ******* up: Back during the Gentle Giant Luke Stormie bust fiasco, same thing happened.  Their own software would not allow them to ship goods to a delivery address different from the billing address.  I gave in on that one and got biatched for $30 in brokerage fees.  I also was utterly annoying to GG's customer service department and they've (supposedly) resolved the issue.  Monday will tell on that one.  Now I suspect that both have changed their software quite recently and that is causing the error. 

Remember, I ordered and have received the chrome stormtrooper bust from in the last couple of weeks and ordered my series 1 bust ups from EE. 

The worst part, I called EE today to resolve this.  They put the card through while I was on the phone.  It was approved and processing. I received a confirmatory email from them and an apology from a CS rep for the trouble. 

Now I have to continue the fiasco, probably going to happen with Gentle Giant on Monday too.   >:(

And oh yeah, Amazon had no problem on Tuesday of this week doing just what I always do.  Gggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Watto's Junk Yard / I smell a rat. Again
« on: January 21, 2005, 10:48 AM »
Got an email today, looks officious enough:

E-Mail ID #3821 Notification of Limited Account Access
From service >:(

Dear PayPal valued member,

PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for
its community of buyers and sellers.

To protect the security of your account, PayPal employs
some of the most advanced security systems in the world
and our anti-fraud teams regularly screen the PayPal
system for unusual activity.

Recently, our Account Review Team identified some unusual
activity in your account.

In accordance with PayPal's User Agreement and to ensure
that your account has not been compromised, access to
your account was limited.

To restore your account please click on the link bellow:

http: >:(//www. >:(     >:(webscr?cmd=_login-run

If you fail to restore your account access by the date
shown below, your account will be closed.

This notification expires on the 23th of January, 2005.

Do not click on that link - links modified to non clickable

Rather than checking that link, I went to a couple of other sites, then into my paypal account.  Nothing amiss and no similar notice at all.   >:(   I suppose it could be real, but I seriously doubt it.

Watto's Junk Yard / Need me some directions: West Lafayette
« on: January 10, 2005, 11:24 AM »
Ok, I've got a meeting coming up in West Lafayette, Indiana.  I need to fly there and will do so on Northwest, my only real choice.  But on checking I am not able to fly direct into W. Lafayette, something that strikes me as strange.  I was hoping to avoid renting a car, but it is appearing I'll have to fly into Indianapolis and then drive out :-\  Anyone have any suggestions of how to do this...can I fly direct into W.L.?  Is there a closer spot to fly to?  Where's the airport in Indy, will I have to drive through/around the entire city? 

Stoopid Purdue. 

Watto's Junk Yard / Exercise is bad for you: Proof.
« on: January 5, 2005, 01:19 PM »

Collections / My collection boxed up and home construction photos
« on: January 1, 2005, 11:59 PM »
Just to be a little different, I'm about to start pulling stuff off shelves.  We've spent the last couple of days painting and doing general fix-up stuff for our house.  We've been planning on getting a different house for a while, but now that I know my job is stable (for a while, anyway), we've decided to get the house ready to sell.  We likely won't list it until we buy a new one (or build, we've given ourselves a short period of time to find a house we like, otherwise we need to build). 

As such, I'm about to start the packing up process.  My wife thinks that a room dedicated to star wars toys is not really going to be a huge selling point.  She also suggested that having stuff I don't want stolen sitting out on shelves is probably not a good idea (hello blue snaggletooth).  I am rather inclined to agree with her, so instead of opening more stuff up to display, it's getting put away. 

Most of my material is in tupperware tubs and there are more of those than she is aware of ;)  I'm thinking this stuff will also make the same journey to plastic bins of hell, but I'm not sure some of it should be there.  So I'm kind of looking for suggestions from folks as to what should be done.  The vintage collection is what I am most worried about.  I have piles of loose figures in ziplock bags already stored in tubs, so the modern stuff will suffer the same fate.  But is that good enough for vinty stuff?  I'm not inclined to bubble wrap 100+ figures, but maybe I should? 

Unleashed will turn into a huge pain in the ass I believe.  They're great loose, but how do you move those things in a huge group?    The rest of the stuff isn't so bad, but all of a sudden I have way too much stuff :-\

Anyone ever packed up and moved an entire collection before?  Love to hear some suggestions.  Please.

Modern Classifieds / Anyone need a Reek Beast?
« on: December 30, 2004, 11:58 AM »
Still have one around here.  It's in the box and does actually make the sounds (which is better than the one I have at home).  Box is ok, but no way I'd call it mint. 

$5 and shipping. 

Watto's Junk Yard / What's the best portable music player out there?
« on: December 26, 2004, 09:31 PM »
Everyone loves their Ipod, no doubt about it.  But recently I've been reading a bit (subjective stuff, nothing definitive) about the Dell Digital Jukebox.  Now RobL chimed in about the Sony Network HD Digital Walkman at 20 GB.  So now we have three choices, all by reputable brand names. 

Not sure on the pricing of the Sony, but Rob's statement
...but if you will only be recording from CD, want top quality at high compression and you want the smallest HDD player out there at the moment, then go for the Sony).
pretty well describes what I'm after. 

MP3 sounds a little muddy to me, but that might be my Sony MiniDisc player I currently use.  It's nice enough and keeps me happy with the assorted discs I can make for working out, but obviously it is limited.  Is it the player or the format?  Seem to have lost a lot of the dynamic range in the sound?

Ipod's are, obviously, IT right now.  Huge marketing campaign and seemingly, by all reports, a very well made product.  One drawback is that you can only transfer music from one computer once the software is installed, is this indeed the case?  Any conflicts with Windoze software occurring? 

Dell is obviously a huge player and their 20 GB player comes in at about $100 less, not an insubstantial amount.  Is the user interface as friendly as the Ipod?  Oprah  ::) recommends this one, just about enough to send me screaming the other way, but I'll try and keep my biases out of it.  I haven't seen much more than subjective criticism of Dell's player - Dell is a bigger company (???)...copycat...not as well done as Ipod - but nothing that is really based much in fact?  Is the product too new? 

How does the Sony compare?  Aaaaaaargh!  Too many choices.  What sayeth the audiophiles?

Watto's Junk Yard / Trilogies
« on: December 21, 2004, 03:36 PM »
Was reading a review of the latest box set for LOTR-ROTK and the critic stated this was clearly the greatest trilogy of all time.  Now, that got me to thinking - is he right, what are the other trilogies and if he's correct, why? 

I think for continuity, sure, I'll give LOTR the nod.  Consistency as well.  I think arguably I'd agree with him on the whole concept, but only with the recognition that most preceding trilogies did not have the benefit of being filmed in such rapid succession - a trilogy has never before been a forgone conclusion from start to finish. 

Star Wars is the natural comparison of course, and I got the distinct impression that his comment in the article was a veiled shot at Star Wars.  But I consider it unfair.  I recall seeing SW back in 1977 at age 13.  While I certainly saw the possibility of a second movie occurring (Vader's alive?), I did not consider it to be a forgone conclusion.  From the documentaries I've seen, SW was a longshot at best and a tremendous risk for the studio with fairly low expectations on returns.  As such, a comparison with a remarkably well thought out, planned and funded trilogy like LOTR is unfair.  I know Lucas had it thought out as a multi-series set of films, but that was probably not what was in the mind of the studios. 

As far as other trilogies (or multi-series) go, there's more than a few that come to mind, but most, if not all, were not pre-planned. 

Indiana Jones
Planet of the Apes
Harry Potter
James Bond - king of the multi-series
Bourne ______ - presumably a trilogy
Austin Powers

What are your thoughts on the topic?  LOTR = greatest?  Is it a fair comparison?  What else is there to compare with?

Watto's Junk Yard / Are there any products you endorse?
« on: December 21, 2004, 11:58 AM »
I don't mean commercially, I mean personally.  As in are there any technologies that you've been pleasantly surprised by or anything that worked in just the manner you expected that you'd recommend? 

I bought my last winter jacket off ebay, a nice Summit Series North Face Gore Tex shell with a fleece jacket inside.  When I got it in the mail, it pretty much fit as expected and I knew Gore-Tex was a good product - breathable and water repellant as expected.  But when I tried on the jacket, the fleece inside was pretty damn thin.   No damn way that would keep me warmn in a Canadian winter.

In the past, I've worn fleece jackets as a layer - they are typically available in 100, 200, 300 weights - the higher the number, the heavier and warmer the fleece is.  The North Face fleece is probably about a 100 weight fleece.  BUT... it has a layer of Gore Windstopper fabric in it. And that's the product I've found a new respect for.  It is not, as I expected, warm enough for winter up here, so I added a 200 weight fleece vest (thanks MEC) underneath and now I'm as cozy as some dumbass Californian thinking it's cold at 60 F.  The windstopper layer does an amazing job of blocking the wind, much better than any conventional fleece jacket.  I first figured this out in Hawaii on top of Haleakala crater, where it was a little cooler and the wind was blowing pretty good, yet I was plenty warm. 

Gore-tex and Gore's Windstopper fabric get my nod of approval.  The former is no surprise, but the latter was to me.

So, anything you folks would stand behind as a quality product? 

Not sure how many folks have been paying much attention, but a disproportionately high number of my VOTC stuff has creasing in the cards when viewed from the back. 

I first noticed when I made a trade with a guy for four of them.  I thought maybe he was a bit rough on them (they were packed well, and no, no one from here) but before bitching about it, I checked some of my others.  Lo and behold, a fair few (maybe 30%+) had creasing. 

It's not been devastating, as I have decent copies of each so I've just selected out the worst cards to open, but these were not handled all that carefully when being put in the plastic cases, at least in about 1/3 of the cases.  Most of the damage is lower right hand corner when looking at the back, but I do have a few with creases more than 2 inches long running down the center, not associated with the bubble. 

I've got a pretty good selection to judge from as I have 3 complete sets, plus an extra Chewie and 17 extra stormtroopers to look at.  One set is minty-mint, the second is a little less than perfect, but ok, maybe 2-3 should be replaced.  Third set is openers, so that's cool. 

Anyone else notice this, or have I gone over the edge into absurd pickiness?

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