Sunday, May 17, 2015

Parragami, and other Avian News

    Tango has hit a point of being kind of aggressive to Sam. Total dominance/limit testing thing, but a small feathered psycho with a super-sharp beak and a better-than-working knowledge of Beakjitsu (4th degree green belt, 12th Dan)can put a serious hurt on fingers and other vulnerable parts.

     Sam's solution to the problem, since they do not make Lecter-masks (and she doesn't want to be tried with fava beans and chianti) in his size, was to turn to the near-forgotten art of Parragami, or "Parrot-Folding"

     Basically, she takes a shirt- usually one of mine. She holds it up, like a skilled Aviador, and waits for him. Tango leaps into the shirt...and gets folded up and has to find his way out. Rewind, repeat. Until one of them gets tired of it, or she gives him black oil sunflower seeds. He is also trying to teach her how to zip, but she has no beak.

     Now to a more serious subject. On the radio we have a man named Tom Martino, AKA the Troubleshooter. He has, for more than 30 years, tried to help people by giving advice, referrals, and mediation when they have trouble with a business. He can't help me with this, however.

     I put some talk radio on to keep Tango entertained, for about 2 weeks, maybe 3. I switch stations whenever he gets bored, and a lot of music stations tend to play the same songs until your ears bleed. Last night, Sam folded Tango into a shirt (charcoal gray, but that is not really a factor) and we both heard from the now wrapped parrot

"What's your Question?"
    It took me until this morning to figure out where that was being used so frequently, and I believe Mr. Martino uses that in the start of his calls and to keep people from going too anecdotal during a call.
     So I guess the moral here is that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. And even if you are part of the solution, you probably taught my bird something new and weird to say. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Big Box Stores and Collectables Shopping

      I had an interesting experience at walmart today. I normally hit a store to do my shopping, make a beeline for toys and check to see what can be found, and shop from there. I will admit that this behavior does occasionally cause me to forget parts of my shopping list. But it is what I do.

     So today at the Walmart located at 440 Wadsworth, I had a shock, and not the good kind. you will see by the link what services they offer. What they appear no longer to offer, is transformers toys. Of any type, in any form. The space where they used to be in toys is blank. The employees around didn't know anything, nor did the co-manager. He offered me something lame about Jurassic World toys being important.

     I told him that an important part of any store I shop at is my collecting. And if their store didn't carry my interests, I would simply take my business elsewhere.

       More if this develops further.

     The sad thing is that the big box stores seem to be very shortsighted when it comes to collectibles. They buy in bulk, and so they have old product sitting around forever, and use that to justify saying "That brand isn't selling". Walmarts pegs are still littered with "pegwarmers" from last years Age of Extinction, but rather than clearancing the old stuff, they seem satisfied that stuff is on the shelves.

     Also of note...rather than getting people in who know that department. the department managers are often clueless, or simply apathetic.

     Don't get me wrong. I'm still going to shop. but if you want my money...get my toys in.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Assembly Complete

     As I sit here, with Applebees in my belly, and a gorgeous green parrot grooming on my shoulder,  I have seen the age of Ultron come, and have seen it pass. I have seen Avengers retire, and new ones step up.
Age of Ultron was a hell of a good ride. Good, consistent, character development from all that has gone before. New characters brought in ways consistent with both their comic origins and the Marvel cinematic universe.
The movie was worthy.
So was I.

     There were a few concessions made to simplify the mythology. Ultron was originally the brainchild of Dr. Henry Pym, rather than Tony Stark. Wanda and Pietro Maximoff were mutants, not experimentally enhanced. And the Vision had a brain full of Simon Williams rather than Edwin Jarvis.

     All considered, however,they did the best possible job on the framework laid down by prior films. We get a dose of Pym particles in a couple of months time with Ant-Man.
     So Ultron shuffles off to sulk, to commiserate  with Proteus IV, Skynet, HAL, The Architect, and Brainiac about what might have been, and to think: " Next time..."
     And me? Well I want to pick up age of Ultron on DVD. Today. Not possible, I know, but the want is there.

Looking forward to Ant-Man  and Tomorrowland

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Tale of Summanus

     It's said that you never really know the service of a store while everything is going well. You only know them when things go sideways.

  • 2/28/2015: I ordered the eagerly awaited Summanus made by Planet X, from BigBad Toy Store
  • 3/5/2015: FedEx Deposits him upon my doorstep. I play with him, transforming back and forth a couple of times. I elect to display him in stegosaurus mode for a while. 
  • 5/4/2015: I take him down to transform him, and the last joint of his tail disintegrates
  • 5/4/2015: I go through several stages of grief
I pause here for pictures. the joint snapped, then just kept breaking.

  • 5/4/2015: I contact BigBad Toy Store, thinking it's a long shot. It's out of their posted guarantee period. 
  • 5/4/2015: Their customer service requests pictures. 
  • 5/5/2015: Customer Service reports that this is a known issue and that they are sending replacement parts from the manufacturer
  • 5/7/2015: replacement tail assembly arrives, is examined, and replaces the original on my Summanus figure. 
  • 5/7/2015: BigBad Toy Store becomes my official favorite online Re-Tailer
  • 5/7/2015: I finally take pics of Summanus

Planet X's engineering and aesthetic continues to astound me. it looks like they slightly reworked the weak joint, but I will continue to keep an eye on it. BigBad Toy Store amazes me with their service and dedication to their collectors happiness. I will continue as a loyal customer there.

Note: it is unknown if earthly Stegosaurs had large automatic shotguns mounted on their hips. Chances are, they did not. On the other hand, that could be why it's so hard to find a complete skeleton of a Tyranosaur