Wednesday, November 21, 2007

There's Hope Yet

A boy rode his bike up to my store today. I'd guess his age to be around 10 or 11. He came into the store alone, and barely acknowledged my greeting.

He turned to his right, and headed to the toy soldier section. I wandered over, to see if he needed any help finding what he needed- I knew some kids had a project for school, and had stocked Civil War soldier in anticipation.

I asked if he was looking for any type of soldiers in particular, he silently shook his head and stared intently at the bags of plastic warriors hanging. I walked back to the counter, leaving him to make his choice.

A few minutes later, he approached the counter with a bag of your classic Green Army Men.

"I'd like to buy these, please" - he said in a soft, quiet voice, the first words he had spoken since entering the store.

As rang up his purchase, I asked him if he liked army men and toy soldiers.

He nodded his head.

As I gave him his total, he pulled out a ziplock bag of loose change. He slowly counted his money, double checking his count many times, then slid exact change across the counter to me. I finished the sale, and put his army men in a bag, and thanked him.

As he went out the door, I called out "Take Care!" as I try to do with everyone as they leave the store. He said "Thanks", in a normal tone- his loudest yet. He got on his bike, and pedaled away.

As he rode away, I noticed he did not wear a helmet, or safety pads, or have a flashing warning light on his bike.

Man, there goes one lucky kid.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another One

As seen on Michael Z Williamson's Blog (Read his books!)

I was ___ years old the first time I...

Fell in love: 11
Lost your virginity: 14
Lost someone close to you: 12
Smoked weed: 18
Got your heart broken: 11
Got arrested: Never
Smoked a cigarette: 16
Broken a bone: Never
Got cheated on: 17
Rode the city bus: 6
Went to a concert: 15 Ronnie James Dio- my ear still ring (I've had Tinnitus since)
Met someone famous: 15- President Reagan.
Dyed your hair: 16
Got your first cell phone: 32
Got a Myspace: Never
Snuck out of the house: 13
Got your own digital camera: 25
First time you got drunk: 15
Read Harry Potter: 28
Traveled across the ocean: 24
Wore a toga: 7
Traveled out of state/country: 19
Shopped at Abercrombie/M&S:Never
Went to Disney World: 11
Went on a date: 16
Saw a Broadway/West End play: Never
How old are you now: 37

Monday, November 12, 2007

Retail Hell

As we approach the holiday shopping season- and Black Friday looms- I want to ask you a question;

You are shopping, especially in a low-pressure, casual environment like a hobby shop. You ask the guy wandering around the shop, checking on customers, a question about a product. Do you want the clerk to lie, and tell you it's great no matter what, or validate your existence and confirm your thoughts, or do you want an honest opinion/appraisal.

If you say honest opinion/appraisal, what do you do when the retail wage-slave tells you something bad, or something you don't want to hear?

Also, would you return a plastic airplane model with a broken propeller, or just fix it with model glue? Hey, I just consider it an extra, undocumented step myself....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fab 5

After witnessing the meme started by NRAhab, then Tam, then AD and finally from Parallax Adjustment ; well, I just had to put my foot in. The hard part is thinking of only 5 a/c, and 5 that no one else has- no matter how cool. One of my areas of personal interest is the Soviet War Machine, but I must limit the influence. Hrmmm.

I'm going to limit myself to jet powered a/c, and I guess I'll start with throwing the previous sentence out the window! Besides, this is my favorite aircraft, not the most important or world war changing or anything. AD already cornered the cool connection/story angle.

5) The TU-22M "Backfire". I love the two-tone Soviet Naval Aviation scheme, the sleek, predator look.

4) BAE/McD&D Harrier Family I had the distinct pleasure of flying the USMC simulator for this aircraft in a previous life. Not to use too many buzzwords, but it introduced a paradigm shift in aviation. Maggie showed us they worked as air-to-air combat aircraft.

Dang, this is hard deciding on only 5!

3) The ME-262. First real fightin' jet. 'Nuff said- even if it is a Kraut plane.

2) SAAB JAS-39 Gripen I'm been obsessing about this aircraft for since high school. Followed the slow developement via Aviation Week & Space Technology through the '80's and '90's.

1) Sukhoi SU-34 "Fullback" I had no previous knowledge of this aircraft before I saw the prototype when my previously mentioned previous life took me to the Paris Air Show in 1995. I've loved this ugly beast ever since.

Maybe we should do tanks/armor next?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Eh, it's only money.

Anyone who build models for a hobby can tell you, kits are getting more and more expensive. I was just remarking today that the latest models from Dragon (DML) have crept above the $50.00 mark. Granted, most of their kits don't require much in aftermarket parts- but similar kits were $35.00 or so earlier this year.

Of course, a good kit and the fixin's still cost less than a good meal or a night's drinkin'. Not that my customers care. Daily, I get regaled with tales of $0.25 kits and how glorious those days were. None of them remember the horrible fit of those kits, or how the amorphous blobs barely resembled the appropriate subject matter- but those were the days! Apparently there was free beer flowing from taps marked "Testors" as well. Dang my luck!

And when did DML become the King-All-Importer of all Asian models not Tamiya or Trumpeter?

One last thing- because I can feel my rant getting on, and it's late. What's the constant fascination with German equipment? It's gotta be more than just the variety of subjects. I swear, I could fill a jar with feces, slap a swastika on it, and sell it.

BTW-are either one of my readers model builders/kit collectors?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Proof the Blog Readability Test has a... sub-optimum ability to grade blogs-

cash advance

Or, I ar s-mart!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


As per the urging of both my readers, I have installed Haloscan comments. Let's see how this woiks out....

Are you excited?

I am.

Of course, now I have to figure out how to port the old comments over.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blogger Code?

Anybody Understand Blogger enough to tell me how I can make this
section bigger? Not that I plan on embedding lots of movies, but I hate that hidden section.

Comments Redux

In case you don't read the comments sections;

A King Tiger double feature;

OK Guys
Here is something fascinating.
What if TF 34 had been waiting on Kurita?

Dirty Little Secrets

One of my favorite bands is the British rock-folk band Steeleye Span.