Misc. Musings–September 2013


Buying My Comics Follow-Up

      Back in June, I wrote a post about how I was ending my twenty-four year relationship with Westfield Comics and switching to Discount Comic Book Service as the supplier of my new comics and related swag. Three months later, I’ve received my first two shipments from DCBS and thought I’d share some first impressions.

      So far, I have no complaints. Using a different online order interface has taken some adjustment on my part, but the significant savings of $$$ has made that a non-issue.

      On packing, I still have to give Westfield an edge, but just slightly.  Westfield’s boxes are about as beefy as any cardboard capsule I’ve ever seen, but since both my DCBS orders arrived in perfect condition, the distinction may just be academic. Time will tell, but I’m confidant in what I’ve seen so far from DCBS.

      On an interesting (at least to me) note, last week I sent Westfield an e-mail requesting that they cancel 7 or 8 long-overdue items from my “Back Ordered Item” list.  I got the response today confirming that the items had been cancelled and the costs credited to my account.

      When I sent the original e-mail, I wondered if the Westfield CSR would notice the cessation of my nearly quarter century straight run of orders and perhaps ask me if everything was cool…could they do anything to help?  That sort of thing.  But nope.  I realize you could argue that it’s not kosher for a business to get all nosey up in my business, but I just think it’s odd that the sudden lapse didn’t seem to generate a bit of curiosity and/or effort to make sure I was still a satisfied customer. I guess I’ve been consigned to the “Meh” file.

We Have The Technology…We Can Rebuild Him

      At the risk of entering Who Cares territory, I want to mention my right knee.  I had surgery three weeks ago to repair a cartilage tear and clean out “debris.”  After the surgery, I had zero improvement and was struggling to get any decent sleep.  My doc informed me that cartilage in my knee was just about worn through in several places and a total knee replacement was going to happen sooner or later.

      When that subject came up, I got kinda down because the first thing that occured to me was that my days of stringing Christmas lights on the house were over.  You see, it’s kind of a tradition that I fall off the ladder at least once every year.  And I’m pretty sure that tucking and rolling with an artificial knee is one of those activities that is frowned upon–no matter how damn sexy I look doing it.

      But alas, I have good news.  Ten days post-op, I got a cortisone shot and within 24 hours, I had incredible improvement.  Am I 100%? No, but at least I’m sleeping well and the prospect of a knee replacement seems years down the road, rather than months.  So, my wannabe-paratrooper impersonations will continue into this December at least. Look out below!

More Tales of Woe From The eBay

Fragile? Must be Italian...

Fragile? Must be Italian…

      Were you thinking it’s been awhile since I’d unleashed a sarcasm-filled eBay rant? Well, to be honest, I’m worn out. Beat down. All I can really do is quote the ESPN Monday Night NFL Countdown guys and offer a heartfelt, “C’mon man.”

      In the last three weeks, I’ve gotten shafted twice by eBay sellers. It turned out my inflatable Led Zeppelin blimp didn’t have a slow leak due to age, but actually had a puncture. Like from an X-acto blade or ninja throwing star.  Luckily, I had some clear vinyl patches left over from a kiddie pool and I was able to fix it.  But either the dude that sold it to me knew about it or he should have known…either way, bad form my good man.

      Above, you see a comic book rack my wife found on eBay.  She knew I had been looking for a comic book spinner rack for my son’s room since we moved in.  Most of the time, the ones offered are either way too expensive, or listed as local pick-up only due to the bulky/hard-to-ship nature of such a rack.

      So, we were amped when she found this one.  Not too big and the seller only wanted $20 to ship it.  We ended up sniping it from some sucka and paying probably a bit too much but a mostly fair price.  Depends on who you ask.

      The rack arrived while I was out from work for my surgery and my lovely wife ran by my office to pick it up.  She called to tell me the box was crushed on one end. “C’mon with it I said,” worried that our great find would be damaged.  But no, I thought.  Surely my man had packed it well, knowing it was subject to damage if not.

      Well, it wasn’t my lucky day.  When she said the “box” was damaged, she was using the word, “box,” loosely.  What my man did was cut up a bunch of boxes and then wrap the resulting pieces around the rack. Poorly wrap them, I should add.  Gawd forbid he drag his keister down to the local U-Haul store and purchase an appropriately-sized box.

      Oh, and no padding whatsoever.  I basically had a $200+ item shipped across the country in a poorly constructed Frankenstein reject box.   My man didn’t even bother to etch “FRAGILE” anywhere on the corrugated abomination…not that it’d probably have made much difference to the Kaiju who apparently inhabit the United States Postal Service’s transportation chain.

      As I cut the rack free from its cardboard sarcophagus, I found the bottom 1/3 to be pretty much twisted like a pretzel.  Maybe it was curb-stomped, thrown off a building…I don’t know.  But my “excellent condition” comic book rack was now a twisted mess.

      But you know, I fancy myself a bit of a handyman.  I’ve seen American Restoration… how hard can it be?  So I gimped out to my workshop and obtained a rubber mallet, a hammer, and some other junk.  I then proceeded to pound out the dents and twists. In the end, I got it looking OK…If you didn’t know it had been beaten against a bridge abuttment, you’d never know.  Of course, if I should ever go to resell it, I’m more or less screwed since it’s obviously been damaged.

      I still haven’t left any feedback for my man.   I’m thinking of leaving a negative mark with the only comment being, “Bubblewrap…look into it.”

     In the end, both turned out alright.  My Led Zeppelin blimp is holding air and it brings a smile to my face everytime I walk in the room.  And yes, I know that’s very weird or at the least, I’m easily entertained.  The comic rack looks really cool in my son’s room and he loves it.  As soon as I win the Publishers Clearing House jackpot and can afford some toner for my color inkjet printer, I’m going to make a “Hey Kids…COMICS!” sign for the top.

     As always, until next time…Stay nerdy my friends.

Copyright 2013 It Came From The Nerd Cave


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