I wanted to let all of my readers know what is happening in my life right now, and a couple projects I have on the horizon that you may all be interested in.
First, I have now been working for a large factory here in Schweinfurt for a proud 6 weeks now. The company if ZF Sachs, I am loving the job, it is both physical and stimulating at the same time. I could not be happier to be working there.
So here is what is coming around the corner for all of you.
1) My novel, The Face In The Falls, is back on track. I am re-proofing my manuscript as it stands, and re-organizing my notes and plans for the rest of the book, and am organizing the story and character plots and dialogue for the rest of the novel.
For those who don’t know what The Face In The Falls is, it is the story of Issiquah Homicide detective, Jackson Anderson, King County Medico-Legal Pathologist, Mary Langstrom, and their investigation into the discovery of 7 bodies at the top of the Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State. It is a roller coaster ride of an investigation that will take both of them in a direction that no one had imagined.
2) Probably my most ambitious project to date, is my upcoming podcast, which has yet to be named, It will be hosted by me, and co-hosted by my Brother-in-law Kyle. We will be discussing subjects that are important to us, including Star Wars, toys, comic books and anything else we want to talk about.
It should be totally fun and entertaining, as both of us are ex-military, and some times rather dirty-mouthed. We are both also very dedicated to Star Wars, and are extremely excited for the new films and the announced director of the films.
I am also asking you, the reader, what you think I should name the Podcast. When it is available it will be downloadable on iTunes, but first I need a name that I can place them under.
This I leave to you…
Below please submit your ideas in the comments block.
I thank you all
Well, for those of you that know me, well personally, I am a big comic book guy.
It started for me back in the late seventies when we were visiting my Grandfather, Grandmother and Great Uncle at their cabin on Mount St. Helens. This was a few years before it blew its top in 1980. however, at some point, I think either my cousins or aunts and uncles had visited them and brought a Gold Key, Twilight Zone comic and left it behind. It was something new to me, reading, and having pictures to help fuel the imagination of the story. I wish to this day I had this comic, as it was my introduction. But every comic book collector has their “Holy Grail” of comic books that they search for their entire life, and mine is that Twilight Zone comic.
Shortly after leaving the mountain, and returning to Portland, where we were living for another year or so, so this would have been 1978, maybe the latest 1979, I went into one of the drug stores and saw, and looked at my first comic book spinner.
There in the area dedicated to magazines stood this tree like rotating stand with issues of comic books. I stood there with about 75 cents in the pocket, and looked at every issue on the rack. I was sure that I was getting quizzical looks from the staff, as I stood there alone, with my mother in the grocery store next door. Slowly I pulled three of the issues from the rack and made my way to the counter where a late seventies teenager was sitting with her charlies angels feathered hair, ala Farrah Fawcett. I placed the comics onto the counter, and paid my 75 cents for the three, then made my way with these three rolled up comics in my back pocket, sticking out over my Star Wars T-shirt.
I waited till I was home to read them, but snuck peeks at them on the short trip home, as we drove our station wagon with faux wood panel siding, the short distance to the house.
I wish I could remember the titles I had purchased, however one I will never forget, Mutants born with super powers, which in a way goes against everything super-hero comic books profess. Through one event or another every super-hero is imbued with their powers through seemingly tragic accidents.Superman was sent to Earth seconds before his planet of Krypton was destroyed (Turns out there were a couple other babies sent to earth at the same time, Super Girl, Super Boy, and even… Sigh… Krypto, the Super-Dog) Batman became a hero after his parents were killed, and he dedicated his life to avenging their death.
The Flash was hit by lightning while handling chemicals, giving him super speed. Hal Jordan was given a ring of power when he found a dying alien that had crashed to Earth. Steve Rogers was given a drug that turned him into Captain America. The list goes on and on, but there was this comic book that had heroes that were born with their powers.
The X-men instantly became one of my favorite stories. Following, at the time, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Charles (Professor X) Xavier, Storm and eventually Wolverine.
There were arcing stories that took the reader into an alternate present day that was littered with people who were born with such a wide variety of powers that the possibilities were endless. Some used their powers for good, as Wolverine often times did, some used them for evil, such as Magneto.
These stories had a single overtone of hope for people like me, who were living with few friends, seemingly outcast because were not living the “Normal” life. I was a big Star Wars freak, collected trading cards, and was very, very hyper active. The main basis of the X-men stories was that they were always fighting for acceptance of the mutant kind by the rest of humanity. Fighting to be accepted as they were by the rest of the world. This spoke to me.
I openly accepted the X-men into my life. I bought and read every issue which for a while came out bi-monthly even, so I could continue my exploits of the team of heroes.
Lately, after my mental breakdown of last year, I got back into collecting the comics again, I have been looking for American issues of comics for sale here in Germany on E-Bay, and making some amazing purchases.
I am looking into the Golden age of comics, and Silver age. These are the years of comic books that is considered by many to be the best time of comic books, based on the stories, and artists that were supplying the panel drawings.
Some of my recent purchases, now hanging proudly in frames on my wall , are to me, simply amazing for the prices I paid. There may be more personal worth to the comics than true worth, but I don’t care. They were bought for me, to remind me why I love comic books so much.
One of the purchases was The Mighty Thor number 135, from 1966. The cover of this comic is great, inked by Jack Kirby who was an amazing artist. He has been considered one of the most influential artists in comics in history. He co-created heroes such as The X-Men, The Hulk and even The Fantastic Four. This cover features Thor fighting against The Man-Beast. (It is listed as the Super-Beast on the cover for some reason) The Man-beast if a High Evolution evolved wolf that had been hit with an evolution ray that caused it to become so powerful, and have mental powers as well. The creature becomes a challenge for Thor, as the “God” of Asgard finally may have met his match in battle.
The Cover, as you see, is so simplistic, as was Kirby’s signature trait, the colors are beautiful, and the sense of the fight and plight of Thor is evident in the single image.
The next proud purchase is to date my absolute favorite. Uncanny X-men number 45, from 1968. This comic has two stories in the pages, both centering around Cyclops, “When Mutants Clash” is the story of Cyclops trying to free the rest of the X-men from captivity of Magneto, Toad and Quicksilver. One of the greatest lines ever told to the X-men which sums up the overall story between the evil and good in the comic books was spoken by Quicksilver to Cyclops in a battle that ensues when Cyclops stumbles into him trying to find Magneto in the stronghold.
“Enough! I will listen to no more of your Homo sapiens-sympathizing blasphemy! You have had your chance to join us — and declined it! Therefore — I can consider you nothing but our enemy!” -Quicksilver
The enemy, Magneto, has assembled mutants who want to eradicate the human presence from the planet, as he knows that they are afraid of the mutants and the powers they possess and want them eradicated from the planet as well. Having survived Auschwitz, and having his powers poked and prodded by the Nazi party, Magneto would rather kill every last human that make other mutants go through the same thing.
The cover is by John Buscema and shows a single sceen from the battle from the super fast Quicksilver (Think Marvel comics version of The Flash) and Cyclops, as he fired his ocular blast, just missing his opponent by mere inches.
These two comics are proudly displayed on the wall in my house, on my “Nerd Wall” to solidify myself into hunting and collecting these important comics from our past.
Being an american in Germany, and knowing that there has been a U.S. Army presence here in Schweinfurt since the end of the second world war, I know these comic books are out here, waiting to be rescued and collected by myself, and made available to the discerning collectors in the United States, or myself for my collection as well.
As time progresses I will update and share some of my collection with you all, for your pleasure, and if you have questions or have interest in one of the comics, please feel free to write me. I am open for all queries and thoughts.
To every one of you reading this.
Well, My family and I need to move out of our apartment after the new year. We weren’t kicked out, rather the company that owns our apartment flats has decided to finally renovate them after 40 years.
We are happy and scared at the same time. We are a family of 4, and the apartment we found through the company, that has recently been renovated, and meets our needs, only has 2 bedrooms… The square footage is slightly more than the one we currently occupy.
We are taking it though, with the hopes that sometime in the future, one of the boys will move out, freeing up one of the bedrooms. But we can only hope. For the mean time though, our new family room is in the shape of an “L” and we will turn the portion of the family room that is the bottom portion of the “L” into a temporary bed room.
My wife and I are not entirely too worried about it though. We agree that this is our second from last rental properties. The next place we move to, will be a small house, and we will finish our lives there.
There are some setbacks though.
although we are moving to an apartment owned by the same company that owns our current house, we still need to pay a deposit on the new one. We don’t need to pay the entire deposit, but rather half. This is still a staggering €700.00 or $900.00.
This is a staggering amount for us, yet there is still more problems we are facing as well.
I have never understood this, maybe it is the fact that I am used to how life in the Army was, or in the United States is. But in Germany any apartment does not come with anything installed. No kitchen, and by this I mean the only thing in a kitchen here is the hookups for the water, and the oven. No counters, no shelves, and no cabinets. Nothing.
Same can be said about any of the rooms in the place. There are almost no built-in closets anywhere in Germany. There are no cabinets in the bathrooms.
We will be bringing the furniture we have with us in our apartment. However our kitchen is approximately 40 years old. So I will need to re-work it to fit into the new kitchen, and also replace the counter top portion of it. This is not too expensive, however when we weigh the costs we need to already lay down for the deposit, we are pushing €1,000.00 or around $1,300.00.
This to me is an outstanding number, just to move apartments, at the request of the company who wants to renovate their own building.
I find it amazing that they do not assist us, or offer us anything more than the cost of the truck we need to move, and they are basically only paying the cost for the deposit of it for the 2 days we will need. So again, look here. another cost added to the overall expenditures already building up.
I am not complaining. No. Rather I am excited to finally get out of the area where the teenage hooligans are slowly, unchecked by the police, taking over the area. In the past 2 years, they have constantly been spray painting the area with their horrible version of graffiti. Which is nothing more than spraying their “gang” logo, “Bergl 11” on every vertical surface they can find. I have even seen places where they have sprayed trees in the park behind our house. These Children hang out in an area in the park that is also a children’s play area. there are monkey bars, and a climbing ring there for them.
Every morning when I walk our dog through the park, I am only able to take him in a single direction, as there are smashed vodka and beer bottles on the ground. Trash litters every single inch of the grass, and the children’s play area where they occupy for the evening. I try to avoid it as much as possible, as there are constantly children meandering through the park in the mornings, on their way to the school located only a hundred feet away. It is an embarrassment that the children need to see this every morning on the way to the school, which by the way has also been spray painted with certain slogans popular with the “gang”. Ranging from “F**k the police”, “Bergl 11”, And various other colourful phrases.
I have seen the police often times called into the park to rouse a fight between them, or to see if there are any illegal drugs being used. But I never see them haul any of them away with them. This I find amazing.
They drink, smoke pot, and scream and yell all evening, by all evening I mean until at least 1 AM. I have often times even seen reminants of a bicycle they set on fire with lighter fluid the night before. There are also various other things they have burned, which I am surprised when they do, no one has called the fire department. They steal anything that is not locked up. There have been children’s tricycles from one of our neighbour children spotted in shambles in the park the next morning, when the 6 year old didn’t bring it back into the house when he went back inside. Scooters from his older brother often lie in pieces on the walkway in front of the apartments the next morning, as the “Gang” smashed it on the pavement as they walked by.(He has bought 3 to date)
When it rains, there is a tunnel through the apartment complex where we live, right below our bedroom window, and one of my son’s windows, and they then take up residence there for the course of the evening. They tear the plaster off of the wall, spray paint them, and light things on fire. Constantly yelling and screaming at each other. We have called the police no less than three times in the last year alone. There are over forty families living in this apartment building. So it makes me wonder how many other times they have been called to no avail?
With the state doing nothing about these children thinking they are so big, by the way, most of them are about 16-18 years old, There will be no change. No matter how many times my family calls the police, and other families call the police, there is no change. With no change will come the slow methodical transformation of the area from what at one point was a higher standard of living area. Now it is almost a ghetto. Sadly enough.
So the thought of moving excites me.
But I will need to work twice as hard to afford it, but I don’t mind, as it gets me away from “Bergl 11”.
Peace my friends.