Buying Used

Ah, the trials and tribulations of buying used stuff online.

Outside:

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Inside:

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See it? See what they did? I didn’t notice it until I put the disc in my XBOX 360 and saw the menu.

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Book Sale

So, when I changed the format of the blog sometime back, I said I would cover other hobbies besides CGI. Well, two of my oldest hobbies are books and movies.

I love movies from all decades, I have them from 1931 (Dracula) all the way up to 2018. (Super Troopers 2 and The Death of Superman) I don’t go to the theater so much, mainly because I work 3rd shift and don’t have a car, so it’s rough cutting a large enough time out of my evening (when I wake up) to take buses to the theater to see a movie, and get back home before said buses stop running for the evening. But, I do sometimes get to the theater if I tag along with people who are going. For example, I went to see Solo: A Star Wars Story shortly after it was released and I’m going to see Mission: Impossible: Fallout on Tuesday. But, I love DVDs and Blu-Rays, and I have quite an expansive collection. In fact, I need to organize some stuff as I literally have movies everywhere. I work at Walmart, which has really enhanced my movie buying, mainly due to the ease of buying new releases, especially since I’m there at midnight when they release, as well as older films that are reduced.

As for books, I’ve been reading adult books since sometime in my early teens. When I was in high school, I’d usually read a few a week, my particular favorites were the Star Trek paperbacks. I still enjoy reading, but it takes me longer these days to finish a book with other distractions. One thing I like is having a Kindle e-reader, as well as the Kindle app on my phone, which makes buying out of print books easier. However, another thing I love are used bookstores. One that’s near me is Half Price Books, which has over 120 locations spread all over the United States. I’ve been shopping at HPB since sometime in the ’90s. Half price is usually the most you’ll pay for something, I’ve gotten many used hardbacks there for $5 or so. Great store. They also have movies, music, video games and various knickknacks.

So, every year for the past few years, they’ve been doing clearance sales. They rent a giant room somewhere and there are just huge tables of books, movies, games and music. I’m set up on games and I usually buy digital music , but I prefer physical movies and I love getting books at reduced prices. They rented an arena for this weekend, and my parents were going yesterday, so they asked me if I wanted to go. I wasn’t working last night, so I was like: “Sure, I’ll sacrifice some sleep for that.” Yeah, it was worth it:

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No, the lightsaber isn’t something I bought yesterday, it was there, so I left it for ambiance. Also, it’s sort of sad that my bed was the only uncluttered space to take this pic, aside from portions of the floor.

Anywho, 11 paperbacks. At 50 cents a piece, they were a steal. There were other Star Trek books, some of which I have already, and I stayed away from ones that were part of series, (which left out the Star wars books they had) as tracking down the rest of said series at decent prices would involve the Internet, where you have to take someone’s word for it that they’re in good condition. As you can see, the ones I bought are in like new condition. Aside from trade ins, HPB also gets inventory from close out sales and whatnot. So, it’s doubtful most of these have been read. I got mostly numbered TNG novels. Some I read back in the ’90s, so I won’t remember them, others this will be the first time. I also got one TOS novel, 2010: Odyssey Two and a cool Terminator novel that’s a better follow-up to T2 than T3 was. There’s another one by the same author that I’ll have to track down. So, good buys. 11 paperbacks for $5.50.
Amazon charges list prices for Kindle books, so I couldn’t get one for that much money.

The DVDs were just what I found that I like and didn’t have. Lots of comedy, especially Adam Sandler. I watched Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo again last week on Hulu, I’d forgotten how funny that is. It was Happy Madison’s first movie, though Adam Sandler isn’t in it (his voice is.) I got a few films he is in, Happy Gilmore is my favorites of his. Jay and Silent Bob Strike back is just dumb fun, I watched that again this morning. And, I got some stand-up comedy. My mom found the Jeff Foxworthy DVD, and
let me know about it because I’m a big Foxworthy fan. Plus, she’s gonna want to borrow it. The absolute best movie I bought is Tarantino’s first film, Reservoir Dogs. I’ve been wanting to watch that again, so it was the second DVD I put in last night (after Jeff Foxworthy.) And, The Italian Job because it’s a fun heist film, and some Sci-Fi (naturally.) The good Pirates of the Caribbean film, and somehow I didn’t already have Superman Returns. I’m a big Superman fan, so that was an essential buy. The copy of Highlander is, unfortunately, one of the old laserdisc transfers with the shitty non anamorphic widescreen, but for $2 who can complain? So, 14 DVDs for a total of $28.

All said, including a 99 cent cloth tote bag to carry everything (that sumbitch was full too) and taxes, $30-something. So, I really cleaned up.

Afterwards, it was the Olive Garden for dinner. Then, back home for some DVDs and gaming. I always clean my discs when I buy them used, as well as cleaning or replacing the cases, condition determines which it is. I have spare cases, due to transferring a bunch of movies to a CD binder when I was in the Army (for portability) and that “went missing” when I was in Afghanistan (damn thieving roommate) so there was nothing to return to the cases when I got out of the Army. So, I use the cases to replace worn out ones for my used movies and games. I cleaned up the Foxworthy DVD first, which is why it got played first, while I was cleaning the others. 🙂

So, just a fantastic day, so I thought I’d share.

Star Trek: The Animated Series

Why do people forget about this show? I was just looking at an article on Screenrant about decisions that hurt and saved Star Trek. Link Interesting read, but it contains an error in the opening paragraphs. They claim there are six Star Trek television series. No doubt, this is their list:

1. TOS
2. TNG
3. DS9
4. Voyager
5. Enterprise
6. Discovery

That’s an incomplete list. This is the real list of Star Trek shows:

1. TOS
2. TAS
3. TNG
4. DS9
5. Voyager
6. Enterprise
7. Discovery

Yes, seven shows, not six. I don’t know why daft idiots who write articles can’t find this information, it’s available on many websites.

For those who don’t know, the story goes like this. Star Trek should never have been canceled. In 1969, TV ratings weren’t broken down into demographics. Had they been, the people at NBC would have known the show was popular with young men, a key demographic. When they realized this, Paramount knew they needed to make more Star Trek. Dreams of movies and live action TV shows were in the cards, but the quickest way to get Star Trek back on (besides syndication) was animation. So, Filmation was commissioned to do a Saturday morning cartoon. It ran for 22 episodes between 1974 and 75. It even won Star Trek’s first Emmy, for Oustanding Children’s Show, due partly to having outstanding writing by many of the same writers from TOS. The original actors all lent their voices, except Walter Koenig, but he wrote an episode. Fans even voted to add the series to the official canon over a decade ago. Yet, people forget it exists. Why?

TOS-Era Ship, Pt. 01

I’m running out of steam on the other ship I’m working on, so I decided to start another. This one is a class predecessor to the Miranda-class. It’s a bit smaller than the Reliant from The Wrath of Khan, which makes sense as it’s from the era of the Constitution class, or possibly even a bit before that. I imagine it’s a class that was introduced in the 2220s or 2230s, and possibly saw service into the 2270s and maybe 2280s, as it would have been phased out and replaced by the Miranda-class. Not much else to say. As you can see, it’s just in the early phases. This type of hull isn’t difficult to do, but it does take time to get it all in one piece with rounded edges and whatnot, as I insist on doing.

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Aztec Hull Pattern.

NeoTrinarty asked what Aztec hull pattern is, and I figure the best way to describe it is with a post and pictures. Basically, Aztec, Aztecing, Aztec pattern, whatever you want to call it, is a blanket term for the hull panel patterns done on Star Trek ships, to show the individual plates that comprise the hull. It first started appearing way back in the late ’70s.

Origins

When they were making Star Trek: The Motion Picture, one thing they had to do was decide how best to represent the Enterprise on the big screen. They’d already scrapped the model being built for Phase II and had done some tweaks to the design to give the model more detail needed for the size at which it would be seen. Finally, someone came up with the idea to paint all of the individual panels on the ship, thus giving it a sense of scale and more detail. (I’ll go into why this isn’t necessary for scale in a moment) They came up with a pattern that is now known as “Aztec” and painted it on the hull in paints that varied slightly in color and shininess. Here’s a great screen capture from TMP showing the pattern on the hull, thanks to Trek Core:

Now, that’s the Aztec pattern in all its glory. As you can see, it’s very subtle. In fact, it’s so subtle that it only appears clearly in certain lighting conditions and up close. In wider shots, it’s still there, but harder to make out:


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Pre-TOS Ship, Part 4?

I think it’s part 4, if you count my previous posts. Anywho, work continues on the engines:

I also figured out how to get rid of all the little white spots, the rendering artifacts. It turns out there’s a setting in Lightwave 2018 that doesn’t play nice, so I turned it off and played with the reflections. I know Star Trek ships aren’t typically reflective like this, but that’s OK because I’m doing my own thing.

Work Continues…

Well, I’ve been working on the warp nacelles. I still have more stuff to jam into the insides, but it’s a start. I spent a fair amount of time playing with material settings in Layout to get the bussard collectors right. I also played with some of the other materials. I’ll probably not have the ship quite this reflective in the end, but it’s fine for now.


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