Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

 I go on hiatus on here often and its mostly due to burnout or lack of anything to write.  However, sometimes I just don't post because I don't have too many posts dealing with cards.  In fact no cards to show this time either.  However, the post still have some fun stuff to show.  Possibly a sad thing or two as well.  I thought about doing this post on Saturday evening, but life got in the way.  I was on Facebook and Twitter and heard about a massive fire not far from where I live (far enough away that I wasn't in danger, but close enough to want to keep updated on the situation.  According to reports, a farmer's combine got hot and they had to cut a piece of the combine off to repair it (maybe the tire not sure).  As they were cutting, sparks hit the field, and started a fire.  Well the last few days have had really high winds (23-35 mph and gustier).  Right now this area is in a severe drought and they warned even a tire driving on cut grass could start a fire.  I feel bad for the farmer, as it wasn't his intention, he just wanted to finish his field.  However the fire quickly spread, and a small town (a village of around 61 people) was destroyed.  I don't mean some of the houses.  They estimate 20-25 buildings were destroyed, and looking at pictures today and drone footage, I'd say the town is lost except for the post office, community building, and church (which I see the church suffered damage, not sure on the others).  The wind carried the fire, and the smoke was seen for miles, as far as 45 miles away or more.  The smoke was so bad that they had to shut down I-70 around sunset because the smoke was so thick and zero visibility not only on the interstate, but the bridge.  Today I found a photo on Twitter of one of the last drivers to cross the bridge before it was shut down.  At first I thought it was fire, but he pointed out it was just the sunset, but you can see the smoke in the photo.  I thought I'd show it here.

Again, the sunset backdrop is beautiful, but if you look close you can see the smoke. So last night instead of writing this blog, I found a scanner app that let me hear the efforts on controlling the fire.  The fire was controlled somewhat quickly, and the interstate reopened a couple hours later.  It was incredibly bad timing as Mizzou just finished their homecoming game and the interstate was no doubt packed with fans.  As luck has it, what some consider the "back way" a way to avoid the interstate, is currently closed as they rebuild a bridge.  So what would be a possibly 20 minute trek suddenly could take over an hour if not more, not counting the traffic.  The bridge shown above is also in the midst of being rebuilt (hopefully by the end of 2024), but that might have helped with the fire efforts.  Since it is the weekend, I don't know if they was working on Saturday, especially after 4 PM, but once the requests for any help was asked, the construction company assisted with some of their equipment along with a local excavating company.  I believe that helped save much more land being destroyed as they were able to wall the fire to prevent more spreading.  From the report today, over 50 agencies assisted with the fire and between 25-3500 acres were burned.  Thankfully only a couple injuries and no deaths were reported.  Fire departments around the state helped, and they were much needed.  There were a few other fires on Saturday so it was just a bad day all around.  I looked at pictures and this town has survived a few floods, I never thought a fire would destroy it.  I don't see how they can rebuild, and I wonder if many want to take that risk.  They have no real amenities in the town, but again, maybe that is why it is appealing.  All I could think of when I heard about it was how my nephew who is about to have his first child, and how his baby shower was held at the community building, one of the last buildings to survive the blaze.  As I said, if anything, I thought a flood might wipe them out, but not a fire.  I've long said I'm thankful my town isn't near water, and has been fortunate enough to skirt some tornadoes but if that fire had started here, how would my town have done.  In size, its much larger, and possibly more accessible, but I think the houses are closer together, I just think how fast it would spread, especially on a windy day.  It makes me thankful that we are supposed to get a couple days of rain which should ease the drought conditions (but not enough).

Before that happened however, I was thinking of doing a blog.  As I stated, I don't have cards to show, or at least ones I've scanned.  I should scan stuff soon, but since I'm using the desktop, its a bit tougher to set up the scanner.  Maybe in a month or so I might scan.  However, I have started to take better pictures with my phone, so I can show off what I've been doing and buying.  It seems cards has taken a backseat, and I have been buying other stuff. So let's look at that other stuff today, and even a couple contests I won.

This was a really fun puzzle.  It was a recent purchase, and one that maybe one day I can frame.  It was cool to see some of the towns they chose to showcase.  I think it depicts the state nicely.  I've also worked on other puzzles or got some that I plan to work on soon.

Sorry for the sideways photos, the phone has been doing that, and I don't feel like fixing it.  The Scooby Doo one is a floor puzzle for kids and takes like 5 minutes.  I brought some fall puzzles home and that was in the box, so why not.  Its fun and easy.  I'm glad it fit on the table.

The flamingo is one of those Photomosaic ones with tiny pictures on the pieces.  It was not as bad as I thought it would be, and as my mom says "it looks much nicer than it does on the box".  It took a few days but not as long as the Twin Towers one which I may not have shown (but will try to find).

The last one I think my sister got us and we will work on it in a few days, closer to Halloween.  I'm not keen of the mouse on the puzzle, but its only 300 pieces so it shouldn't take long.

I either showed the Twin Towers or didn't take a photo, sorry.

However, here is something else my sister got for me, a Bo Jackson book (again sorry for the sideways pic).  I just realized that Dick Schaap cowrote this.  Nice.  I might start reading it soon, but you never know.  I love that I have a bookshelf for my books, and have actually pulled a few off the shelf, so I hope to start reading them soon.  Winter time is a good time to start anyways.

Besides books and puzzles, I've also been adding VHS tapes to my collection.  A couple weeks ago I went to a Goodwill store and tapes were 5 for a buck.  Not that I needed them, but a couple caught my eye so might as well get 5.

I just realized the tape I wanted to show I don't have a picture of.  I know I took one, but oh well.  I got Dutch because I don't own that on any media and figured I might watch it one day.  It was never a high priority, though now I try to find movies I never watched, so it could be a good one for the holidays.  I got the Richard Simmons because I wanted to get 5 and I figured I might as well have at least one Richard Simmons tape.  The next one is Ducktales, and while I was never really into Ducktales, I didn't have too many other good options, so I since the case looked good I got it.

The Muppets Christmas Carol I got because its another one I haven't watched, but its one of my sister's favorite holiday movies, so maybe I'll break out the VCR when she visits.  All in all these were all good pickups, but the one I was most excited to get was produced by a St. Louis TV station in the late 90's.  It was a tape on the Pope's visit to St. Louis.  I like oddball tapes especially if they aren't on DVD or Blu-ray.  I doubt this one got an upgrade, and it will be fun to check out.  I'm not currently watching my tapes because I don't really like the VCR I have (which I am also using to convert blank tapes with commercials to dvd so I can upload to Youtube).  Until I can get a better VCR (IF) I try to limit the usage.

I probably have more movies to show, but I'll show one more just because I took a photo.

These are some more recent additions, either I bought or my sister gave me.  My movie shelf is quickly filling with VHS, and I'd say the end of next year will be all VHS tapes (probably much sooner).

So before I wrap things up, I thought I'd show a couple recent contest wins. The first is one I was super excited about.  For two years I've done RT contests on Twitter trying to win, and finally I won.  What did I win?

I WON A SIGNED GABRIEL IGLESIAS FUNKO!  I've wanted to win one for so long, and I've told myself I wouldn't collect Funko's until I got a signed Fluffy Pop.  So this is my very first Funko Pop, and I am so happy.  I don't have it on display just yet because I want a Pop protector because it gets real dusty in the apartment, so I don't want the signature to come off.  Once I get a protector, it will be proudly displayed.  You'll see it in the next picture on display, but I put it back in the box after that photo to keep it clean.

A day or two later, I was notified of another contest win.  The website GottaDeal is a site I use for Black Friday shopping.  I've been a member since 2005, and usually I win a T-shirt from one of their many contests.  I also am active in a thread where you can get swag from the site.  However this year they announced funds were a bit limited, so no t-shirts, but they would have a few hoodies.  So one of the first contests they held, I was a lucky winner.  A few days later, I got the hoodie in the mail.

The hoodie is a full zip, and it not only fits perfectly (was concerned since its a smaller size then I hoped), but it feels nice.  I was very happy to get it.  I haven't worn it out yet, but I think in a couple weeks I'll have the chance (I'd rather wait as long as possible because I don't want it to get cold).

I decided to pose in front of my movie shelf (as you can see just that middle section contains dvds, so maybe 40-50 more VHS and it will be all tapes). I moved most of the baseball stuff out, and replaced it with wrestling and football.  Behind my head is where the Funko will sit.  It looks so nice there.  I think if anything, that wall is my proudest accomplishment of the year.  Not only building the shelf itself, but how I have every thing displayed.  If the light above my head didn't stick down so much, I would have a much better photo.  Maybe in a week or so I'll try again (I also have some houseplants at my feet I had to crop out).

So I think I'll wrap it up for tonight.  Thanks for reading and have a great week.  I hope to have get some cards this week, and maybe I can do a post about them.  I also hope to have some more stuff to show off, so stick around.