Thursday, July 13, 2017

One Year Ago

It's sometimes hard to believe that one year ago today, I had open heart surgery. I had a quadruple bypass. My chest was cut open and surgeons and nurses worked on my heart. My surgeon held my heart in his hands. It's still surreal and a bit mind boggling. 

Just a quick recap: my sister had a heart attack in June of 2015, with no damage but she needed a stent in an artery. During my yearly physical in February of 2016, my doctor believes that I should have a calcium scoring test which can determine if their are any blockage issues with arteries. After putting that off, I finally have the test done in June of 2016. Bad news, very high numbers indicating that I have some blockage issues. I get to a cardiologist on July 3rd and he recommends that I have a cardiac cath to determine the extent of blockage. So on July 11th, I have the cardiac cath. Good news: cardiac muscle is fine. Bad news: significant blockages, surgery needed. Soon, like in two days. Sure enough, on July 13th, I'm in surgery getting my chest cut open and arteries rerouted and reworked to improve blood flow and avoid one of those pesky heart attacks.
So now what? It's been a year. How has my life changed? For quite a few months after the surgery, of course, I was just simply in recovery, just healing and recovering. But now, one year later, I'm doing pretty dang well. A large part of the scar on my chest has faded as it has healed. The lower portion is still thick but it seems to be slowly fading. 

It's hard to say how well I've recovered physically. I think I'm doing quite well, but I do seem to wear out a little quicker after a lot of exertion, like mowing the lawn. But how much of that is a result of surgery or my own natural laziness to get any significant exercise? 

My biggest issue, to me, is that I didn't have any significant event prior to my surgery. Basically, I had preventative cardiac bypass with some pretty spectacular results. I had an ultrasound scan of my heart a few weeks ago and everything is pumping quite nicely. My heart seems to be doing its job very well. Eventually, in 10-15 years, I may need some additional work on my heart, maybe a stent or two put into the new arteries around my heart. 

Since I didn't have any prior events and everything seems to be fine, I find myself being a little lax on addressing the issues that got me into this situation in the first place. Am I eating better? More heart healthy foods? Yeah, well, not so much. Sometimes, but not as a rule or a new habit. I've grown accustomed to having a beer or two or three a little more often. I could really step up the exercise a bit more than I have. Honestly, I just need to stop putting my health on the back burner. I need to just stop being a lazy ass and take better care of myself.

I am and always will be a cardiac patient. I will always have the possibility of a cardiac event in my future. One day, I may need to go back under the surgeon's knife for new repairs. 

As I've said before... take care of your sh!t.

Friday, June 30, 2017

My Marauder Crew

Just a photo dump of my current Marauder crew.
Major Bludd - because Hasbro hasn't gotten him right yet.
One of Major Bludd's top team members.
Bludd Hounds?
Bludd Hound #2.
I finally found a use for the "Ripcord" head sculpt from RoC.
One of my first Marauder figures.
The addiction began then.
The other of my first Marauder figures.
What was this character from The Force Awakens?
I don't remember, but I liked the head sculpt enough to build the body with Marauder gear.
Orange Marauder gear because why the hell not?
Red and black because I said so.
This is actually the JoeCon 2017 Val exclusive, but not exactly because I swapped out different bits of gear. I like the green/black contrasts.
I believe that this is a new color palette for the male body. 
Whatever, I liked the figure enough to buy him at JoeCon.
"Shooter" - sort of. Inspired by the Shooter concept and much better than what Hasbro tried.
Rock n Roll - kinda'
I really like the shorter sleeves. 
The skin tones for the plastic are perfect.
Love the colors of the uniform!
Black Widow head on a Marauder body.
Nothing but love!

I've got to save up some $$$. The prepackaged sets from JoeCon were so loaded with gear that I have loads of it left. I need more bodies and more of the smaller bits! And more weapons! And more head sculpts! 
And more and more and more!!!

Doesn't Marauder just rock?
What are your thoughts?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Collector's Club Cobra Officers

When did the Club release these figures? Last year? I think so. They looked cool at the time, but I put off buying any - until I made plans to go to JoeCon 2017. These lethal ladies were available at the club store, so I added them to my order of Convention souvenirs. 
I'm quite pleased with these figures! This is a case where the Club definitely beat Hasbro in figure design. Well, Hasbro had to approve, so... Anyway, these figures are far superior to the female Cobra officer that they put out as a part of a three pack of figures from last year. A much better parts selection over what Hasbro had done.
The Club had released a three pack of female figures as part of one of their convention sets several years ago, back in the o-ring days. This modern update was a great nod to the those figures, even matching the hair colors.
Decent, but minimal accessories. The helmets don't fit great, but they're okay.
Okay, this next observation is a bit... odd. Especially when considering that these are just toys. The Club used the same upper torso that they used for Pythona, which worked well for her, but not so much for these ladies. These ladies are quite well endowed and actually quite vulnerable. Yes, as a guy, female breasts are quite lovely to behold, but these are a bit too big and unprotected. It almost appears that their shirts are either quite stretchy or have built in boob pockets.

With my recent purchase of Vals from Marauder and, well, comparing the, uh, let's say, the anatomical sculpt of the figures, there's a difference between realistic and comic portrayal of female anatomy.  Having grown up reading comics, these Cobra ladies mirror the basic look of the superhero female. 

Back when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out, there were various spasms of nerd rage when Captain Phasma appeared and she didn't have female armor. In nerd speak, that means that her armor didn't have defined breasts. I found an article about how armor, if designed to enhance and not protect the female form, then it would leave the warrior very vulnerable to attack. The area between the breasts, if designed to have, uh, cleavage, would be a weak spot in the armor. Not so with Phasma's armor, or even the Marauder female gear.

I'm thinking of a future post covering female action figure breast sculpting. Is that just too weird? Am I just a sexist pig if I did a post comparing female head and torso sculpts? I think I actually commented on the Jinx figure's breasts back when I bought the SDCC figures.

In these days of acute cultural society, perhaps I shouldn't. But then again, who reads this silly ass blog anyway? What are your thoughts?

Big Lob - Collector's Club Figure 2017

Big Lob makes his move!

In the Club Store at JoeCon 2017, there was a supply of carded Big lob figures that quickly sold out before I even made it through the line! No worries, I knew I had my Club figure arriving in the mail soon enough.

Well, he didn't arrive while we were gone, but just a day later, that familiar small box arrived.
Big Lob! Now who the hell is Big Lob?
Big Lob was basically a one shot character who was in the animated GI Joe movie. He was a part of a group of new recruits called the Rawhides. They were under the gentle care of Beach Head. Every other Rawhide made it into plastic form, except for Big Lob. I'm sure there's a story out there somewhere as to why he didn't make it into production. Perhaps, like Pythona, he was planned for a second wave of movie related figures that didn't make it into production due to poor response to the movie. That's a discussion for another time.

I never really liked the character that much. Maybe because he didn't make it into action figure format, I just never connected with Big Lob. This actually is the second version of Big Lob. The Club made him as part of a Convention set or a Convention exclusive. (too lazy to look it up)

Despite my disinterest in the character, I'm really quite pleased with what the Club did for the build. They took the first Roadblock/Rock body from Retaliation, without the weird hand, and probably used the hands from the second Roadblock/Rock figure from a Retaliation three pack to complete the figure. The brand new head sculpt is really well done and captures Big Lob quite well.

No ankle joints or double jointed knees? So what? Not a huge deal. Good job by the Club and I'm looking forward to next year's membership figure, Rock n Roll version 2!

What's your thoughts on Big Lob? Yea or Nay?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Battleforce 2000 Display

Back at home and on display!

It didn't take me too long to get these guys out of the box and on display!

Lower shelves are of nearly all of my various FSS figures.
Limited display space right now but I'll take what I can get.

One day, I'll have a "Joe Room". One day...
How about you?
How do you display your toys?