City of Metal Monsters . . . Part 2   Leave a comment

Somewhat to my surprise, I ran out of space while creating this blog long before I had finished my tour of the town. But I’m not going to just quit. I have a lot to show you and a little to say, so, onward, my friends.

CC18stagecoach

Cave Creek was founded in 1870. In those days people traveled from town to town in stagecoaches that looked something like this, but made out of wood, not iron.

CC21BigEarlsEats

For a town built around nostalgia and western kitsch, what could be more nostalgic than a 50’s style diner?  No, folks, cowboys  don’t go to the drive-thru for a hamburger. You’re more likely to see Fonzie and the gang here.

CC26BigEarl2

Cars really did look like this back in the 1950s. With this front, it was probably a pickup truck, and cowboys do love their trucks.

CC23psychicshop

Just beyond Big Earl’s was the psychic shop. Plenty of people were eating hamburgers, but no one wanted their palm read.

CC24highboot

And a shoe shop, and the Sockfish Trading Post.

CC27desertfish

The fish may have wanted me, but I looked, and I didn’t want anything that it had for sale.

CC30FrontierTown1

Frontier Town was a complete shopping mall, old west style. You’ve heard of, or maybe you’ve seen the car on the roof. Back in the day, the put a covered wagon on the roof. Many odd denizens could be found in Frontier Town.

CC31mooseflag

. . . the red, white, and blue moose, somewhat out of place in the desert . . .

CC32velociraptor

. . . the velociraptor–too small to be a T-Rex. I wanted to take my picture with him, but was too stiff to get down to his level . . .

CC33SunDevil

the Arizona State University Sun Devil and his little pal. They look like they are suffering from heat stroke.

CC34NotTalking

I found someone I could not talk to, but he didn’t mind being in a picture with me.

CC43petwood1

Do you know where the Petrified Forest is? You probably thought it was up in northern Arizona near the Painted Desert, but nope, most of it seems to be right here in Cave Creek Arizona. (I have never seen such huge pieces of petrified wood before, and I’ve seen a lot of petrified wood.)

CC44petwood2

CC45petwood3

I walked a couple of blocks past the petrified forest shop, but I had run out of things of interest on this side of the street. I crossed the street and started back toward my car about a mile behind me.

CC46.5TurnedAround

This seems like a good place to end this segment of the blog. We are 2/3 of the way through this tale of wonder (as in I wonder why Ken is telling me all this).

To Be Continued.

 

 

City of Metal Monsters and Creatures, Part 1   Leave a comment

On this beautiful warm January afternoon, I went out and explored the hidden Arizona town of Cave Creek. The town is a little Scottsdale somewhat off the beaten track, nestled among the volcanic hills 20 miles north of Phoenix. I’ve been hiking in the area a couple of times and thought I’d like to see the town. Come walk through it with me now.

CC!sign

I started on the southwest corner of downtown and walked through it. Most of the interesting places are on the south side of a street that is basically running from west to east at this point though it was north-south before getting to this sign.

CC2ironhorse

The horse almost looks real, doesn’t it? I passed this on a wrong turn before I found the town itself. Cave Creek is farther east than I though it was, and you get there from the Carefree Highway.

CC3saguaros

The hills are on the edge of Saguaro desert country. Vegetation is about half cactus, and half mesquite trees.

CC4rhinoprofile

It’s kind of a WTF moment. Why would anyone create a life-sized metal rhinocerous. It is just about the first creature you see when entering town.

CC5rhinoface

It’s for sale, you know, but I don’t know how much it would cost.

CC6croc

It’s a well known fact that desert crocodiles lurk beneath the sand and lurch upwards to catch their prey.

CC7dragon

There was also a rusty dragon hoping a pedestrian would come too close. I told him I was really a troll, and he let me go by.

CC8prettypig

Not all the animals in Cave Creek are made of iron. Here is a beautiful ceramic pig, only one of many painted denizens of this desert town.

CC9musician

There were plenty of metal people around. Lots of musicians, though I think they’d clank a bit.

cc10desertgroup

Metal critters don’t eat each other, so you can find all sorts of unlikely groupings.

CC11Indianmaid

Metal, ceramics, and also painted wood. As wooden Native Americans go, this girl is a real beauty, probably a mom, though as she seems to have a kid and a dog. I didn’t notice the skulls at the time, or I might have bought one.

CC12fluteplayer

Kokopelli? It looks like a Navajo flute, but his finger work is atrocious.

CC13buffaloman

Half man, half buffalo, this guy appears to be dancing. I find this all very strange, as there were no buffalo in this part of the country.

CC14stallion

Almost looks like a unicorn, doesn’t it? Hi ho, Ironsides! Away!

CC15drinker

Can I have a shot of that, pardner?

CC16longhorn

Now this is a critter you might very well meet in this part of the world, and you don’t want to make him mad.

To be Continued . . .

 

Comics Grab Box Bonanza   3 comments

A Huge Box of Comics for $30

Today, December 4, 2015, when I visited Samurai Comics to get my holds, I saw them selling grab boxes of comics for $30 each. Each box had 4 comics showing on the outside, one for each side, and the guy at the store, assured me they were not supposed to be full of duplicates, so I took a chance and bought a box. The box I bought showed these 4 comics:

Just for the fun of seeing what was in it, I thought I’d make this page and list the contents of the box by publisher and title. I’m not going to show all the covers, but if I see any that I really love, I will insert those pix.  The third pic above is B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #4.  The books are listed in the order in which I took them out of the box under each publisher. You understand they were all scrambled together and I had no idea what was coming out.  The ones without parenthesis after them were on the outside of the box. For the rest, I will insert a number like this to show what number it was coming out of the box. (x)

America’s Bestcomics

Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #1 (36)

Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #2 (37)

Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #3 (38)

Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #4 (39)

Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #5 (40)

#10--TopTen1

(complete mini-series

Archaia 

Plunder #3 of 4 (162)

Aspen/Valhalla

Dead Man’s Run #0 (1)

Dead Man’s Run #1 (2)

Dead Man’s Run #2 (3)

Dead Man’s Run #3 (4)

Dead Man’s Run #4 (5)

Dead Man’s Run #5 (6)

Dead Man’s Run #6 (7)

#5--DeadMansRun5

(Sweet! A 7 issue run in continuity of a comic I’ve never seen before.)

Astronaut Ink

The New Zodiax #1 (175)

The New Zodiax #3 (176)

Atlas

Atlas United #1 (122)

Atlas United #2 (123)

Avatar Press

Dicks #3 (adult comic) (63)

Dicks #4 (adult comic) (62)

God is Dead #16 (179)

God is Dead #23 (174)

No Hero #0 (adult comic) (127)

No Hero #1 (adult comic) (129)

No Hero #2 (adult comic) (130)

No Hero #3 (adult comic) (131)

No Hero #4 (adult comic) (132)

No Hero #5 (adult comic) (133)

No Hero #6 (adult comic) (134)

Wee-Size D-icks #2 (adult comic) (64)

Blockade

Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 (signed/numbered on cover) (136)

Boom

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 of 6 (163)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #2 of 6 (164)

Crusade

Manga Shi 2000 #1 (101)

Manga Shi 2000 #3 (103)

Manga Shi 2000 #1 (101)

#11--Shi1

Sexy Swordplay in superhero Japan.

Dark Horse

Angel & Faith: Season 10 #2.

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: New World #4 of 5.

Dark Horse Presents #32 (anthology title) (43)

Dark Horse Presents #33 (anthology title) (42)

Dark Horse Presents #34 (anthology title) (41)

Dark Horse Presents #36 (anthology title) (65)

Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out: Lady Danger, Agent of B.O.O.T.I #6 (178)

The Order of the Forge #1 (172)

The Order of the Forge #2 (170)

 

 

D.C.

Animal Man Annual (the new 52) #2 (69)

Batman Detective Comics (the new 52) #20 (67)

Batman Detective Comics (the new 52)  #24 (44)

Batman Incorporated (the new  52) #2 (53)

Catwoman (the new 52) #24 (55)

Demon Knights (the new 52) #7 (100)

Demon Knights (the new 52) #8 (99)

Demon Knights (the new 52) #9 (74)

Demon Knights (the new 52) #11 (73)

Demon Knights (the new 52) #13 (75)

Doc Savage #5 (First Wave) (60)

Doc Savage #7 (First Wave) (59)

Doc Savage #8 (First Wave) (58)

Doc Savage #12 (First Wave) (57)

Eternity #1 (94)

Forever Evil (the new 52) #7 (68)

Future’s End: Wonder Woman #1 (the new 52) (holographic cover) (19)

#8--WonderWoman1

(holographic covers with gif motion–how cool is that!)

Green Lantern (the new 52) #21 (54)

Justice #6

Manhunter #31 (126)

Mister Terrific (the new 52) #1 (110)

Mister Terrific (the new 52) #2 (111)

Mister Terrific (the new 52) #3 (112)

Red Lanterns (the new 52) #7 (56)

Shade: the Changing Man #9 (11)

Shade: the Changing Man #10 (12)

Shade: the Changing Man #11 (13)

Shade: the Changing Man #12 (14)

Shade: the Changing Man #13 (15)

Shade: the Changing Man #14 (16)

#7--Shade9

The Doom Patrol! #11 (137)

The Doom Patrol! #12 (138)

The Doom Patrol! #13 (139)

The Doom Patrol! #14 (140)

The Doom Patrol! #15 (141)

The Doom Patrol! #16 (142)

The Doom Patrol! #17 (143)

The Doom Patrol! #18 (144)

The Movement (the new 52) #2 (45)

The Movement  (the new 52) #12 (46)

Wildstorm: Dreamwar #3 of 6 (108\9)

Wildstorm: Dreamwar #4 of 6 (108)

Wonder Woman #23.2: First Born #1 (holographic cover) (20)

Dynamite

Magnus Robot Fighter #1 (124)

Dynamite/Vertigo

Django/Zorro #3 (61)

Ebco

El Hombre Invisible # 480 (Spanish Western) (109)

Fantagor

Richard Corben’s Den #2 (98)

IDW

Dead World Restoration #1 (104)

Dead World Restoration #2(105)

Dead World Restoration #3 (106)

Dead World Restoration #4 (107)

G.I. Joe #209 (181)

Joe Frankenstein #3 (167)

#12--JoeFrankenstein3

Trio #1 (64)

Trio #2 (65)

Trio #3 (66)

Image

Blood Red Dragon #1 (8)

Blood Red Dragon #2 (9)

Blood Red Dragon #3 (10)

#6--BloodRedDragon1

Here I got a 3 issue sequence of a new martial arts superhero created by Stan Lee in 2011. It makes me wonder why Stan is writing comics for other companies in 2011.

Dark Minds  #0 (sparkle cover) (28)

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #1 (47)

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #2 (48)

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #3(49)

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #4 (50)

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #5 (51)

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #6 (52)

God Hates Astronauts #05 (180)

Morning Glories #39 (92)

MP: The Manhattan Projects #13 (125)

Penny Dora and the Wishing Box #4 (169)

Penny Dora and the Wishing Box #5 (165)

Marvel

Alpha Big time #1 (29)

Alpha Big Time #001 (30)

Alpha Big Time #002 (31)

Alpha Big Time #003 (32)

#9--Alpha

Cable and XForce #015 (148)

Kick-Ass 2 #5 (176)

Kick-Ass 3 #3 (177)

Moon Knight #15 (93)

Secret Avengers #26

Spider Woman #005 (135)

The Emerald City of Oz #1 of 8 (variant edition) (172)

The Emerald City of Oz #8 of 8 (173)

The First X-Men #1 (33)

The First X-Men #2 (34)

The First X-Men #3 (35)

Ultmate Extinction #1 (17)

Ultimatum #1 (18)

Ultimatum #3 (19)

Uncanny X-Men: Regenesis #01 (76)

Uncanny X-Men: Regenesis #02 (77)

Uncanny X-Men: Regenesis #03 (78)

Uncanny X-Men #05 (79)

Uncanny X-Men #6 (80)

Uncanny X-Men #7 (81)

Uncanny X-Men #8 (82)

Uncanny X-Men #9 (83)

Uncanny X-Men #10 (84)

Uncanny X-Men #11 (85)

Uncanny X-Men #12 (86(

Uncanny X-Men #13 (87)

Uncanny X-Men #14 (88)

Uncanny X-Men #15 (89)

Uncanny X-Men #16 (90)

Uncanny X-Men #17 (91)

Wolverine: the best there is #10 (adult comic) (145)

XForce #001 (147)

XForce #003 (146)

Northwest Press (NW)

Rise: Comics Against Bullying #1 (168)

Oni

The Life After #5 (113)

The Life After #6 (114)

Renegade

Dept. of Monsterology #3 of 4 (96)

Dept. of Monsterology #4 of 4 (97)

Titan

Mono #1 of 2 (95)

Top Cow

Postal #3 (161)

The Darkness: Four Horsemen #1 of 4 (23)

The Darkness: Four Horsemen: #2 of 4 (22)

The Darkness #7 (25)

The Darkness #12 (27)

The Darkness #25 (26)

The Darkness #77 (24)

The Darkness #107 (21)

Top Cow/Image

Rise of the Magi #1 (166)

Rise of the Magi #1 (171) variant cover

Valiant

Archer & Armstrong #1 (115)

Archer & Armstrong #2 (116)

Archer & Armstrong #3 (117)

Archer & Armstrong #4 (118)

Archer & Armstrong #5 (119)

Harbinger #25 (160)

Vertigo

DMZ #22 (72)

DMZ #24 (71)

DMZ #26 (70)

Jack of Fables #49 (121)

Jack of Fables #50 (120)

Wildstorm

Ex Machina #40 (149)

Ex Machina #41 (150)

Ex Machina #42 (151)

Ex Machina #43 (152)

Ex Machina #44 (153)

Ex Machina #45 (154)

Ex Machina #46 (155)

Ex Machina #47 (156)

Ex Machina #48 (157)

Ex Machina #49 (158)

Ex Machina #50 (159)

_______________________________________________

All that was in this box–181 comics for $30. That comes to 16 cents per comic, which seems like a fair price to me for used comics that no one really wants. The average price marked on these comics was $4.00, though a lot of them had been in the $1.00 bins for some time. Just goes to show how overpriced comics are.

If you ever got a really good, or bad, deal when buying comics, why not leave a comment?

–end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted December 5, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

Riverwalk, October 8, 2015   Leave a comment

On days when I feel grumpy and out of sorts, the best thing for me to do is go take a walk, preferably somewhere out where there are no people around. Phoenix has an urban wilderness inside the city that only a few people know about. I’m one of them, and from time to time I go down to the Rio Salado to restore my soul, and see what I can find in the way of pretty rocks. Today, Octobber 8, 2015, was one such day, and this is the record of my walk.

Trolls love bridges. This is a meme I'm trying to establish.

Trolls love bridges. This is a meme I’m trying to establish.

Being under the bridge is even better than being on the bridge.

Being under the bridge is even better than being on the bridge.

This is what passes for a river in the urban wilderness. A pretty as it looks, you don't want to get too close to this water. It's dangerous.

This is what passes for a river in the urban wilderness. As pretty as it looks, you don’t want to get too close to this water. It’s dangerous.

I found fresh coyote tracks, probably made this morning. No human tracks nearby, so it's not a dog. In my fantasy world, this is a wolf or warg track.

I found fresh coyote tracks, probably made this morning. No human tracks nearby, so it’s not a dog. In my fantasy world, this is a wolf or warg track.

The river is a ribbon of green through a harsh landscape.

The river is a ribbon of green through a harsh landscape.

...

. . .

. . .Walking carefully.

There are flowers in the wilderness. This grows on some kind of bean tree.

There are flowers in the wilderness. This grows on some kind of bean tree.

The path I must walk looks unfamiliar to me.

The path I must walk looks unfamiliar to me.

I am always on the lookout for striped stones. This is a cleancut beauty, but just a little too large to take home with me.

I am always on the lookout for striped stones. This is a cleancut beauty, but just a little too large to take home with me.

There is a rest area. Here I stop and watch the birds. A large hawk of some type is flying about, but he is too fast and far away for me to catch with a cellphone camera. Airplanes fly across the city about once every 3 minutes. I drink some water and get ready to take my own picture. This is the turning back marker for the hike.

There is a rest area. Here I stop and watch the birds. A large hawk of some type is flying about, but he is too fast and far away for me to catch with a cellphone camera. Airplanes fly across the city about once every 3 minutes. I drink some water and get ready to take my own picture. This is the turning back marker for the hike.

About halfway thru the hike I take my own picture. These are the moments when I feel most in tune with nature.

About halfway thru the hike I take my own picture. These are the moments when I feel most in tune with nature.

Men are never far away in Phoenix. On the other side of the riverbank is a giant open pit gravel mine.

Men are never far away in Phoenix. On the other side of the riverbank is a giant open pit gravel mine.

This is the road leading back to civilization.. . .

This is the road leading back to civilization.. . .

I find more of the violet flowers on the return trip. I am taking the easy way back on the access road above the river.

I find more of the violet flowers on the return trip. I am taking the easy way back on the access road above the river.

My last glimpse of the river--a side stream feeds water into the main channel. It is wild, beautiful, and polluted.

My last glimpse of the river–a side stream feeds water into the main channel. It is wild, beautiful, and polluted.

These are the treasures found during my hike. Yes, one of them is a golf ball, miles away from the nearest golf course.

These are the treasures found during my hike. Yes, one of them is a golf ball, miles away from the nearest golf course.

end

***********************************************************************************************************************************************

If you can identify those violet flowers or the red conglomerate rock in the last picture, or if you just like to take your own river walks, why not leave a comment?

–Ken

Posted October 8, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Stonehenge   4 comments

Did you know there is a Stonehenge monument inside the United States? In fact it stands on a high down overlooking the mighty Columbia River just inside the Washington state border. By happy accident, I learned of its existence and made an epic journey to see/visit it.

The last leg of the trip started in Bigg’s Junction, Oregon at this colorful location on the wrong side of the river.

h1

First, I had to cross a mighty river. Luckily the local trolls had built a mighty bridge.

h2

h3

h4

h5.

And then I had to climb the mountain.

h6

h7

Then I got lost on the top and went the wrong way.

I met wild creatures who ran away from me. (There are 2 deer in the next photo.)

h9

I saw magnificent sights . . .

h10

and then I arrived.

h11

The site was unguarded, so . . .  I spent some time exploring it.

h12

h13

Mystic writings told me that Stonehenge had been built as a monument for the honored dead.

h14

gh15

There was much to see, and I looked at everything.

h17 h18 h19 h20 h21 h22

h23

When almost ready to depart, I took this picture with my son James to prove that we had really been here.

h24

Having seen this wonder, James and I resumed our journey. We had far to go and other marvels to behold before returning to my own trollcave.

h25

h26

unnamed

****************************************************************************************

Historical note: in 1983 I visited the original Stonehenge monument near Salisbury, England. It rained on me.

StonehengeEngland

If you have ever been to Stonehenge, or have crossed the Columbia River, why not leave a comment?

end

Posted October 3, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

Tagged with

Down by the Gila River   1 comment

I haven’t done a real river walk in a couple of months now. It has been too hot, and i’ve been all over those  river parks in South Phoenix several times–getting a bit bored with them. So, I went to the river at a spot further west than I have ever gone before and found to my surprise that it had changed its name–no longer Rio Salado, but now Gila River. And it had quite a bit of water in it. That’s always a surprise with an Arizona river. I walked about a half mile, and I took these pix. Come walk down by the Gila River with me!

KY9-2f1

These yellow flowers were the only flowers I found down by the river, but there were lots of them. They grow right along the water’s edge.

KY9-2f2 KY9-2f3

I like to walk by the river and search for interesting rocks. A riverbed usually provides a wide variety. This rockfield is typical of the rocks I saw today. Do you see any with stripes? That’s what I usually search for.

KY9-2r1

Does this look like Arizona to  you? Not a cactus in sight!

KY9-2river1 KY9-2river2

The buildings beyond the trees across the river are part of Phoenix International Raceway–Phoenix’s auto racing establishment. Actually, it’s south of Avondale, and probably outside any city limits. Phoenix racing is usually in winter and spring. The heat would kill people if they tried to race in the summer.

KY9-2river3

River channel looks like an irrigation ditch.

KY9-2river5

Looking at the river from the road. No room for trolls under this bridge.

Ky9-2rocks

I collected these 7 rocks on my hike, and they followed me home to be part of my rock garden. I usually look for rocks with stripes–often an inclusion of quartz in another mineral. I especially like the 6th one in line from the left.  Finding striped rocks definitely made the trip worthwhile.

The whole hike was only about half a mile. I could have stayed longer and gone farther, and found many more rocks, I’m sure, but I was a little uneasy leaving my car parked unattended on the side of the road, so I cut it short. If you ever go on river walks, why not leave a comment?

–end

Posted September 2, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Monsoon Walk in Phoenix, July 31, 2015 Late Afternoon   Leave a comment

Anyone who reads or looks at this blog knows that a lot of them are simply walks in the desert or trips around Arizona. This is another walk, nothing special, but it’s right close to home. Phoenix gets a lot of summer thunderstorms, called monsoons, though they aren’t much like real monsoons in India,  There was an extreme thunderstorm watch today but it only sprinkled with a light breeze and occasional rolling thunder where I live. These pix are taken in sequence as I walked about 2 miles in the cool of the afternoon. An hour earlier it was 107 outside. During my walk it was about 80 and felt cooler.

M1 M2 M3me

No, I’m not giving you a raspberry, dear viewer, I’m sticking out my tongue trying to catch raindrops on it. I did catch one or two.

M4me2

This is the first time I’ve really felt good all day.

M5 M6 M7

I found a little angel watching the storm–not my guardian–but it’s always a good sign to see an angel. We said hi, and I walked on.

M9

When I go out walking these days, I’m always looking for pretty flowers to photograph. These are a little blurred because the breeze was blowing them around as I took their picture.

M10 M11

All the bushes are in blossom.

M12 M13 M14

A lot of this walk was simply about getting pix of the cloudy sky.

M15 M16 M17

Flowers. Can’t smell them, but I’m enjoying the colors.

M18me

Street behind me . . .

M19me

Sky above me.

M20 M21

Big Arizona Saguaro cactus in someone’s back yard.

M22 M23

I’d like to live in this house instead if the apartment I have. Nice place, but more than I can afford. Sigh.

M29

Gold-bearded palm tree.

M28cat1 M29cat2 M30cat3

I met a cat as I walked. It is in all 3 pictures. The cat watched me, trying to hide in a little hole in the grass, as I walked up on it. It finally scampered away when I stopped to take the third picture and looked at it a little too long.

M24bunny

The rabbits get quite large in Arizona, at least in my neighborhood.

M24 M25 M26 M27 M28 M30

There’s a big hospital down here on 19th Avenue. This is the turn around point in my walk. Most of the interesting stuff is behind me now.

M31 M32 M33lion

One of my favorite neighborhood landmarks is the psychic’s house guarded by two huge stone lions. Leo here is friendly and doesn’t mind having his picture taken. This cat never loses a staring contest.

M34flags

Flags. Arizona, America, Apartments. They all seem to be at the same level, but the American flag is in front and flying at half mast while the other two are at the top of their poles. The American flag is only shown at half way up the pole when we are honoring dead Americans who either died tragically or in the line of duty–sometimes both.

M35home M36door

Home again. I have walked 1.97 miles according to the pedometer. My shirt is damp from rain falling on it, but I am actually wetter from the sweat roused by the exercise.  If you enjoyed this little walk with me, please leave a comment. If you like to go walking in the rain, that would be another good reason to say something.

–end

Posted August 1, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

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