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04/05/2003 Archived Entry: "Bah!"

Since there have been complaints lodged by a certain Allyson Garrick, who shall remain nameless, it's time for an update!

Where to start, where to start...hmmmmm. Lot of stuff has happened, but I'll just discuss the things that actually have a conclusion.

Well, my interview on Thursday was interesting. I was veeeeeery careful to avoid words like "unpack" and "move" and "assemble" and focused on words like "plan" and "integrate" and "analyze" and the like. Like I said, I think it went fairly well. Then we had class and got the information for our performance final on how we need to set up these five routers. I dunno what the deal is with the groups though, like J Fair technically has the lowest test average (and I have the highest... *cough*), yet the two of us are always way ahead of the other group. For example, we had to calculate specific subnets, print up what we were going to use (so the teach could make sure we had the right ones) and then print up a diagram with all the IP addresses. Well, we finished about the time they got their first part done. It's not like I do all the work, I made J Fair do all the stuff to, and he seems to get it very well to. Very odd...maybe we're just that good...

Anyway, Friday I got to take my car in for service. Oh yay, oh yay. It all started Wednesday when my car wouldn't idle after class. Now, my car is effectively my job, as I can't get to the schools without it, so that means its continued operation is non-optional. So I take it to the shop to have a normal servicing, the filters, oil change, etc. and have them clean out the idle sensor/valve that had gotten stuck earlier. Well, of course, in the process of doing this, they discover the water pump is leaking and probably should be replaced (again, the non-optional bit...and during the summer...coolant in the engine *is* useful) and that a valve has gone bad. So might as well have them do that while it's there since it sure beats having the pump go when I'm on the road. Oh, and the A/C probably needed servicing. Final damage? $600...okay, $598, but that's damned close enough! And NOW, it seems like my spedometer might be telling me I'm going 5 miles faster than I'm really doing (i.e. - says I'm doin 45 when I'm really doing 40). While that might not get me a speeding ticket, it's sure gonna piss off anyone behind me. *sigh* Need to make sure and see if T-diddy's bro knows how to re-calibrate them.

My leg bump is *finally* getting smaller and hurting less. This is a merry happy thing, as band-aids there are painful and don't stick well as the muscles move too much. Whether this means my leg is better or just going to need amputation, who knows? For now it's a good thing.

On the toy front, I got a dozen Grey Knights in Power Armor in blisters, again cleaning out my favorite toy store of their supply of them. I'm starting to think I should warn them about when I'm buying stuff as I seem to buy up everything a lot and nobody gets any more for the rest of the week (I've cleaned them out like this on different models many times). I'm sure they don't care so long as the product is moving, but I feel bad for those poor (slower) bastards after me. Especially since this is the only store in the area that actually gets new stuff every week (for my reviews of toy stores in the area, see after the cut).

Today was pretty calm, just talking to my friends mostly. Also got gas and glue (interesting combo, no?) so I should be set for a bit on both of those counts. My bro called and asked if I wanted to go out with him and his girl, so I'll probably be leaving soon enough.

Anyway, think that's all for right now...if you *really* care about toy stores...keep on readin...

OK, there are four stores on this side of the water in reasonable driving distance (One store has two locations). Here's how they break down:

Jersey's Cards and Comics - These guys have a decent enough selection of current models, but are kind of hit or miss on new models. Also on the weekends and some weeknights, their gaming tables (which are a foot away or less from the products) are swarming with little kids normally playing Pokemon or Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh! card games. That wouldn't be so bad except the little snots don't ever move out of the way so you can look through the racks....makes shopping unpleasant. By the same token, gaming there probably sucks because you've got these jackasses who keep moving in to look at products, you know? Plus, they don't carry Battlefleet Gothic because they don't want to re-arrange their racks to accomodate them. Not a big deal, but when I want BFG stuff, they are automatically off the list.

Atomic Comics Emporium (2 Stores) - Back in the day, these guys were *the* source to me for this sort of stuff. As the years have gone on though, they've kind of fallen behind (way behind). First, there really isn't much rhyme or reason to how the models are on the racks, there are vague delineations, but on one rack, you might find six different models from six different armies. Gives the whole thing a scavenger hunt feel that, while moderately entertaining at times, is an overall hassle. I don't go to them very much anymore since their owner said they weren't going to order from Games Workshop in the future unless asked to. Well, why on earth would I pay full price to wait a week when I can order the same stuff from the WarStore or someplace similar and get a 20% discount (and probably get it faster)? That brings me to the final nail in their coffin, they charge to use their gaming tables. Sure, it's only like $10-15 a year, but the fact that you would charge people to use models they're paying too much for ANYWAY is kind of...blah. This is probably why your sales of Games Workshop stuff have gone down, ya know? The 2nd store is very useful for finding older models as so few people shop there. I found a Limited Edition Emperor's Champion (they sell on eBay for $30+ usually) sitting on the rack...AND it was on sale for 15% off! Also bought a Handgunner regiment there for $25, not the $50 GW wants for them. That store is good from time to time for that, but not much else.

Hobbytown USA - These guys are ok. They have a decent selection of most of the ranges, and they have open gaming every Sunday. I like the GW specialist guy, he's cool and makes a decent enough ref. Since they're a general hobby store, they have tons of stuff that you don't find at a comic store, like pre-mixed airbrush paints! Their prices run a little high for other stuff as they're really a franchise, but it's an overall good group. Chief complaints against them are that they don't have a whole lot of gaming space (more than 2 games is next to impossible) and they're only open from noon to five on Sundays. Now, a 2000 point game of 40k (the norm there) takes about 4 hours, so that's like...A game. Kinda silly, but that's the way it is. Other problem is they're out in BFE in relation to me...no really good ways to get there.

World's Best Comics - Much as the name states, they're the best. Even at their old location, they were normally the front runners, but now that they've moved to new digs, they rock. They have a nearly complete selection of all the ranges (They've actually had better selection/stock than some GW stores), their racks are wide and spacious and laid out in an organized fashion (i.e. - there's an Imperial Guard SECTION of the racks, a Space Marine section, an Empire section, so forth and so on). Makes finding what you want fairly simple and painless. They get shipments of new stuff every week, meaning that Thursday (sometimes Friday with UPS stupidity) there will be the latest models, no question. They carry lots and lots of stuff, and they definately have the best lighting of any place (you wouldn't think that'd be a big deal, but some places are very dimly light when there's no sunlight). They hold special events often and, when they do, they provide food! They wheel out a grill and cook up hamburgers and hot dogs. I remember the first time I was there I asked how much it was and the guy was like "Eh, you guys buy all your stuff here, so it's free"...he's also the one who never asks me for my ID when I use a credit card because "we know who you are"....kinda sad that I buy that much, eh? Even at their old store, the gaming tables were in a separate portion of the store, but at the new one...it's *upstairs*. They even have a shower up there for those really long gaming sessions! (Ok...it's there because the place used to be a gym...) There's nothing up there except tables (on a *padded* floor, for those of us who tend to accidentally drop models), and there's five good sized tables (some of which can hold 2 or 3 games at one time) up there and they provide a wide selection of terrain (in another room). Also, they have the best hours of any store...they open I believe at 11AM everyday and are open ostensibly to midnight. But if there's a game going on, they don't mind staying around until things wrap up (within reason of course). Think after Armageddon (big world-wide event) I was there until 12:30 playing...and they showed no signs of stopping when I left. That's classy, you can stay and play...rock on. About the only reason I go to any other store is when I've bought out their supply of a given model and still need more. If anyone (GW included) wants to see what an awesome store looks like, go to World's Best and take a look around. I mean, my only complaint about the place is that the driveway to the parking lot is at a funny angle so you scuff up your car if you go in too fast...that's piddly crap that they can't help, ya know? I can always just go to the second entrance...

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