Saturday, March 16, 2019

Five Opinions

  Hello friends. I've seen five doctors, four of them neurologists, and they all say I have ALS. I had a really big appointment last Wednesday, and it sucked the life out of me until today. I am so glad that I have finally recovered from that appointment. I have to do that same appointment every three months. I won't bore you with the details, but bear in mind that it was over four hours of being poked, prodded, and answering questions.

  Everyone who has spoken with me about eating and swallowing is insistent that I get a feeding tube. I have to decide within the next three months. Once my breathing is affected they cannot do the procedure, and eventually I will be completely unable to swallow. I loathe the idea of it, but if I can still walk in three months, I will do it. Really don't want to, but I will.

  On to funner things. It seems that most people who died with ALS, were folks that made the world a better place for the rest of us. I don't claim to have made such an impact, but I am honored to be taking a ride in the same boat they were in. I knew one person who had ALS. Indeed, he was a kindhearted gentleman.
  I did not know these three men, but they certainly made my private world a more enjoyable space.

 Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob Squarepants 


Stephen Hawking, genius extraordinaire 

Lou Gehrig, the Iron Horse 

Yeah, I am in good company! 

Peace Y'all!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Waiting on a Second Opinion

  Is anyone still checking on Now and Zen? I haven't died, but I'm working on it. << joke

  Yeah, this is awkward. First things first- Do NOT set up a GoFundMe for me. Doing so would cause problems that I really do not want to waste time dealing with.

  It took a little more than a year between when I applied for medicaid and my first doctor's appointment. I've suspected for months, and last Monday my doctor said I have ALS. Yeah that ALS. I still have appointments lined up, and things to do, but there it is.  My wife knows (bless her beautiful heart), but I have not told anyone else. I am not close with my family, but I do not want to alarm them in case this turns out to be something that is somehow equally disabling, but less deadly.

  So I thought maybe if anyone out there wants to interact with me through comments, that might be cathartic. I can still walk, and I'm able to use my arms for most things. I cannot speak, and have a helluva time not choking. I can just barely move my tongue. I never knew just how much we rely on our tongues.

  I've been calm about all of this. I have been preparing my mind for this news for some time. Every now and again, I think, 'Wow, can this be real?'  It's real. I don't know anything about the future, so I can't answer those kinds of questions. But, I do know what it is like being inside the body while losing control of it.  I am more than willing to answer those kinds of questions. My mind is intact, and this could be fun. I have a twisted sense of humor, so you'll need one too!

  I know that what I've written here, seems a bit random with what I chose to say, but I chose here to converse about it because you know me well enough to interact with me, but not well enough to freak out about what I'm going through and the end result.

  The good news is that I'll be dead before the NL adopts the DH! -I told you, we need a twisted sense of humor here!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

No Longer Trading

Howdy blogger buds! This is just a note to let everyone know that I am not currently trading cards. I've made a note on my profile at TCDB stating as much. Right now, I intend to hang onto my collection. I may however sell my trading stock. Saving money and reducing material possessions is needed for Zip and I. We are okay, and are working to stay that way. I may find an oddball thing to write about every Now and Zen, and I will keep checking out your blog updates. Peace!

I hate posts without a pic, how about a video to close this post? Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dungeon Crawl Treasures

    One Wednesday afternoon, I had walked to our local comic book store, Graham Crackers on Broadway. They have tons (maybe literally) of comics in their basement. There are boxes after boxes after boxes, and all of the comics down there are priced at 50c. I thought that was fabulous, and after a couple hours of going through the boxes of comics, I took my finds up to the register to pay. To my delight I was told that three of my choices were free. Free! Every Wednesday folks can get 3 free comic books from the 50c boxes in the basement. So while the weather has been congenial, I have been walking to Graham Crackers every Wednesday to buy some comics. Below, are some of the treasures I have found in the Dungeon of Fifty Cents.

    DC now has Hanna-Barbera rights. Who knew? Not I. I love Hanna-Barbera toons, Scooby Doo, Hair Bear Bunch, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Jonny Quest etc... Good times for the child that I was, er uh... that I still am. Now I am searching for all the rest of these DC dressed H-B stories. Wow, did DC toughen these characters! Jaded grunge reigns supreme!

    I really like Paulo Parente's Dust, dieselpunk and babe creations. I had a brand new Dust Tactics game with bonus mini sets. It was a beauty of a game!  Dust Tactics was just one of the many things I had to leave behind. So imagine how excited I was to find this Dust Wars comic book in a 50c box. I am so lucky!

Lantern City was a new discovery, and I am enjoying this story. 


Cemetery Blues is an odd ball book. It was a fun read, although I'm not certain that I will come across any other books from this series.  

Ignition City is also a new read for me. It's (so far) not as engaging as Lantern City, but I really dug Ellis' Freak Angels and Captain Swing stories, so I will pursue further IC issues.  

Steam Man = Steampunk Horror. I have 2 of the 5.  


    This is my fifth or sixth issue of the Steampunk series. A lot of folks have tried cashing in on the steampunk wave. A good many steampunk stories are hollow and fall flat. This Bachalo series is actually very good.

    Along with the Steampunk comic above, the below publications are some of what I picked up just yesterday. I found only 3 different copies of Comic Book Marketplace, and picked them all up. There are some solid interviews and interesting write-ups in these.



    I read Fearless Dawn on Kindle and liked the series so much (this particular issue is a one-shot), that I looked online for hard copies. This was a while back, and when I found them for sale online they were pushing ten bucks a piece, so I dropped my search. I like the story, but what drew me towards this publication in the first place was the title, Fearless Dawn. It's a bit of a mantra for me. I mentioned above that I left many things behind when I left my former situation. I didn't leave casually. I quite literally had to sneak to get away. Yeah, it was that bad. It took a lot of guts for me to leave, and being Fearless Dawn is part of the self improvements I am always working on now. I found this copy in yesterday's dungeon crawl, and today is the two year anniversary of my escape to freedom and love. I AM so very LUCKY!



Kevin Sends Some Hits

    It's been weeks since I've posted anything here at Now and Zen. While I was kicking back and enjoying the summer weather, Kevin Martens of the Trading Bases group sent a box of Cubs cards to me. Nearly every card he sent was a hit to my want list, and there were a few never seen before sets for me to pursue further. Here are some of my favorites from Kevin's Cubs box.

Allen & Ginter, always a favorite series.

Fleer Tradition and Topps Heritage, are also favorites. I like the retro feel and thicker card stock. 

Although, I already had a couple White Sox cards from this Leaf set, these are my first Cubs. I'm pretty sure that there are secret anti-gravity devices hidden at 2nd bases throughout MLB ballparks.  

1996 Fleer, this is the first card I've ever touched from this set.  This is an unusual finish for a trading cards, especially in an era of gloss and metal foil production. I like it, and have added the rest of the team to my want list.

1997 Fleer Ultra. I can't think of an Ultra set that I don't like!  

 A new to me Leaf set. Cool. Missing Cubs from this set are also now being pursued. 

Topps Gallery, Whaaaaat?! This is a super recent set and I'd never heard of it. I love finding new sets that I did not know existed. These are nice. 


    Bowman Heritage. Very nice cards. I have very few Bowman cards in my collection.  I don't normally pursue or hang on to Bowman cards because good gravy, the identification of Bowman sets via card numbers is a nightmare I'd rather not bother with, so I've simplified what Bowman I collect. So far, I hang to Bowman's Platinum and Heritage cards. All other Bowman card numbers are secret launch codes. -Maybe they activate the anti-gravity devices at MLB's 2nd bases, I don't know, but I don't want to risk the consequences.  

Never even heard of Circa cards. These two cards from the 1997 set, look as though their fronts are backs. Way to shuffle the deck Circa! 

Diamond Kings Lester Aurora insert card. I'm glad this guy is a Cub. 

A few odds and ends. Topps Fire cards are weird. Apparently, Baez can make any lame design look uber cool. Fact. 

I don't think I realized Stadium Club cards were still being produced. Lucky us! Lucky me! 

2017 Topps Chrome. Yeah, I like Topps Chrome. It's a lot like Donruss Optics, which I also like.  

My first Finest cards. They even have the protective coating still in place. Cool.  


    Lots of Cubs treasures were enclosed in that box. Thank you Kevin. You made my day and buffed up my collection!