Friday, November 30, 2012

After a Night of Writing, Furiously

So there, ta-dah!

Actually, I’m not that excited about it; basically the story got a little too big to handle too quickly, and like the last time, I ended up dispensing with a lot of plot offstage, this time in some flashbacks and an extended epilogue. And the original beginning I had planned became the end. For now.

I thought it started well, and it’s certainly salvageable. Just…yeah, it's over and done with. I can move on to other projects for a month or two, without the word count guilt.

In celebration, I ate a bunch of curly fries and opened up a couple packages, including my fancy new Prancer:

Nifty! I do find the black reins are a little distracting, the mock overspray a bit silly and overdone, and most Fury/Prancers didn’t come with painted eyewhites (only some of the Black Beauties did).

But unlike the upcoming Retro Release on the Western Pony, this one kinda-sorta looks like something that could have been made back then. Sort of like what a Connoisseur would have looked like if the program existed fifty years ago.

(A Connoisseur Racehorse does make me giggle. I’d probably buy it, too.)

Looking at the snap saddle makes me wish (again) Reeves would institute a spare parts program as a perk of the Collector’s Club or Vintage Club. I think a lot of people would appreciate being able to get replacement hats for their Old Timers, and replacement saddles for their Western Horses/Ponies/Prancers. (And the hats would make excellent keychains. Just saying!)

That’s all you’re getting today: my brain is still totally fried from yesterday’s massive write-a-thon.

I think I’ll go make cookies; I’m thinking something in the shortbread family, but I have a gluten-free chocolate walnut meringue-type thingie that I’ve been itching to try. (Not because I have to, but because I want to. They sound absolutely decadent. I could use a little decadence right now.)  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another PSA: Fake Glosses

I feel totally yucky today. My back hurts, I have a rash on my hands, I’m absolutely freezing, and I had to work with a couple of real "Debbie Downers" at work yesterday.

(Yeah, I know, the irony.)

The homemade chicken soup I had for lunch helped a little. I’d crawl back to bed if I could, but I have way too much stuff to do today, and no minions to pick up the slack.

You might have heard about yet another Fake Gloss controversy that had been stirring things up on Blab and in the MHHR Yahoo Group. I don’t know enough about the persons or models involved to comment on the specifics of the situation, but there are some good (and repeatable!) points to be made here about the Gloss Finishes in general.

First - and this might come as a bit of a shocker, from me - is that the absence of a Certificate of Authenticity is not necessarily the red flag. Some of the earlier modern Glossies - and some of the random glosses that appear on the shelves, from time to time - don’t have them. And faking a certificate of that sort is easier than faking a Gloss Finish.

That’s not to say they don’t have any value. If a model came with one to begin with, I’d certainly be looking for it, and negotiate accordingly based on its appearance - or absence. It adds to the provenance, which is always a net positive, financially and historically.

Second, as to whether or not an average collector can be fooled by an aftermarket gloss finish: Yes, most definitely. Remember, it’s only the incompetent forgers who get caught. The problem is that incompetent forgers make up the majority, so most hobbyists make the assumption that fakes should be completely obvious in person.

They are not. Any good art historian can tell you that even the best collections have a few questionable items in it. I have a few models myself that I definitely consider iffy. But I’ve also seen models that looked very iffy that were unassailably authentic. There’s a lot of room for error, and even the best of us get fooled from time to time. It happens. There's no shame in making the occasional mistake.

That being said, there are a number of hobbyists - not just newbies, but people who’ve been around a while too, and should know better - who genuinely can’t see even very obvious fakes. Sometimes it’s in self-interest: they paid a lot of money for something, or their reputation would be on the line if it was discovered that they were easily fooled. So whatever issues that might be there get rationalized away.

A lot of the time, though, it’s a matter of them genuinely not knowing what a real gloss looks like. There have been instances when someone’s brought me a "Rare!" Gloss to examine, and they were painfully, obviously faked. As in chunks of newspaper or hair embedded in the gloss, large strange drips in places they shouldn’t be, or deep unnatural yellowing of the gloss itself.

Pointing them out always leads to inevitable mutterings of "I didn’t see that" or "Isn’t that how a gloss is supposed to look?" 

Until Reeves gets its act together and finds a suitable method for minimizing counterfeit glosses (Decals under the gloss? Sparkles in the gloss? A special numbering system?) all we can do is educate ourselves - and others.

Glosses, like Black Test Colors, should always be held to a more rigorous standard of proof.

I understand the temptation, but seriously guys and gals, you know this already: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Life is Weird

In spite of all the nonsense and lack of time, I’m still only a few hundred words off the pace of the novel. Not bad. Of course, the office is a complete and total wreck at this point:

My "Black Friday" was pretty quiet. Went to the craft store, got a can of primer with a half off coupon; then I went to the local Salvation Army, bought a few odds and ends (including one of those Traditional-scale Ertl horses) also with the assistance of a coupon.

That was it. I like to save my "standing in line with a crazed mob for hours, in inclement weather" mojo for BreyerFest.

Oh, and I did buy the Pinto Prancer via Reeves’s online Black Friday sale, on Wednesday. I was going to get a Ravel, too, but I turned around, looked at the floor of my office (see above), and decided that was probably not a good idea. But even with the shipping, the Prancer came out ten dollars cheaper than one I could buy locally, so I went for it.

He’s small. I’ll manage to find a place for him somewhere.

I’ve been trying to list things on MHSP and eBay to compensate - and in advance of a possible grail purchase - but I suppose it’ll all depend on how the weekend goes. I already have a few commons up on MHSP - the kind of stuff that’s good for gifting non-hobby or potential-hobby friends. (Hint, hint.)

In addition to all the other stuff I have planned this weekend - like writing, cleaning up the office, finishing up a few stray holiday projects - I also have to "authenticate" (well, more like evaluate and give an opinion on) another potential Breyer rarity this weekend. Unlike the Belgian, this one is coming to meet me, rather than the other way around.

And unlike the Belgian, this one is not going to blow people’s minds in quite the same way, if he is authentic.

I just contemplated that thought a moment longer. How is it that I’m feeling almost blasé about seeing what might be another Chicago-era Test Color/Oddity?

It is on a mold that I am slightly obsessed with, and is something one normally doesn’t see Tests/Oddities on. But I can live without, if need be. I mean, I’m good in the "Chicago-era Test Color/Oddity department".

My life is weird.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black and White and Red All Over (Again)

I got all caught up on the novel yesterday, but I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with everything else, so I’m probably going to fall a bit behind again. Ah, well.

Lots of news in the Breyer world this week. First up, another Red Pegasus (or Red "Pegassus") has shown up on eBay. It's just as authentic as all of the other Red Pegasusses that have shown up on eBay. Which means, NOT AT ALL.

Sheesh, sometime I feel like I should have a PSA about them, like they do with Smoke Detector batteries, health screenings, or the ones that tell kids not to take candy from strangers.

Listen to your crazy auntie in the basement: bidding on a Red Pegasus is the equivalent of taking candy from strangers.

Just don’t do it, folks.

Some people are anyways, just like they have with all the previous ones, some of whom will absolutely insist on its authenticity, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, and what do I know anyway, because I’m just poor, and jealous, and I don't work for Reeves, or judge or show, and am so unsophisticated that I like to put catsup on my steak …

Fine, whatever.

Next, the Vintage Club is now up for renewal, and the winner of the vote to choose a piece for next year is - the Matte Smoke Five-Gaiter?

Didn’t see that coming. All that online sturm und drang about how matte finishes weren’t vintage enough, and the vote somehow goes to the one selection out of the four that’s NOT glossy?

I kind of figured that the people making the most noise online were the ones who had the weakest understanding of what "vintage" actually meant, but that the voting actually showed some support for that theory is sort of funny.

Still hoping that the Gloss Dapple Gray Man o’ War shows up someplace, though. I want one something bad.

Reeves has also announced a "Live Show Benefit Program" to promote and encourage live showing, especially among youth participants, with a special model - a Black Appaloosa Spirit, named Zuni - as a raffle prize.

Lots of people are jumping up and down at the thought of it, but folks, they’ve tried this before: the Black Proud Arabian Mares from the mid-1980s were also part of a similar program. It’s not something new.

All the rules and stipulations that go along with the program are, though: the show application includes an entire single-spaced page of them, hoping to counter most of the problems that occurred with its previous incarnations and implementations.

The only problem I see with it - aside from the policing - is how they’re going to select the 30-35 qualifying shows. They want to distribute them as fairly an evenly as possible, in terms of geography.

This is an admirable goal, but as anyone whose been in this hobby for more than a couple of weeks knows, some areas have way more shows than others. Plus, they have to go through the additional hoop of being NAMHSA approved.

It’s probably not encouragement enough to get me back into live showing (yet), but I’m not the target audience. I do think the model is super-neat, but that may be because I have been eyeing the Spirit mold lately.

(As I explained before, though, the only one that’s currently in my price range - the Padre - kind of creeps me out. So no Spirits for me, for now.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Making Up Stories in My Head Again

Here I thought I was doing extra awesome on the novel today - nearly 2000 words, only a couple hundred short of where I "need" to be - and then I realized I forgot something.

The blog, again. Silly me.

So, here’s a picture of another recent indulgence:

A pretty nice Palomino Western Prancing Horse, with sticker. I’d been on the lookout for years for just the "right" one to add to the herd. I was pretty sure he wasn’t it, either, but the price was, and there was something to him, I dunno, that told me it was necessary to buy him anyway.

Once I opened the box, it only took a few minutes to figure out why: he had the USA mold mark.

With the small Blue Ribbon Sticker, too.

According to my research, this shouldn’t happen: small stickers should only appear on models manufactured from ca. 1966 to ca. 1968, and the larger stickers - the ones with the names - should only appear on models manufactured from ca. 1969 through ca. 1970.

The USA mark was added to many (though not all) Breyer molds sometime around 1970, so any model with a USA mark would have a large Blue Ribbon Sticker, if at all.

For the most part, the chronology appears to be holding up. In the occasions when I it has not, it was either a matter of transposition - a sticker had been transplanted from another model - or it was one of those models or finishes where there’s still a lot of fuzziness about the dates. The Family Arabian Foals, for instance, were apparently re-released in Gloss in the later 1960s.

(Why exactly, we’re not sure. ‘Nother story, anyway.)

Looking at the lists I’ve compiled, I did notice some oddities. Some stickers that should, theoretically, be showing up weren’t.

Take the Bucking Bronco: has anyone actually seen a Bucking Bronco with a large version of the Blue Ribbon Sticker? Both the Black and the Bay were manufactured during the necessary time period. The Rearing Stallion, who is more or less the same scale as the Bucking Bronco, came with both versions of the sticker.

And so too, the Western Prancing Horse. Five of the six early Western Prancing Horses (all but the Black Pinto) were manufactured throughout the entire "Blue Ribbon" era, ca. 1966-ca.1970. But I have yet to see any Western Prancing Horses with the large version of the Blue Ribbon Stickers.

It’s possible it’s a sampling error; stickers are fragile, and I certainly haven’t seen every Breyer model in the world, though it feels like it sometimes. But I've been compiling this data for years now. I may now have to concede that the sticker timeline might be slightly more complicated than I thought it was. Some models that could have made the transition to larger stickers may not have.

Why that was we’ll never know for sure, but there are a couple of plausible theories. Some of these molds might have been lower or slower sellers, for whom another sticker order might have been a waste of time and money. With the Western Prancer, it might have been a space issue: it would have been something of a challenge to fit the words "Western Prancing Horse" legibly on a sticker less than an inch in diameter.

It’s possible that this guy is just another case of transposition, and my brain is just concocting fabulous scenarios to make him more interesting to me. But it still hasn’t changed the fact that I haven’t seen a Western Prancing Horse with a large Blue Ribbon Sticker. Anyone out there who can prove me wrong?

(And if you can, is he for sale?)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back to Reality

No worries: I took a couple days "off" this week to decompress from the Belgian business. One of those days was pressed upon me unwillingly, due to another particularly unpleasant migraine, that I am going to assume was brought on by the crazy week that preceded it.

(All better now. Well, mostly better. Still not caught up on the danged novel.)

I will admit that, at several points during the process, I was sorely tempted to do some sort of back door deal for the Belgian. I imagined building a fancy shrine or pedestal to put him on, like some spectacular ancient artifact in a history museum. Then, if anybody deigned come to my house to view my collection, the highlight of the tour would be me drawing the curtain back to behold this mystery that they dare not speak of…

Mine, mine, all mine. My precious.

Then reality slapped me in the face and brought me out of my Decorator-induced stupor. They had some small inkling that it was worth something. Not only that, this was no ordinary storage locker or Grandma’s Attic find: the history still clung to it, like cobwebs.

No, this was too big a thing to never share. As much as I wanted it (I’m the Breyer History Diva, not the Breyer History Nun) there was no way I could take advantage of this situation. It wasn’t about me feeling guilty (mostly), but of me valuing the story more than the model itself.

If I took advantage of the situation, I would not have been able to share the story - or even have gotten as much of the story that I have. The stories are so much more important to me.

I mean, I love the horses, I really do. But if it comes down to it, I am always going to choose the history over the horse, the knowing over the owning. (Which explains some of the more peculiar things in my collection. Three-legged Test Color FAMs, cigarette humidors, jewelry trays, some spectacularly ill-conceived clocks….)

I made that choice years and years ago, when I first entered the hobby, and stumbled around, trying to find my niche in it.

I couldn’t have them all, I couldn’t afford them all, I couldn’t know it all (as much as I tried) or do it all. Then I decided to follow my natural inclination - histories, and stories - and my niche found me.

Sound so corny, but it’s true. There are nearly 500 blog posts here, it must be so.

Are there more big finds out there, with even bigger stories attached to them?

To put it as simply an succinctly as possible: Yes.

I couldn't tell you when or where, though. And even if I could, sometimes I can't. For now.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Getting It All Done

I am just having the hardest time finding the time and motivation for this year’s NaNoWriMo novel. Even though I technically have what most people would consider to be an ungodly amount of free time on my hands (because of the slow work season), it isn’t, actually.

It’s all nonfrivolous work, none of that "alphabetizing canned vegetables in the pantry" stuff that desperate writers turn to when the words don’t work. It includes, among other things, taking care of a high-maintenance dog, helping a coworker build a web site, helping with the Copenhagen Belgian auction, trying to get my own auctions listed, last minute work assignments, fighting the crowds at the last big rummage sale of the season, sorting and inventorying that paperwork…

Even so, I’m not that far behind - maybe half a day’s quota off. And I really don’t even have to leave the house the next couple of days if I don’t have to, so catching up - or getting ahead of myself - is theoretically possible.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, as the old saw goes, so I offer to everyone a photograph from the archives that truly lives up to it - and which is providing me with some unexpected motivation, as well:

It’s a photo from May 1977, of Chris Hess working in the shop. It’s probably partially "staged" - it was part of a group of photographs taken for the Spring 1977 issue of Just About Horses - but still, take a closer look at everything going on here.

The lumpy blob in his hands is that of the Benji, being prepared for the moldmaking process; on the table and off to the side is a Charolais Bull, possibly being used as a reference point for the Standing Black Angus Bull, which would come out the following year. Multiple photographs and other reference materials cover the table - some for the Black Angus, obviously, but also for the Stud Spider, another late 1977/early 1978 release.

Other photographs in the set show him fiddling around with the molded halves of Stud Spider, and of another project he was working on at the time, which was apparently repairing a crack in the Longhorn Bull mold. Other molds that were making their debut around this time - but not seen in this set of photos - included Tiffany, San Domingo, the Galiceno, and the Rough Coat Stock Horse Foal.

And he had the nearly completely sculpts of the Legionario and the Andalusian Family ready for approvals by January 1978.

"Get" the picture now? The man was busy!

You can understand, then, when it raises my hackles just a tad to see hobbyists dismiss Chris Hess’s work as lightly as they do. In the space of a year and a half, he casted or sculpted nearly a dozen molds, largely by himself, many of which are still staples in the Breyer line today.

Every time I’ve found myself getting discouraged by my work load over the past several days, I look at that picture and think: Get it done, get it done. Find the time, and just get it done.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In Other News

Is there more to the story of the Copenhagen Belgian?

Yes, but it’ll have to wait until next week. Partly to see what happens with the auction, partly because I’m way behind on everything else, but also because there’s plenty of other model horse news that needs to be attended to.

First, most of you know by now - or should know - that Reeves released/dumped a bunch of warehouse overstock at Tuesday Morning stores and the TJ Maxx/Marshalls chain in the past two weeks. The assortment there included Weather Girls, more Elvis items, Prince Jesters, Satos, Kongs, Stablemates sets, some of the creepy doll sets, the Breast Cancer Bluegrass Bandits, Kripton Senis, Cedrics …

You get the picture. Lots of good stuff.

When I did finally manage to escape my house earlier this week (I think it was Monday night? I can’t remember. NaNoWriMo is melting my brain, again.) I somehow ended up at a couple of Tuesday Mornings. Fortunately I managed to walk away with only a pretty nice Gathering Storm (the 2011 Online Collector’s Choice Big Ben) and a gorgeously shaded Sato, both of whom are currently chilling in the car until the coast is clear.

(Yes, dear readers, I also plead guilty to the "sneaking new horses in the house and pretending they were here all along" ruse.  I did sell a couple things this week, so that sort of makes it okay, right? Right?)

I tried finding a Priefert’s Kong that pleased me enough to take home, but they all either had minor flaws I couldn’t stop staring at, or had paint jobs that were a little too flat black for my tastes.

There were also no Weather Girls in my neck of the woods - all snapped up early, I presume. I was sort of hoping to get another Palomino Weather Girl as an accompaniment to the sample one I picked up at BreyerFest this year, but it looks like that will have to wait.

The second bit of news: yes, I was aware of the Heavy/Resin-filled/Home Decorating Show Breyers that turned up on eBay over the course of the past month. I was even an underbidder on a couple of them, but as you know by now, I was not one of the winners.

That’s what happens when your bank accounts are significantly closer to zero than your competition. Being distracted by the whole Blue Belgian business didn’t help, either. (A most pleasing distraction, at least.)

Make no mistake, it definitely stung - quite a bit, to be honest. I happened to be volunteering at BreyerFest the year that the Home Decorating Show leftovers were sold in the Pit. And with my first shift being first thing Friday morning. At the Help/Information Desk.

Yeah, I had to watch everybody else walk past me into the Ninja Pit.

Torture? You bet. It was the only possible way volunteering could have been made unpleasant for me, outside of being made to dance around in the Pal O’Mine suit. (That year was not good for me for a variety of reasons. The absence of the NPOD shopping experience was a relatively low on the list of grievances, believe it or not.)

With the prices that a couple of those pieces brought - and the added attention - it seems even more unlikely that I’ll be able to smooth that particularly rough-edged memory from my mind.

Not that all of them can, or should be. How else would the world know of pearls?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dropping the Other Shoe

The Copenhagen Belgian is only half of the story. The other half?

The ephemera.

How significant is the estate’s stash? Well, it’s taken me a couple of weeks so far to clean, sort, separate and inventory (so far!) what amounts to a filing cabinet’s worth of papers. I am not exaggerating when I say that I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before, like this backer card for Tiffany:

I always wondered if they were going to sell Tiffany separately, like they did with Benji. Looks like they were planning to!

Most of these papers are from the 1970s and 1980s, and the stuff that’s here is just amazing. Like this photograph from Bob Koberg and Chris Hess’s trip to the Garrison Ranch in January 1978, to get the final approvals for Legionario and the Andalusian Family:

(You all should know who Chris Hess is. Bob Koberg was Breyer’s Sales Manager back then.)

There are fliers, photographs, negatives, transparencies, original artwork, ad slicks, comps…and more. It’s like a dream come true for a history nut like me. Considering the extremely ephemeral nature of some of this ephemera, I’m amazed that it even survived at all.

As of this writing, the dispensation of it is still being worked out. Naturally, I’d like to keep as much of this archive as intact as possible, for the sake of research - and hobby history.

However, while there is a great deal of unique material here, there’s also quite a bit of duplication. I know that there will definitely be some significant interest among my fellow Breyer historians and ephemera dorks in acquiring some of these items for their own personal archives.

But like I said, that’s still being worked out. Selling paper is a slightly different game than selling models. Do we sell them in lots, or on an individual basis? On MH$P, or via eBay?

And if the decision is made to sell them, rather than auction them off, how do we determine value of things that literally have no market history to go by? These are the issues that have been keeping me up nights.

To clarify on the monetary issues: I am not making any money off of this "deal", other than having first dibs on the archive materials, which will all end up in a university archive anyway (eventually).

To make this extra clear: all money from the auctions and/or sales of the models and duplicate ephemera will be going to the estate, not to me.

Let’s be open and honest here: there have been some similar situations in the past (i.e. estates of exceeding interest and value to hobbyists) that were not necessarily handled in the most transparent or equitable way.

In light of the historical significance of the items in this estate, I’ve tried my darndest to make sure everyone involved - both the estate, and hobbyists/buyers - are treated fairly as possible. I made the seller aware of the standards of packaging hobbyists expect - and warned him of the behaviors he was likely to be on the receiving end of.

While I’m fairly certain my conduct was not perfect, I’m hoping that dispersals of future estates are handled more fairly, by example. Just because life’s not fair doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to make hobby life more so.

I will also be up front and say that I did confide in two fellow hobbyists about the contents of the estate from the get-go, and also swore them to the highest secrecy. Neither one of them has received any compensation or favors, other than serving as an outlet for my screamy, exclamation-point-riddled e-mails. If they want to purchase anything from the estate, they’ll have to go through the same channels as everyone else (and me! Darn tooting I’ll be bidding!)

It’s their decision whether or not to out themselves.

Some of my coworkers also heard about all this as it was going down, but the vast majority of them had no idea what I was talking about in the first place. Some of them are vaguely aware of Breyers as a product, but all they know of the hobby is that I go to "my convention" every year and dress up in crazy outfits.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

That One!

Didn’t I tell you it was worth the wait?

Yes, the Copenhagen Belgian is THAT THING - or part of that thing - that I’ve been keeping a secret for the past two months.

Of course he’s real. I’ve seen him in person. I even have pictures of myself with him, though I’m not going to share them with y’all because - well, because I’m not wearing a silly hat or wig in any of them. You should know the rules by now.

I was contacted by the proxy seller - the person selling it on behalf of the estate - at the beginning of September. Let me tell you, that was one of the most mindblowing e-mails I have ever gotten as a consequence of this blog. (And I’ve gotten some pretty wild things in my in box, let me tell you.)

I pretty much started hyperventilating the minute I clicked open the pictures. I also got up out of my chair and started running around my office screaming like a ninny. And swearing.

I mean, seriously, wouldn’t have you? One of the Great Mysteries of Breyer History was found.

This model is legendary. Hobbyists have been wondering about it since it first appeared in Just About Horses back in 1980: Was it a test color? A really rare special run? Something made specifically for a particular client, like the Ford Pinto Family Arabians? Nobody knew.

Well, now I know - and momentarily, all of you will, too.

From my examination of him, and based on the dialog I’ve had with the seller and the estate - I am fairly certain that he’s a vintage test color. The exact date of his manufacture is unknown, but the color and quality of his paint job suggests to me that he is from the 1960s. The color and finish is identical to that of the "regular run" Decorators of the 1960s.

He’s also in darn fine condition, too, with just a few minor issues: slightly yellowed, of course, and faded pinking. Maybe a tiny scuff or two, nothing out of the ordinary for something of this vintage.

Who and how did this estate come by this fabulous treasure? In the interest of discretion - and at the request of the estate - all I can say in public forums such as this (or Blab, or anywhere else) is that it is from the estate of someone formerly associated with the Breyer Molding Company. It was given as a gift - and compensation - for work done on behalf of the company.

You’ve also noticed that the seller has several other models listed, too. These are also a part of the estate, and while not as scream-worthy as the Belgian, they are not without interest to my fellow Breyer historians: I’m pretty sure that many - if not most of them - are early photography samples. Most of them from this photo shoot:

(The 1978 Dealer Catalog/Collector’s Manual, in case you’re blanking.)

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Benjis might be Tests or Preproduction pieces, but again, I wasn’t able to determine that conclusively.

I’ll tell you why I have that suspicion in my next installment, tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll be fielding your questions on Blab, and Haynet, because they’re a little more suited to the discussion format than the comments section here.

(Note: both the proxy seller and the estate will be lurking, but I’ve been more or less authorized to answer any questions you may have about it.)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

No, Not That One

I’ve had a rough couple of days, so I changed my Nanowrimo subject to something a little more conventional (for Nanowrimo): a science-fiction novel about two genetically-engineered super-soldiers.

The big plus to this project is that it gives me the opportunity to destroy things on an epic scale, with absolutely no real-world consequences. I threw 100 people out of an airplane in the very first chapter. It felt good.

(I’m not a total fiend. Some of them survive.)

I’ll get around to writing my model horse biography, eventually. It just didn’t have enough chaos in it to meet my current therapeutic needs. (On the other hand, there’s no argument with a parrot.)

In other news, both my Lionheart and a little something I bought on eBay recently arrived. Alas, I haven’t had the time to unwrap them yet - I’ve barely been home or awake the past couple of days to do it. Been too busy catching up on other business, and trying to get a little ahead of myself on the novel ahead of the big Sunday Afternoon craziness.

(I also have company coming over. For some completely unrelated business.)

So I suppose some of you have seen that Wedgewood Blue Longhorn Bull on eBay. No, it’s not related in any way to the mysteries I’ve been hinting about, but let’s just say that there are definitely some commonalities.

One thing that’s not surprising about the Bull is that it exists at all: I was always very skeptical about the "They only made two!" story. Almost the small special runs I am aware of from the 1960s came in quantities of five - or more.

I’d love to have him, but there’s no way I can afford him. I’ll just have to hope number four turns up somewhere in the vicinity of my backyard.

And if number five comes along for the ride, all the better. Just to be clear on the point I made in my last post: I have nothing against anyone capitalizing on "free range" finds: if you happen to find a matched set of Wedgewood Blue Fighting Stallions for five buckaroos apiece at the flea market, by all means go for it. I do it all the time. How else do you think I can even afford this gig, on my budget?

It’s just when hobbyists take advantage of items specifically targeted and directly marketed towards other hobbyists is where the squick comes in for me. Remember the stink that came up when those Alpines went up for sale on eBay while people were still desperately trying to get a phone call through to Reeves?

That’s what I’m talking about.

See y’all soon.