Equipment update

Yo Joe! Just a short update this time. I had mentioned being in the market for a new laptop to work on at home and well, I’m typing this on my brand new Microsoft Surface Pro 7. As it turns out, in January, there was a great deal where you not only got a discount on the Surface, but you also got a free Type Cover. Sadly, I couldn’t get the Signature Type Cover because someone at Microsoft decided that they don’t ship those in QWERTY to Belgium. They do have the regular Type Covers in International layout, so I got that one. Make room for a – small, I hope –ย  rant here? You bet.

You see, in Belgium we officially have 3 languages: Dutch (Flemish), French and German. Our country also has 3 regions, each with their own governments and politicians. And then there is a Federal government and the European Counsil and Parliament as well. Needless to say, too many captains for a small boat and too much money down the drain – or worse, into the pockets of the politicians. French had been the dominant language for years since the founding of Belgium way back in 1830. The aristocrats and upper echelon of society still hold on to French to keep a distance between them and the commoners, who speak Dutch. Can you imagine being a soldier in the WW I trenches and having a commanding officer (who got the position just by being from a particular family) that only speaks French, while you don’t speak that language? Anyway, the Flemish got sick and tired of being seen as second rate inhabitants and from the late 1960’s onwards, Dutch grew in prestige and it became the most prominent language. Officially though, we still have the 3 languages and our school directives still state that we should all know the 3 languages. In reality, the French speaking part still can’t speak a word Dutch and the Dutch speaking people still switch to French when we encounter someone speaking French. Since French was so dominant and they controlled the school system for so many years, when the typewriter came to life, AZERTY was chosen as the layout in our country. And the Dutch speaking half was forced to use it. Me too, I have learned to type on AZERTY and for years I had to use it because they just didn’t sell QWERTY keyboards. When I went to college, I shared a computer classroom with the Engineering department. They used QWERTY as that makes a lot writing code a whole lot easier. Since then, I have gladly switched and have been trying to convince every Dutch speaking Belgian to do the same. Typing English is easier on QWERTY and so it typing Dutch (The Netherlands use QWERTY so that’s a No Shit Sherlock moment for you right there). Still it’s very difficult to buy a new keyboard – seperate or as part of a laptop – with the QWERTY layout. Just visit hp.be, dell.be or any other manufacturer or store and try to order one. If you’re lucky, it’s an option, but most of the times is just impossible. Let’s end this cultural history lesson and rant here, if you skipped this part:

TL, DR QWERTY > AZERTY

Back to my new Surface Pro 7. I wasn’t really sure what to get. I looked at regular laptops (keyboard issues came to play here), desktop ones and hybrid forms of computing. I even looked at the new iPad, but in the end I went with a Surface Pro because it gives me everything I need. First off, it runs a full version of Windows 10 meaning I can use all the programs I was using. Next, it has a touchscreen with pen support, so I can actually really write on it. I haven’t gotten a Surface Pen so far. Still looking at the best one, should I go original MS or a different brand? Prices are very different to say the least, so I’m comparing and researching before making a decision. Third, it’s compact and light, so even though I don’t usually take it with me, I could, say take it along when I have a doctor’s appointment and work on the go.

surface2.jpg

Bit of a crappy picture, I know. Trust me, it looks awesome in real life!

So far, I’ve been getting everything I need onto it. I’m using OneNote as a draft and research tool. Then the WordPress app to create the finished blog post. As for writing the longer stuff, I have Scrivener. I’m gonna try to not put too much stuff onto it, keeping it clean and somewhat free of distractions (no games!), but I do have a Shadow link on it just in case I need the power of a full blown desktop.

Well, that’s it for this short update, I’ll be back soon with the regular posts on the Impel Trading Cards.

Until then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Small update

Hi all,

just a short post to keep you posted. The work on the new house is going slowly, it doesn’t help that we’re currently experiencing a short ice age over here as well ๐Ÿ™

All the tearing down should be done now, we can start rebuilding now. We have had some setbacks, but we shouldn’t have lost to much time so we are still on track for actually moving early April.

Most of my collection is still in boxes in the attic here, I have already moved some boxes to storage. The rest will have to be moved to the new attic or garage for the time being.

All my free time is now allocated to working in the new house. So it may be a while until the next real post is uploaded.

I did get something for my little girls… couldn’t resist. What do you think? Cute right?

Till the next time, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

2018 – New Year’s Resolutions

Hi all,

let me wish you and your families all a Happy New Year. As any year, let’s hope some new Joes find their way to our collections!

Let’s look back at 2017 first. It was a good year for the site. I haven’t been able to post as much as I wanted to, but still, views and visits went up a lot compared to 2016. Thank you all for that. Without your support, it would be a whole lot harder to keep up posting stuff. As for my collection, 2017 brought some new items (cool flags – yes, one G there -, comic books, Funko Pop Destro, some bricks). Again not as much as I was planning back in January 2017, but some nice additions. Check out my Instagram page if you want to see cool pics of those. As a sneak peek, here are my #2017bestnine:

2018 promises to be quite a challenging year. We are moving to our new house, but there’s still a lot of work to do before we can move in. My entire collection will be boxed up (about 70% is already in boxes now) and will remain in boxes for a while until we can find the time and money to build rooms in the attic. I did briefly consider selling my collection, but I just can’t. It’s a part of who I am and it gives me a reason to write blog posts and maybe even stories again.

So now, here are my hopes/wishes/resolutions for 2018:

  • Make our new house a home for my family
  • Work on my health and fitness – the last half of 2017 has been painful for me, but I’ve started working on it and I feel positive changes are underway
  • Keep buying & reading the Joe comics (that will probably be all the expansion my collection will get in 2018)
  • Write more – not only more frequent blog posts, but also continue working on the novel/novella I have in my head

That’s about it I guess. Let me thank you all again for reading, visiting, following and liking. I’m not making any money on the blog, it’s just an outlet for me to talk about my collection. So the only appraisal I get for all of this is your support and feedback. Keep it coming in 2018 and as always…

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

 

Moving on

Hi all —

It has been a while since the previous post, but a lot has happened since. My youngest daughter has been hospitalized, I’ve been caught by some virus myself and in the meantime, our house has been sold. Somewhere in between, Sinterklaas has come and brought a lot of pink toys to our house ๐Ÿ™‚

With the sale of our house finalized, we can start planning the actual moving. We’ll have to paint a lot and do some electrical work first. Then we need to put in stairs to the attic so that we can use that space as well. Although the new house will be bigger, I don’t have a dedicated Joe room available. The attic is just that, so it will be a while before I can get my Joes settled into their new environment. For now, they are being boxed up and they will remain boxed for a while… ๐Ÿ™

All the toys aside, I feel most sad that all my comics are in boxes. I don’t just see them as comic books, but most of the cover art is really ART. To see those white longboxes with all my beloved comics and TPB’s makes me feel sad.

Maybe it’s just the season as well. Dark times are here. It’s a time to celebrate with your family, but at moments like these, you do miss the people that aren’t around anymore.

2017 hasn’t been the greatest of years for me personally, for the blog, the year has been better… More on that in a future post where we look back on 2017 and make some plans for next year.

 

Till then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!