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 –  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!

Is the typewriter mightier than the missile launcher?

I guess the time of pen and sword are behind us, although I still use a fountain pen for my daily work notes. Still, we keep on using the pen and sword metaphor. This week, we have arrived at Impel Trading Card #66, the man who can type faster than his shadow, Fast Draw.

Impel_C_66

Impel_C_66b

I guess this guy is the Joe equivalent for Cobra’s Mr. Bang Bang (well technically, he’s an Iron Grenadier, so Destro’s private army, but he was employed by CC, so I’m counting him as a Cobra). The difference between these 2 rocket men, is that Fast Draw has hand controls for his missiles, where Metal Head (a.k.a. Number One – yes, that’s a Star Trek reference) is shouting like a complete idiot.

Enough about that, the figure (yes, just the one release again, although the club recently announced they are releasing an updated version in the FSS 8.0) was released in 1987. I honestly couldn’t tell you if I have the figure in my collection. I’m guessing I do, but since all of my Joes are still boxed up, there’s no way to be sure… I guess my entire collection is a bit like Schrodinger’s cat at the moment. I have something or I don’t, there’s really no certainty these days 🙂

The first appearance of Fast Draw in the comic books (Marvel run), is in #60 I believe, where he is part of the group of Law & Order, Lt. Falcon & Chuckles, who kidnap General Hawk whilst believing they are actually members of G.I. Joe. A bit of a filler issue, after that, the whole Borovia story starts to unfold, oh and – SPOILER ALERT – CC gets shot (issue #61, amazing cover art).

I don’t think Fast Draw gets any (explicit) action in the cartoons, he may be in the background somewhere, but I don’t recollect him at all.

A bit of a shorter post this time, but there just isn’t a lot I can say about this guy. If he were here, he probably would be able to talk some more about his clerk typing specialities, but I won’t go into that right now.

Next time, we’ll have another man (or is it woman nowadays?) with a lot of firepower on his/her back.

Until then, YoJoe and Happy Collecting!

Oh and Happy Mother’s Day to all our fantastic mothers who bought us our first Joes to play with!

Moved

Hi all,

just another update for now, I will get back to the Impel Trading Cards soon. If you really can’t wait, look through the history of the blog and check out the posts for cards #1 to #64.

For now, we have moved. The house is far from ready (still waiting for some walls to dry so we can put up new wallpaper and paint, we still need new stairs to the attic and a lot of small things to do), but we can live here without to much problems. And our old house is sold, so we don’t have much choice 🙂

The new stairs to the attic is the most important feature still to come for me. Once this is placed, I can start creating rooms on the attic and get my Man-Attic back. This also means that most of my collection will remain boxed for the better part of this year, maybe even until next year. Check back here for more updates soon. As I said above, I will however start making some time to get back on track with the review of the Impel Trading Cards. The next post should arrive this month, maybe even next week if all goes as planned.

I finally found the time to go to my local Comic Book Shop for the first time this year! Needless to say that I’ve been running behind with my Joe comics. Immediately got through ARAH issues 245 – 250. No spoilers from me, but believe me, it’s a great story and I can’t wait for #251.

Thanks for reading my blog and following me on Instagram and Twitter. Posts have been lacking, but trust me, I’m getting my act back together and will be more active again. Thanks for the support!

Happy Collecting and YOJOE!

A Revolution in Trading Cards

A while back I bought a Humble Bundle with IDW comics. They contained a lot of Transformers comics, but also some comics to introduce the different factions in the Revolution universe.

Thr comics were great, but there was also an extra incentive, a set of Revolution Trading Cards. They finally arrived this week and I must say that the artwork is really nice. The characters each get some sort of filecard on the back reminiscent of the Joe filecards. 

I’ll post some shots of the entire series below. I will probably discuss them in more detail in a later post.

Happy collecting and YoJoe!