What Coke Has Produced

I’ve been seeing these Coke ads for quite a while now, but never tasted them.  I think I was put off by the small cans and the fact that I haven’t seen them in the dollar store fridges yet.

I love Cherry Coke, so I was somewhat interested in these things.  I wasn’t particularly clear why they had to be diet, but I am not in charge of that billion dollar enterprise.  However, I have two words that should send shivers down their spines.  New Coke.

I finally decided to try these.  I am trying to cut down on pop (or soda or whatever you call those fizzy drinks with tons of sugar) and maybe drinks without calories is a good idea.  At the very least, if I hate them, maybe they will dissuade me from drinking any fizzy drinks again.

The Cherry version wasn’t bad.  It still had that horrible aftertaste.  We can put people on the moon (allegedly), we can get anyone elected president of the US, we can make purple ketchup, but we can’t get rid of that?  Really?  Really?

I will drink this one again, but once it’s gone, I will probably switch to cherry Pepsi…gasp, until some genius finds a way to bring Cherry Coke back to Canadian stores–and not Cherry Coke Zero.

The Orange version was much worse. I actually felt ill afterwards and I don’t know if I will drink another one.  Oh no!  They’re going to be in my fridge forever, just like that jar of pickles.

 

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At the Unipex Stamp Show

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What I said then

Do you remember when I said I was trying hard not to become a stamp collector? Do you remember me telling you that Lawrence Block, with his fantastic Keller (the well adjusted, stamp collecting, cool as a cucumber, hit man) series was creating the urge to start a stamp collection, and that I was fighting it.

Yes, I know, I have relapsed a few times. I have bought some magazines.  I have taken the catalogue of Canadian stamps out of the library and renewed it the maximum number of times.  I have started conversations online with stamp dealers (enquiries, just enquiries).  I have even purchased a few commemorative stamps for Canada’s 150th birthday.  And Lastly, I purchased and brought back some stamps from Vietnam as souvenirs.

That, seems to pale in comparison to today.

Fate intervenes

Today, I succumbed to fate. I am not sure how I discovered the information, but I did. I guess I will blame it on random internet searches….or Google.  Anyway, I found out that there was a stamp show relatively close to where I live this weekend.  To top it off, admission was free.

So, I went to my first stamp show. Having been to train shows, and model shows, I know the ability to not spend your money is hard at these things.  There’s probably something to tempt you there.  They’ve got catalogues, magnifiers, books, cases, a wide variety of tweezers, and of course the stamps themselves.  I sort of guessed that I would buy the catalogue of Canadian stamps.  If I can’t have the stamps, I can at least see what they look like.

As for the people, while I did not see any children, I saw both men and women, young and old. I saw people checking off numbers in small notebooks, unwieldy pieces of paper, and even a few ipads.

Some dealers were organized and others were haphazard, but all were knowledgeable. In fact, I should probably add that everyone was very friendly.

Lessons learned

What’s my takeaway from this?

  • You’re bound to spend more money than you budget for.
  • There are lots of friendly people in the hobby.
  • There are some attractive women who collect stamps (I met one who was interested in Japanese stamps and wished I had asked her out for coffee).
  • The stamps themselves aren’t necessarily expensive.
  • There are way too many categories of stamps and stamps. You could get swamped by it all.  One dealer, told me that if I jump in, it would be better to pick one country or one theme and stick with it.  It’s good advice, but nobody else seemed to be taking it.
  • You’ve got to invest not only money, but also time in the hobby.

My overall experience was good. I saw many interesting things, but was able to hold off buying.

Near Misses

I was hoping to get the Canada Post Souvenir car for my birth year.  Sadly, many dealers mentioned having it, but deemed it unworthy to bring to the show.  I understood.

I did find the Calvin and Hobbes stamp set I wanted, but thought the price was a bit uncomfortable.

I did come across something that made me almost buckle. There was a collection of Japanese stamps in hingeless mounted albums.  It was fairly complete.  The price was ….certainly more money than I had, ….or that I could spend…..but I wanted it.  I really wanted it.

Thinking upon it now, hours later, I still want it.

I did pick up an inexpensive set of bicycle stamps. I don’t know whether this is the start of a collection, or just a passing fancy.  I had spent quite a bit of time talking to the dealer, and felt I should spend a little money at his booth.

I don’t suppose I could start a kickstarter campaign that would allow me to buy stamps…

 

Dare to Daredevil

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For reasons that are not overly important, I do not have Netflix.  As a result, I have been waiting to watch Daredevil.  I have more than enough television that I can wait until it will be released on Blu-Ray.   I have patience.  I can wait.

This is what I told myself Saturday morning.  How was I to know that by Saturday night I would have watched almost half of them.  I guess I have to thank (or perhaps curse) my friend.

To be fair, my friend is a pretty serious Daredevil fan.  He has an extensive collection of the comics and at least a few figures.  When he goes into comic shops, he utters the words “got it” way more than he sighs “need it.”

Having read this short bio, obviously, you can conclude that my friend has watched the whole series (I should probably let him write a guest blog review–he’s got some writing talent…I will have to think about this).  I digress.  As I was writing, my friend has obviously seen the whole series, but that did not dampen his enthusiasm to watch it again.

I must say that I liked it.  It had a gritty feel to it without being completely contrived.  It had great action without resorting to matrix like moves.  It also had a hero who was vulnerable, resourceful and full of conviction.  In today’s anti-hero world, that doesn’t always come through.

My friend was not only a great host (he supplied the beer and potato chips) but also an incredible asset while viewing.  Watching it with my knowledgeable friend was like watching it with “pop-up video” like balloons.  He knew even slight characters and could single out comic book references and divergent storylines.

My only problem is that I am only half done.