June 29, 2009

Tandom Thoughts One

Where the heck have I been? Around.

Tandom Thoughts was a column that I wrote for my school paper my junior and senior years. It was delightfully forgettable and tandom. In fact, the name of the column was a failed attempt to combine my name with the word "random". Instead, it just made the yearbook teacher constantly point out that we misspelled tandem therefore making the yearbook crew far superior at spellchecking. Yet, he constantly tried to recruit me to join yearbook and bring Tandom Thoughts with me. Hmmmmmmm.

Anyway, I decided "Why not bring Tandom Thoughts to Blogger?" So here it is. Tandom Thoughts coming to Blogger.

To start this new adventure, I thought I'd give you my favorite edition of Tandom Thoughts I wrote.

We all like a good story. Especially ones that are so unbelievable, people don't care whether they are true or not.

To prove my point. I will now tell the story about how I killed a bear.

I was strolling through the woods thinking to myself, when suddenly I heard a rustling behind some bushes.

I went to check it out and lo-and-behold I was staring a ten-foot-bear right in the leg.

We stared at each other for a bit. Neither of us was really doing anything. That is until I noticed he was scolding me. Ten-foot-bear or not, I don't like being scolded at.

"Your fur is mangy," I told him. He scolded more and said, "So is yours." At this point, I had to pull out the big guns. I mentioned his mom.

"Your mom doesn't like your mangy fur." Take that, bear-face.

He simply replied with "At least my mom doesn't want me to cut my mangy fur."

This got me a little mad, so I started pointing at him. Mind you, bears DO NOT like to be pointed at.

He then ran at me. I then dramatically jumped out of the way while the Six Million Dollar Man sound effect played and forced him into a tree. Unfortunately, he recovered.

He then began chasing me around the lake. I had to resort to dirty tricks: I threw a stick at his feet. This stumbled him up but not enough.

He came at me again, but this time I jumped on his back and began steering him by tugging his ears. Yes, you can steer bears.

While riding bearback (BEAR-back! Get it? No? Well you stink.) I looked for a way to end this epic, yet not-so-violent battle.

Thinking quickly, I steered him into a trash can full of fatty foods. Upon consuming so much at one time, he then had a heart attack.

As he clinched his arm in pain, he looked up at me and said "Good game." Watching him die somewhat peacefully with a smile on his face, I realized this brave beast must live on somehow. So I took him home and shaved his head and arms. And that is why my flip-flops are so furry.

Tha. End.

June 8, 2009

Action Figure Collecting Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Fun

As many of you know, I collect and still play with action figures.


Short answer: I'm a geek who refuses to put his inner-child in a corner.

I've just always gotten a simple pleasure out of buying them and I always get a joy out of having various heroes and villains duking it out.

At one point in my life, believe it or not, I hardly focused on the play value.

As a child, I was never to picky about action figures. I loved the cheap discount/dollar store figures just as much as the major ones available at K-B, Toys R Us, Walmart, Target, etc. They were just fun.

Skip ahead a few years and I became a "collector". Therefore, I paid close attention to detail, articulation, accessories, dates of release for a certain series, etc. And toy shopping wasn't just "Hey, this guy looks super cool" like it was when I was younger. It was like I was looking for the right car. Oh sure, a car would be just fine but it needs to be the perfect car for me. I was buying particular figures for particular reasons.

When I'd go to any comic shop that sold old toys, I'd get a second chance to get a figure I missed out on when I was younger. Upon buying a few of them, I noticed the quality wasn't as great as a lot of stuff and sometimes the weapons or action features were pretty cheesy. But I realized something they had that was the reason I loved them when I was younger: they had a fun factor.

I'd been too busy treating action figures like works of art that I forgot the purpose of them. Now, some action figures I have are from collector oriented lines. That doesn't stop me from playing with them from time-to-time. Sure I spent about fifteen bucks on Captain Atom and all he's really meant for is to stand on my shelf and look stoic. But hey, he looks like the type who could fight a giant generic robot. Plus with one leg bent upward, he gets that cool hovering pose. And that look on his face just says "Yeah, I could've gone home with a collector who'd keep me in the box, but Tanner gives me the oppurunity to be the butt-kicking hero I was made to be. That Dollar General brand robot never stood a chance."

Now I split it up. Sometimes I'll hunt for specific figures to add to the collection when I got to a comic book store. But if I'm at Walmart, Target, or Toys R Us, I look for toys I think will just be fun and provide my inner-child with a good, action-packed playtime. 'Action Figure Collector Tanner' may want to get that epically posed Captain America that stands there, but 'Forever-Ten-Years-Old Tanner' thinks the CORPS! figures will make for a super cool military themed adventure in the sandbox.

But no matter what, I try to find the fun factor in any action figure I buy now. If it doesn't have a high play value, I think of cool ways to display it. Just so long as I find the fun in it.

After all, isn't that the point of toys?