Friday, October 21, 2005

Curse you, MC Etcher!

MC Etcher does not know how lucky he is. He almost incurred my full wrath.

To explain why, I need to give you a little bit of back-story.

Recently, I got a phone call from my parents to let me know that the British Tax system over-taxed me the entire time I was at my last job. This resulted in them receiving a fairly decent check from the old IRS. (This is not common place like it is in the USA, you rarely, if ever receive a refund…we don’t file a return, our tax is worked out month by month by our employers).

Anyway, it was a nice windfall. Not a huge amount of cash, just about 200GBP. However, due to the wonders of the Pounds Sterling to American Dollars exchange rate, that gets me approximately $360.

Not bad. I actually earned it, but it being so long after I quit that job, and with it being unexpected, it feels like free money.

However, shortly before this, I discovered that there’s a fair chance that I’ll have to take another medical for my green card procedure, which means this money is spoken for. It’s the old story, free money lands on you from nowhere, and an extra expense jumps out the grass that eats it up.

I promised myself that even though this money is spoken for, I was going to take a little bit of it and treat myself. Seeing as I managed to wangle myself broadband, I decided to get a microphone headset and a web cam. Not being sure exactly how much that is in American Dollars, I decided that anything over the $300 is mine to spend…I might even be able to get a copy of Guild Wars!

This has an added bonus. As well as the web cam being a shiny gadget, it was actually very easy to justify the expense. The headset and web cam means I’ll be able to actually talk to, (and see) my parents without having to pay for an international phone call. The headset is particularly easy to justify:

“Hey sweetie? You know how you complain when I’m playing a PC game when you’re trying to watch TV? I have a solution.”

The game is a little harder, but the way I see it, I so rarely have a little extra money to spend, that I’m allowed to treat myself once in a while.


However, if you read the comments of yesterday’s post, you’ll see that I discovered that MC Etcher and myself both liked the Thundercats cartoon. This lead me to mention that I wished that a replica company would make a ‘real’ Sword of Omens from the show.

You see, I’m a sword and edged weapons collector. Especially weapons that have featured in movies. Well, perhaps ‘collector’ is too strong a word. It implies I have an actual collection. Unfortunately, I don’t.

I own the grand total of 5 swords, a glaive and a few knives. It’s more I WANT to be a collector, but swords are expensive, and I don’t have that kind of disposable income right now.

However, I have one or two jewels to my ‘collection’, namely a Force FX Darth Vader Lightsaber, and the sword from ‘Blade’.

So here’s where the problem comes in. If I really, really want something, have the money to buy it, but for whatever reason can’t actually buy the damn thing…it really, really annoys me. You see, when I pick a hobby, I get obsessive.

So you can imagine how I felt when MC Etcher pointed out to me, and gave me a link to a site where you can, indeed, buy a steel Sword of Omens, I had the curious feeling of being ecstatic and extremely pissed off at the same time.

Ecstatic because someone had made something I’ve wanted since I was 6 years old. Pissed off, because while I have the cash for it in my pocket…I can’t buy it, because I need the money for that medical I might have to take.

I imagined telling Sunny, and my parents, that I wouldn’t be buying the Web cam and headset, because I was going to buy a collectible sword based on a cult 80’s cartoon.

It wouldn’t have gone down too well, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have cared. Geek-lust would have kicked in, and I’d have stepped over my own grandmother to get my hands on it.

Fortunately I was saved by my own geekiness.

You see, I only like film replicas if they are just that, replicas. My Lightsaber is movie perfect, other than the hilt is 5% larger than the movie prop to hold the electronics. My Blade sword is indistinguishable from the movie version, other than it doesn’t have the built in booby trap.

The Sword of Omens collectible was just plain wrong. The ‘Eye of Thundera’, the jewel set in the hilt, just below the blade was the wrong shape, the Thundercats logo on the jewel is wrong, and the blade is far too long.

Basically, it looked like someone had given a sword designer a general description of what it looked like, but no actual reference material. It also appears that they gave him a budget which was less than half what he needed.

So, miraculously, I didn’t want it.

…and Etcher bought himself a few more days breathing privileges.


Miz S said...

Etcher bought himself a few more days breathing privileges?

You know my feelings about it.

MC Etcher said...

Ha Ha! Close one!

Yes, I'd noticed the crappiness of the replica only after I'd posted the comment, and by then it was too late!!

Sorry about that!

Paulius said...

To be honest, I wouldn't have bought it anyway. To any other new collectors out there, don't buy a sword that costs less than $100, and make sure the blade is CARBON steel.

Those cheap knockoffs have the blade held on by a dime sized piece of welder's tack...and stainless steel is great for knives, but not for swords. IE, stainless steel sword baldes shatter very easily.

Not fun to show it off, and have the blade leave the hilt at 40mph