Doohickamabob

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Everything posted by Doohickamabob

  1. Your entire analysis sounds very well thought-out and completely plausible. The best thing you can do is to publicize the auction here (link to the actual item page on eBay) and let others have a look. You can also report it to eBay but it's doubtful they'll take meaningful action -- though maybe if they get multiple reports for multiple auctions, it will be enough of a pattern to rouse them from their slumber.
  2. That's right, the title wasn't coming to me. I've only read a couple pages... Don't tell me anything...
  3. I've been reading Stephen King's book "Different Seasons," which is a volume of 4 short stories/novellas that each correspond to a season of the year. The first story is "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption," which was made into the movie starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. It's possibly one of Stephen King's best non-horror stories, as it is nearly flawless in detail and execution. It's interesting how closely the movie adheres to the story. There's almost nothing in the story that isn't in the movie, and vice-versa, with only small elements shifted around or re-focused to make things more cinematic. If you've seen the movie, you know this is a very satisfying story with a slowly building set of circumstances and developments. The 2nd story is "Apt Pupil," and it's the longest story in the book, so it's more accurately described as a novella rather than a short story. I think it's 130 pages or so. This is the story that Stephen King says he wrote to wind down after completing the novel "The Shining," which he wrote in part to confront his personal demons relating to being an alcoholic. King has joked that "Apt Pupil" is the actual story that the writer character of Jack Torrance is working on throughout "The Shining," and that makes sense, because "Apt Pupil" gets more evil and homicidal as it progresses. As storytelling goes, "Apt Pupil" is kind of an undisciplined mess, and it does come across more as an exercise for Stephen King than as something he carefully planned out and plotted from start to finish, like he did for the "Shawshank Redemption." It's pretty entertaining in parts though. The story involves a young teenager in a Southern California suburb who discovers that a high-ranking WWII German Nazi is living incognito in his neighborhood. Instead of turning the Nazi in, the teen is fascinated with the Nazi's evil exploits and he blackmails him into telling him stories about all the people he killed. One interesting thing, from a CGC board perspective, is that the main catalyst for this boy's fascination with evil is the day he finds a cache of war magazines in a friend's garage -- magazines like "Man's Story," "Men Today," etc.... the kind of magazines that had paintings on the cover of leering Nazis holding hot pokers over half-naked women who were hog-tied and strapped to torture contraptions, etc. In a way, "Apt Pupil" seems to be Stephen King's way of dealing with his disgust over the kind of people who enjoyed and created a market for that sort of magazines. Or maybe it's King's way of working out his own fascination and self-disgust with such material. In any case, the story is almost random in how it unfolds, and at times it seems it could go in any direction, but finally it does choose a direction. "Apt Pupil" was made into a movie and the screenwriters/filmmakers chose a different direction. The director of that movie, Bryan Singer, also made the "X-Men" films, and he chose Ian "Magneto" McKellan to play the aging Nazi. The third story in "Different Seasons" is one that probably most people know because it was the basis for the movie "Stand by Me." The story is called "The Body" because, of course, it's about 4 boys who go on a sort of coming-of-age pilgrimage to satisfy their morbid curiosity by seeing the dead body of a boy who has gone missing in a nearby town. Like "Shawshank Redemption," this story is set in Maine, which is Stephen King's own real-life stomping grounds, though he fictionalizes the main town of Castle Rock. (Get it? Stephen *King* sets his stories in a "Castle"... One funny thing about "Different Seasons" is that the stories occasionally reference each other: The Nazi in "Apt Pupil" received investment advice from the banker in "Shawshank Redemption," for example. Also, "The Body" references the dog in King's novel "Cujo.") So anyway, "The Body" is a pretty good story and it made a strong basis for "Stand by Me," right up to the "Lard " blueberry pie barfing story. The filmmakers (which included director Rob Reiner, of "Spinal Tap" and "Princess Bride" fame) did switch around some elements, such as which boy is holding the gun at the end, and also there's a lot of follow-up information in the story that the movie glossed over because it was too downbeat or would damage the momentum. It's hard to tell how much King is writing about his own childhood, but the main character is a kid who grows up to be a famous horror/suspense novelist, so clearly there are a lot of touchpoints. Stephen King fluctuates a lot between passages of great invention and brilliance, and also areas where he seems kinda hacky and like he's struggling to hold up the quality. "The Body" mostly holds together, and thematically it's both a memoir of childhood and also a meditation on youthful mortality, since the characters come close to death several times, and many of the childhood friends depicted in the story ended up dead in the decade or so after the events described. It's almost like the 4 boys are on a quest to confront their future dead selves. Pretty strange story, but interesting. I haven't finished the 4th story yet, but it's the shortest in the book, and as far as I can tell it's the only one that wasn't made into a movie. All told, "Different Seasons" is pretty good readin', with some "eh" parts here and there. I had never actually read a Stephen King book before, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. He's an interesting writer, more hard-working wordsmith than literary artist, but he does have talent.
  4. I wonder if somebody approached him and told him he'd get better prices after slabbing the books. (And/or suggested he'd do better auctioning them on a different site...) Save a record of those books and see if they turn up again in the coming months.
  5. Thanks, and I agree. Vger7 does not appear to have broken board policy.
  6. Anybody here know what the page count is supposed to be on Katy Keene Annual #1 (1954)? The page count is listed as "?" in the Grand Comic Books Database.
  7. I asked why he pulled all those auctions. Response: "The consignor changed his mind about selling them."
  8. Worst. List. Ever. No one is allowed to even look at it. That bad, huh? Which is better, the Prohibition List or the Hall of Shame?
  9. Regarding the question of whether Vger7 is the same person as Sagat.... No, they're different people. A little Internet sleuthing shows this. Unfortunately, Vger7 has been less than helpful in sorting this out. He fails to acknowledge the optics of the situation to an outsider. The fact that Vger7 and Sagat were using the same email address is at least suspicious. The least Vger7 could do is offer a plausible explanation, and then further explain his relationship with Sagat and how it led to all this confusion. Here's the rundown of Internet-findable facts: Vger7 is confirmed to be Charlie Kim. I only mention this because others have already used the name. Charlie Kim's name is confirmed in the website domain's publically available info of the page he used to post and remove images, www.eltoro505.com. Charlie Kim has an extensive series of blog posts on ComicBookDaily.com. You can click here to read one such blog post . Scroll down and you'll see a picture of a man the caption refers to as Frank Chang. I believe this is Sagat. When Sagat was on these boards, he ended up on the Prohibition List for a deal with "Twisty" or whatever the name is. In that deal, Sagat sold what he claimed was an unrestored comic for $1,200 or $1,300 (the exact number is forgotten but it was in that range). Twisty, who was relatively new to detecting restoration, nonetheless soon figured out the comic was restored and had extensive color touch on the cover. When Twisty tried to get a refund from Sagat, Sagat avoided Twisty for something like three years, refusing to return emails or phone calls. Eventually, Twisty encountered Sagat in a gym (since they apparently both live somewhere in/near Toronto) and confronted him about the deal. Sagat agreed that he had sold Twisty a restored comic, and paid him $400 as restitution. Apparently, Twisty reported on this topic in the CGC forums, and Sagat denied that he had scammed Twisty intentionally. But another user, named October, showed up and said he had personally witnessed Sagat purchasing the restored comic in question, at a convention I guess, and that he clearly remembered the comic being sold as restored. He also recalled hearing Sagat joke that he intended to sell it as unrestored for a profit. So Sagat lied when he claimed he didn't know the comic was restored, it seems. Twisty was able to sell the comic as "restored" on eBay for $480, and having recovered $400 from Sagat, that means Twisty got $880 back for a comic he spent $1,200 to $1,300 on. The cumulative details of this matter led to a board decision to put Sagat on the Prohibition List, but Sagat tried to remove his name from that list, and I am not sure what happened after that -- but he ended up leaving the boards. Then, another user showed up, named carebear or carebears. This user had the same ISP address as Sagat. When questioned by CGC admin, carebear claimed he was Sagat's roommate. This dubious defense led to carebear being ousted from the CGC boards as well. While carebear was using the CGC forums, he made several purchases with people, and during those interactions he signed his name as being "Frank." Fast forward to Vger7's time on the CGC forums. Vger7's email address has been listed in a mesage as rave505@aim.com. Previously, in one message, Sagat had mentioned the rave505@aim.com email address as the contact for the sale or purchase of a single comic. At no other time did Sagat use that email address, however, and in all other cases Sagat consistently used another email address, miffyinhk@yahoo.com, which is consistent with Sagat's ebay account of miffybunny. This is consistent with Vger7's claim that Sagat was doing Vger7 a favor by listing the buy/sale of that comic on Vger7's behalf. This actually holds up because Vger7 wasn't a boardie at the time and Sagat may have been helping him by posting on a forum Vger7 wasn't yet familiar with. This claim is also bolstered by Vger7's post of an old email exchange between himself and Sagat, a screen capture that Vger7 quickly removed but others here saved. So Vger7 is Charlie Kim, Sagat/carebear apparently both are possibly Frank Chang from the photo in Charlie Kim's blog article. (The name "Frank Chang" showed up in one of the other images Vger7 posted-and-deleted to prove his case.) Interestingly enough, the name of Symbiotic, an ousted user (from a couple years ago) caught shilling repeatedly, is Drew Kim. He's probably not related to Charlie Kim, but it's a noteworthy coincidence. As for Vger7 and his posts here about ethics, I think he pretty much lost it when he made a comparison between adherence to eBay policy and forcing black people to drink out of separate water fountains.
  10. You conveniently avoid mentioning that eBay often grants people free listings (i.e. no fee) with the expectation that they'll be paid on the back-end (the percentage of the completed deal). Oops, there goes your whole argument.
  11. That stinks. I was watching those auctions too. Looked like a really nice set of Captain America issues. He pulled every auction.
  12. It's funny, but if you read the above with the mindset of a lawyer, you can determine that every single sentence you've written could be technically true and you STILL could be the same person who was prohibited from these forums. "Folks, I am not sagat." (Lawyered: He uses lowercase here, he uses present tense versus past tense, etc.) "I don't have multiple accounts." (Lawyered: He doesn't *currently* have multiple accounts, or he has had a series of single accounts, etc.) "He's local so I know him and he helped me buy some books off the boards a couple of times, which is probably why my email is in one of his posts." (Lawyered: Refers to self in third person, or refers to the "he" of the previous account's "persona," etc.) It's just funny the way the post was written. A person who was trying to be "clever" could write it that way and say, "I didn't lie -- every sentence I wrote was technically true" even though the jist of the matter was that he was, in fact, the person behind the previous prohibited account.
  13. If it's a "personal grail" then that means I want it A LOT. Which means I'll do what it takes within my own budget to make up the extra $500 difference between a policy-maintaining transaction and a policy-violating transaction. If I can afford $4,500, then I can afford $5,000. If I can't afford $5,000, then I have no business shelling out $4,500. After all, this is a "personal grail" for a fun collecting hobby. Not the difference between survival and oblivion. Everyone is wired differently... I just don't see how if someone knew there was a way to save $500 that whey wouldn't do it... Even $50. $50 goes a long way in this fun collecting hobby. For $5 you can have your grail.... But you know that if you violate policy you can get your grail for $4.50... WHAT DO YOU DO???
  14. For all the sellers who eBay should block who don't seem to be blocked, I've also seen several listings get pulled and users blocked. It often happens here, where somebody posts the link to a fraudulent auction, then later in the message thread somebody writes "poof" and the link goes to an eBay page that shows the listing has been removed. eBay definitely should keep fighting fraud as hard as possible. If they don't, they risk more than fee avoidance. They risk losing a lot of longtime buyers and sellers altogether. Yes the item gets pulled but the user's account is STILL ACTIVE. So they just relist it. I have no idea why eBay doesn't more aggressively NARU those people. They should.
  15. eBay has had my back several times, both as buyer and seller. They're not perfect but they've helped me avoid scam situations in both directions. I don't like their fees any more than the next person, but I consider that the cost of doing business through eBay.
  16. Setting aside that question, I will say that I tend to avoid doing business with those sellers. By posting books on eBay that they don't really want to sell on eBay, they are wasting my time browsing eBay's listings, since I don't patronize eBay to see advertising for somebody's off-site products. I use the means at my disposal to search-results block those sellers -- many of whom spam areas full of their inventory and make it difficult to find the good stuff. Whether they're unethical is not my problem. I will say that at least one high-volume seller has crossed the line in this regard, taking what you describe a few steps too far. I've also seen dealers who post their stuff on eBay with the full intent of selling it on eBay, and not with a wink and a nudge and "Come to my site for a litttle discount, guvner!" One of the things you start to see in patterns like this is the following: People who cut a lot of corners in one way, often cut a lot of corners in other ways. Once you know somebody is comfortable with breaking this policy or that rule, on an ongoing or wide scale, then you have to wonder what else they're OK with? They're good with breaking policies as part of their business model -- okay, so how do they feel about fudging their condition grades? How are they about purposely not disclosing key defects, then later saying "Oops I didn't see that, sorry, here's your refund" until they finally get a buyer who doesn't notice? These little ethical cheats tend to go hand-in-hand.
  17. If it's a "personal grail" then that means I want it A LOT. Which means I'll do what it takes within my own budget to make up the extra $500 difference between a policy-maintaining transaction and a policy-violating transaction. If I can afford $4,500, then I can afford $5,000. If I can't afford $5,000, then I have no business shelling out $4,500. After all, this is a "personal grail" for a fun collecting hobby. Not the difference between survival and oblivion.
  18. Sometimes I avoid the toll road to avoid paying the toll. I drive a little extra but it never feels like stealing, but rather saving. So you use Craigslist? Not in the last 2 yrs Well Craigslist would be the equivalent to what you wrote. Or some other service besides eBay. I'm talking about "avoiding the fee for a service that you've been using," not "avoiding the fee for a service by not using the service," which is equivalent to your non-toll-road example. I drive home through the toll rd cause they only charge in bound. Thats stealing I guess. Your analogy doesn't even make sense now. Avoid taking the LSAT... The Tobin Bridge in Boston (a toll road) charges a passenger car $3.50 to cross it IN to Boston. No charge when leaving Boston. The one way toll was decided so as not to create a back up during the evening rush. Many drivers evade the toll by taking other routes in the morning only to Use the bridge later on for free. Some people use the bridge every day and never pay, some pay every day. This is all very interesting, but it is hardly analogous to the eBay discussion.