Monday, August 18, 2014

See what condition my condition is in

I think it´s time to do another post after my last one - which was very melodramatic - to let my faithful readers know what I have been up to lately especially in regards to my health insurance and job situation.

It´s not something I want to focus too much on but since I already opened that particular can of worms in my last post I have to do the follow up.

And there has not really been a lot of progress since then. What I found out is that not only did the jobcenter cancel my health insurance without noticing me they also canceled my unemployed status. The last guy I spoke to at the jobcenter obviously lied straight to my face because he said they would still pay my health insurance as long as I would need it to keep the job at the Stadionbad. Which I shouldn´t have believed in the first place. Fact of life : the authority lies. They withhold information from you, give you false information or straight up lie to your face.

First you are told that you can get a small job and as long as you earn to up under 450 EURO this is additional money you get. Then you are told that because you earn more in this new job than your monthly allowance from the jobcenter you won´t be getting that anymore. But they will still pay your health insurance because if you earn under 450 EUROS a month your boss is not paying your health insurance. And when you earn under 450 EUROS you don´t have enough for private insurance. But you bite the bullet because you want to keep your job and you tell yourself that at least you are free from all the trouble with the jobcenter and you don´t have to take their crap anymore and those idiots can´t continue to ruin your life. And then one day you find out that the last guy you spoke with at the jobcenter lied right to your face because a few months later he canceled your health insurance and kicked you out of the unemployment statistic.

Now I still don´t know why he did that - well, I know they do everything to get people out of the unemployment statistic by any means necessary.

And like a wise man once said : if you´re not cheating you´re not trying. So all I know is that they did send me a letter which informed me that I would get no further monetary benefits which for me meant that they sent me a letter just to tell me what I already knew : I lost the monthly allowance from the jobcenter. Well, apparently everybody else BUT me would have known that " no further monetary benefits " does also include any payments for health insurance which is something that goes without saying. At least that´s what the woman from the jobcenter told me.

So where they are concerned they didn´t do anything wrong and I can´t expect any help from them. If I wanted something I would have to quit my current job and fill out all the paperwork to apply for unemployment again but keeping in mind the lenghts they went to to get rid of me I don´t think I have any chances in that regards. And I don´t want to quit my job.

Which is what I really feared most. The good news in all of this is that my current boss wants to keep me ( Yay ! ) and is doing anything possible to get me a contract where they cover my health insurance ( Double Yay ! ).

The bad news is that that´s easier said than done because getting back to my old health insurance company is not easy. If all this had happened in 2013 this would have been no big problem since the german government issued a law to facilitate the return to your old health insurance company. So if you were not covered by your old health insurance company or you didn´t have any health insurance you didn´t have to pay for any debts like doctor´s bills, medication and so on that had accumulated during that.

But that was a time limited offer and since it expired at the end of 2013 it doesn´t apply to me. You can call it bad timing or the health insurance companies waiting till 2014 to pursue this but it hit me right in the nads. I have applied for membership again at my health insurance company but the way it looks I´ll have to pay the monthly membership fees from 2012 to now - because accoring to german law there can be no gaps in the health insurance - and pay the medical bills from that period. Which for me sounds like I either have to pay for the same thing twice or at least I´m paying for the period I wasn´t a member without getting the benefit from that. I mean IF I have to pay for all those months shouldn´t I get something for it ? As it stands I´ll have to pay it off in small, monthly installments which should only last until I´m 60 or 70 years. No problem.

So right now I´m still somewhere in - between. Still in limbo as I said in my last post. My current boss is trying to prepare the new contract but it´s not ready yet. Just this morning I made another phone call to my health insurance company to remind them to send a membership certification to my workplace so they can wrap things up on that end.

So if all things go well I will still have my job and health insurance starting on the 1st of September. Which just brings us to the next big problem.

My knee surgery. This all started because of my knee problems and those problems are still not over. If I don´t get my knee fixed I can´t work very long for my boss. And if I get it fixed it means that I can´t work for at least three months. Damned if I do, damned if I don´t, my boss gets the short end of the stick. Which is why I´m not sure if they will get through with this. In any case I will probably have to wait until September to find out if I´m back at my old health insurance or not. Then I have to find out if I that means I can get to the doctor again with all benefits or if there is a waiting period. And then I have to contact the clinic in Markgröningen again to find out when the next available date is for surgery. Which I have to arrange with my boss, then there´s the surgery itself and the rehab.

But - as I said - right now nothing is sure and check the mail box daily.


Now, since that´s out of the way : last post was supposed to be about the Legion of Super - Heroes but instead it was about my personal problems.

As usual it´s too late to do a full Legion post now but I wanted to include some comic related stuff - links to other blogs - and cover homages. Our first cover is SUPERMAN 8 by with Superman going against the Legion

which is a cover homage by the man himself to FANTASTIC FOUR 249

where he not only re - used the layout but also replaced the characters with their Legion analogues. Most comic readers know that the Imperial Guard from the Shi´ar were created by Legion artist / fan Dave Cockrum as analogues for the Legionnaries so it´s no wonder that Superman takes the place of Gladiator who has the same power set as for Superboy or Mon - El. Furthermore Blok stands in for the also rocky hided Thing, fiery Sun Boy replaces The Human Torch, of course Invisible Boy changes place with the Invisible Girl ( she changed her name to Invisible Woman much later ) and the brains of the Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic becomes Brainiac 5.

The great Bob Layton also used it for this ARMOR WARS commission :


Since we´re on the subject of Superman, I wanted to post this variant cover by John Romita Senior ( which I found on the always excellent MAN OF BRONZE blog that I don´t visit as often as I used to because all the DC and Marvel news is just too depressing ) which shows why he´s still one of the great masters. Even burdened by the new Robotech suit Superman looks more like himself than since DC started the whole NEW 52 thing.


My next link is to an article about Adrienne Curry who defended a female Cosplayer from Sexual Assault at the last Comic Con. I wrote about her in this post in 2012 about the whole controversy if she was evicted from Comic Con way back in 2011 because her Aeon Flux outfit was too skimpy.

Going over the post I noticed that it also mentions that she was molested in 2010 after a STAR WARS convention so while some people may think this is a new problem it has been a while longer. I found the link on fellow blogger Terry Hooper´s COMIC BITS ONLINE and while the fact that this particular idiot got his just desert is heart warming it makes me sick that this still happens. When will people learn that Cosplaying in not consent?


On a brighter note, it seems my MASTER OF KUNG FU MONDAY post that was inspired by Ol Groove from DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND has in turn inspired him to start a new series which is - oddly enough - called MASTER OF KUNG FU MONDAY ( I wonder how he came up with that one ).

All joking aside, since Marvel will probably not reprint these stories in the near future here´s your chance to read one of the best Bronze Age Marvel series of all time. The first issue is MASTERS OF KUNG FU 78 , which starts the storyline that has it´s dramatic finale in the WARRIORS OF THE GOLDEN DAWN epic. Issue 79 just went online Today and Groove has promised to do the full length of this masterpiece ( possibly beyond ). Oh, before I forget, he also posted issue 76 and issue 77 - click the links.


The MASTER OF KUNG FU series is also mentioned as one of the top picks in Comic Geek Speak´s Top Five Comics Based on Licensed Properties episode together with the great ROM SPACEKNIGHT series. Like MASTER OF KUNG FU, it´s probably never going to be reprinted but - once again - thanks to Ol Groove you can read issue 1 and issue 2 on his blog.

And since you´re on Ol Groove´s blog anyway, if you´re as tired from the current Avengers where you don´t recognize anyone anymore and they are constantly swiping Doctor Who ( with Doctor Strange shouting : " I´m the Doctor ! " every other issue, the old parallel earths wiping each other out schtick and now they even include random time travel ) as I am check out the post about WHAT IF issue 3 which is WHAT IF THE AVENGERS HAD NEVER BEEN ? Even as an WHAT IF story it still features the real Avengers and the art combo of Gil Kane and Klaus Janson is absolutely incredible.

We´re staying a bit on the subject of Bronze Age comics. One of the blogs you can find on DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND is the great BRONZE AGE REPRINTS blog. Lately there has been a lot more Marvel Bronze Age comics in my reading pile and most in the trade or hardcover format. Now if you have had the same experience this is the first address for you if you want to buy something besides the ESSENTIALS because not only are the comics rated based on the story and the art, the blog also examines how the reprinted version holds up to the original. It also includes a lot of pictures so you can decide if you want to buy it or if you better skip it.

Last but not least is a totally comic - unrelated post from Ed M Wood at BABBEL about seven of his most favorite german words . Ausgezeichnet !


Once again it´s time to wrap things up which brings us to the video at the end of the post - or rather videos in this case. I´m not going to post as many videos as I did in my last post but it seems the upwards trend on " clicks per day " continues as we managed to go beyond the 8,000 bar.

Today´s first video is for my german readers and once again it was inspired by COMIC BITS ONLINE. Latley Terry Hooper has posted some interesting stuff about german comics but I´m not going to post any of those. If you want to see them go to his site and here are the links :

the first video is COMICKULTUR - DIE WELT DER COMICSAMMLER , the german version of the COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE episode about collecting comics. Like the title says it´s mainly from a collector´s perspective and a lot of the tips don´t apply for german comic readers but it´s informative if you want to start collecting comics. You can see creators like John Romita Senior and Harvey Pekar in the video but you know that the guys who made the video are not comic fans themselves since they don´t know the difference between Green Lanterns Alan Scott and Hal Jordan or Marvel´s Captain Marvel and Fawcett´s Captain Marvel.

The same goes for PANORAMA - VON COMICS UND GROSCHENROMANEN , from austrian tv in 2012. You can probably find every bad cliche about comic readers in it but it is interesting because of the rare footage about old german comic books and pulps. It also features some famous people who were influenced by comics like Helnwein. One of these days I really have to start with my posts about recycled pulp covers like the one below, GESPENSTER KRIMI Band 474, titled DIE TOTENGLOCKE ( The Death Bell ).

It was later used as issue 455 of SILBER GRUSEL - KRIMI, SCHRECKENSHÖLLE HONG KONG ( Terror hellhole Hong Kong )

but the original from where they were swiped is WEIRD WAR TALES 32.

But as I have said, that is the topic for another post and I should get on with wrapping this one up. Besides the posts I already mentioned from COMIC BITS ONLINE Terry Hooper has already done two posts about Hansrudi Wäscher, one of the primary rocks of german comics ( you may remember that I mentioned it in my second Erlangen convention diary ).

This one with a video about the man´s artistic evolution from the 50s to the 2000s followed by this post that has more information about him. But what I am posting about Hansrudi Wäscher is another video I found on YouTube where somebody went to the all trouble of turning the very first issue of SIGURD " Die Falle " ( The trap ) into an illustrated audio drama.

Next is the french animated short ELECTROSCHOCK in which a guy gets super powers and tries to get the girl of his dreams ( english subtitles ).

So that´s all for Today´s collage and I hope there was something interesting in it for you and I can do a more comic related post very soon.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Sounds like not only have you lost the paddles for your canoe on shit creek but you've also found a massive leak in the canoe. I hope this gets sorted out for you.
And, excuse me, "nads"?? My boy, you have either been watching too much British TV or reading too many British books, Nads indeed! ;-)

SUBZERO said...

What can I say ? I´m catching up on my Sylvester McCoy DR. WHO hoping to be finished before the first episode of the new season airs ( of I can find it on the internet ).

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Yeah, those comic "documentaries" were mainly of interest because you get to see pulp writers whose names I know but have never seen them. Sun-Koh was the feature of a long article YEARS ago on the old Freeservers CBO!
Sadly, Michael Grade who was head of the BBC at the time and who "Hate, despises" Dr Who wanted it killed so he messed up the budgets and did everything he could until he cancelled it. Poor Sylvester then had to wait for that AWFUL Dr Who TV movie to return and be shot in a drive-by shooting! How two-faced is Grade (don't get me started on him and he does not have 1% of the knowledge/feel for TV his late father did) -when Dr Who returned and was a success he immediately sent out a public "congratulations" to the show but on YouTube you look for "Room 101 Michael Grade on Dr Who"! Man is***.
Nice posting, though!