Real Life Sucks
October 25, 2010

Masked Avenger’s "Toy Diet" blog from last week got me thinking about life. That made me realize that I haven’t made a blog post in over a year. I will attempt to rectify that now.


I had just gotten my blog account underway in August of last year when real life kicked me in the face. Here’s a laundry list of things that affected me between then and now:

– Grandmother given 6 months to live, but lived past that and passed away in July 2010
– I had a nasty respiratory infection last summer
– Wife got same nasty respiratory infection
– Mother diagnosed with breast cancer
– Father got sued over an accident from 7 years ago
– Really good friend died suddenly in September 2009; he was only 34
– Mother got laid off in January
– Brother had major money problems
– Great-uncle diagnosed with lung cancer, and passed away in May 2010

Those were the bad things. Because of all that…crap…my toy collecting and photography took a backseat. That meant a reduced presence on the web, and of course, this blog here. I felt bad about it, and wanted so many times to get going again, but it was hard to start.

However, since my grandmother passed away in July, things have been seemingly on the upswing:

– I got a promotion
– Wife got a promotion
– We are expecting a baby in May

So is this end of my woes? Probably not, but I can only hope they won’t get worse.

With the baby coming, I need to find some way to prune my collection, and reduce my collecting habits. It’ll be tough, but I think I can manage it. I did quit Star Wars 3 3/4" cold turkey back in 2007, so I know I can do it.

I feel better now.

Ham Salad
Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Kevin "Ham Salad" Regalado is a child of the 80's. Getting toys from his favorite childhood toyline, Kenner's The Real Ghostbusters, had a major impact on his collecting mentality; he wanted to get them all, even the different iterations of the heroes. Alas, he was a kid with no money. Once he got money, his toy collecting began in ernest with Kenner's Batman Returns line in 1992, quickly followed by Kenner's Batman: The Animated Series. Thus began his long association with the toys of the DC Timmverse. A self-described uber-completist, he will go out of his way to get one of every item in a toy line, as long as it is newly sculpted or repainted, inlcuding those dreaded industry give-aways. He is drawn to colorful toys, often the same ones in different colors. A late arrival to the internet, he did not surface online until 2002, when he became associated with the Simpsons Collector Sector, where he still moderates to this day. After the World of Springfield line ended, he eventually branched out to other websites, and ended up here at Action Figure Insider. He resides in Oregon with his loving wife who encourages his collecting habits, and a tuxedo cat named Chloe who gets into his stuff.
Read other articles by Ham Salad.





  • Daniel Pickett JuliusMarx says:

    Congratulations on the promotion AND the baby!

    Real life gets in the way for all of us. But this community is also a great support system. Don’t ever be afraid to lean on us or to talk about “real life” stuff.

    I hope we do get to see some more blogs from you.

  • zach says:

    Ham, that sucks about your family’s woes. How’s your mother doing? Congrats and good luck with the new addition to your family!

  • Erik superfriend says:

    Agreed on all counts.
    Life has been bad the past two years.
    Life does get in the way (Has anyone seen Ryan in the blog-osphere?).
    Masked Avenger is right too. Toys and this site can be a bright spot in an otherwise gray day.

    Oh, kids are awesome. My first just went off to college and I miss her a lot. My other is now my cartoon watching, comic reading buddy.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      I forgot to add: Start the kid off right by surrounding them with stuff you like. I started mine off with episodes of the Super Friends on VHS and Pokemon at age 4. We went to the movies to watch Yugio on the big screen. And used to play HeroClix on Friday nights before the game went on hold. Now we are playing Super Hero City and reading Brightest Day together and he actively goes to Wikipedia to read about characters he does not know. He is going to a Halloween gathering Friday as the Riddler.

      Ham, glad I got to meet you at SDCC in 2006. We were standing in line for some panel and you introduced yourself. I still remember. Glad to hear things are turning around for you.

      As for future blogs, you do have that fantastic JLU photo album. I’m sure you could work that into several blogs.

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    Glad to see things are on the rise for you, Hammy. Congrats and continued success!

  • demoncat says:

    congrats on the baby and the promotions. for it is said what does not kill you makes you stronger. for we all have to take the bad stuff with the good stuff life gives us the balance of things.

  • GregNYC says:

    I’m really glad to hear things are getting better. And congrats on your upcoming bundle of joy! How fun it will be to share your toy collection with Ham Jr.

    I’m rooting for you, Hammy!

  • Quinn says:

    Real Life does suck, Hammy. But it does get better. Congrats on your baby–it will change your life forever. And make you more worried and more happy than anything else.

    And cut down on your toy monies. But sharing is also fun. You’ll be a great dad. Congratulations!

  • Danny CantinaDan says:

    Very sorry to hear about the rough year. Man, when it rains, it pours. Glad to hear some really positive things are happening. Best wishes, brother.

  • darkknight30 says:

    Real life sucks but that is why we love toys! They are NOT real life, they are an ESCAPE from reality. They take us back to a time when life was more simple for most of us.

    Hang in there Ham! Congratulations on a future addition. Children are a true blessing. We just had our third on Friday. They make life bearable!

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