Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why, Yes, I Do Happen To Have Buns of Steel...

Man, today slunk by like a dream or something. I can't believe it's over already. Almost missed my midnight deadline for this post! I'm juggling work, play & comic creation at the moment. I haven't finished any of the three yet! I need to get the initial version of the Piranha newsletter done tonight. Sorry, that takes priority over the comic, which is close, but not quite done.

Again, I need to re-think my approach, and simplify. I find that every strip I do I get more and more elaborate with the design, and my perfectionism is causing problems. The problem is, each strip I do shows me more and more about what's possible, so I keep pushing the envelope each time. I'm sure if you read all 7 strips so far, you'll see what I'm talking about. 7 strips, lol. Hardly qualifies me as a pro. I'm still quite firmly in the "dabbler" category... still, I enjoy doing them. I appreciate your patience.

Good day today, all things considered. Went on a nice walk with wifey after she got home. Found out the marketing is working at the shop, which is nice. The systems at the shop still need tweaking, which I hope to be able to contribute to in some helpful fashion. I know mom could use the help - but sometimes I feel like such a fake. Wish I could be what she needs, but I'm not sure I can. 

The family is going to Sea World tomorrow - through the home school program, of course. That way it's just $5 per ticket instead of the normal ridiculous admission fee (somewhere north of $40). No way I could afford to send them otherwise. My three year old has been counting down the days - which in and of itself is kind of cool. A three year old that understands subtraction and can do it... well, maybe other kids her age can do it too, I don't know, but still, it amazes/amuses me.

By the time you read this, it will be April 1st. If I had thought about it, perhaps I could have played a prank on you all. There's tons of prank video clips online - the current trend seems to be wiring your dorm room doorknob so that when your roommate comes home, it jolts him with electricity. Wonder who the moron was that thought that one up?

Todayve In History: April 1st
- April 1st, 1748: The ruins of Pompeii were found. (Robert Harris' novel on Pompeii is a good read.)

- April 1st, 1826: Samuel Mory patents the internal combustion engine. (Later that day, someone poured sugar in his gas tank.)

- April 1st, 1945: US forces launch the invasion of Okinawa during World War 2.

- April 1st, 1976: Wozniak and Jobs originate Apple Computers. (If Apple made a vacuum, would they call it 'iSuck'?)

I have an interest in Pompeii, since the opening scene of my own novel takes place there. And, ironically enough, the climax of my novel takes place during the assault on Shuri Castle, during the battle of Okinawa in WW2. Seriously. If I was writing it on an Apple computer that was powered by an internal combustion engine, that would be really weird!

Here's a funny Family Guy clip for you...

Going to pack it in for today. I hope your computers are safe from that much-feared virus that's supposed to launch tomorrow!

Until tomorrow, remember, I'm not cheap... but I am on special this week...

Monday, March 30, 2009

You Know How the Swivel War Kept Going Back and Forth?

Another lovely day winds to a close. Wait a minute... did I just say "lovely"? Hmm...

Today was mostly about getting ready for BE2 class tonight. Read two books and finished up the labs (which consisted mostly of looking up a butt-load of verses in Psalms). I did finish gathering newsletter content and editing it as well. Plus, I worked on the next comic - though it's not done yet, sorry...

The three-year-old has a new trick. She makes up words, and then proudly proclaims that she is speaking Spanish. She'll even translate the words for you, if you want. She's a smart one, that kid. Plus, I'm sorry, I can't help this next part... I'll be sitting in my office, door open, minding my own business, when in the background I'll here a **S-S-SMACK!**!!! Followed by my 13-year-old squealing and shouting "Ouch! Maggie, that hurt!!!! M-o-o-o-m!!!!" Then Maggie will run in giggling. I can't help it - it makes me laugh every time. It's hard to pretend I'm angry and scold her when it's all I can do to suppress a smile. The idea of a 3-year-old owning someone 10 years older than her is just too funny to me. 

*SMACK!* Reminds me of Carl...

Got a shocker this morning. I checked my email and had several emails from paypal for online purchases I didn't make! Yay! Someone hacked into my account and was charging stuff to my credit card! Yay! Spent some time on the phone with paypal straightening it out. They have a 100% fraud protection guarantee, so it is being handled. And I changed not only that password, but as many others as I could recall. We'll see what tomorrow brings...

Todayve In History: March 31
- March 31, 1948: Everybody's favorite Global Warming Windbag Al Gore was born! (Global Warming Humor: Gore is so full of hot air, you should see the size of his Methane Footprint!)

- March 31, 1889: The Eiffel Tower officially opens to the public. (Of course, they celebrated by eating cheese, not bathing and then surrendering! There, a stereotype trifecta!)

- March 31, 1896: Whitcomb Judson patents the zipper. (Later that day, someone told him his fly was open...)

- March 31, 1918: The first Daylight Savings Time in the US goes into effect. (Think of all the daylight we've saved since then! I mean, when you consider compound interest and everything...)

- March 31, 1932: Ford publicly unveils it's first V-8 engine. (Wow! An engine that runs on vegetable juice!)

I can't believe I put an Al Gore reference in my blog post - what a llama. But I've been saving that "methane footprint" joke for over a year now, waiting for a chance to tell it. The verdict? Nowhere near as funny as I thought it would be. Maybe if I added that his fly was open...

Here's a cool video... I can't for the life of me remember if I've posted this in my blog before... If I have, my apologies. 

I'm going to skedaddle for now. I hope all is well with you and yours.

Until tomorrow, remember, it's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This Little Piggie Went To Mark It...

Sunday come and gone, and it was a pretty good one at that. Double duty church day, as per usual. I won't bore you with the details...

Quick Rant: GRRR!!! There is always an episode of America's Next Top Model on a TV in this house! :O AAAA!!! It's driving me insane!!!!

OK, that's out of my system....

Another Sign I'm Playing PC Games Too Much: I needed to move the TV from our room upstairs down into the living room yesterday. Our 32" LCD TV is broken (the sound has stopped working), so they wanted the old TV - which is one of those old school beastly ones - brought down to the normal viewing area. So I'm trying to get a grip on this thing, and it's big and awkward and heavy. In my mind, subconsciously, I said "Hit F5". Then I stopped to laugh.

Here's why that's funny: When playing certain types of games (like, say, Fallout 3), you can hit F5, which is the "Quick Save" command, before you enter a place that might be dangerous. That way, if you proceed and get ambushed and killed, you can hit F9 (quick load) and reload that previous saved game, and proceed again with more caution.

So I sized up the TV, did a test lift, realized the chances were good that I would either drop the thing or injure myself or both, so my mind hit the F5 key, so if I did drop it or injure myself, I could reload to this point again, and try it again.

I guess when it comes to nerd humor, the more you have to explain it, the less funny it is. My apologies.

We were riding into church this morning and my youngest daughter (the 3 year old) tells me from her car seat behind me, "You know, dad, we really should have a dog." Umm... are 3 year olds supposed to talk like that, I wondered? Shouldn't a typical 3 year old say "I want a doggie!!" I know you're probably sick of the whole "wait till I tell you what my kid said" stuff that most parents rattle off, as though their kids are somehow more special than other kids, but honestly... "You know, dad, we really should have a dog."

What could I say? I replied, "Yes, we should. I wish we could get one, but they won't let us." At which point she turned to Daughter #2 (the 13 year old) and said, "Katie, we really should have a dog, shouldn't we?"

I'm like, wtf? She's freakin' three!


Todayve In History: March 30
- March 30, 1853: Vincent Van Gogh was born. (Too bad he's most remembered for: "Careful with that razor, bro! Whoa! Dude, your ear! What the heck!")

- March 30, 1986: The great James Cagney died at age 86. ("Look at me, ma! I'm on top of the world!")

- March 30, 1932: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Altantic. (That's probably why the government conspired with the Illuminati to have her killed! Read about it in my new book! Only $49.95!)

- March 30, 1889: The first golf course in the US opens in Yonkers NY. (Let the profanity begin!)

If there's ever been a game invented that's been the source of more frustration, I don't know what it is. Here's the famous Master's Championship "chip-in" that Tiger Woods had a few years back:

I can watch that clip over and over and over... what makes that shot so incredible was that it was the end of the final round at the 2005 Masters. Woods had a slim 1 shot lead in the tournament, and was under tremendous pressure, not just from the huge crowd, but from the zillions of people watching on TV. It really was an incredibly difficult shot, under amazing pressure, with the Green Jacket on the line. Truly, one of the greatest golf shots in history. I mean, on any given day, any yahoo can make a great shot - but to make the impossible shot under that sort of pressure and scrutiny... nails. Absolutely nails.

Had a long list of things I needed to get to between services today, but instead I slept. I was wiped out and had a headache, and honestly, was asleep in the car as Marla drove us home at about 1. Popped an ibuprofen and slept in my comfy office chair with my ear plugs in until 5, which was when I had to leave. But at least I feel better! But that means a long night ahead. Squish me luck!

I'm going to gather newsletter content tonight, and try to get the initial US version of the May Piranha newsletter done by tomorrow night - plus I have 2 books to read for BE2, and the rest of the curriculum to review by tomorrow night's meeting as well! Ouch. Trust me, it may not sound like much, but it is.

I guess I shouldn't have spent so much time yesterday playing Fallout 3. I can't seem to help it - I have a hard time forcing myself to actually work on Saturdays. My schedule during the week is a blend of work & play at all waking hours, but Saturdays are different for some reason.

On the plus side, I did turn loose two Super Mutant Behemoths on the wasteland, for my own amusement. If you haven't played the game, it will be a waste of time to know that, since it won't mean a thing to you, but on the off chance you know what I'm refereing to, I set the one by the Jury Street Metro Station and the one in Evergreen Mills both free to wreak havoc on the countryside. If I go up above Evergreen Mills and look out, I can see both of them wandering around, tearing up the place. I'll come back later with the mini-nuke launcher and kill them both later.

Here's a video on YouTube of some dude fighting the Jury Street Behemoth, in case you're curious - click the full-screen button in the corner of the video! Or click the HD button to watch it in high def (recommended). WARNING: at the very end (if you watch that far), there's some profanity. Sorry, I didn't make the video.

You know, I have games installed on my computer that I have never played once (Sins of a Solar Empire, Battle For Middle Earth II, Tiger Wood '08)? I also have games I literally only tried once (Mass Effect, Rise of the Argonauts), and others I have tried a handful of times only (Fable, GRID, Far Cry 2, Guild Wars). Granted, I also have games I have sunk hundreds of hours into (UT, Battlefield 2, Oblivion, Half Life 2, Fallout 3). How odd. Wasted money? Maybe. I still tell myself I'm going to play those neglected games at some point, but I wonder if it will ever happen.

Some of those games were very critically acclaimed as well, such as Mass Effect and Sins of a Solar Empire. In fact Sins won several Game of the Year awards last year - against incredible competition. Yet it sits on my system, unloved, while I spend time turning Super Mutant Behemoths loose on post-war DC...

Well, as I said, I have a long night ahead of me, so I will be leaving you now. Until tomorrow, remember, money talks... but all mine ever says is "good bye"!

Latest Book: The Ravished Heart by Iverna Tompkins (required reading)
Latest Game: Fallout 3 (of course)
Latest Movie: The Fall (amazing film 5/5)
Latest Music: None

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Empty Crackers... Empty Crackers....

Slow, mellow, uneventful day today - in a way, that's just fine with me. The only real work I got done was editing the latest Piranha transcript. I farted around, played some Fallout 3, finished The Runaway Jury, didn't leave the house, actually. Not three feet away from where I sit, on the other side of my office window, there sits an out-of-control shrub, crying out for trimming. Perhaps Sunday afternoon...

The Grisham book finished solid. I'm glad I read it - don't know that I'd read it again any time soon, but there's no regret. It certainly kept me interested until the ending. In case you haven't read it, or haven't seen the film version, it involves a civil lawsuit against the tobacco industry, and basically boils down to how corrupt the legal system is, and how there are rules, and there are ways around the rules... and a heavy dose of anti-smoking preaching to boot. But it was well done.

Not sure what I'll read tonight - probably one of my BE2 "required reading" books.

Here's a cool little video of a bad day kayaking at sea...

In keeping with my mellow, lazy-day Saturday mood, I'm going to forego my This Dayve In History feature and just call it a day. Until tomorrow, remember, there's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Creature From The Black Legume

I had a chance run-in with Sarah Dippity today!

What? :P

Reminds me of one of my mom's favorite jokes. I ask her "Can I call you Constance?" And she replies, "All the time!"

She also said Fidel Picasso was her favorite Cubist.

I better stop before all of your groans flatten me...

Twas a good Friday today (even though it wasn't Good Friday, per se...). Got 4 things crossed off my "To Do List!" Woohoo! Finished the comic (last night), made flier variations for our marketing, took care of the rest of my tax stuff and got it to the tax man, and memorized my lines for the Easter play.

The Tax Man! That might make a funny superhero-type character for my comic...

Still have 6 items on my list, so I have a long weekend ahead... well, as long as there's some pay at the end of the list, I'll be happy. I go through work lulls, and work spurts, so it comes with the territory...

I know you're just dying to know my short term goals for my PC Game playing for the next week, right? You were losing sleep, worrying, not knowing, right? I'm so sorry... next time, speak up! In Fallout 3, I printed out a checklist of all the special bobblehead dolls you can find scattered throughout the ruins, and I shall now go about collecting all 20. Of course, that's along with blowing up every abandoned vehicle I come across...

There! Now you can rest at ease! Sleep well tonight! Dream wonderful things! That reminds me; I need to work on the next comic in my Dream Series... I got a lot of good feedback about the last strip. As much as I enjoy doing them, they are taking more and more hours to do. Don't get me wrong, I like doing them, and enjoy the results, but I may tinker with a way to simplify the art. Maybe I'll do like they do in the papers, and do black and white ones, for the most part, and color ones once a week. Bah, I like the way the color ones turn out, so forget it.

Todayve In History: March 28
- Two famous Olympic track athletes both died on March 28th. Jim Thorpe died in 1953 (gold medalist in 1912) and Jesse Owens died in 1980 (gold medalist, 1936). (I don't have a joke here - I just thought that was a mildly interesting coincidence.)

- March 28, 1794: The Louvre in France opens to the public. (All paintings were in black and white back then, of course...)

- March 28, 1797: Nathaniel Briggs patents the Washing Machine. (Housewives of the world, rejoice!)

- March 28, 1891: The first World Weightlifting Championships are held. (Sheesh! How strong do you have to be to lift the world?)

It's always wild to sift out interesting little tidbits to post for the "today in history" segment. There are always hundreds of items that get passed over, being too obscure. I suppose if I was tricky, I would post items that I knew y'all wouldn't have ever heard of, and use it as a mini-history lesson, so we all could learn a bit about people and events we've never heard of before. How educational! But, alas, I'd rather go for stuff we already know. Makes for a shorter post, plus it lets me make stupid parenthetical one-liners for (mostly) my own amusement.

Funny Picture Time:

How ironic!

Well, gonna run. Gonna play a bit more Fallout 3, read the rest of Runaway Jury, and prepare for tomorrow. Until tomorrow, remember, color is just a pigment of your imagination...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Slappin' Ze Deutch?

Greetings, fellow space travelers!

Twas a good day in sunny San Diego! Rug Shop Day, Part 2. Gettin' 'er done! Today was "Take Daughter #2 To Work Day," and I did my part. She helped her gramma get some things done.

Other than that, not much to report out of the ordinary. Worked, came home, ate, finished today's Wagnervana comic, and now I shall blog, play Fallout 3, read and go the heck to sleep! My "to do list" for the next couple days is packed like a Japanese subway car.

Here's the set-up for today's strip: I was inspired by my post about dreams last week, so I decided to do a series of comics, taking each of the six characters so far, and show a good dream and a not-so-good dream. I figure you can tell a lot about a character by what they dream about. Here's me and Dave-O, to start things off...

I wanted to get all six done and post them at once, but they're taking a bit more time to create than I thought, so I figured I'd post two at a time. Next will be Zack and Vye, then Carl and Rollo...

I don't know if you noticed, but all of my characters are male thus far. I suppose I'll create a female character or two at some point, but I don't really understand the female mindset. I have the same problem writing female characters, in short stories, plays, my novel, etc. They always end up seeming man-ish. Or stereotypically female. You'll have to cut me some slack in that regard, once the female character(s) appear(s). Until that time, I have plenty of ideas for fun stuff with the characters I have now.

I pulled clips from the next movie I will feature in my Favorite Scenes feature that you all enjoy so much (insert eye-roll here), but it won't be for a few days yet. Maybe sooner; it depends on my work schedule. O, how wilt thou endure such torment? Meh, go read a book or something!

Speaking of books, I'm working my way through the Grisham book again, and it's staying pretty solid. Not "terrific" but a good, solid read. I'm looking forward to the end - it's supposed to be a good one...

Todayve In History: March 27
- March 27, 1790: Shoelaces were invented! (Finally, they could get rid of that annoying Velcro.)

- March 27, 1860: M.L. Byrn patents the corkscrew. (And roller-coasters were never the same.)

- March 27, 1912: The first Japanese cherry blossom trees were planted in Washington DC. (Secretly, by ninjas, to avoid the city zoning commission.)

Funny Picture Time:

Tomorrow night is Easter rehearsal - I still have a butt-load of lines to memorize - not including the monologue that I still haven't written! I may see if we can eliminate the monologue...

I also have to get all the rest of my BE2 stuff done, including reading 2 books and writing reports on them. Bah, I should read one tonight... sorry, Grisham...

I also have some random cars and buses to blow-up in Post-Apocalyptia... in fact, I better go do that now...

Until tomorrow, remember, sure, the truth hurts, but so does a machete.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Like An Abacus, You Can Count On Me...

"Decaffeinated" or "Decapitated", you decide...

Happy Wednesday to you all! Wait, today was Wednesday, right? Sheesh, lost track for a minute there...

Rug Shop Day, Part One is done for the week. Back at it tomorrow for Part Two! Mom liked the video I edited, but not the music, so I'm scrounging up new tracks. Once we get a finished product, I'll post it here... if only because it has been quite a journey to finish, so I have to show it off! And I still plan on doing more clips!

Dropped Daughter #2 off at school in the a.m., grabbed a burrito on the way to work (pollo asada, of course!), drank a Rockstar (funny... I didn't feel like one after drinking it! I felt like a spaz... they should rename it "Spaz Energy Drink"...), got some work done, hit the bank, came home, ate spaghetti, worked on the latest comic and now, BLOG TIME!

Of course, there was some Fallout 3 in there as well. I have a new favorite pastime. I play Fallout 3 and as I wander, I detonate all the derelict vehicles that I come across. For some reason, I get a big kick out of it. It makes me happy.

I suppose it's something you likely won't "get" unless you do it yourself. Well, I doubt y'all will rush out to buy the game, so here's a visual aid to help enlighten you...

In this case, it was an old bus. I tell ya, there's something about wandering around a nuked city, listening to 40's music on my portable radio, exploring and shooting/blowing stuff up. I don't know how that strikes you, but I find it endlessly entertaining...

I'm liking the Grisham novel. I know I'm hooked when I want to read during the day instead of just in my usual reading time of, say, 1 am to 3 am each night. I predict I'll be done with it before the weekend. It's kind of nice to take a break from Fantasy novels for a bit. In fact, now that I think of it, Joseph recommended a book a few weeks back that was (perhaps) a detective story or something (my memory is spotty). I think I'll search that out and give the author a read.

A few nights ago, I was complaining about some upcoming events that I was dreading on some level - including a planned family trip out to Albuquerque in May. Well, my dad offered to swap cars with me so I can drive his vehicle out to Alb instead of mine - which makes the trip a whole lot less dreadful. I was uncertain about how my car would hold up 1200 miles each way, but now I don't have to find out. Thanks Dad!

I read a stunning (to me) article today about a movie that is being made. Get this: The Farrelly brothers are making a Three Stooges movie - and you will, literally, never guess who they got to play Larry, Moe and Curly. 2 oscar winners and one of the highest pais actors today! Larry will be Sean Penn (I kid you not). Moe will be Benicio Del Toro (I kid you not). And Curly will be Jim Carrey (I kid you not).

I don't know whether to laugh until I blow snot bubbles, or cry until I blow snot bubbles. Either way, my reaction will have to involve snot bubbles. Can you believe that? Carrey is going to put on 40 pounds for the role. And it's not a biopic - it's a slapstick comedy.

Darn you, Tom Cruise! See what you started!

If you were offended by yesterday's funny video clip, I apologize. I assume Joseph was kidding, but you never know. I'll try to be a little less crude with future clips.

New comic tomorrow.

Until tomorrow, remember, wife in the fast lane, surely makes me lose my mind...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Argyle Sock, Stretched Over My Head... That's All I Ask...

"Skeptic" or "Septic", you decide...

I saw a bumper sticker on a septic truck one time that said "Have You Hugged Your Septic Pumper Today?" Every so often, that will pop back into my head, bring a quick smile, and then flee just as quickly. I always thought the idea of tossing cynics into "the skeptic tank" was amusing as well... then again, I am a goof...

Not a bad day today, all things considered. Mellow. Pretty standard blend of work, play and web lurking. Although I did eat lunch today with my dad (and my 3 year old), which was nice. It was good to catch up. Got the editing finished on the first version of the Rug Shop Tour video clip I'm been wrestling with for a week (or more) now. Finally got a narration track that was loud enough!

Watched a couple short WW2-related documentaries this afternoon as well - good stuff for a history buff like me... I tossed the DVD set of Band of Brothers into my Amazon shopping cart afterwards - a symbolic gesture at this point. Need to wait until I'm in slightly better financial shape before making any extraneous purchases. I'm kind of financially retarded, unfortunately. Or as I like to call myself, "an incompoop." 

Come on, that's a good one, you gotta give me that much at least...

Read more of the Runaway Jury last night, and I can say I'm sufficiently hooked. Never considered myself much of a Grisham fan, but this one is a good read.

I also read my nightly chapter of Isaiah, which was rudely interrupted by my brain tracking off on a pair of juicy tangents (for me, anyway...). The first one stemmed from a previous observation I made a few weeks ago, about the Bible basically following the same classic, basic storyline structure as a Fantasy Epic (like LOTR), but I came to realize that really, so many different genres are covered in the Bible, a case can be made that it fits just about anywhere.

It's a action story. It's a love story. It's a history book. It's a biography. It's a book of philosophy. It's a fantasy epic. It's a supernatural thriller. It's a horror book. It's a mystery. It's a self-help book. It's a young adult novel. It's a hymn book. It's a book of doctrine. It is (some would argue) a book of myths and legends. It's a book of military strategy. It's a political book. It's a book of futurism/prophecy. It's a documenting of correspondence between people. 

What genre does it not fit into? Science fiction? I'm sure that case could be made as well...

The other tangent just about short circuited my brain, and it had to do basically with what God is and where He came from. Here's the short version: "If our universe can sit in His hand, in what realm does God exist? Where does He live? What environment/atmoshpere does He go about His way in?"

Here's the verse that triggered it:

Isaiah 43:10: "You are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me."

I can't get my brain around the idea that God simply always has existed - and that He is the only one of His kind. Seriously? Part of me thinks He must have come from somewhere, had to have had a beginning sometime, even if it was so long ago that it scrambles the brain. He's always existed... um... it's not that I don't believe Him, obviously, He only tells the truth... I just have no way to file it away in my brain anywhere... I keep telling it to circle the airport and wait instructions on which runway to land on in my brain...

What does the realm look like that He lives in? Or does He expand to fill everything... the alternative is that there can theoretically exist a place in which He is not. What is He? A sentient mist? Jesus I can almost understand, Him being a man and all... but the Father? What the heck?

It was about that time that my brain short-circuited and I began to drool. At that point, I've found it's best to call it a night...

OK, enough vain theology! My profound and profuse apologies!

Todayve In History: March 25th
- Frank Oz was born on this day in 1944. He did the voice for a lot of the Muppets and Sesame Street characters. (At least he doesn't do Elmo's voice... whoever came up with Elmo needs a swift kick to the nether-regions every day for the rest of his life...)

- March 25, 1863: The first Medal of Honor was awarded. (No joking allowed here, under penalty of treason!)

- March 25, 1896: The first modern Olympics begins in Athens Greece. (The Javelin Catch did not go over too well...)

Well, I'm not sure where to take this post, so I might as well end on a funny note and call it a night:

Until tomorrow, remember, one good turn gets most of the blankets...

Monday, March 23, 2009

No. No Tomatoes. They're Too Vulnerable.

OK, stop me if you've heard this one before... see, this one time--

What? Stop already? How do you know if-- Wait, I just-- Really? Stop?


Monday, whoop-de-whoop! Woke up a bit later than I would have liked this morning, but then again, I was stayed up later than I should have the night before. I decided to shelve Hawkwood's Voyage for the time being - mostly for this reason: I'm about a hundred pages in, and a character appeared that I knew sounded familiar, but I couldn't remember why... had I read the book before? Surely, I would have known. So I back-tracked in the book, and there he was, in a previous chapter that I only vaguely remember reading a night or two earlier... I started re-reading it, knowing I should remember his story so far, but it was like reading it fresh again!

That was an indicator to me that I'm reading too late into the night, and my retention is at a bare minimum. The book is a good one (from the parts I do recall!) and I shall return to it fresh again soon, from the beginning, but for the time being, I'll start turning in earlier, and reading a different book - The Runaway Jury, that Abbie loaned me. Read the first 50 pages last night... hope I remember it when I go to read again tonight!

Gee, aren't my troubles difficult? Woe is me! Curse the day I was born! Pfff! I'm lame, I know...

Actually, I have far bigger issues I wrestle with, but I don't want to drag you down. You may end up looking like this guy:

Is that the saddest picture you've seen all year, or what? Sometimes I feel like that guy. To me, that shot positively drips with despair.

Anyway, again, I don't want to send you plummeting into the depths of despair by bombarding you with my big guns, so I pepper you with odd little problems instead - like storyline retention problems! I wonder if there's a medicine for that..?

Finally got the two Piranha transcripts off in the email today. Took care of some other odds and ends. And I'm having a dickens of a time getting a good audio recording of the narration I need to use for the Rug Shop Tour Video Clip that I've been laboring away upon. Tuesday will be dedicated to getting that done.

Speaking of editing, I put together another "Favorite Movie Scenes" episode for you tonight, complete with a new, hopefully less-annoying intro. Tonight's scene(s) come(s) from the movie Elf, with Will Ferrell.

Good stuff, methinks. Except I said the dad worked at an advertising firm, instead of a book publisher, but who cares, right? :O BUURP!

Eldest Daughter is still under the weather. We'll see how she feels in the morning - she's supposed to work at 8am.

Found some time today/tonight to slip in a little Fallout 3 and WoW, just for giggles. Did some sketches for the next Wagnervana comix also. Got some errands taken care of around town as well. So all in all, a good day!

Citibank stock is now $3.11 per share! GRRR! If only I knew how to go about buying stock! I knew I'd be missing my window! $3/share might still be a great bargain...

Tax Day approaches. Easter approaches. The family trip to Albuquerque approaches. My wife's 40th birthday approaches.


On the other hand, the rug auction approaches. Summer approaches. The next LAN party approaches. Abercrombie's new book approaches.

So it sort of balances out... sort of.

Todayve In History: March 24

- March 24, 1898: The first automobile was sold. (Finally, pizza could be delivered in 30 minutes or less!)

- March 24, 1930: The planet Pluto was named. (Man, Disney had pull back then too!)

- March 24, 1964: The Kennedy Half Dollar was first issued. (Coming soon! The Obama Billion-Dollar coin!)

Got my copy of iMovie 06 in the mail today, woot! And I talked to my pal Carey, who is still having leg issues. Get better, Carey, dangit!

That just about covers it for today. Until tomorrow, remember, never draw fire... it irritates the people around you!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jesus Swept

Frozen Bubbles in some cold lake somewhere. Pretty cool, eh? Man, it must be cold for fish farts to freeze like that...

Sundays are usually pretty good, and this was no exception. Double church duty again today, as is my custom. Only thing out of the ordinary was going to the rug shop between services briefly, to photograph a pair of rugs and email them to a client, and also Eldest Daughter stayed home, somewhat under the weather. Other than that, the typical: Moderately tense ride to church, meet-n-greet some folks, do my church duty in the Upper Room, a Rubio's lunch, some Fallout 3 between services, a casual drive to evening church (with only Daughter #2 along), more church duty, drive home, more Fallout 3, now blog, read and go the heck to bed!


Loaned Abbie The Name of the Wind today - hope she likes it. Pardon me for a moment while I address Abbie directly, should she be reading this. Ahem. "Abbie! If you don't like it, no sweat! Don't just read it on my account! If it's not your bag, it's all good!"

There, housekeeping done!

Working on new comics, should be up soon. Patience, young Padawan!

Run! Flying cats!

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and not recognize yourself? Do you ever point at yourself in the mirror and ask "Who are you?" Every now and then I get a strange disconnect where it feels weird to look at myself in the mirror... "What do people see when they look at me?" I don't mean that in a narcissistic way... honestly, you know how you see someone and subconsciously, there's an undercurrent that is either positive or negative, on a scale of 1 to 100. You see a person, and your inner gauge registers "mildly positive" or "strongly negative" or "uh... this is uncomfortable, I wish he/she would stop talking to me and move along..."

You know, sub-level affinities and antipathies of varying degrees, that sort of thing. Do people see me and hope they can quickly walk away before I notice them and try to chat with them? Do people tolerate my goofiness since there's a subconscious understanding that I'm basically a harmless goof? Do people perk up a bit in a positive way when they see me, happy to say hello and catch up for a minute? What do people see when they see me?

That's how the mirror thing fits in. I know what it's like to view the world from within me (trust me, it's every bit as scattered and bizarre as you might think it is...), still I wonder who I really am. Bah, self-absorption on a massive scale, likely. Well, in this case, maybe... but I think as methodically and frantically about lots of other stuff, too...

On This Dayve In History: March 23

- March 23, 1929: Roger Bannister was born - he's the first to run a mile in under 4 minutes. (Pretty impressive for a guy running in cowboy boots!)

- March 23, 1743: Handel's Messiah premiered in London. (Pretty impressive for a guy composing in cowboy boots!)

- March 23, 1929: The first telephone is installed in the White House. (The first call was: "Hello, Moscow? Is your refrigerator running?")

- March 23, 1775: Patrick Henry proclaims "Give me liberty or give me death!"

The revisionist version, via The Far Side:

I told a bad pun in my dream last night - it was so bad I remembered it when I woke up... ready? I'm gonna tell it to you... in my dream, a lady told me she was from Belize. My reply to her? "I keep telling people that, but no one Belize me!"

You see, "Belize" is pronounced "Bell-Ease"... see, sort of like "believes" in a way... see? Get it? Get it? Bah, I told you it was a bad one... my theory is that the only thing that makes bad puns somewhat funny is if you over-explain them after saying them... you see, Belize is pronounced "bell-ease", see.....

Well, cleanse your mind with this funny video - it's the opening montage from the 2006 Emmy's...

Until tomorrow, remember, time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Brain, Brain, Go Away, Come Back Again Another Day(ve)...

"Literature" or "Little Richard", you decide...

Saturday, March 21, 2009... a day that you'll never have back again!!! How did you spend it, eh? Was it a relatively 'up' day, or did it trend downward, eh? Any regrets? Any time wasted that you would spend differently now, all things considered?

I spent today in the following fashion - I'll be brief! Sheesh!

Jahovah's Witnesses woke me up again this morning - this time to invite me to a "Memorial Service for Jesus Christ"... Again, I answered the door mostly asleep, so I didn't ask them why they chose that particular wording for the event... I thought you had a memorial service for someone that was dead? Anyway, another free piece of literature to add to my slowly growing stack. I wonder if they'll drop by tomorrow? If they do, should I invite them in for hot tea and crumpets? Or should I hide in the bushes and throw pee balloons at them?

Ah, decision, decisions!

Wandered the mall a bit, pulled highlights from the two transcripts I edited for Piranha (to make into Hot Tips Sheets), and played several different games! How multi-talented, eh! Eh! Fallout 3, UT, UT3, Battlefield 2... I even started up a free 10-Day Trial of World of Warcraft! I was all over the flippin' place! How fitting, considering my personality...

I've been trending toward manic a lot lately, and I'm not sure why. Actually, that's not entirely true - I do have some ideas, but nothing I wouldn't be somewhat ashamed to share here... let's just say it has something to do with me almost being 40, sensing my own mortality, wondering what on earth I've done with myself so far in life, yadda yadda yadda... Not a pleasant stretch of self-reflection... but at least I have a sportscar to look forward to at the conclusion of it, right? That is the tradition, yes?

Hmm... what color Porsche...? I like my sportscars like I like my wives... small, brown and loud...

lol, I should erase that....

The following is a brief whine that no one but someone who plays/played BF2 will understand... ahem... "GRRR! I was one kill away from getting my Veteran's Sniper Badge tonight! GRRRRR!!!!"

That concludes the obscure rant of the evening. We now return you to your regularly scheduled hot air...

Reading more of Hawkwood's Voyage. It's not bad. But Abbie loaned me a Grisham novel that she highly recommends (Runaway Jury), so I'm debating putting Kearney on hold and taking a break from Fantasy for a bit, to read Grisham. I've read two Grisham books before - wasn't too impressed, but I'll definitely give this one a try - if Abbie says it's good, it must be...

Church tomorrow! Yay! (trying to psyche myself up for it).

Tried watching an old British comedy TV series with Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) in it, called Black Adder last night. 1 episode was enough for me. Believe it or not, it was too silly for me. Go figure! Too silly? For ME? I'm the king of silly! What can I say? It just didn't click for me.

Todayve In History: March 22nd

- March 22, 1758: Jonathan Edwards died. He's a famous dude in Church History, actually. A colonnial theologian/preacher, staunch defender of Calvinism (that's for Josh! I have no quip here, sorry...)

Might as well keep it religious (it is Sunday, you know!)

- March 22, 1457: The Gutenberg Bible becomes the first book ever printed. (And some yahoo highlighted John 3:16 with a highlighter pen and ruined it!)

- Carbonated water was invented on this day in 1733. (Pass the Dr. Pepper!)

- The first shopping mall opened this day in 1954, in Southfield MI. (That's for wifey! Even though she has never read my blog once... aw, poor me...))

All in all, I'd say today was a good one for me. I also got in some exercise - I walked home from the mall, which was about a mile, I'd say... maybe... of course, I won't mention that it was because I ate a combo from McDonalds while at the mall. I tell ya, that food is so disgusting, I wonder why on earth I ever eat there? I don't do it very often, and it's cheap. Those are my excuses. And somehow, I feel it gets canceled out by walking a mile.

Well, at least I'm not this guy:

Sorry, Yanni... I'll never understand soccer...

Anyway, that's it for today. Until tomorrow, remember, a little pain never hurt...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dont Tell Anyone... The Spare Tire In My Trunk Is Actually A Large Wheel of Jarlsberg Cheese!

Friday! Yay! Wait... it's over? Aw man.... Well, tomorrow is Saturday, which is almost as good...

Today was a good day! In fact here's a poem:

Friday came and went again
It left me satisfied,
I finished formatting and then
I played some games inside,
I ate a yummy dinner of
some taters and some chicken,
Stopped by that place that I so love
Starbucks! My pulse quickened!
Continued on to church because
We had our Easter run-thru,
While hampered by the caffeine buzz
My brain was subject unto.
Returned to home again and wrote
These words that you're now reading
I'm sure if you could have a vote,
It'd be "Stop! My eyes are bleeding!"

OK, I'll quit while I'm behind... sorry, I'm in a mood...

Got some great feedback on my latest Wagnervana comic, which made me feel special! You like me! You really like me! (insert eye-roll here). I'm glad people are enjoying the strip. I have some cool ideas for the next strip(s)! Why, I'll get right on it!

Got some work done today! Yay! Up to my usual ridiculous hour last night, then woke to the doorbell ringing, and some well-intentioned Jehovah's Witnesses that wanted to chat about the Bible... until they saw me answer the door, 30 seconds from deep sleep, hair a mess, eyes barely open...

"Can I help you?"

"Um... uh... we'd like to... uh... talk to you about the Bible?"

"No thanks, I gave at the office..."

"Can we leave you these magazines?"


Yay! Free magazines! The last thing I was in a position to do was argue doctrine over tea with two little old ladies... I took their magazines and bid them good luck. Especially since they were going to my grumpy neighbor next...

I don't fault them for trying - the gospel in shoe-leather, that sort of thing... but I do fault them for interrupting a good dream!

Todayve In History: March 21
- This day in 1843, Preacher William Miller of Massachusettes predicted the world would end (UPDATE: He was wrong)

- March 21, 1963: Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay was closed. (It was too expensive to keep the bay stocked with sharks.)

- March 21, 1982: Pro Golfer Jerry Pate celebrates a tournament win by jumping into the lake. (Unfortunately, his golf bag dragged him to the bottom. RIP).

I had an interesting conversation with my wife tonight (you know... that woman I'm married to? You know...) We were talking about things that are facets of God's personality that are good in Him, but that are not good in us... like judging, and wanting to be worshipped. It seems understood that it is wrong for a person (or angel, or what-have-you) to say "Bow down and worship me!" It's repulsive, really, and you just know that the person saying it is off their rocker (or at least, off their medication). Yet it's acceptable for God to say it. Obviously, He's the Creator, etc., so it's ok for Him... I still can't quite get my brain around the idea of wanting vast multitudes to bow down and worship me - and it being ok.

I guess that's the problem with trying to understand God... for Him, it's fine to want the unquestioned, unhindered out-right worship and praise from all of His creation... He loves to have people trumpet how wonderful He is! It's acceptable, I suppose, because it's understood that He deserves it. We know it - but what's weird (to me) is that He knows it. Yet, for Him it isn't unbridled narcissism, or pride, etc. For Him, it's right. For anyone/anything else, it's wrong. I can't conceive of any scenario where any person would ever be right in wanting worship - it seems to be a prerogative reserved for God alone.

It seems to be a verrrrry touchy thing with Him, too. The warnings and threats are dire in the Book if you give your praise and worship to anyone/anything else. He's very jealous of that type of adoration. Some preachers maintain that we were created primarily to worship Him! I don't know if that's the case or not... probably is, I suppose. Still, the mindset puzzles me... "I think I'll create an innumerable amount of creatures whose primary purpose is to endlessly tell Me how wonderful I am!"

There must be more to it than that...

Anyway, such are the things that dance around in my brainpan. (This is your brain... this is your brain grasping at the wind. Any questions?)

Tomorrow morning, wifey will run 17 miles, in preparation for an up-coming marathon. I'll never understand women...

Guess I'm gonna hit the bricks. Until tomorrow, remember, the seminar on time travel will be held in two weeks ago.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Germs Come From Germany, Right?

Thursday, Thursday...

Twas a good one today. Rug Shop Day part two. I hate to admit it, but I'm still working on the things I've been working on all week so far! It's embarrassing! I want to get something done already! I'm still editing the Rug Shop Tour video clip. I'm still formatting the Piranha interview. And I'm still tinkering with today's comic. I'm just about done, but I wanted to get today's post going before midnight. I'll finish it up tonight and edit it in here, so if you read this comic-less version, come back! I think you'll like it. Then again, I live in my head, and things I think are funny often aren't so funny to others... just ask my wife!

EDIT: OK, here's the latest Wagnervana Strip! It introduces Dave-O as the final character in this first run. He's my military adviser and good friend. I hope you read this and like it, Dave-O! Send me pics of your arm tattoos and I'll modify the strip accordingly! As usual, click on it to make it bigger...


I finished The Darkness That Comes Before, and honestly, it turned out pretty good. Still, I'm on the fence as to whether I should proceed to Book Two or not. I am so close to 50% that I could be swayed either way. I think I have a good feel for the author by this point, and there have been some well-written scenes. But he's still pretty full of himself, and he is STILL referencing people, places and events that have yet to be explained... ugh.

In the meantime, I needed something to read last night, so after finishing Isaiah 40 (which is a chapter I'm considering memorizing - it would make an amazing monologue...) I picked up Hawkwood's Voyage, by Paul Kearney (Monarchies of God Book One), and it grabbed me right from the start, which is a good thing.

A spider is currently running across my laser printer...

I hope you enjoyed reading about my recurring dreams in yesterday's post. That's not all of them, by any means, but they are the strongest and most frequent. I may add more as my mood strikes me.

I decided to modify my "This Dayve In History" to reflect the next day, rather than the day I'm writing in, since by the time I'm writing about it, the day is over! And I'm sure you don't stay up to midnight Pacific time each night to read my hot air, so it only makes sense to talk about the day that you might be reading this in!

On This Dayve In History: March 20th.
- March 20, 1727: Sir Isaac Newton died in London, age 84. (I wonder how old he was when he invented the Fig Newton?)

- March 20, 1942: General MacArthur leaves the Philipines, saying his famous "I Shall Return" quote. (Leading shortly thereafter to The Bataan Death March - absolutely horrifying. No quip here.)

- March 20, 1952: An American in Paris, starring Gene Kelly, wins Best Picture Academy Award. (Not bad for a film where he surrenders, eats cheese and never bathes... hey, when in Rome...)

Every time I'm browsing through the "this day in history" lists, which I've done for years, actually, I'm always struck by the obscure listing of things that happen that you just KNOW that no one on earth remembers. Things like "1821: ferry boats sinks in Grogans Straight, 540 people die" or "1870: coal mine explosion in Scooter Tennessee kills 186"... I'm always taken back by the idea that these were all real people like you and me. Some dam collapses in some eastern European country in 1910, and 600 people die. The numbers are just tossed around, we glance at them, shrug our shoulders (if that) and move on. I always try, at least for a few moments, to put myself into that scenario... working on the docks in Chicago off-loading a boat in 18-whatever, and an ammunition ship explodes nearby, and people are dead and dying all around...

I'm sure people that survive such things are scarred for the rest of their lives by the trauma... and now to us, all these decades later, it's barely a footnote in history. Doesn't even register as a blip on our personal radars. That's probably for the best. Imagine being loaded up with the accumulated horrors of history - we wouldn't be able to take it - we're not God after all... Just the accumulated horror of World War 2 alone would probably flatten an entire city...

Ah, but I digress...

Hey, you know how you sometimes see pictures where people are posing, but some yahoo in the background is making a ridiculous face, ruining the picture? I love those... here's a great one I saw today - made me laugh out loud (if you'll pardon the cliche...)


Anyway, I'm going to go finish up the comic and post it tonight before turning in. Until tomorrow, keep in mind, no animals were harmed in the writing of this post. Well, that's not entirely true... remember that spider...? MUAHAHAHA!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Sky Is Falling! This Guy Is Falling!

"Terrorist" or "tear a wrist", you decide...

Happy Wednesday to you all! In fact, I hope it was a grand and glorious Wednesday for you! Overdone? Sorry... Uh... I trust it was above average, as far as Wednesdays go... you know, not much grief to deal with. Hows' that? Better? Still too upbeat? Hmm... Your Wednesday sucked, didn't it... Well, if I was there with you, I'd give you a good kick to add to your troubles... does that work? Good, now we can move on, you little grumpypants...

Not a bad day today, except I was wiped out. I kept almost falling asleep. In fact, I got home, and instead of finishing today's comic, I fell asleep in my comfy chair for several hours... I know, I know, total loss of respect. If you were here, you'd fire spitballs at me, right?

I had an odd dream as I rested, but it has since faded from memory. I will, however, regale you with some of my Recurring Dreams. I've had these dreams off and on for as long as I can remember. Maybe one of you that can interpret dreams can tell me what these mean...

Recurring Dream #1: Natural Disasters. I routinely have Tidal Wave dreams. I'm at the beach (duh), the water recedes, everyone wanders around like clueless idiots, I try and tell everyone to run away, they all ignore me. I flee for my life, GIGANTIC waves rear up in the distance and I run and run and run... wake up exhausted.

I also have Tornado dreams. There's never just one, either. I'm outside, it's stormy - in fact, usually, the clouds are so black and so low and so incredibly vivid... anyway, there's usually multiple funnels and I'm caught out in the open, and it's a race to reach a house and find shelter. The house I usually get into has no cellar (of course) so I'm forced to lie on the ground, clutching the carpet (always the carpet, how odd), as the roof is ripped off. Oddly, the walls usually stay intact in my dream, but the roof is always ripped off, and I have to cling to the carpet to keep from getting sucked into the air. Sometimes, I actually am thrown through the air, but I always survive...

I do occasionally die in my dreams (in spite of what "they" say), usually via a weapon of some sort. But I'll save that for another thread...

Recurring Dream #2: High School Redux. I dream I'm back in high school - but I know that I'm way too old to be there anymore. Nevertheless, I must go. I start off missing the school bus (complete with running after it, waving my arms), and having to walk to school, getting lost on the way. I finally make it to school, I have no idea what period it is, or what class I'm supposed to be in. I decide to ask at the office, but I have no idea where the office is. I wander around, finally finding the office, and find out what class I'm supposed to be in - but I need my books. Of course, I have no idea where my locker is, so I wander around, hoping to remember. When I find it, I cannot remember the combination. When I finally get the locker open, it's either the wrong locker, or my books aren't in there. I finally make it to class and sit down, only to find out the period had ended and I'm supposed to be in another class. Back outside to try and find the office again. I end up missing all of my classes and then racing to catch the bus before they leave. The last bus is pulling away, I get on it, relieved, only to find out it's the wrong bus and heads away from home instead of toward it...

I kid you not, I have had that dream so many times, it isn't funny. Usually with more - like meeting friends I used to know and they either don't remember me or they laugh at me. Then having to use the restroom, but they're all out of order.

That segue's nicely...

Recurring Dream #3: Bathroom! I regularly dream that I need to take a leak, and I wander around, trying to find a bathroom. When I find one, either the facilities are out of order, or there are tons of people in there, forcing me to go find another, or instead of walls, there are floor to ceiling windows, so all the people outside can see me, and laugh. Or there's a toilet, but it's out in the middle of a plaza, with tons of people wandering around... anything that can frustrate my pursuit of relief! Of course, I usually wake up needing to use the restroom... perhaps that's my body's way of waking me up when I'm sleeping with a full bladder...

Recurring Dream #4: No Brakes! I'm driving along, and I approach a stop sign or red light. I see cops stationed there, watching and waiting for someone to roll through so they can ticket them. But I know they are there, so I'm certainly going to stop, right? I press the brakes, I slow down, but I'm not slowing down fast enough. I push harder, as hard as I can, but I'm still slowly rolling, across the line, into the intersection! It's so not fair! What can I say? "I tried to stop, officer, but my brakes betrayed me!" Or I have to stop to avoid a pedestrian or a stopped car in front of me, or some obstacle. Brakes don't quite work, I end up hitting him/her/it. Very frustrating.

Recurring Dream #5: Gumby Arms. I routinely dream I am fighting someone - even though I've never been in a fist fight in my whole life. In any case, I have to fight and defend myself (more likely try and prove I'm really a man), and I hit and hit as hard as I can, but the dude I'm punching just kind of looks at me like, "are you kidding me? Is that really as hard as you can hit?" I punch with everything I've got, and it doesn't even effect the guy. Then I get my butt kicked. Very frustrating.

Recurring Dream #6: Golf. I used to golf a lot when I was younger - up until the 10th grade or so. Have not golfed much at all in the past 2 decades. Still, I will regularly dream I'm out playing golf. Every time I try and tee up a golf ball, it falls off the tee. Or there's suddenly a tree branch or a wall or ceiling - something to prevent me from taking a full swing. Something in front of me that I can't hit around with the club I'm using. Or people walk in front of me and I have to stop my swing. Or suddenly there's someone in the fairway and I need to stop. I try and play a relaxing game of golf, but for whatever reason, I cannot actually haul off and hit the darn ball! Very frustrating.

Recurring Dream #7: Skateboarding. Ahh! Finally a pleasant recurring dream! I can land every trick I try in my dream. It's like time slows down when I skate in my dreams, and the board moves under me, and I can hang in the air over it until the right moment, and I land it. I never get hurt. And I dream up the sweetest terrain - skateparks, culverts, benches, empty pools - it's like a surreal, perfect skating environment, and I am nailing everything I try.

There are a few other recurring dreams, but nothing I'd share in public! BUAHAHAHA!!!! *cough cough cough*... ahem... well...

Anyway, if you have any interpretations for any/all of those dreams, I'd be happy to read your thoughts. I think I'll call it a day, and save the rest of my usual nonsense for tomorrow.

EDIT: OK this is odd... I was taking a quick look at my bookmarked webcomics before turning in for the night, and I saw this:

I swear I wrote today's post before reading this strip! I didn't steal the idea! What the heck!

Oh well... END EDIT

Until tomorrow, remember, athiests have no invisible means of support...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish I may, Irish I might, have the rish Irish tonight...

or 'sack of rice', which one?

I've officially reached my limit. Too many late nights in a row has caught up to me. That's why I'm posting early tonight - I'm about to fall over and it's barely 9 pm.

Here are some things I got done today - finished editing the Piranha transcript, now I'm formatting it. Finished importing the video for the rug shop tour clip, and was going to finish the rough cut tonight - doubtful at this point.

Hey, I did spend about a half-hour on the phone with Apple Customer Support, trying to obtain a copy of iMovie 06 for my MacBook Pro notebook computer (I was complaining about it a day or three ago, remember?). Long story short, they were very helpful (as I'd hoped) and ultimately, they decided to send me a copy of 06 on disc, in the mail, free of cost. I thought it would be a long-shot, but Apple showed me (yet again) that they have top notch customer service. Should get it in the mail in a week or so.

Ah, 'tis the little things that make me happy.

Worked out the text for my next Wagnervana comic. Hope you find it amusing when I post it (tomorrow or so). I'll try to get a new one up maybe three times a week. When I get my official Wagnervana.com website going, the web comic will be featured there. I have plenty of ideas for future strips/storylines.

Ah, yes... Happy St. Patrick's Day! St Patrick was born in 385 AD and died in 461 AD (you do the math - I'm too tired!). He's buried in Downpatrick.

Did you know that the official color of St. Patricks Day was blue, not green? It changed to green sometime in the early 18th century.

The first St Patty's Day parade took place in Boston in 1761.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I usually wear a green speedo on my head (and nothing else) and run around the neighborhood singing "When Irish Thighs Are Smiling" until I'm arrested. Hey, it's a tradition! By the way, I'm writing this from the jail... can you come post bail for me?

On This Dayve In History...
- The great Bobby Jones was born March 17, 1902. (In his honor, I will go eat a "Grand Slam" breakfast at Denny's this week...) Also born today were Nat King Cole ('19), Danny DeVito ('44), Kurt Russell ('51) and Rob Lowe ('64).

- March 17, 1845: the rubber band is patented in London. (Later that afternoon, the first paperclip was shot at a co-worker)

Here's a quick funny panel from White Ninja...

OK, maybe it's not that funny to you, sorry. Sheesh! You people have such a refined sense of humor! No wonder you don't laugh at my fart jokes...

I guess that will be it for today's hodge-podge. Until tomorrow, frailty, thy name is woman!

Monday, March 16, 2009

America's Next Top Waddle...

"Go inside" or "coincide", which one?

75 days in a row. Didn't know if I'd last this long, but here I am! Gonna still try for a whole year, every day, writing in this dang thing... Who knows, perhaps it shall be done! Toward what end? No clue. So I can say I did it, I guess... that shall be my reward!

Stayed up till 3 again, reading The Darkness That Comes Before. It has evolved into a pretty solid book, but the jury is still out as to whether I will continue with book 2. I'm about 75 pages away from the end of book 1 - should finish it tonight, no problem...

Went to BE2 class again tonight - have mixed feelings about it. I certainly don't doubt Mrs. J and her dedication, but I keep asking myself why I'm doing it again... not exactly sure what it is supposed to be accomplishing in me. Nevertheless, we had a good discussion tonight at class about Blindness - we're supposed to be blind on the one hand, and not supposed to be blind on the other hand. A "good" blindness to pursue and a "bad" blindness to avoid.

Good Blindness: You don't judge things by what you see with your eyes, you be sure to ask God what His take is on what is happening, since He can see the whole picture. In this way, we never act on a bad judgment, since regardless what we think, we have the true picture from the Big Dude Himself. Makes sense.

Bad Blindness: When you feel you understand a situation completely and do not even entertain the idea that you could be wrong. It's pride-based and will lead to confusion and inconsistency every time. Also makes sense.

So there's that about it...

Played some Battlefield 2 today - hey, gotta do my part to save the world, yes? Ok then! It made me think of Dave Bryant. So I brought up Facebook to leave him a message and BOOM! He was online as well. So we chatted - me safe and sound in San Diego, he away across the world in Kosovo. Ain't technology amazing? I got his permission to make him a character in my web comic, so look for him soon.

Working on a transcript for Piranha and a video for the Rug site - which I've had to re-edit from scratch, because of that kerfuffle with iMovie 08. Ah, well, such are the trials and tribulations of your average graphic artists. Gee, ain't life hard? Oh, the huge manatee!

I have no doubt once we start employing Traffic Geyser, our site will be bumping with activity. Go Josh! Go Josh! Go Josh!

On This Dayve In History: March 16th

- March 16, 1945: The Battle of Iwo Jima officially ends. (No jokes or quips allowed here... just don't watch that limp-mess-of-a-movie that Clint Eastwood made about it, unless you want to get good and angry)

- March 16, 1941: The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington DC (I bet there wasn't a velvet painting of "dogs playing poker" on any wall...)

Well, I have to get up early so I can take Chris to work in the morning - so I'm going to sign off and go read until only maybe 1 am or so... First a chapter in Isaiah, then the Bakker book 'till I pass out...

Until tomorrow, I ask you: If knees were backwards, what would chairs look like?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You Never Call Me 'Fabrizio" Anymore... Why Not?

'Eyebrows' or 'I Browse', which one?

Sunday! Where hast thou gone?

A little King James English for ya there, just to keep things fresh...

Being Sunday, I spent a large percentage of time at a building with a pointy roof and a cross on top. I was all alone in the upper room tonight (*insert sad face here*) but a funny thing happened... I was able to pay attention to the sermon tonight! And it was a good one! Coincidence? Well, I guess I'll let the philosophers figure that one out...

I have a new comic for you tonight! Click it!

Yup, another new character - Zack the Knife! I decided to resurrect my old character "Rollo the Legless Weinerdog" as well, and let him be Zack's pet. Seems like a good fit. I already have Carl, so I decided not to hog all the pets myself. Hmm, a hog... hmmm... maybe not...

I'm almost done introducing the first round of characters... one more in the next strip, then I'll stick to those for the time being, so you can see how shmoove they all are...

I've kind of fizzled on the Favorite Movie Scenes thing, I hope you don't mind. Gonna do the comics for a while. Perhaps I'll revisit the movies after I tire of the comics, who knows? I'd also like to do animations, etc.

On This Dayve In History: March 15th

- March 15, 44 BC: Julius Caesar was assassinated in the portico of the Theater of Pompey. (...in the Caesarian Section, nyuk nyuk nyuk. He also invented the Caesar Salad... Brutus loved them... that's why Caesar asked, "Ate two, Brutay?" nyuk nyuk nyuk)


- March 15, 1493: Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after discovering the New World. (His exact quote to the queen: "Dibs!")

The week ahead is lookin' pretty good. My usual mix of rug shop stuff, Piranha stuff and room left for any surprise projects by my other clients.

Alas, I have nothing further to add, your honor! The state rests.

Until tomorrow, I ask you, why do "fat chance" and "slim chance" both mean the same thing?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Plunger." Isn't That A Cool-Sounding Word? Say It With Me...Plunger... lol

Discussed or disgust, which one?

Up early today for the church fund-raiser. Jogathon, t' raise money fer camp'n such. Twas a rollickin' good time for one and all. I just made that last part up, sorry. Sounded good. Well, you know how it is when you compensate for not enough sleep with a dose or three of coffee. Ah, Starbucks... you alone understand me...

Daughter #2 ran 17 laps today, wifey ran with her. She might've run more, but her knee was giving her grief. I did a lap or two with the 3 year old, just to get her good 'n tired (pronounced "tarred" just to keep the psuedo-western jargon thing goin').

Saved the world playing Battlefield 2 fer a stretch today as well. Then I played me some Fallout 3... couldn't save the world in that case - twas already good n' nuked when I found it...

Then I watched the first disc of season one of the HBO series Deadwood. That's where the half-baked western vibe is coming from. HBO has a tendency to do everything half-baked, I've found. Rome was half-baked, that's fer durn shore. Buncha pasty white actors in crisp, clean costumes with lilting British accents pretending to be ancient Romans. You'd think they could find some good Italian actors, eh? Made it one disc in.

Carnivale was half-baked as well. Over-the-top weirdness in a depression-era circus freakish setting. Definite eye-roller, for the most part. Made it one disc in that as well. Also tried The Wire, one disc as well. That show wasn't half-baked, per se, but it had more F-words in it than yer average Websters Dictionary... should have been called The F-Wire.

Sopranos, in spite of all the love it gets, was pretty half-baked to me as well. I actually watched the whole first season of that show. Then I pulled the plug.

Haven't seen much else that they have to offer. You have to put up with a lot of nonsense with their shows. The profanity and the "adult eyes only" stuff is easy enough to minimize. I watch it on the computer, and a quick click removes the video in case the youngins happen in. You'd think knowing that, I'd quit trying out HBO shows. I guess I should. I just appreciate quality writing/acting, and I keep convincing myself that "maybe this particular show won't be that bad." I usually regret it. Deadwood is not bad - I'd say about three-quarters baked. But I don't think I'll get another disc.

I know what you're thinking (here we go with THAT again...). You're thinking ""oh, gee, nice polished holy christian dude, watching entertainment that you'd be embarrassed to watch in front of your kids or your wife or your wholesome Christian friends! Hypocrite!"

My response to that? Well, I suppose you have a point. "Christian" entertainment is so vapid. Disney is overdone. And there's only so many times I can watch Anne of Green Gables and/or Pride and Prejudice. Life has a hard edge to it. And at this point in my life, I like strong acting that has teeth in it - because I know how hard it is to do, and how powerful it is when it's done right. If I have to wade through some muck in my search, I guess I'm willing to do that to a point. If it gets too lame, I certainly stop watching.

I guess that holds no water. I wonder if the King is offended by course language? I suppose so. Then again, perhaps Pastor's picture of Jesus is correct - a King seated at His table with His men of war around him, big hairy burly men roaring and pounding their steins on the table, like a bunch of half-crazed Vikings or something. Paladins is probably more like it, but you know what I mean...

Ah, well, food for thought, I guess. I can't rightly say I'd recommend any of the above shows carte blanche.

I'm working on a new comic. No promises, but it should be soon. I guess, being in the opening stages of the comic, I'm still establishing the cast. Look for a new character to be added soon...

Swung by the mall this afternoon for a quick bite. If there's a recession/depression going on, someone forgot to tell the jillions of people swamping the place. Had to double-check the calandar - thought it was Christmas time again...

I'm basically a financial retard, for the most part, but I've been chewing on the idea of buying some Citibank stock - not just because they are my bank, but because it seems like such a no-brainer. The stock has inched up to about $1.75 per share (up from under a buck a week or two ago). Here's my thinking - follow me here, it'll just take a second...

A hundred shares sets me back about $200. No biggie, really. If Citibank tanks, I'll have more to worry about than losing a measly $200. But they announced Friday that they don't need anymore bail-out dough, that they are in really good shape - they are in no risk of being nationalized, even in part. So they aren't going anywhere.

So if they stick around, there is absolutely no reason to think that the stock won't at least go back to $10 per share, which is their average up to the mid nineties boom. At that point, the stock shot up to almost $60/share - it was around $30/share as recently as a year ago. Chances are, this time next year, it will have leveled out and be somewhere north of $10, possibly even higher.

Anyway, again, maybe I'm missing something here, but it seems like a no-brainer, with little risk. Wish I had a clue as to how to make such an investment. Maybe I'll go into Citibank on Monday and ask. I have an IRA - maybe it already has Citi stock in it.

I couldn't help but think, as things hit the tank and the market fell, that yeah, people were losing a lot of dough, but things always come back up, and when it does, people will make a lot as well. I've always kind of pictured money as a necessary evil - which is part of the reason (I suppose) that I'm under such a mountain of debt. I shunned learning how to handle it correctly, since it carried an offensive air to it, like a rank egg fart... maybe if I had a clue, I'd be free from debt and paying on a house or some such...

Bah, what am I mumbling about, sorry. Perhaps next year, I'll stumble upon this post, and then kick myself for not having acted when I could/should have.

Bottom line, I'm a scatterbrain.

Until tomorrow, save that last glazed donut for me, eh!