Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, it is C minus 3, and we're pretty well snowed in up here in Seattle. On the one hand, my truck does not handle ice well, so I haven't actually driven anywhere since Friday when I came home from work (and barely made it). On the other hand, the ninjas were not prepared for the snow and don't have any white outfits. There's nothing sadder (or funnier) than a ninja in black trying to hide in the snow . . .

At any rate, I will 'theoretically' be flying out for California tomorrow. I say 'theoretically' as many, many flights have been cancelled and I have no clue if I'll be making it out.

We will be taking the next two weeks off, to both enjoy the holiday and get ready for Issue #6.

All of us here at Single Edge Studios, including myself, Leigh, the ninjas, the zombots, the orcs, the storm troopers, and the VOICE OF DOOM, would like to wish you a very merry Christmas. Have fun and be safe.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Arthas' Underpants

It should come as no surprise to most of you that I play WoW.

NOTE: If you do happen to be reading this blog for the very first time, allow me to point out that I am a colossal nerd. Now that that’s over with, enjoy the rest of the blog.

Like the rest of the world, I am currently enjoying exploring the new continent of Northrend, which means that I get so see the following image every time something needs to load:

In case you didn’t know, this is Arthas (Arthas, these are my readers, all two of them). Arthas is the main villain of Wrath of the Lich King and is generally held to be the biggest douche in the entire WoW universe.

Now let’s pause a moment to take a close look at the above picture of Arthas. What do you notice about his taste in adornment? Look closely (no, not that close). What symbol is he wearing all over? That’s right, skulls. Lots of skulls. I count eight visible skulls on his armor, though I’m guessing he’s got at least a half-dozen more that we can’t see. I also count six skulls on his sword, making a total of fourteen skulls visible in the picture.

What does this suggest to me? Evil insecurity. I mean, how many skulls do you need to demonstrate your evilness? One, two, maybe three? This guy has FOURTEEN in plain view.

I’m guessing this is the evil version of the middle-age crisis. Instead of getting a sports car and a toupee, Arthas just put skulls on everything. He’s looking at the younger villains, seeing all the evil schemes they’re putting in motion, and wondering if he can still compete. Does he still have ‘it,’ where ‘it’ is defined as being a soulless monstrosity? He’s not sure, so he’s gonna stick a skull on everything and hope it works.

I just can’t imagine what the rest of his wardrobe might look like. Actually, I can:


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mimes And/Or Squirrels

My internet connection is down. I have contacted my ISP and have been informed that there are ‘technical difficulties’ of some unknown variety. Personally, I suspect either squirrels or mimes (perhaps ‘mirrels’ which is what you would get if a mime and a squirrel made whoopy).

So, that means that my blogs might be late or altogether absent for the remainder of the week. This is a pity, as I have a good one about Arthas’ underpants ready to go.

‘Forsooth!’ I hear you cry out. ‘You claim no internet, yet you have just blogged!’ I’m actually updating this from work, which is kind-of a no-no, so I won’t be making a habit of it.

Anyhow, when the ‘technical difficulties’ subside, I will blog forthwith.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I was completely unaware of the existence of this film until a co-worker sent out a link yesterday afternoon.

I must admit that Wolverine is not my favorite X-Man. However, I think Hugh Jackman's portrayal of him is excellent and he pretty much made the first two films.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Eve x 10

We here at Single Edge Studios are busily getting ready for Christmas. I did my part today by assisting Leigh in putting up his Christmas tree. I tried to get the ninjas to help, but they all cited some sort of 'emergency' or 'assassination' or something and vanished in a puff of smoke.

In other news, Issue #5 is close to wrapping up. We already have #6 laid out (hint: there will be at least one explosion) and are looking forward to finishing it and the first arch of the series.

Look for the next page on Tuesday and the usual blogging during the rest of the week.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Death and . . . : Part 3

“Why are you still here?” I asked the voice from the answering machine.


“Ah.” I shrugged at the ninjas, who shrugged back. “Look, guys,” I began. “I would normally be overjoyed to fight you all, but this thing, y’know?” I gestured vaguely towards the answering machine.

The lead ninja bowed once again. “We understand, Polack-sama. We will withdraw until such time as you need burial.”

“Gee, thanks.”

All the ninjas simultaneously threw down their smoke pellets and there were a dozen flashes and the living room immediately filled with smoke. If you listened closely, you would have heard a two-dozen tabi-clad feet move to the doorway, briefly tug on the handle, realize it was locked, unlock it, and then move out into the entry, closing the door behind them, and then arguing about who got to ride ‘shotgun’ in the official ninja van. I, however, heard none of this, as I had turned on the kitchen fan and was fanning the smoke towards it.

“Well,” I said to no one in particular as the last of the smoke dispersed and I put my bayonet back on top of the weapon rack. “This has been a day.”


I frowned. “Don’t you have better things to do? Like terrorizing small children or poking aardvarks?”


“Great. I’m gonna get some dinner, pet the cat, and maybe watch a movie. I’ll call you in the morning.”


“I dunno. I haven’t really thought about it.”


“Uh . . . “ A thought formed in my head. It had something to do with building gun that shot pork. A second thought occurred right after that one and I went with it. “If you tell me what this is all about, maybe.”




“That’s it? You scared the ninjas and all that just for an address change?”




“Right.” I shrugged. “Your choice: 36 Chambers of Shaolin or My Young Auntie?”


“You got it.”

The rest of the night proceeded uneventfully.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Death and . . . : Part 2

I walked to the answering machine as the ninjas silently watched. Again, something they do very well. I pressed the ‘Message’ button and prepared for the worst.

I got it.

“YOU!” boomed a voice from the machine. It was a dark voice, full of malice and venom, the likes of which Sauron had only wished he had. The voice clearly indicated a person who would not only kick a puppy, but would take pleasure in doing so. It was, in short, the voice of the I.R.S.

“AN ERROR HAS BEEN FOUND! YOU WILL CALL THE FOLLOWING NUMBER BETWEEN THE TIME OF 8:00 AM AND 5:00 PM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! TARRY NOT, THE I.R.S. IS NOT PATIENT!” A number followed. I will not list it, as it is the number of Hell itself and I’m afraid it might wipe my hard drive.

“Wow!” I said, after the beep. “That was a voice.”

“THANK YOU!” boomed the voice.

“Uh, is this part of the recording?”

“NEGATIVE!” said the voice, still emanating from the answering machine.

“Then how are you doing that?”


“Okay,” I said. “I won’t.”


The answering machine fell silent. I turned to the assembled ninjas, one of whom seemed to have wet himself. “I guess I’m calling tomorrow.”

“It has been a pleasure knowing you,” said the ninja. “We have already fashioned a haiku in your memory.”


The ninja held up a hand and the others sprang into action. Flutes, biwas, and other instruments were produced and on some invisible signal, they played a haunting tune.

“+3 against us
Many ninjas he did strike
Like the winter, gone.”

I clapped politely.

“VERY NICE!” said the voice from the answering machine.

Tomorrow: The Conclusion (and no more haiku, I promise)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Death and . . . Part 1

I arrived home yesterday, tired, but filled with the satisfaction that a good day’s work had been done. Granted, said work hadn’t been done by me, but I was pretty sure somebody, somewhere, had done it.

Actually, in all honesty, I work very hard. Very, very hard. So hard, that if I were to try to work harder, my fingers would actually disintegrate the keyboard I was using. The friction from the movement of my mouse would catch the desk on fire and my monitor would have a burned-in picture of my face from me staring at it so intently.

Nobody, I’m sure, would want any of that to happen.

NOTE: The preceding two paragraphs were for my boss’ benefit.

So, having arrived home, I noticed something unusual: the ninjas were all there, waiting patiently in that ‘waiting patiently’ way ninjas do. I readied myself for the usual ‘Monday Night Donnybrook’ when a ninja stepped forward.

“Greetings, Iron Polack-sama,” he said, bowing low.

“Hey,” I replied, cracking my knuckles. “Where’s Steve?”

“Alas,” said the ninja. “Steve-san is recovering from last Thursday’s crowbar incident.”

“Yeah, I got him pretty good.”

“As you say, o’ hirsute one.”

“So what’s with the whole ‘non-attacking’ thing?” I asked, as I stared at my small collection of weaponry. I had been using the mace a lot lately, so I went with the bayonet.

“You have a message,” the ninjas said, bowing and gesturing towards the answering machine, which showed a single red ‘1.’

“Really? Who from?”

“The I.R.S.” The ninjas bowed. “We are all very sorry for your impending doom. Please accept our sincerest condolences.” All the ninjas bowed together.

“Well, catnuts,” was all I could say.

Tomorrow: Part 2

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Doghouse

This is, of all things, a JCPenny commercial. It's very clever for a 'mainstream' ad and should generate some sales from viewers with a sense of humor.



Sunday, December 7, 2008

Preparing to be Cheerful

Christmas is creeping up on us once again and all of us at Single Edge Studios are preparing to make merry.

Insert sound of preparatory cheerfulness.

We have been staying busy as usual, what with the end of Issue #5 coming up shortly. We are already hard at work getting #6 ready for your reading pleasure.

What else, what else . . . I vacuumed? Certainly a red-letter day for me, but of little importance on the world stage. Steve and the other ninjas are now much happier, especially since I also found/cleaned a few presents my cat left for me in out-of-the way corners.

Anyhow, look for a page on Tuesday and more blogging goodness during the rest of the week.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Morning Mental Math

I may have mentioned this before, but I stink at math. Oh, I can add, subtract, and multiply and all the stuff (notice I said nothing about division) decently, it’s just that once you get past that I get into trouble.

Algebra was always a mystery. At a certain point in class, I just simply lost the thread. I would be doing fine, getting good scores on all my tests and then the instructor would say something like “And if we take this algorithm and make this number negative, what would happen?”

The rest of the class would have a collective “Aha!” moment and start scribbling notes. I, on the other hand, would have “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” going through my head. From that point on, I just became more and more lost until I started getting better scores on my tests by just writing ‘Albania’ for all of the answers.

Anyway, there is one type of math that I excel at. I call it Morning Mental Math (I would call it 3M, but I would get sued). Mx3 is when you wake up and have a certain amount of time before you need to actually be out the door, but you desperately want to sleep in. Therefore you start trying to figure out exactly how much longer you can sleep and what you can put off to get that sleep.

For example: Ideally, it takes me 80-minutes from getting up to arriving at work.
30 minutes on the exercise bike
10 minutes to eat
10 minutes to bathe and dress
10 minutes to make my lunch
20 minutes to actually drive to work

In a perfect world, I would be up by 7:20. However, on many mornings (ie, all of them), I slap the Snooze button and then wake up at 7:30-ish. This is when the Mental Morning Math starts.

I desperately want, nay NEED, 10 more minutes of sleep. So I say to myself ‘If I only eat half a bowl of cereal and wash really, really fast, I can sleep ‘till 7:40.’ Ten minutes pass. ‘Okay,’ I say to myself again. ‘I can do 20 minutes on the bike, but do them extra hard.’ Ten more minutes pass. ‘I really need 15 more minutes,’ I say once again. ‘If I divide 10 by 2, that gives me 5, which means that I can make 1 PBJ in half the time, while simultaneously riding my bike for 15 minutes at top speed, which means I can bathe and dress in 337 seconds, while taking the fast route to work, thus getting (4.3 x (4 / pie) + the square root of 13) more minutes of sleep and still getting to work on time.’

I hit the Snooze button once again, have a short, muddled dream about carnivorous bowling balls (they eat your fingers), and wake up at 8:18. At that point, I mutter ‘Albania’ and roll back over.

I eventually arrive at work fifteen minutes late, with shampoo in my hair, no lunch, and my underwear on backwards and on the outside of my pants.

My coworkers, I should point out, no longer bother to comment.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Apt Reward: Part 2

KillZer scratched his head. “Look, it’s a nice stick, but to be frank, I don’t need or want it. Unless this thing hits like an Adamantite Reaver, I’m just gonna sell it.”

The king gasped. “But that’s my kingdom’s most prized possession! It’s a priceless artifact of our first King!”

“Priceless, huh?” said KillZer. “Like, ‘empty your treasury’ priceless?”
“Well, maybe not that priceless.”

“How about 15 gold?”





“Done!” The king gestured to another page who counted out 13 gold while the other page retrieved the staff.

“Pleasure doin’ business with ya,” said KillZer, as he walked out of the throne room.

“Likewise,” said the king.

“Sire,” said a well-dressed courtier as KillZer disappeared. “Aren’t you afraid that one of the days a ‘hero’ will actually want the Staff?”

“Nah,” replied the king. “If they’re wearin’ a dress, give ‘em the Sword of 1000 Truths. Armor and they get the staff.” He shrugged. “It’s worked the last 3774 times.”

“Most wise, your majesty.”


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Apt Reward: Part 1

One of the things that always amuses me about WoW and related games is that after saving the city/realm/village/whatever, you are offered a reward. Yet, unfortunately, most of the time said reward is useless. It is indeed a very fine cloth hat with incredible intelligence bonuses, but I’m a warrior and have little use for such things. Conversely, the average mage won’t need a two-handed hammer.

Yet, the text is generally written in such a way to convey the enormous magnitude of the reward. The villager/prince/duke/king/weird-vegetable-man is genuinely grateful for your slaying of the ogre/titan/dragon/15 rats and wants you to have his/her/its prized possession.

Which you can’t use.

Of course, what do you do with it (barring giving it to a friend or alt)? You sell it, of course. Though pragmatic, it is rather un-heroic. Would you pawn your Congressional Medal of Honor? Probably not. The key to a city given to you by a grateful mayor? I don’t know, that would probably depend on the city.

However much you might like to keep said treasure, bank space is limited and you can’t really afford to keep the doohickey around, so you really have to sell it.

The question, of course, is how would that work?

The king, an ornate crown upon his head and precious jewels upon his fingers, leaned forward. “Tell me, noble KillZer, have you defeated the dread dragon of Pointy Mountain?”

KillZer shrugged. “Uh, yeah. Here’s his head.”


The king recoiled a bit, as the blood splashed on the hem of his gold-threaded robe. “Umm, I really would have taken your word for it. And the Bandit Lord? Have you bested him as well?”

“Yep,” KillZer said, opening his bag. “Got his hea-“

“No need! Really,” the king said. “Ahem, yes. And finally, Phil the Horribly-Beweaponed. Have you finally ended his twelve-year reign of terror?”

“Sure. Got his left arm here somewhere and a toe or two . . . “ KillZer began rummaging through his backpack.

“Please, no proof other than your word is necessary,” The king said, holding up his hands. “Then, allow me to name you a Knight of this kingdom and bestow upon you this!” At his signal, a page came forward, carrying a long staff covered in intricate runes upon a pillow. “The Staff of Shrieking Fiery Death! Our greatest treasure!”

“Ah.” KillZer scratched his head. “That’s a real nice stick, but do you happen to have any two-handers back there? I really need an upgrade for my sword.”


Tomorrow: Part 2

YouTube Virus Warning!

I've just learned that there is a virus attached to a number of videos up on YouTube right now, including the one I posted yesterday. I am removing the video immediately and apologise for any harm this may have done.

For those curious, here's a post about the virus from SuperGeekBlog:

From CrunchGear moments ago, reports of a new virus are coming out just this morning. The virus seems to imbed a URL redirect to a phishing site.

The site apparently installs Antivirus 2009, which is malware. We’ll pull our most recent YouTube embeds, but be careful because this one appears to have just broken out today. If you find yourself being automatically redirected or experience other weird pop-ups, especially for something called Antivirus 2009, don’t click on anything.

Keep an eye out for more info/patches/etc on this.

The original site and text are:

Again, apologies if this has caused problems for your machine.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Office Nerf

Now, I don't like to brag, but I've seen my share of office nerf battles. There's the sweet joy in watching an enemy fall to whistling orange and yellow doom, the sorrow of seeing your office-mate, a young man who just a moment ago was placing cover objects in a level, fall to his knees, a dart stuck to his forehead. The sudden adrenaline of battle, which fades to an overwhelming emptiness, as you slowly try to find your darts again. I've been there, my friends, and I hope you never have to experience what I did (I got a dart in the eye. It really hurt).

I just love this video. The sheer amount of people that they had (not to mention the nerf gear) was amazing.