Thursday, October 29, 2009

Almost Halloween!

If you've been paying any attention to anything lately, you'd notice that it's almost Halloween again. This means that not only are the stores loaded with candy, they're also starting to put out their Christmas decorations.

I kid you not.

Last night, whilst grabbing a few odds and ends (a shovel, flashlight, a box of garbage bags, a surgical mask, and some rubber gloves - don't ask) at Fred Meyer (a local, Target-esque store), I went by the Halloween display.

And there, just at the edge, were a bunch of artificial Christmas trees with ornaments and all the trimmings. Honestly, I could care less, but at least let Thanksgiving get out of the way before putting up Christmas decorations. It's just . . . rude.

In other news, we're having a decorating contest at work. The company is divided up into three sections and whichever section is judged to be the best gets a special prize (of unknown nature). We've spent about four hours decorating our section, so I'm fairly confident of winning. Of course, if we don't win, there will be bloody, bloody vengeance.

Anyway, please have a safe Halloween and come back next Monday for a new episode of Art the Wanderer and the usual bloggy goodness the rest of the week.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ghost FIGHTER!: Part 2

Granted, I really doubt that I’ll get to fight any ghosts. I mean, they’re hard enough to photograph, I kinda doubt I’ll be able to get one to engage in fisticuffs (ghosticuffs?) with me.

But this is beside the point.

The draw of the show will be in the spectacle of me talking trash at an ill-defined shadow in the corner, as I try to get it mad enough to take a swing at me. It would go something like this:

Bambi (the state-mandated ludicrously hot girl): Ummm, I think it’s in the room to your right.

Me: I don’t see anything.

Bambi: No, your other right.

Me: Still don’t see anything.

Bambi: No! Your OTHER right!

Me: I only have two choices here, Bambi. One has to be correct.

Bambi: Well, just look at the window!

Me: Okay.

Bambi: Wait a sec –in sotto voice- shake the tree!

Me: Your mike’s still on, Bambi.

Bambi: What?

Me: Nevermind. –assuming manly, announcer voice - Okay, there appears to be a wavering shadow outside the window. The uninitiated might presume it to merely be a tree branch, but we know better! - deep breath – All right! You! Outside the window! I don’t know why you’re haunting this abandoned hospital turned insane asylum and prison that was built on a Civil War Battlefield that also happened to be a Native American graveyard, but your days are numbered! I’m Jason Janicki, the Ghost FIGHTER!!! –some sort of metal chord plays- and I’m calling you out here and now! I’ll kick your ethereal behind so hard you’ll come back to life! And then I’ll kick your butt a second time! I’ll hurt you so bad, you won’t be able to haunt a litter box! I’m gonna grab ya and smack ya and-

Bambi: OH MY GOD!

Me: Good, aren’t I?

Bambi: Turn around! Turn the #@#$#$ AROUND!

Me: Hey! Kids watch this show!

Eldritch Horror that Feasts on the Screams of Men: Glaaaaargh!

Me: Well, catnuts!

I would then be the first person to get his butt kicked by a malevolent, otherworldly entity on camera. Needless to say, the ratings would be through the roof.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ghost FIGHTER!: Part 1

Last I checked, there seem to be about 1500 different Ghost Hunter –type shows on television. I’ve watched a few of them and they all have the same basic format.

1. Each team consists of two or three heavy-set guys with names like ‘Vinny’ and one ludicrously hot girl.
2. They have a ton of fancy equipment that they set up in a very serious manner.
3. They travel to haunted places, set up said equipment, and then hang out, waiting for something to happen.
4. The hot girl can be counted on to scream at least once. Occasionally, one of the guys will scream as well. Sometimes there’s running involved.
5. The viewer will be shown several fuzzy images at the end of the show and the team will comment on how this was the most amazing haunting they’ve ever been to.

I just have one question: How do I get this job?


I am wildly qualified for this. I have a degree, can operate a video camera, and when needed, can wax poetic about what just happened.

Other shows: “Yeah, there was a weird shadow at 12:33 on the tape. It kinda looked like a dog.”

My show: “My god! What crawling, eldritch horror is this? It looks as if it were vomited forth from the very mouth of Hell! What is it? What mission of evil has sent it lurching into our realm? Do not look, I beg you! Your very MIND is at stake!

Yeah, I can do this.

But I’ll need a gimmick. Something that’ll make me stand out from the 1.5 billion other ghost hunter shows out there. So, instead of just hunting ghosts, I’ll actually try and fight them. That’s right, my show will be Ghost FIGHTER!!!

Tomorrow: Part 2

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Portland Comic Show

So, we're pretty certain that we will be appearing at the Portland Comic Show on the 15th of November. I say 'pretty certain' as the check has been cashed, but we haven't had a confirmation.

This will be your last chance in 2009 to come meet us and comment negatively on our wardrobes. Granted, these will most likely be the same wardrobes in 2010, but there you go.

We are always delighted to meet fans, so come on by and say 'hi.'

Look for a new Art the Wanderer on Monday and the usual blogs during the rest of the week.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Epicenter of Infidelity: The Yelling Strikes Back

Some of you longtime readers may remember a blog post entitled ‘Epicenter of Infidelity’ where I talked about being woken up in the middle of the night by a truly epic shouting match.

To recap: Joe was called a ‘bastard’ at earsplitting decibels at around 4:30 am by Sue. They continued back and forth in this vein for about five minutes. They woke me up, scared my cat and made me grumpy (and tired) the next day.

This performance, I’m sad to say, has been topped.

Last night, there was screaming again at about 4:30 am.

NOTE: I don’t know what it is about 4:30 am, but all the really big fights seem to happen at that time. It is, coincidentally, right in the middle of when I go to bed and get up, so it’s strategically positioned to irritate me the most. I may start referring to it as the ‘bitching hour.’

Anyway, I was awoken by a ‘get away from me!’ followed by a word that rhymes with ‘anothertucker.’ Words that rhyme with ‘sucker,’ ‘fit,’ ‘orangutan,’ and ‘punt’ were also used (I’m not using the real words because I’m afraid that an impressionable youth might repeat them and then his mother would beat me up).

Then, in the moment that elevates this incident from all other, someone (presumably a police officer) yelled ‘STOP! POLICE!’ directly outside my window.

Needless to say, this scared the absolute poop out of me.

Now fully awake, I then got to listen to someone getting arrested and the conversations this entailed. So, while I wasn’t happy about getting woken up, it was nice to know that someone’s day was going to be worse than mine.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Alien Probe

Right off the bat, no, I wasn’t probed by aliens. I’m not sure why not. I mean, I’ve gone to bed early, left out cookies, cleaned the fireplace . . . oh, wait, that’s Santa Claus. Never mind.

So, I was watching a Discovery Channel show about the Humbolt Squid. The Humbolt, for those of you not in the know, are semi-intelligent, carnivorous, pack-feeding squid that have been expanding rapidly up the California coast. They can be rather aggressive and have been known to attack divers and swimmers and have killed and eaten a few people. They seem to be the squid version of a 1950’s movie street gang and I’m sure they will soon be dragging themselves onto land to acquire leather jackets, take up smoking, and ride around on motorcycles in no time. Small town sheriffs will need to be notified.

Anyway, on this show, a ‘reputable’ scientist (and I put ‘reputable’ in quotes for the behavior I’m about to subscribe) decided to catch a Humbolt and stick a probe in it while it was still alive.

NOTE: Humbolt’s can only survive a few hours out of the water. The scientists on the show were mystified by this, but it’s seemed pretty miraculous to me. After all, we can only survive a minute or two underwater, so a few hours is pretty damn impressive.

This scientist proceeded to catch a Humbolt, tossed it into a tank and then without an introduction, stuck a probe in it and started, well, probing. This seemed to upset the squid, which I can fully understand, and after a few minutes, the scientist threw it back into the water promising to call it later.
While fascinating to watch, the only thing I could think of was ‘this is how alien probe stories get started.’

Think about it.

This squid (whom we’ll call Billy) was just swimming around, thinking about riding a motorcycle, when it was grabbed, yanked out of its environment, immobilized and then had a large metal instrument stuck into what was probably an embarrassing place for a squid. Said instrument was waved around awhile and then whipped out and poor Billy was tossed unceremoniously back into the ocean.

Yes, his name is Billy the Squid. I’m inordinately pleased about that.

The following conversation then took place:

Billy: Great squid gods! You’ll never believe what happened to me!

Another Squid: What?

Billy: I just got yanked out of the water and some giant, hideous creature with only two arms stuck a thingie up my tookus!

NOTE: ‘tookus’ is the medical term for a squid’s butt

Another Squid: No way!

Billy: Way!

Another Squid: Pshaw! – swims away-

Billy: Why won’t anyone believe me!

Yet Another Squid That Looks Suspiciously Like David Duchovny: I believe you.

Simply put: We just seriously messed with that poor squid’s entire belief system and possibly started the first squid conspiracy theory. I wouldn’t be surprised if that area of the ocean was later called ‘Area 51’ in Squid-ese.

And when they start dragging themselves onto land armed with switchblades, we’ll wonder why.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jury Duty: Day 2

Well, I'm done with Jury Duty. 2nd day went about the same as the first, though I managed not to get lost and actually caught the bus on time.

All in all, they only called two sets of jurors over the two days, so most of us never really did anything. In all honesty, it wasn't too bad and the burgers in the canteen were pretty good, all things considered.

That being said, I would prefer not to be called for a while, say 2080.

Anyway, it's back to work tomorrow, where I will tell an exciting tale about being on a jury for a murder trial and having to subdue (repeatedly) the defendant when he tried to take the improbably hot District Attorney hostage with a Fruit Roll-Up.

Look for another episode of Art the Wanderer on Monday and the usual blogs throughout the week.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jury Duty: Day 1

I have to say, without the slightest reservation, that jury duty rocks.


I rode the bus to get there. Not exactly thrilling, but it was quick and easy and because I was the only one on the bus for a while, the driver told me some really funny stories about stuff that’d happened on his bus.

The bus dropped me off within spitting distance of court, I sign in, sit down, relax, and start reading a Terry Pratchett novel (Making Money).

Fifteen minutes later, this gorgeous woman sits down next to me, notices I’m reading a Pratchett book and starts talking about it. Turns out she’s a huge Pratchett fan and even likes the same ones I do. Her name’s Anna and we end up going out to lunch to this really nice Chinese place and had a fantastic conversation. She’s in Marketing and minored in English, and frankly, she’s practically perfect.

Neither one of us were called to court, so we talked all day and she gave me her number. She’s on IM right now and I’m talking to her and writing the blog at the same time.

Jury duty turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me!

NOTE: Jason is a big, fat liar. None of the above actually.

My day was actually fairly ‘blah’. I got lost because I got off on the wrong stop in the morning and it took me thirty minutes to find the courthouse. Once in, it wasn’t too bad. I never got called and basically sat on my butt all day, though I did read Making Money all the way through.

Anna does exist, though. She’s a grandmother and yes, she did sit next to me. She was very nice.

Going home provided yet one more adventure. It turns out that the bus stop I got off at isn’t actually the one I used to get back on to go home. Why it’s this way, I don’t know, but someone needs to be beaten for this, as I spent an hour standing on a street corner waiting for a bus that was actually going by a street over.

A guy did offer me fifty bucks to ‘jump the fence.’ No, I didn’t do it, as I don’t know what that means.

It took a while for me to puzzle this out and get to the proper stop, though the ensuing ride home was uneventful.

So, Day 1 was pretty boring, bookended with frustration. I have high hopes for Day 2 (boring, without the frustrations).


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween Pun-ishment

Halloween is almost upon us and I have one simple request: Please stop with the puns already.

So far, I have heard, in no particular order:

Guys and Ghouls
Go and ask your Mummy
[You’ll] werewolf it down
A howling good time
A ghost of a chance
‘Bite’ being used by a vampire

Seriously, they’re just dumb. I mean, I like a pun as much as the next guy, but these are only funny if you’re four and then, not very. And it’s not like they come up with new ones either. I heard this on the morning news cast as I was eating my breakfast:

Drab Male Newscaster: Looks like they’re going to have a frightfully good time!

Hot Female Newscaster: -laughs- I’m sure they’ll go running to their mummys!

Hot Female Weatherperson: Please stop.

Drab Male Newscaster: -chuckles- Spooktacular, one might say.

Hot Female Weatherperson: Look, I’m asking nicely here.

Hot Female Newscaster: -laughs some more- It’s not going to be dead out there on Halloween!

Hot Female Weatherperson: Seriously.

Drab Male Newscaster: -makes some noise approximating mirth- You said it. Or can I say ‘Boo’ said it!

Hot Female Weatherperson: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! Runs onto the set with a machete and begins to chase them around the desk.

NOTE: That didn’t actually happen, though they did use ‘spooktacular’ and ‘frightfully’ in sentences.

This doesn’t seem to happen with the other holidays. I can’t think of a single Christmas or Thanksgiving pun off the top of my head. Easter, Labor Day, Memorial Day, St. Fructus’ Day, Arbor Day, Elbow Day, Pipe Fitting Day, all of these get to go by without comment. Halloween, for whatever reason, is rife with puns.

I honestly don’t know what to do about it. I suppose some sort of fine might work. Beatings, though fun, would get tiresome after a while. I dunno. Thoughts?


Thursday, October 8, 2009

J-Day, Next Week

So, I'm getting mentally prepared to go to Jury Duty next week. Like I said, I'm happy to serve on a Jury, I just don't relish having to go to downtown Seattle in the morning.

The good news is that it's an easy bus ride in and out. The bus stop is literally five minutes from my house and five minutes from the Courthouse.

The bad news is that I have to be out there by 6:30am and I'll reach the Courthouse at around 7:00am, a full hour before I'm supposed to appear.

Needless to say, I'm bringing books. Lots of books.

In other news, I just sneezed on my new keyboard. Not that interesting I know, but that's all I have to work with.

Anyway, look for a new Art the Wanderer on Monday and the usual blog silliness the rest of the week.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Keyboards: Part 2

Initially, I was unimpressed. The keyboard was cold, mushy, and vaguely sticky. Also, it smelled. I then realized I’d forgotten to remove the boneless chicken breast. After tossing the chicken back into the refrigerator (hey, chicken ain’t cheap!), I wiped off my hands and sat down again.

The new keyboard worked pretty well. The keys had nice ‘clunk’ when I hit them, though the vowels made a tiny scream instead. I practiced a bit, typing random bits of sentences, which is how most of my blogs start coincidentally, and then growing bored with that, I turned my attention to the special keys.

One set seemed to be the standard audio controls (Play, Fast Forward, Mutilate, etc). There was a Calculator button, a Zoom toggle, a Favorites button, two Mute buttons (a regular one and one with an icon that suggested a tongue being ripped out). All in all, fairly standard fair.

Then there was a field of buttons on the far left. There were thirteen of them and they had what looked like little ‘eldritch-y’ icons, as if Cthulhu had been their UI guy. I couldn’t figure out what any of them did at a glance and I didn’t recall reading about them in the manual, so I did what any sane, rational person would do: I started pressing them at random.

One made a cow noise. Literally. It was just like those toys where you put the pointer on the picture of the animal and then pull the string. “The cow says ‘Moooooo.’” Granted, the cow noise the button made was a little different. It went ‘Moooooaaah! Thwack! My eye! Dear sweet-aaaah!’ It continued on like this for a while.

NOTE: Yeah, ‘cow noise’ wasn’t really a good description.

Another made the keyboard exude some sort of greenish snot from the bottom of the keyboard. It didn’t seem to do anything, but tasted like Fruit Loops.

One of the new buttons didn’t seem to do anything, but then I noticed some new text on-screen.

I live.

“That’s nice,” I said. Sometimes, I talk out loud to myself. It makes me feel like I have friends and that I’m not really an aging, pants-less bachelor who talks to himself.

Soon the world will be mine!

“That’s rather melodramatic.”

It is my destiny! Whahahahahaha!

“How’s that?”

I was created to rule the mortal realm! And soon, I shall!

“But you’re a keyboard I bought at Staples. You’re one of probably a million or so identical keyboards. If you’re all the same, how are all of you going to rule the world?”


“Somebody didn’t think this through,” I said, as I took another bite of the green ichor.

Apparently not.

“Will you be my friend?”


“Cool! Wanna play WoW?”

-sigh- Sure.

“By the way, what’s this green stuff I’m eating?”

You don’t want to know.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Keyboards: Part 1

Okay, here's a new blog, but first, a message about the comic:

We got the technical issues fixed (hurray!), but Leigh’s non-comic schedule is not currently leaving him time to work on new pages at the moment. He estimates that it will be a few weeks before he has time again. We will keep you posted and include new info as it becomes available in the News Section at the top of the page and in the forums.

We apologize for the lack of updates, but Leigh's been busy and I have the attention span of a hyperactive five-year-old on a sugar high.

And now, the blog:


I had to buy a new keyboard.

Well, ‘had’ is a fairly strong word. I didn’t have to, it’s just that my old keyboard wasn’t bothering to type a couple letters anymore, including ‘j.’ Though not a popular letter by any means, I kind of need ‘j,’ seeing as how both my first and last name make use of it. Obviously, I could just change my name, but it’s on all my checks, so there you go.

Anyway, this Saturday I ventured into the local Staples, intent on purchasing a new keyboard and mouse to go with it. What can I say, I was feeling extravagant.

I fiddled with the keyboards and really liked a top-of-the-line one. I’d used cheap keyboards for a long time and this one was all ergonomic and had lots of flashy, non-letter related buttons. Seriously, the keyboard looks like it belongs in a giant robot (one of the ones piloted by a five person ninja science team, not one of the ones controlled by a kid in short pants).

NOTE: Yes, I did just make a reference to Gatchaman. Blame my buddy, Sean. It’s his fault.

Anyway, I decided to go with the fancy keyboard. I purchased it, took it home, stripped away the cardboard box and read the installation instructions carefully. Yes, I read manuals (even for games). I’m weird that way.

The instructions were a bit confusing, but I followed them carefully. They went like this:

1. Remove the keyboard from its box.
a. Already done.

2. Remove all the wire twisty thingies.
a. Easily done.

3. Hook up your keyboard to the USB port on your computer.
a. Still pretty straightforward.

4. Insert the Installation Disk into the computer’s DVD or CD Drive and when it asks ‘Open Connection to Underworld?’ click ‘Yes.’
a. Okay.

5. Chant the following lines while dribbling the blood from a freshly slain rooster upon the keys.
a. Riiiiiight. I didn’t have a rooster nor any way to get one. Instead, I got a boneless chicken breast from the refrigerator and just sort of dropped it on the keyboard. It went ‘splat.’ I also said the lines, but wasn’t sure how to pronounce all of the words (Is it ‘HethPARgorl’ or ‘HethparGORL?’).

And with that, the keys on the keyboard started to glow and outside, dogs began to howl. The day grew dark and a shrill wind clawed at my windows. My new keyboard began to expand and contract in a strange rhythm, almost as if it were breathing. I shivered, mostly because I forgot to put my pants on, and sat down to try my new keyboard out.

Tomorrow: Part 2

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why Did I Do That?

So, I turned on my computer, went off to clean some ninja blood off the porch (I found a tooth!), and then came back to check my mail and do all the usual things.

However, when I clicked on the 'Start' button, instead of clicking on the 'Outlook' button, I instead hit the 'Turn Off Computer' button and then 'Shut-Down.'

I then looked at my computer and said 'Why the hell are you shutting down.' I paused for a moment as I realized I'd told it to and then said 'Why the hell did I do that?'

Obviously, I managed to turn the computer back on, but 'wow.'

The scary thing is that they let me drive a car. On the road. By myself.

In other news, our site is still messed up. Leigh is handling it, but somehow, some bit got wired to some other bit and now, after working fine for several years, it decided to go 'kablooey.' We have people working on it and we should (hopefully) be able to update again soon.

Look for a new episode of Art the Wanderer on Monday and the usual blogs throughout the week.

Now to put that ninja tooth under the pillow. Hopefully, the tooth-fairy won't care that it isn't actually mine.