Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There's An Artist Down!

So, Leigh's still feeling under the weather. The doctor gave him some meds and he should be getting better soon. If not, I'll threaten to cook him something which should get him on his feet (at least for a while).

Unfortunately, this means no updates 'till next week.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Hypothetical Situation

Hypothetical question: if a being from another dimension (mayhap an eldritch evil) was rampaging through your apartment and eating all your trail mix, what would be the best way to get rid of it?

Swords, spears, maces and other forms of physical attack seem to have no effect and holy water just makes it giggle. I would try and kick it in the crotch, but I’m not sure where that is located on it or even if it has one.

For some reason, it seems loathe to enter my cyber lair (spare room), so I think I’m safe at the moment. It could be, I dunno, allergic to the internet or something. However, there’s no food in here, the only window is blocked by approximately 1,718 short boxes of comics, and I kinda need to pee.

I just heard a weird noise. Did it eat a ninja? Did it touch my TV? It better not touch my TV! I will so totally kick its butt if it touches my TV! Granted, I’ll need to figure out how to do that first, but an ass-kicking will occur if it messes with my Samsung.

Maybe I should throw some printer toner at it. I also have issue #1 of Devil Dinosaur. I was kind of saving that for a special occasion (zombie apocalypse), but this might be dire enough.

NOTE: For those of you not in the know, Devil Dinosaur was created in 1978 by the legendary Jack Kirby and published by Marvel. It’s rather bad.

At any rate, if you have any information on how to kill and/or wound this thing, let me know. I can’t give you a proper description, as it’s so awful, no mortal words can possibly describe it. Sort of like my cooking.

Also, Leigh is feeling under the weather, possibly due to eating an enormous amount of junk food whilst playing D&D this Labor Day weekend, so we will be skipping Tuesday and resuming our regular updates on Thursday.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Container Destruction Simulator

So, it’s no secret that I’ve been playing a lot of Diablo III lately. If you don’t know what DIII is, imagine a little person on your computer blowing up things, people, and critters in a variety of imaginative and possibly illegal ways. As they’re killed, the things, people, and critters often spray out a bunch of gold or items, which you then pick up. This lets you buy better equipment, which then allows you to kill more things, people, and critters even faster.

It’s like an assembly line of destruction, only Henry Ford has been replaced by a dozen-odd giggling Blizzard game designers. 

NOTE: I cannot prove that they were giggling, but considering the highly inventive ways you can kill stuff, I can only assume they were. It’s what we designers do when we come up with things like that. It’s also why many of us are still single.

At any rate, I can only hypothesize that someone at Blizzard, mayhap some of the aforementioned game designers, really, really hate barrels and other containers. This is because you spend a good chunk of your time in-game smashing things in the hope that gold will pop out. These acts of destruction are oddly satisfying, to the point that Blizzard could have foregone with the demons and just made a container destruction simulator.

Very little escapes your wrath. You smash barrels, sturdy barrels, piles of bones, urns, crates, weapon crates, ’57 Chevys, goatmen totems, rocks, and my personal favorite: torture barrels.

Yes, you read that correctly: torture barrels. There are a couple levels in a dungeon (a surprise, I know) and there are barrels there, save that they have spikes all over them and they’re labeled as ‘torture barrels.’ Now, I’m not an expert on torture devices (some say the blogs count), but I’m not exactly sure what one does with a torture barrel.

Do you put someone inside it? Maybe, but I think you could do that with a regular barrel. I mean, both would be equally uncomfortable. Perhaps you’re meant to use the spikes and simply roll the barrel over people? This seems plausible, but you would probably get the same effect by just stabbing someone vigorously. Now, if there were a bunch of monkeys in the barrel, they could, I dunno, screech or something. This would allow you to say ‘more fun that a torture barrel full of monkeys’ on a regular basis, which would also count as torture.

Anyway, I have no idea what one does with a torture barrel, other than smashing them in the hope that gold will pop out.

Or a monkey.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diablo III

Well, Diablo III has successfully destroyed my entire weekend. I've completed the game with a Monk and am now trying it with a Wizard. So far, not too impressed with the Wizard. He just doesn't seem to have enough firepower. I beat Leoric with my Monk in about 20 seconds. I just ran up to him and beat the snot out of him. He managed to teleport maybe once.

It took a good couple minutes with my Wizard, as none of my attacks did anything more than shave a couple pixels off his life bar. I had to run in circles, avoiding his minions, zotting him with Magic Missiles while waiting for my Arcane Power to refill so I could use my 'bigger' spell (tried the Ice Ray thing first, then just went to the Explodey Ball thing as that was more useful against his minions).

And yes, I'm a huge, colossal nerd.

Anyway, look forward to THREE updates this week, to make up for our missed update last week, as well as the usual blog (hint: it's going to be about Diablo III).


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hammer Time

I have this strange, almost overwhelming desire to hit something with a hammer.

And, no, oddly enough, I don’t mean in a violent, ‘ninja smashing’ way. I just really, really want to use a hammer and maybe, nail something together. I even got out my framing hammer. It’s sitting next to the mouse. If you hear a scream from roughly north-west, it’s because I’ve mistaken one for the other and destroyed my desk.

This, of course, is my dad’s fault.

My dad liked to work with his hands and build things. He built houses. For fun. In fact, the first three houses I lived in he built. All of us boys helped and we all kind of have a house that we consider ‘ours,’ in that we did a lot of the work on it. Mine was the ‘big house,’ ‘cause it was rather large. Though the fact that my room locked from the outside might also have had something to do with it.

Now, there was nothing wrong with my father’s predilection for construction. It was a healthy, productive hobby that he enjoyed immensely. The problem lay in the fact that we boys had to work on stuff with him.

Weekends started early and often violently, as my father enjoyed various cruel and unusual ways to get us out of bed, up to and including hot sauce in an open mouth and ice water in a squirt gun. By 9 we were out on the site, bleary-eyed and handling circular saws and nailing stuff, often at what most people would call ‘dubious heights.’

Oddly enough, we never had any bad accidents. I did have a hammer dropped on my head on three different occasions, which may explain some things. Oh, there was blood and stuff every so often, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with swearing and duct tape.

Anyway, by the time I was sixteen, I could carpent as hard as any professional carpenter. I could carpent the hell out of a piece of wood. And, as you might have guessed, I hated it. It was often boring, tedious work that required just enough focus to keep from taking your leg off with a saw.

But yet, all these years later, I still get the rare urge to hammer something. I still have my gear: a couple hammers, my tool belt, a variety of measuring devices, and a roll of duct tape in case of injury. I can almost look back fondly on those early mornings. The crisp, cold air. The smell of sawn wood. The satisfying crack of a sixteen-penny nail sinking in with just one strong, precise hammer strike. The sudden, startled sensation of waking up with your ears ringing ‘cause your dad just dropped a framing hammer onto your head.

And then I remember why I got into the computer business: even if someone drops a mouse on your head, it’s probably not going to hurt.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In Need of Kids

So, I need some kids really quick. Two or three would do, preferably around 10 to 14. I don’t have a lot of money, but if anyone wants to part with theirs, I could write some really funny sentences in exchange.

In all honesty, I would go about this the traditional way, but women tend not to come near me and I don’t have time for the kids to grow up. I need them fully functional, relatively speaking, pretty much now.

At this point, you may be wondering ‘why?’ (or possibly ‘I could use some funny sentences,’) so I’ll tell you: I need free and/or cheap labor.

You see, I’ve been cooking a lot lately. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve heard the tales of fires, hockey pucks, and gasoline, but in all honesty, I’m getting better. I actually made chicken the other day and was able to eat it without gagging or having to go to the emergency room. Here’s the thing though: the cooking I do is relatively simple. I heat stuff in pans and stir occasionally, but it still generates an amazing mess.

I mean, I have to clean the pan, clean the stove, wipe the blood off the wall, squeegee the mongoose, clean the floor, get the clothes off the fan, and finally, clean the floor again. It’s a pain in the butt. However, as I was wringing out the food-flipper-thing this evening, I had a small epiphany. When I was a lad, we kids had to clear the table and clean everything after meals. Granted, we hated it and would often try to escape, but both my parents were excellent shots and after we lost Fred, we decided it was best to just do the dishes.

And hence, I need some kids. They can do the dishes whilst I recline on the sofa and take the occasional shot at escapees. Rest assured, aside from the forced labor, they’ll be well cared for. I have some of those ‘constant food’ pet dish thingies and a couple of largish cardboard boxes I can line with newspaper and old towels.

Heck, I’d even give them names, something my parents didn’t do ‘till we’d shanked our first chupacabra.

NOTE: That’s why you don’t see many chupacabras in the Monterey Bay area these days. 

Anyway, if you’ve got a few kids you aren’t using, funny sentences can be yours.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Only One . . .

I think I may be the only person left on the planet who has not yet seen the Avengers. I was going to go on Friday, but I was called away for an emergency clown punching. Fortunately, it turned out to be a false alarm and the clown was released back into the wild where it belonged.

Where it was promptly bitten by a mime.

At any rate, I hope to see the Avengers next weekend, before I lose all nerd credibility. I intend to fake it at work and sidestep any conversations regarding the film by pointing out that Captain America was not the 'first Avenger' as the movie ads claim. Hopefully, this alpha display of nerdity will cow the others and keep me at the apex of geekdom at the office.

Not the greatest claim to fame I know, but we all have to have something.

Look forward to new panels on Tuesday and Thursday and the usual blog on Wednesday. The weird 'really large font' problem on the site seems to have rectified itself, so things will proceed as usual.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stumptown 2012

We just finished Stumptown last Sunday and we had a really good con. We met a ton of great people, as usual, and generally just enjoyed ourselves.

And I have to say, without reservation, that the Oregon Convention Center has the neatest, best hand dryers in the world. They’re hard to describe. You stick your hands in the top and then hot hair literally blows the water off your hands and then dries them.

These things are fantastic. I want one for my bathroom at home. Look at these things. They even look sci-fi-ish.

Not only that, I want a big, vertical one that I can stand in after showering. Better yet, I want one with a shower built inside so that I can hit a button and dry myself off without even getting out.

After I first used one, I went back to the table and told Leigh all about them.

“Dude!” I said. “They have these cool hand dryer things! They’re like air dryers, but they totally rock!”

Leigh looked up at me. I could see thoughts going through his head. They ranged from ‘You need professional help’ to ‘if you like it so much, you should marry it.’ Eventually, he sighed, because he remembered that he’s my business partner and this always gives him a headache.

“Sure,” he finally said and then went back to drawing.

But I had my revenge when, about an hour later, Leigh returned from a trip to the men’s room.

“You’re right!” he said. “Those dryers do rock! I will never doubt or question your sanity again, even if you claim that an evil puppet is living under your bed and trying to kill you with a tiny felt mace.”

NOTE: I just imagined that last sentence.

Dryers aside, we got to hang out with several of our con buddies, including Jason Martin of Super Real Graphics and Lee Moyer, the amazing artist who painted the cover of our trade.

I also told them about the dryers. Since they don’t know me as well, they both said something like “that’s nice” and then walked quickly away.

Their loss, I suppose.