Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Department of Homeland Security is now enforcing copyright law?

Apparently, P2P networks are a threat to National Security, ranking right up there with Osama bin Laden. DHS agents arrested 10 people for running a P2P site called EliteTorrents.

While I understand that downloading copyrighted files is illegal, shouldn't this be an FBI thing? How is violating copyrights a violation of Homeland Security? Is running a P2P site the equivalent of flying your plane into restricted airspace above the capitol? Flying your plane into a building? Setting off a car bomb?

I guess so. After all, Las Vegas law enforcement used the Patriot Act to shut down an adult bookstore a couple of years ago. We know all terrorists plots begin in adult bookstores, after all.


Now we know what kind of terrorists the government is really after: pornographers and illegal downloaders. Isn't it comforting to know we have our priorities is order?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Chasing the Sun - Part 2

My fourth outline broke the events of the story into issue sized chunks. So I started scripting the book, and found myself with too much stuff to put on the page.

I created thumbnail pages that I could use to actually write what the story, then i could transfer the little images from the thumbnails to the full sized pages. While writing the first issue, I realized I had three issues worth of stuff, so I broke it down further. Now, instead of ten 24 page issues, I was looking at 30 issues!

So far, I have written about 20 of the issues in thumbnail form. I have drawn 9 of them, scanned them, and put them up on the web.

Bear in mind that all of this has taken 4 years! And I have been staring at issue #10 for three months, and have only drawn 7 pages.

I know that not too far in the future (probably when the temperature hits triple digits), I'll find a creative surge and churn out three issues in three months. I also know that there will be another lull.

So when will I finish? I am hoping to finish the last page the day before I die. Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I really like to draw. Perhaps I should say I like to doodle. I drew the Avatar of me on the right, and I am forever doodling on my desk calendar at work.

I've been drawing as long as I can remember. When I discovered comic books, i started drawing superheroes. For a time, until I got talke out of it, I even thought about attending an art school in New Jersey. Thanks, Mom!

To have comics to draw, I also had to write. Generally, I wrote thinly disguised Star Trek stories. I also wrote superhero comics. By and large, they all sucked.

A few years ago, I started scanning the pictures of my year as an exchange student in Japan. I wanted to save them before they deteriorated. While showing them to my co-workers, one of the ladies said, "I wish I knew the whole story." I tried to explain, that, well, this is the whole story. "No. There's more to it than that."

I spent a few months thinking about what she said, and thought I would write a novel/travelogue of my stay in Japan.

I made a few abortive attempts, trying to incorporate some of the stuff I wrote while there, and stuff done after I returned home. But I realized I was too far away from that time to do the travelogue properly. And since I didn't want to needlessly offend anyone I went to school with, I had created an alternate cast of characters.

I did a second outline of the story that removed a couple of extraneous characters, and eliminated the travelogue elements. Something still wasn't right, so I sat down and flipped through my pictures asking "What if. . .?" Then I found the story!

I did one final outline and started to write. I wrote about forty pages before I realized that a novel might not be the way to go. So I decided to draw it.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The American Family Association, a pro-family organization that had been conducting a nine year boycott of Disney, announced today they were ending their boycott.

If I recall correctly, they started the boycott in response to Disney's policy towards homosexuals. Like any profit seeking business, Disney said, "Hm. They have money. How can we get it from them?" So they became gay friendly. (Just an aside, here. Where I work, we once got a call from a gentleman who wanted to know if we were gay friendly. I said, "Sir, if I can preauthorize the charges on your credit card, we are gay friendly. If I can't, we aren't.")

The end of the boycott does not mean they are endorsing Disney, i.e., that they won. They just have other fish to fry.

"Now that your candidate has won the election, what do you want to do?"

"Go to Disneyland!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I was putting the ice cream into the pantry, after serving myself a bowl, when I came to my senses. A pantry isn't the proper place to store frozen goods, I know, and I quickly checked the room to see if anyone was watching.

That was a sitcom moment. You know, like a scene from "I Love Lucy," or "Three's Company." Something so silly, that it would generate a huge laugh from the studio audience.

Everyone has them. The other day Dad baked a pizza for me to have when I came over for lunch. When I cut into the pizza, I noticed he had left the cardboard circle on the pizza. As Homer Simpson would say, "Mmmm, doughy." Fortunately, I didn't cut all the way through the cardboard, or we would have had a true sitcom moment when I tried to chew through the paper.

Some people call these senior moments, but I'm not a senior yet. But I think I have figured out the cause. (Hang on! There's not much transition here!)

When I was 18 (back when the legal drinking age was 18, natch) and up until I hit my 30s, it wasn't uncommon that on my days off I would start drinking at 10 or 11 am. I could drink all day, well into the night, and wouldn't have too much of a hangover. Nothing aspirin and an Bacon, Egg and Cheese biscuit from McDonalds, or a breakfast croissant from Jack in the Box, couldn't handle, anyway. Today, of course, my system has lost its resiliency, and if I start drinking too early (say before 4 or 5 pm), I'll be queasy the entire next day, no matter how much fast food I consume.

This happened Saturday. I raked the front yard in the morning, and by 1 pm, I figured I deserved a beer. I had purchased a case of beer the day before to last me through the weekend. By 11 pm, I had all but finished the case and went to bed. ("24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?" --Stephen Wright) Lord, was I nauseous all day Sunday. I spent the entire day in my recliner, sleeping it off. By 8 pm, I was feeling much better, thank you. On Monday, I put the ice cream in the pantry.

I understand the sitcom moment, now. It's the beer!

See, alcohol destroys brain cells. ("Alright brain, I don't like you and you don't like me, so just get me through this so I can go back to killing you slowly with beer." --Homer Simpson) Memories are stored in the brain cells. Therefore, it was all the beer I've ever had that caused me to forget that ice cream belongs in the freezer, and leaves me scratching my head as I stand in front of a closet wondering what the heck I was looking for.

Monday, May 23, 2005

An Open Letter to UPN

To Whom it May Concern,

I have been watching your network for about ten years. There wasn't a UPN affiliate in our area until the second or third season of Star Trek: Voyager. until then, I watched it in syndication. As soon as UPN came to our area, I started watching.

Every Wednedsay at 7 pm Central Time for nine years I tuned into UPN to watch Star Trek And for 3 years, I watched Enterprise. When it moved to Friday last year, I followed along. Now that you've cancelled Star Trek, I just wanted to say a couple of things.

I don't like any of your other shows. Sorry. I watched the New Twilight Zone, but that got cancelled. I tried "The Mullets." (The less said about that experience, the better.) I hate wrestling. (I can't beleive that anyone takes that crap seriously.) I hate reality shows, and I have never intentionally watched a minute of "America's Next Top Model." And I will never watch "Britany and Kevin: Chaotic."

I only watched Star Trek.

Now it's gone. So, I'll be seeing you around.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

I have been having a recurring dream. Actually, there are four, but they are all the same theme.

The dream starts when I remember that I haven't gone to work or class in a couple of months, and I figure I oughta go, so I can collect my paycheck or degree.

Sometimes i'm late for my job at Super S (where I worked during high school), or HEB (during college), or RJR (after college). Sometimes it's a class at the college i attended in Kerrville, Schriener University.

I wonder what it means.