Friday, June 29, 2007

Blogs to the left of me, Polls to the right... Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

Figured I'd try something new from the Blogger-in-Draft features and put up a poll. I'm keen to see what my audience thinks my writing is worth.

If I get a good enough response, I may open a PayPal (PayPalette?) account and whore myself out sell my writing on commission.

Like biographies for City of Heroes characters, or short stories, etc.

Just a random thought... I await your votes.

Also, if you think there's an option missing, leave a comment and I'll probably add it.

RAC: Official Whitefall Press Release

For those of you gorram no-good Yi Dwei Da Buen Chuo Roh who thought I was lying when I said that Whitefall had been acquired by QMx , I present you with this:

Yes, I know what he's working on for QMx.

No, I don't have any proof.... yet.

But I can tell you this much: you know how jaw-droppingly shiny the Serenity blueprints were?

This new project is better.

Bowel-looseningly better.

Hand to God.

Also, you can bid for a dinner with Joss on eBay.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Erin Palette, Zombocalypse Survivor


If you're interested in learning more about surviving a mass zombie attack, you can go here to read more about it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Damn Straight

Online Dating

Wednesday Night Wackiness

Bahlactus brought us Friday Night Fights...

Then someone else brought us Thursday Night Thinking....

Then the Sunday Soliloquy just kind of appeared....

But tonight, I bring you: Wednesday Night Wackiness!

(Special thanks to Nathan for pointing this out to me.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Sisters Weirde

This is a re-working of my failed premise for a Time Travel TV series, as originally put forth in challenge by Plok.

The Sisters Weirde

Briefly (aka the Hollywood High-Concept Pitch to ADHD Execs)
Three magical sisters muck about in the timestream, creating much mayhem and hijinks. Hilarity and paradoxes ensue.

A drama-comedy (as opposed to The Office, which is a comedy-drama), specifically in the vein of Jeeves and Wooster, but with fantasy elements thrown in.

Three sisters, based roughly on the Fates, are mystic personifications of Life/Birth/Healing (Chloë), Death/Sickness/Entropy (Aisha), and Balance/Harmony/Moderation (Moira). They
are ageless and immortal, can read and speak any language, and have the ability to travel backwards and forwards through time.* Their purpose in life is to prevent stagnation within humanity and promote cultural/spiritual/intellectual evolution by finding periods of complacency and mucking things up.

Naturally, each has her own philosophy on how best to do this, and they often end up working against each other. Part of the humor and dramatic tension of the show will stem from one sister's carefully crafted plan being disrupted by another's. Thus, the heroes of the show are also its antagonists.

Main Characters
This is ideally an ensemble show, with no one sister more important (or necessary) than the others. Each personifies an important concept, and cannot exist without the others for balance. They are not rogue agents, nor do they serve a heavenly hierarchy. They simply exist as cosmic constants, much like Neil Gaiman's Endless.

Chloë Weirde: The youngest sister (yet still immortal), Chloë appears as a young woman between the ages of 16 and 20, though she has the ability to make herself look any age younger than that (including a newborn). She is however incapable of appearing older, and is often frustrated at being treated like a kid by "mere mortals". (This should happen often, to comedic effect.) She can never EVER pass for 21, no matter how hard she tries. This frequently makes her upset, but never to the point of violence; in fact, she is all but incapable of violence, as her sphere of influence is based on life, birth, and healing.

In addition to the powers inherent in being a Weirde sister, she also has the abilities to increase the fertility of anything (this is frequently unconscious; a recurring comedic theme can be the mortals around her suddenly getting pregnant); heal any wound, physical, mental, or other; and even raise the dead.

She is cute, perky, clearly in love with life, and a helpless romantic. Not stupid by any means, she is however very impulsive and reckless, as youths are wont to be.

Moira Weirde: Easily the most accessible and sympathetic of the Three; if we must have a heroine to make the show work, she is it. Moira is the middle sister, and as such has spent a significant chunk of eternity mediating between Chloë (whom she feels has a good heart, but is more than a bit idealistic) and Aisha (whom she regards as wiser, but more cynical due to her age and nature). She has the patience of a saint, and a good heart that is nonetheless tempered with the knowledge that sometimes unpleasant things must be done for the greater good.

Her default appearance is that of an attractive woman in her early 30s; however, she has the ability to appear anywhere between the age of 20 and 40 (this last ability frequently endears her to her baby sister, who then proceed to tear up the town as 20 year old college hotties.) Regardless of her age, she exudes class, maturity, warmth and motherly love.

In addition to the powers inherent in being a Weirde sister, she has the ability to see and comprehend all relationships a mortal possesses, along with the knowledge of how to make them better or worse; she has a supernatural knowledge of art, politics, religion, economics, history and psychology; and she can make two or more mortals reach a compromise about anything. She is the ultimate facilitator and negotiator. Despite this, she is frequently flummoxed (and more than frequently exasperated) by her sisters.

Aisha Weirde: The oldest sister, she is the femme fatale in its most literal sense: death, the plague-bringer, the ender of life. In addition to the powers inherent in being a Weirde sister, she can destroy any object (including ideas and philosophies), kill anything living (with as much or as little pain as she desires), and instill fear with a look. Paradoxically, she can also cause a mortal to orgasm with but a touch (la petite morte).

Dark, elegant, graceful, and strangely alluring, Aisha can appear as any woman between the ages of 40 and 60, but always has an exotic air about her. If
Chloë is the kitten and Moira is the cat, Aisha is decidedly the cougar. She is unashamed of her sexuality, and enjoys scandalizing others with it. She frequently sees mortals as her playthings, which brings her into conflict with her sisters more often than not. However, she isn't made of stone, and a sincere display of affection from a mortal can often change her jaded, cynical heart.

She gets along best with Moira, who admires her practicality and ability to get things done;
Chloë sees her as heartless and needlessly cruel. For her part, Aisha respects Moira's patience and negotiating skills, and (though she'll never admit it) really does envy Chloë 's ability to see the best in anyone -- though this doesn't keep her from being annoyed at her youngest sister's immaturity and seeming inability to plan ahead.

*Being time travellers, they are able to manifest multiple versions of themselves within the same time. This is not considered paradoxical for them, as they are indestructible and immortal. However, since each "version" comes from either the "past" or the "future" relative to the "present" character, time-shifted versions will either not know what is going on (if they're from the "past") or know too much (from the "future"). As this will be very confusing for the audience, it should only be used for comedic effect and not to advance any serious plot point. Consider it a metaphysical version of the "mistaken identity" trope.

The Sisters Weirde and all associated names, conventions, and concepts are copyright Erin Palette 2007.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

This Just In!

Breaking news!

Sand has a higher Bothan rating than sharks!
• Doctors:16 deaths in sand holes or tunnels in U.S. 1990-2006
• In same period, 12 fatal shark attacks took place, says University of Florida
• Hole walls usually collapse, leaving almost no evidence of hole or victim location
• Victims mostly boys, 3 to 21 years; average age about 12
Details at 11.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Confidential Message to Nathan

Now I own your soul.

Muah ha ha ha ha ha hah!

That is all. (Obey!)

(Look, it's even a Haiku! I rawk. \m/ ^_^ \m/ )

I Am Dua Khalil

I can't believe I missed this back in May, but it's still important and relevant. Quoted from Whedonesque in case some of you folks don't follow links:

Let's Watch A Girl Get Beaten To Death.

This is not my blog, but I don’t have a blog, or a space, and I’d like to be heard for a bit.

Last month seventeen year old Dua Khalil was pulled into a crowd of young men, some of them (the instigators) family, who then kicked and stoned her to death. This is an example of the breath-taking oxymoron “honor killing”, in which a family member (almost always female) is murdered for some religious or ethical transgression. Dua Khalil, who was of the Yazidi faith, had been seen in the company of a Sunni Muslim, and possibly suspected of having married him or converted. That she was torturously murdered for this is not, in fact, a particularly uncommon story. But now you can watch the action up close on CNN. Because as the girl was on the ground trying to get up, her face nothing but red, the few in the group of more than twenty men who were not busy kicking her and hurling stones at her were filming the event with their camera-phones.

There were security officers standing outside the area doing nothing, but the footage of the murder was taken – by more than one phone – from the front row. Which means whoever shot it did so not to record the horror of the event, but to commemorate it. To share it. Because it was cool.

I could start a rant about the level to which we have become desensitized to violence, about the evils of the voyeuristic digital world in which everything is shown and everything is game, but honestly, it’s been said. And I certainly have no jingoistic cultural agenda. I like to think that in America this would be considered unbearably appalling, that Kitty Genovese is still remembered, that we are more evolved. But coincidentally, right before I stumbled on this vid I watched the trailer for “Captivity”.

A few of you may know that I took public exception to the billboard campaign for this film, which showed a concise narrative of the kidnapping, torture and murder of a sexy young woman. I wanted to see if the film was perhaps more substantial (especially given the fact that it was directed by “The Killing Fields” Roland Joffe) than the exploitive ad campaign had painted it. The trailer resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil. Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is “I’m sorry”.

“I’m sorry.”

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.

I try to think how we got here. The theory I developed in college (shared by many I’m sure) is one I have yet to beat: Womb Envy. Biology: women are generally smaller and weaker than men. But they’re also much tougher. Put simply, men are strong enough to overpower a woman and propagate. Women are tough enough to have and nurture children, with or without the aid of a man. Oh, and they’ve also got the equipment to do that, to be part of the life cycle, to create and bond in a way no man ever really will. Somewhere a long time ago a bunch of men got together and said, “If all we do is hunt and gather, let’s make hunting and gathering the awesomest achievement, and let’s make childbirth kinda weak and shameful.” It’s a rather silly simplification, but I believe on a mass, unconscious level, it’s entirely true. How else to explain the fact that cultures who would die to eradicate each other have always agreed on one issue? That every popular religion puts restrictions on women’s behavior that are practically untenable? That the act of being a free, attractive, self-assertive woman is punishable by torture and death? In the case of this upcoming torture-porn, fictional. In the case of Dua Khalil, mundanely, unthinkably real. And both available for your viewing pleasure.

It’s safe to say that I’ve snapped. That something broke, like one of those robots you can conquer with a logical conundrum. All my life I’ve looked at this faulty equation, trying to understand, and I’ve shorted out. I don’t pretend to be a great guy; I know really really well about objectification, trust me. And I’m not for a second going down the “women are saints” route – that just leads to more stone-throwing (and occasional Joan-burning). I just think there is the staggering imbalance in the world that we all just take for granted. If we were all told the sky was evil, or at best a little embarrassing, and we ought not look at it, wouldn’t that tradition eventually fall apart? (I was going to use ‘trees’ as my example, but at the rate we’re getting rid of them I’m pretty sure we really do think they’re evil. See how all rants become one?)

Now those of you who frequent this site are, in my wildly biased opinion, fairly evolved. You may hear nothing new here. You may be way ahead of me. But I can’t contain my despair, for Dua Khalil, for humanity, for the world we’re shaping. Those of you who have followed the link I set up know that it doesn’t bring you to a video of a murder. It brings you to a place of sanity, of people who have never stopped asking the question of what is wrong with this world and have set about trying to change the answer. Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I’ve always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I’m beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.

All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once. If you can’t think of what to do, there is this handy link. Even just learning enough about a subject so you can speak against an opponent eloquently makes you an unusual personage. Start with that. Any one of you would have cried out, would have intervened, had you been in that crowd in Bashiqa. Well thanks to digital technology, you’re all in it now.

I have never had any faith in humanity. But I will give us props on this: if we can evolve, invent and theorize our way into the technologically magical, culturally diverse and artistically magnificent race we are and still get people to buy the idiotic idea that half of us are inferior, we’re pretty amazing. Let our next sleight of hand be to make that myth disappear.

The sky isn’t evil. Try looking up.

Now go here and buy a T-shirt, where the proceeds go to Equality Now. Or just contribute directly to the charity.

RAC: Visit Tranquil Miranda, Marry Saffron, Don't Get Killed

Valiant members of my Radion Accelerator Corps brought me this information. (Fortunately, none of them are Bothans, and as such none of them died. Hmm, that gives me an idea...)

Not a joke! Not a hoax! Not prototype pieces you'll never get to own! This is real, folks!

This lovely poster, done in a style reminiscent of Chinese and Soviet Propaganda Art, was created by Adam Levermore-Rich (of Black Market Beagles fame) and is the second fan artist to be acquired by QMx! Hmmm... Blue Sun? Travel? I wonder if this could be the first of many...

Rumor has it that a prototype of one of Adam's first efforts on behalf of QMx will be quietly auctioned off at Saturday's Can't Stop The Serenity screening in San Francisco to raise money for Equality Now (Joss's favorite charity). And even if you can't make it to SF on Saturday, there are other Can't Stop the Serenity screenings in other parts of the world! Go here to find out if there's one near you. If so... GO!

Also, in related Firefly news, Chris Bridges from has told me about his Sing a Song of Saffron contest that runs through the end of the month. If you're a Browncoat who's musically inclined, enter now for a chance win some nifty prizes! (Details and contest rules can be found at the website.)

The Bothan as unit of measure

We're all familiar with the phrase "Many Bothans died to bring us this information," but it has just occurred to me that with some empirical testing we can use this as a metric unit of measure (Bth) to determine the danger of any particular activity.

Operating under the assumption that the Bothan spies in the aforementioned quote were good at their jobs (they did succeed, after all, albeit posthumously), and that said job (being a spy) carries with it a good amount of danger, we can reasonably posit that 1 Bothan equals a 100% chance of any single individual within a group dying in the performance of any duty at which he is properly trained. Based on the numbers from the National Safety Council, we can derive Bothan magnitude for several scenarios:
  • Motor Vehicle Accident: 1 in 84, or 120 centiBothans.
  • Firearm Assault (assuming you aren't in the military or the police): 31.85 centiBothans.
  • Pedestrian Accident: Approximately 16 centiBothans.
  • Drowning: 99 milliBothans.
  • Fire or Smoke Inhalation: Slightly less than 90 milliBothans.
  • Hot Weather: 7.28 milliBothans.
  • Struck by Lightning: 1.25 microBothans.
From this, we can infer other values:
  • Patrolling in Iraq: 1 Bothan (taken as an average).
  • Stealing the plans for the Death Star: at least 1 decaBothan (sadly, we do not know precisely how many Bothans died in this endeavor; however, Mon Mothma's use of the word "many" seems to indicate that it was on the order of tens; if there had been less than ten, it seems likely she would have used the word "several" instead. Noncanonical sources state that this was actually a 2.4 decaBothan operation.)
  • Spartans Fighting the Battle of Thermopylae: 2.99 hectoBothans (according to the movie).
And so forth. I freely admit that I am not a mathematician, and there may be errors in either my calculations or my logic; therefore I submit my findings for peer review, in accordance with the standards of the scientific method.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Interviewed by Tom Foss

Deep within his Fortress of Soliloquy, Tom Foss caught a virulent and fatal Internet Meme. In order to recover, he had to ask me five questions. I, in my costumed identity of "Unpalettable", did the heroic thing and consented to the interview to save his life.

1. Who's the most egregiously sexist female character in the history of comics?

Janet van Dyne, aka the Wasp. From her "Teehee, I'm a girl, I go powder my nose while boys fight over me" attitude in the 60s to her "I'm gonna change costumes every adventure" of the 70s to her "I'm gonna flirt with Magneto during the Secret War to get him to do what I like cuz math is hard" in the 80s to GODDAMMIT I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE! She's like the Paris Hilton of the superhero set, and her very presence vexes and diminishes me.

2. If you could resurrect one dead author to write one comic title, who would it be, and what series?

Um. ANY dead author, not just comic books? "H.P. Lovecraft, writing Hellblazer" is my immediate choice, but I'm not sure how well Lovecraft could portray Constantine. Perhaps Robert Anton Wilson writing Ambush Bug? Yeah, I like that.

3. Assuming you have to write it, what one book out of all literary history would you pick to write the sequel for?

This is probably gonna get me in trouble, but my answer is "The Bible" and I mean that with complete and utter respect for it as a holy text. I mean, the Book of Revelations alone is full of powerful symbolism and it has a kick-ass storyline.

Also, if I get to write the sequel, that means I'm there, man, for what happens next. Yeah, I know that means I'm more of a reporter than an inventor of the story, but I get to know. And then I get to put all of that awesome into words so powerful that people thousands of years later are still moved by them.

4. You've got a single 5-issue arc on Justice League of America. What's your pitch?

"Cult of the Superhero." Seriously, tackle how people's belief systems would adapt to what are essentially godlings in our midst.

The "Superman as Christ" motif has be thesis'd to death, so why not use it in a story? What would happen if people actually started praying to Superman? How would he react to that?

Wonder Woman is a pagan, and lives on an island full of women. The wiccan and/or lesbian overtones that can be explored here are fascinating.

Green Lantern's ring can do anything. Why isn't he in hospitals, healing people like a good savior?

Batman is a creature of the dark, and uses terror and cunning to defeat his foes. Sounds positively Luciferian to me...

So not really an overall story arc; more like 5 self-contained stories that are linked by exploring these similar themes.

5. When you read Batman's dialogue, whose voice is speaking the lines in your head?

Kevin Conroy, the man who voiced Bats in Batman: the Animated Series.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yet more proof everyone is more talented than me

Tom Foss pitches "Crisis of Faith."

PS: Some of you may think that these last few posts are me crying for attention, like I want people to say "No Palette, you're still a good writer, let me stroke your ego some." I don't want that at all. To prove it, I'm disabling comments.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I am a talentless hack

So, a few weeks ago someone asked me what kind of comic I'd write if given the chance. I replied:
I'd love to do a team comic with some of the under-used DC characters. Creeper, Man-Bat, Vixen, that latina Wildcat from the late 80s, and maybe Etrigan the Demon as the leader. Give it a nice street-level occult vibe, and a slightly weird name like "Hand of Glory"....

... well, I'd buy it.

Guess what? It's been done before. No, not literally, but there are more than enough similarities that all it takes is one glance at my proposal to go, "Oh, that sounds like Shadow Fighters." Maybe you can't see it, but I can. And now I can't use that idea, because I refuse to write anything that could be construed as ripping off another series.

And then over in Plok's blog, he challenges us to pitch a Time Travel TV series. My early contribution:

I’m noticing a surplus of science-fiction themes here and a dearth of other means of time travel (magic, psychic, etc).

I have something mulling about in my head involving the Wyrd Sisters, but while I have character, means, and motive, I’m still lacking an overall plot.

The theme I’m going for, however, is that of Timestream = Tapestry, and all the time-travel that’s occurred throughout sci-fi history is really mucking the place up, so the Wyrd Three have to go fix it by resolving paradoxes.

It could easily become a satirization of sloppy time-travel stories.

The next day, I find out that it's essentially the premise of Voyagers! done with the cast of Oh My Goddess!

I'd kill myself in despair, but that's been done before, too.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Domestic Nerd Tips

  1. If you have a vinyl game mat that is folded, wrinkled, or creased from excessive heat (such as the trunk of a car), put it in your washing machine in medium to hot water and let it soak for a few hours. Let it hang dry from your shower rod.
  2. Gaming stones can be bought at craft stores (such as Michaels) in far greater quantities and at much lower prices than at game stores. (I was able to buy 3/4 of a pound of them for around $2.00.)
  3. Supply stores like Office Depot and Staples have tons of stuff that can prove useful for a harried Game Master, especially if you like making props or handouts. They even sell munchies and soda there!

If you have any more tips like these, leave a comment!

Existential Question of the Day

How do I write a resume that will get me hired as a writer, when I have zero writing credits?

Conversely, how do I get writing credits if I can't get hired to write?

I sense a zero-sum game within a closed system. Much like getting a loan or a date, in order to get one you have to prove you don't need one....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wonder Woman's Guide to the Aspiring Vigilante

Kudos to Sean Witzke for posting Wonder Woman's Guide to Office Safety. (I myself keep a sword in my office for just such an occasion.) Here is a companion entry:

She ain't heavy, she's my goddess

Eris outweighs Pluto, aka "Does this orbit make my butt look big?"

Yeah, I'm a slacker today. Partake of hot dog without bun and read the article.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hints From Hell-oise

I never realized that a goth wardrobe could be considered survival gear, but you have to admit, my standard outfit of black clothing and combat boots is pretty handy in the event of a sudden zombie uprising. Sure, my black lace veil will never be the same, but I'm alive, dammit.

Helpful Hint: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, a tube of black lipstick makes a dandy improvised camouflage facepaint.

I'm not really sure what happened. The NOAA radio had been screaming all afternoon, but this is Florida in June; we're constantly getting weather alerts about small craft advisories in the Atlantic. I didn't know anything was out of the ordinary until the Civil Defense sirens started wailing.

Most people fled along hurricane evacuation routes, but by then infection had reached epidemic levels; zombies were swarming cars along I-95, I-4, and A1A. All it took was one pileup and the highways became miles-long buffets for the undead.

Helpful Hint: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, do not flee along traditional routes.

The moment I realized what was happening, I immediately made for the nearest swamp. The rough terrain seemed to slow them down, and zombies don't float very well on account of not breathing any more. They're also not very smart, possessing only basic predator instincts: chase and eat what moves, sniff around for what doesn't. I don't know how well these things can smell, but the high sulfur content in Florida groundwater masked whatever scent I had.

Helpful Hint: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, wearing perfume is counterproductive to survival.

The federal government seems to think we're past the point of containing the situation and has gone straight to cauterization. What started with Apache helicopters doing strafing runs has become full-fledged napalm strikes delivered by A-10 Warthogs. I fully expect that by tomorrow they'll have SAC bombers carpetbombing every county from the Keys to the Georgia border.

Helpful Hint: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, being a war nerd is a survival skill.

For the past few hours, I've been slowly making my way to the Intracoastal Waterway. From there, I hope I can find a boat with enough fuel, food, and water for me to make it to the open ocean. After that, I'm headed north. My wishful thinking here is that even if I'm spotted by the military, they'll realize that zombies can't pilot a boat and therefore won't immediately gun me down. If I'm extremely lucky, I'll be picked up by a Coast Guard Cutter.

Helpful Hint: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, problem-solving skills developed from role-playing games will mean the difference between having a shot at survival and becoming tomorrow's zombie shit.

My name is Erin Palette, and I may be the last living soul left in Florida. As a goth, I find the irony staggering.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Troy Hickman: I'd Buy That For a Dollar!

You know where I love to shop? Dollar stores. Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em. Whether I'm here in my Hoosier home, trying to fend off Malachai, or hanging out with my sweetie in Canada (where they're often called "loonie stores"), I just can't get enough of that bargain-basementy stuff. Sure, call me trailer trash if you will. Call me a cheapskate if you must. Hell, call me "Tiny" if you've seen me naked. Just call me if you're making a trip to the dollar store. Why do I love 'em so much? Here are just a few reasons:

(1) Cheap food. Yeah, it's off-brand, or more often no-brand (ya gotta love a can marked simply "dinner"), but it'll get you through the night. I'm especially fond of the corned beef hash, which is 34% lard, 49% nitrates, and 17% prayers that an employee didn't lose a digit in the production. Fry some of this stuff up, slap it on a plate with a couple of eggs and some butter-slathered toast, and I guarantee every death wish you've ever had will come to fruition. It's coronarilicious!

I'm also fond of their knock-off candy bars. Not only are they considerably less expensive than the "real" thing, but you can often find clones of candy that otherwise would elude you. I'm partial to the generic version of the "Munch" bar, the original version of which is about as common around here as diamonds, or kids from the public school system who can conjugate a verb. The knock-off, which is usually marketed as something like "Peanut Bar," is not quite as good as my beloved Munch, but it's close enough for jazz (just make sure you don't accidentally buy the suppository version, the Butt Munch).

(2) Cheap import wrestling figures. Yes, I know their paint jobs look like they were applied by Joe Cocker on a three-day bender. Yes, I realize that third-world kids with names like Xiang and Lupita probably had to assemble a thousand of them just to pay for a plastic bag to hold all their nothing. But damn, they're a dollar! Vince McMoney can kiss my rosy red backside. They're close enough to real wrestlers to fool most folks if they squint...from another room...and really pathetic children seem to enjoy them just fine. My son collects wrestling figures, and few things overjoy him more than when I bring home a new sack of these ultra-cheap grapplers. And you find some real oddities among them, too, like Gravedigging Gene, who looks pretty much like Sting (the wrestler, not the guy who hopes the Russians love their children, too), except he's...I dunno...he's COOLER than Sting somehow. Or the figure that looks suspiciously like Paul Stanley from KISS...well, provided Paul Stanley put on his make-up in the back of Matthew Broderick's car. And for a buck, you can replace these things the minute you break 'em, and believe me, you will!
(3) Cleaning products. What kind of sap pays full price for this stuff? Look, the simple fact is that eventually being in the proximity of these chemicals is going to give you impotence or brain damage (and truth be told, I'd prefer both; if I can't function as a man, I'd rather not be cognizant of it). So if it has to happen, why not let it happen on the cheap? Especially with toilet paper. Why pay premium prices for something you're going to put...UP YOUR ASS. Now I know some of you are going to say "But Troy, doesn't your ass deserve the best?" And my answer: apparently you've never seen my ass. Its main contributions to western culture are flatulence and the opportunity for sarcastic teen-aged girls to hang their heads out car windows and shout "Ooooh, baby, I want me some of that!"

(4) Sqwincher. Yes, I know I've already covered bargain foods, but Sqwincher is its own category. I first encountered it at a Big Lots store here in town (Big Lots, while not a "true" dollar store, has some wonderful closeout deals, and I'd highly recommend it to folks like myself who hold on to a dollar tighter than a dead nun's sanjaya). I bought a jug of this stuff thinking it would be akin to my dear, dear Gatorade, but...not only was it unlike a sports drink, it was unlike anything mortal man has produced on this big blue marble of ours. I took it home, put it in a glass with some ice, took a sip and was disappointed to find out it hadn't gotten cold yet. So I swished it around, and waiting a few minutes. And still it wasn't cold. So I added more ice cubes and...dear lord, where's the cold??? I put it in my freezer...overnight...and not only did it not freeze...BUT IT NEVER GOT COLD! What kind of NASA-engineered alchemy was this?

After some investigation, I've learned that Sqwincher is an electrolyte-replenishing drink formulated especially for people who work in an "extreme heat environment." It's like Tang, but apparently for our brave astronauts currently exploring the face of the sun! I never drank another bottle of Sqwincher after that, but I do put a couple of gallons of it in my radiator every November.

Anyway, put away your elitism, my friends, and don't be afraid to step into the cool confines of your local dollar store. You might not walk out with a treasure, but you will leave with the knowledge that you purchased something not "high-falutin'" enough for those snobs over at Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Things I've learned as a Temp

Herein follow the lessons I have learned from nearly four years of working for various temp agencies. If you are a temp, or suspect you may soon become one, I invite you to suckle from my teat of wisdom and gain enlightenment, young one...

1. You are an office prostitute
This is probably the hardest rule to come to terms with, ego-wise, but it's the most important: for all intents and purposes, your pimp (the temp agency) rents you out to a john (your client) who proceeds to have his dirty way with you (your assignment). For as long as you can take it up the ass, you get paid. And rest assured: your john WILL expect you to give him an around-the-world. Whether it's cleaning the break room, moving boxes, or any other shit job you can imagine, he will make you do it. Thus it behooves you to study your employee manual, memorize which duties are considered unsafe or unsuitable for you to do, and practice saying this line until you can rattle it off flawlessly: "My agency will not permit me to perform such a task."

2. Despite what they say, they won't ever hire you
They won't. Why would they? They're paying you a fraction of what they pay their regular employees for what is often the same amount and quality of work. Compare this with a salaried employee, which costs them benefits, potential insurance increases, associated spouse and dependent benefits, annual performance reviews, raises and cost-of-living adjustments. Plus, if they don't like you, they can send you home at any time, as opposed to the hassle of going through HR and the requisite filling-out of paperwork that is needed to fire someone.

Of course, they'll promise you anything, because they want you to be a productive and unquestioning worker bee. As long as they think you think you have a chance at being hired, they'll string you along with all sorts of false hope. The usual line is something like, "Human Resources has declared a hiring freeze right now, but as soon as I can I'll bring you on as a full employee." Translated from bullshit, this actually means, "I have no intention of hiring you, but I'm too chickenshit to say as much. I'll blame it on HR instead because everybody hates them." It is imperative for you to maintain a straight face when hearing this, because the moment they know that you know it's bullshit, they'll find a reason to dismiss you so that they can bring in the next easily-gulled whore temp.

3. Be a mercenary
When your task is complete, your job is done. When your job is done, you are no longer getting paid. Thus it behooves you to be just efficient enough for them to keep you around, but not so efficient that you finish a day's work in six hours. If you honestly think your employer will pay you to do nothing for two hours as a reward for a job well done, bang your head against the nearest brick wall until lesson #1 sinks in. No, either you'll be sent home (and screwed out of two hours' pay) or by golly they'll find something for you to do.

What you must do in this situation is take control by pretending to be proactive. Find something that is either easy to do and improves the quality of life of other people (alphabetizing files, making photocopies, etc) or is incredibly involved (like reorganizing a library). Either way, most office personnel will appreciate this thankless task and won't begrudge you taking your sweet time to complete it.

Also, ask for overtime every chance you get. At your meager pay rate, time and half is sweet, sweet candy. A particularly adept office whore will find a way to execute a task in such a manner that being sent home at quitting time will result in the john missing a deadline/ losing money/ being unprepared for an audit, forcing him to pay you 1.5 times your rate just to clean up the mess you made.

4. Do your job, not theirs
Of course, human beings are naturally exploitive bastards, and at least one person will attempt to take advantage of you by having you essentially do his job for him. Assuming this is not the job for which you have been hired, here are the appropriate reactions:
  • Agree eagerly.
  • Ask many, many questions. Even if you understand the task, pretend you do not.
  • Look for ways in which you could make a disastrous mistake which could be attributed to ignorance or lack of training.
  • Made said mistake, preferably in the presence of a supervisor or an irate customer.
  • If you are brought to task for this, state that you're trying the best you can but you haven't been trained for this and anyway this isn't even the job you were brought in to do but what's-his-name asked you to do it and and and.... (if you can convincingly fake tears of frustration, this is the time)
Done properly, this technique will get you quickly returned to the task for which you were purchased, and the exploitive asshole in trouble. In an ideal world, he gets fired and you get his job...

5. Don't ever get comfortable
Call it karma, fate or simple sloppiness, but the moment you relax enough to start thinking of your current assignment as "your job", it's over. No one in the aristocracy (IE, management) appreciates a prole who is arrogant enough to believe that she's as good as the middle-class (IE, the salaried employees).

Under no circumstances should you:
  • Voice your opinion on anything
  • Call the managers anything other than "Sir" or "Ma'am"
  • Talk to the other employees as if you were their equal
  • Decorate your work area to personalize it
  • Get a nameplate
  • Make jokes or be sarcastic
If you do any of these things, you'll be canned before you know it. If they can't find a reason to dismiss you, they'll invent one. No, the attitude they want to see is that of a dog freshly released from the pound, hungry for food and desperately afraid of being sent back. As long as you know your place, you see, they'll find you tolerable enough, but the moment you become uppity with delusions of adequacy... well, we just can't have that, now can we?

This is the sum total of my wisdom. Use it well, with snarky cynicism.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Continued Floundering of Troy Hickman

Part 2: There's Always Trade School

Where were we?

Oh, yeah, so there I was publishing my own mini-comics, and having a grand old time of it. Because my books were so well-received, I was asked by approximately nine million other mini-comics publishers to contribute to their books. I was busy, and I mean busy like Michael Jackson at an "Oil Up a Sixth Grader" convention. For a while my whole life became a blur of writing comics, correspondence (we actually still wrote letters in the early 90s, the Luddites and Amish that we were), and mailing out orders for my stuff. Any "free time" in the midst of all that was spent churning out articles ABOUT mini-comics for publications like Small Press Feedback.

In retrospect, it may sound like a lot of work for little pay off, but truth be told, I was having the time of my life. I was making lots of very cool friends, going to a ton of conventions, receiving a ton of great comics in the mail as trades (a staple of mini-comic society), and just generally doing what I love to do.

Along the way, I was also approached by a number of fledgling publishers about contributing to their full-sized indy comics, and I was overjoyed at the prospect of actually having a "real" comic sitting on the shelves of fine comic shops everywhere.

It was just around this time, however, that I realized two things about the comic book industry: (1) publishers are weasels, and (2) 95% of the best laid plans o' mice and publishers gang aft cattywampus. I don't know how many (probably well-meaning) small time folks with a grand idea and a vanity press contacted me about doing something for them, but it was damned near equal to the number of them who went under before ever producing a single issue of ANYTHING.

The worst was when a west coast company (which will remain nameless, not to save their pride or for legal reasons, but because I can't freakin' remember what they called their imprint) asked me to do a regular series for them. After some brainstorming, I came up with what could have been a very lucrative comic in the 1990s, a superteam book called Dawnrunners. The company paired me up with a very talented young artist named Brian Ching who was also new to the world of "pro" comics. Together we hashed out the basics, and went to work.

In record time, I'd written the first two scripts for the book, and Brian finished the penciled artwork for the first, and started on the second. We were stoked, and couldn't wait for issue #1 to hit the stands (I'm sure we both thought it would make us the next big thing in fandom). So we waited. And we waited. you might guess, the company went merrily down the tubes, taking our beloved Dawnrunners with it. Unfortunately, as is always the case with these things, it was done on spec, so we didn't even get a little pocket change for our trouble.Eventually Brian would go on to do various comics, including Star Wars for Dark Horse (interestingly, we would both end up working on Witchblade, though not at the same time). And me, well, as you know, I became the hardcore legend of professional wrestling.

But that's a story for another time. The point of all this is that I would see my hopes for full-sized comics glory dashed on the rocks yet again. I began to think I just wasn't meant for comics that I didn't fold and staple myself.

Until...enter one Andrew Ford, a fellow mini-comics guy. Andrew had decided to kick it up a notch and publish a full-sized, b&w science fiction anthology, and he recruited from the ranks of his small press brethren for talent. I was teamed with artists Verl Holt Bond and Michael Neno, and we produced what I still consider to be a lovely little story called "One Small Step," a just slightly autobiographical piece about a man's love for the space program and the promise of space travel.

Because I was so happy with the story, I prepared myself to see it go down in flames like everything else. But for once my cynicism was thwarted. Andrew may not have had the money or resources of some of the other small publishers (as I recall, he and his uncle WERE the entirety of their AMF Comics imprint), but what he had that they didn't was chutzpah. His drive carried the project through, and within months, Cosmic Waves #1 hit the stands.

Well, OK, hit the stands is a bit melodramatic, especially since probably only a couple of thousand copies were printed, meaning that the chances of actually finding a copy in your local comics shop was about 100 to 1. And yeah, even if you did find it, the cover might not have induced your patronage, with its garish colors and unusual depiction of a boy choking a goblin (apparently his mom never told him he'd go blind from that).

But dammit, it was a full-sized comic book carried through Diamond and available in shops, and that was good enough for me. Yeehah!

We won't flash forward a few months to the first time I found a copy of Cosmic Waves #1 in a quarter box at a convention. You folks don't know me well enough yet to watch me weep like a widow woman...

Next: My holes are all cream-filled!

Friday, June 8, 2007

More proof that I am a cruel, cruel person

Yep, I made this one. I wonder what we'll call this meme? LOLwhore, perhaps?

Shocking Paris Hilton Jail Video

Brought to my attention by Allura-Mike, who will survive the purge if he plays his cards right.

Radion Accelerator Corps: the Evidence

It would appear that some of you doubt my credentials regarding my inside leaks at Quantum Mechanix, aka my Radion Accelerator Corps. Shame on you!

Normally, I'd just compose a vulgar sestina to mock you, but since Jericho has been renewed I'm feeling generous. Thus, I will show you doubting Thomases and Thomasinas photographic evidence of my credulity.

This is an uncut printer's sheet of the Serenity Money Pack. It's freaking HUGE.

EXTREME CLOSE-UP!!!! You can see the color-correction bars and the "money band".

I also have some other nice things as well, including some stuff I'm not allowed to talk about. But I can show you the following stuff.

Important: These are prototypes, not production design. I do not know when, or even if, these will become commercially available.

I now own stock in Tyrell Corp! (From Blade Runner)

Blade Runner money! (Note the date on the front:2017. Proof these aren't copies of real money from somewhere! They're authentically fake, folks!) Again, these are not slated for release.



And finally, this little beauty. It's made out of some kind of pressed tin or aluminum. If you think it looks familiar, you're right: Book, Jayne and Simon were using them as gambling tokens in Shindig. My source tells me this is a prayer card/ good luck amulet depicting Quan Yin, the Chinese Bodhisattva of Compassion. Once more, for the hat trick: as of yet there are no plans to produce this commercially.



There, now you have proof. Go forth in geekery, and sin no more.

(and no, you can't buy them off me. They're myyy precioussssssssssssssss.........)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Quick thought of the day

Just a quickie before I dash off to bed (I've had a headache all day, will try to post a double tomorrow):

Can I have Paris Hilton's house arrest? Because dude, I could SO do time in that mansion. Hell, I could do a year and not stress out.

... which pretty much points out its failure as a punishment, yeah?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hot Damn! We Did It!

From the Jericho Message Boards (bolding added for emphasis):

June 6, 2007

To the Fans of Jericho:


Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series. You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard.

As a result, CBS has ordered seven episodes of “Jericho” for mid-season next year. In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more “Jericho,” we will need more viewers.

A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show. But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available.

We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.

At this time, I cannot tell you the specific date or time period that “Jericho” will return to our schedule. However, in the interim, we are working on several initiatives to help introduce the show to new audiences. This includes re-broadcasting “Jericho” on CBS this summer, streaming episodes and clips from these episodes across the CBS Audience Network (online), releasing the first season DVD on September 25 and continuing the story of Jericho in the digital world until the new episodes return. We will let you know specifics when we have them so you can pass them on.

On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of “Jericho” in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference.


Nina Tassler
President, CBS Entertainment

P.S. Please stop sending us nuts :)

Big thanks to everyone who helped in this epic struggle for quality TV. I would like to dedicate this victory to all my Browncoat brothers and sisters; without them, we never would have learned how to fight for the shows we love.

And a big "In your FACE!" shoutout to Les Moonves.

Dare I hope?

From the Associated Press:
LOS ANGELES - Fans trumpeting the cause of CBS' canceled drama "Jericho" have caught the network's ear. CBS, deluged with calls, messages and shipments of nuts signifying viewer displeasure, is reconsidering its decision, a source close to the production said Tuesday.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. A decision on whether to bring the show back, probably for a midseason run, is imminent, the source said.

Dear God/Eris/Occupant:

I will give up my dreams of conquering Eastern Europe if you make this happen.


Erin Palette

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


What's this? A cup of buttermilk before me? This can only mean.... RANTING!

One of the comics that I used to read -- as in, I don't anymore -- is Elf Only Inn. I'm not going to tell you what it's about, or even bother linking to it, because as you will see in a moment, there really isn't any point. Elf Only Inn (hereafter "EOI") is written and drawn by a person named Sortelli... or at least it was, until Memorial Day.

You see, Sortelli had entered a webcomic challenge known as the Lazy Grind, which is a kind of Ironman marathon for cartoonists who habitually miss deadlines. They all enter and agree to stick to a publishing schedule; those who fail to meet the schedule are mocked. (Follow the linky for details on the rules and history.)

This iteration of the Lazy Grind started on the inauspicious date of 9/11/06. The first contestant (out of 23) washed out after 14 days. After three months, only five artists were left... and it carried on that way for a very long time. 257 days and 144 updates later, Sortelli finally dropped out of the grind, because he chose to enjoy his Memorial Day.

Let me say this right now: I have no problem with that. The man deserves a holiday with friends and family. What bothers me so severely is that, on Monday, he said he'd have a comic up on Wednesday... and he didn't. Not on Friday, either. In fact, it's been an entire week plus another weekend, and not only is there no comic, but there hasn't even been an announcement or an apology from the cartoonist regarding his absence since Monday.

I hear you saying, Way to freak out, Pal. Sometimes these things happen, you know? Cut the guy some slack. And to that I say, Shut the hell up, voices in my head. You're wrong, and here's why:

This is the last comic Sortelli drew before he went on his first hiatus -- in August 2004. Guess when he started drawing again? That's right: September 11, 2006.

Two years. Two goddamned years before he got his act together again. And since he's gone missing again I have a sneaking suspicion, like a stiletto slipping between my ribs, that it'll be at least 2008 before he comes back to EOI.

But it's not like you're paying for this comic, I hear the voices say. Again, I say: Shut up! You're wrong! I may not be paying money for this comic, true, but that doesn't mean I have nothing invested in it.

You see, as a writer -- whether of Pulitzer Prize-winning novels or of freebie webcomics of dubious comedy -- your sole, overriding goal is to make the audience care. A reader that does not have emotional investment in your story is a reader you're very likely to lose.

Sortelli succeeded in that: I have an emotional investment in the characters of Elf Only Inn. And dammit all to hades, if I'm going to give Sortelli what he wants, then he is fucking obligated to give me what I want, which is a return on my emotional investment.

And now he's done the literary equivalent of skipping town with my life's savings.

I don't read Elf Only Inn any more. He could start updating it tomorrow and I wouldn't know, because he's lost me as a reader. Now perhaps I'm being unfair in that judgment, Voices in my Head, but he's already done this to me once before, two years ago. And I refuse to click on that link "just once more" to see if maybe, perchance, oh-it-is-to-be-hoped that he's finally deigned to update.

This, you see, is the flip side of emotional investment. If you get me to care about something, and then take it away, I react -- who would've guessed? -- emotionally.

So yeah. Screw you, Sortelli, and screw Elf Only Inn. You had me, and you lost me, and it's your own goddamn fault because you took away something that I cared about. Maybe you don't care that you've lost a reader -- but you should.

I think I'll go invest my emotions in a webcomic that actually delivers. IE, not yours.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3

There's not much I can say about this film that hasn't already been said by a multitude of bloggers, none of whom said it better than Jeff over at Conditional Axe (née A Love of Great Trash). If, however, you crave a disssenting opinion, then may I direct you to The Explosively Talented Christopher Bird, whose critique is well-written (however incorrect and foolish it may be).

Though I mostly agree with Jeff, I want to make one point: this should not have been the third movie. I truly, deeply feel that this script, and that of POTC 2, should have had major surgery done on it to turn it into a single movie -- Pirates of the Caribbean: Davey Jones' Locker.

I hate, Hate HATE movies that have an incomplete ending, even when I know there's a sequel coming out the next year. HATE it. I see it as a sign of storytelling weakness. And so, to my mind, Dead Man's Chest is only redeemed by virtue of At World's End tidying up the plot strings.

So if you do plan to see it, here's my suggestion: watch POTC 2 again, and when it ends pretend that it's actually intermission. Then go see POTC 3. Trust me, it'll hang together a lot better and feel far more complete.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Troy Hickman: I Think I'm Having An Origin!

So Mistress Palette of the Umber Guard tells me part of my raison d'etre is to add more comic content to this blog (and who's more comically contentious than I am?), and she suggests I write about what it's like to come out with your own comic.

As I got to thinking about it, though, I realized that there's no such single defining moment for me. I didn't simply wake up one day and see my funnybooks staring at me from a comic shop shelf. Rather, it's been a series of small victories (most of 'em damned small), a chronology of dips and jumps and plateaus that have combined to make me the obscure, crotchety, yet hopeful character I am today.

So let's take a look at how I got from Point A to Point...well, Point-Slightly-Past-A...

Chapter 1: It's Not the Size of Your Comic (It's How You Misuse It)

I spent most of my early life wanting to write comics, and when I met my pal and sometimes artist Doug Lumley in high school, it looked like it might finally happen. We tossed ideas back and forth, and eventually decided to self-publish an anthology of our own creations, such sure-hits as "Tushy LaFlaire, Crimebusting Prostitute" and an anthropomorphized mallard living in a Melvin Van Peebles world known as "Ducklips Badass." We were all ready to take the comics world by storm, making our mark on sequential art like no one else had, until...we saw how much it cost to print a full-sized indy comic (and this was around 1984, when it was particularly pricey).

So the idea languished for years. In the interim, I spent my time having a series of bad to mediocre relationships (the story of my ex-fiancee writing on the wall in her own feces alone is worth the price of admission, but that's a story for another day), and working on my BA and eventual MA.

By 1991, however, I'd become much more aware of the alternative comics scene, and found myself pulled into the network of mini-comic publishers. Seeing what folks were doing out there with just a photocopier and a few bucks, I was sure the time was right to try self-publishing again, albeit on a considerably smaller scale. Doug and I decided on digest-sized comics (5 1/2"x 8 1/2"), found a relatively inexpensive mom & pop print shop, and cranked out our first two creations simultaneously.

Yoyo the Dieting Clown was the sardonic story of a bulimic funnyman, based very loosely on my own weight issues (though I've only mastered the bingeing, not the purging). Made-Up Stuff is Stranger Than Fiction was a series of one-panel gags, with a tone I've often referred to as "what Ripley's Believe It or Not would be like if written by George Carlin."

As I recall, we copied one of them on blue paper and one on pink, so we probably looked the part of proud new parents as we lugged a box of them into the Artists Alley area of the Chicago Comicon in summer, 1991. We sat up our table next to other mini-comics publishers, including my pals Pam Bliss (Sparky the Dog, B-36) and Nik Dirga (Amoeba Adventures).

For the next three days, we manned our table and paid the kind of dues that only mini-comics publishing can bring. If you've never sat at a big convention with nothing but a crude black & white, photocopied comic in front of you, with tens of thousands of elitist, opinionated fanboys walking by, I'd highly recommend it. It's good for the soul, and certainly for the humility. Eventually, you might even gain a bit of callousness to the "small press glance," the contemptuous look that passers-by give your rinky-dink vanity project as they make their way to "real" comics (careful not to pass close enough that they might actually have to talk to you). Holden Caulfield may have felt his essay was handled like a turd, but God damn it, he got off easy.

Over the next few years, though, it became easier, and a great deal of fun. We published several more comics, including two more issues of Yoyo, and a Made-Up Stuff Annual. We also turned out three issues of the critically-acclaimed Tales of the Pathetic Club (about people with OCD, again loosely based on my own troubled cranium), and a spin-off, Twilight Guardian. I was especially proud of the Pathetic Club stuff, and it garnered me a lot of awards and such in the small press community (and a letter of praise from Harvey Pekar, whose work had somewhat inspired the series; I still cherish that note today).

After three years, though, Avernus Comic (our imprint) still hadn't published a superhero comic (strange, given what capes-and-tights fans Doug and I both were). That changed in 1994, however, when I came up with an idea for a donut shop that catered to superheroes and villains, a shop called Holey Crullers. It was a move that would change my life, albeit nearly nine years later, but that's a story for next time.

Next: It's So Stupid, It Just Might Work!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Pardon my curiosity...

... but who at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland is reading my blog?

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that you like my stuff. I just want to make sure that you aren't, you know, using my blog as a case study for long-term mental illness or whatever.

Drop me an email and satiate my curiosity, would you please?

Fun with Orthography

A brief lesson regarding homophones.

No, they're not gay telephones. Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently.

I bring this up only because, in the past 24 hour period, I've seen this on two different blogs: Bully's, who gets a pass because he's a cute li'l stuffed bull, and Penny Arcade, who get no such mercy because Tycho should know better.

A palette is either a range of colors, or the board on which artists mix their paints.

A pallet, also known as a skid, is the platform upon which cargo is stacked for transport or storage.

The palate is the roof of your mouth. When used by gourmets, your palate refers to the feel and taste of food and/or wine in your mouth.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Panda fails at life

From the Associated Press:
The first panda bred in captivity and released into the wild has died in China after less than a year — the apparent victim of a fall.

He survived less than a year despite nearly three years of training on surviving in the wild.
As much as I think pandas are cute and all, I think they should be allowed to die out.

I mean, any animal that's not willing to have sex deserves extinction, ya know?

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

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