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Remember my post last year about KFC's advertising comic from DC featuring the Flash and Green Lantern and the Colonel fighting his evil universe doppelganger Colonel Sunder?



Crisis of Infinite Colonels! )
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[personal profile] samjohnsoncomics is this comic creator on deamwidth whose been irregularly promoting his comics on [community profile] scans_daily since February. Today he gave a previewq of his comic The Almighties and the readers are not impressed.

Considering the story is a hyper-violent "parody" of the Avengers that's clearly coat-tailing on the movie's release, it's no surprise the fans at S_D are unimpressed. When people show up on the community just to promote themselves, it usually doesn't work out too well for them. Especially if they over do it and post a lot about their work. I recall a few other webcomic artists creators doing the same thing (oftentimes posting even more) and my usual reaction was not to even bother reading their posts. Though Sam Johnson's post has brought out all the snark and merciless opinions.

Knowing the scans daily community, I don't plan on posting any of my work on there anytime soon. Largely to avoid the kind of reaction a lot of the people on there are handing this guy. I at least appreciate how much my comic sucks, and don't really need confirmation.
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  Today at work they announced a new policy they were enacting. Since I'm one of the Target employees whose shift begins outside of regular store hours, I get a shift differential bonus for coming into work at dark thirty in the morning. That bonus applied to all of the hours I worked, but starting in a few weeks that won't be case.

At the end of the month, the shift differential will only apply to hours before the store opens. But since this will adversely affect my take home pay, they adjusted my base pay, giving me a twenty seven cent raise to make up the difference. Plus this was just a few days after I got the annual review, so in the end I will be getting sixty three cents more an hour. I will still be getting the shift differential for the early morning hours, this just makes up the difference for the hours after store opening I'll lose that bonus. Of course during the holiday period when we work overnights it will make for some very nice paychecks.

So why the hell are they doing  this? Mostly this is a cost saving measure for new hires who won't be getting these perks for being here so long. And this is the second time I've seen them adjust the shift differential for the flow team. Though last time they just cut it back by fifty cents, but gave everyone a 50 cent increase to make up the difference.
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 The First Trek movie was trying to be something bigger than what it was, and ended up failing from it's own pomposity.
 
Wrath of Khan brought the movies back to their roots, with focus on adventure and the characters.  All things considered, the stakes were really not that high, Khan may have had the Genesis device, but really the movie was about his personal vendetta against Kirk.
 
The Search for Spock was essentially trying to undo the ending of  the previous story.  The addition of the Vulcan mysticism was a bit of a hand wave and kind of flew in the face of what was known about Vulcans.
 
The Voyage Home had the biggest stakes of the original quartet of movies with the Earth in danger of destruction, but it was mostly just a fun caper with the cast playing the fish out of water in then Modern Day San Francisco.
 
The Final Frontier had not only the first movie's problem of trying to tell an epic story line bigger than anything they had ever done before, they also got saddled with a first time director with some clear ego issues.
 
The Undiscovered Country may not be the most beloved of the original movies, but I'd say it's the one that got it right. It had an epic story line of the Federation and the Klingon Empire settling their differences, and those conspirators who were trying to stop it. Yet it was still a very character driven story with the crew dealing with conspiracies aboard ship and the Kirk and McCoy trying to survive the prison planet.
 
Generations was a bit of a failure largely due to it being another epic story with far too much going on. And the Enterprise D crew found itself in the same position as  the original crew, or not really having their footing  with regards to the movies.
 
First Contact is the most popular of the Next Gen movies, and it has it's moments, but the focus on Picard's suddenly developed Ahab complex regarding the Borg was kind of out of character for him. Furthermore, the introduction of the Borg Queen was the first step that lead to the downfall of the Borg as a credible threat in the Voyager era. 
 
Insurrection should have been a home run, it had all of the elements that would have made a good episode of the series, but spread out on the big screen it was not enough and ended up rather boring.
 
Nemesis with it's Picard clones, Federation Dune Buggies and Data's idiot brother was just sad.
 
I have yet to really get into New Formula Trek. The first movie felt too much like an attempt to throw every possible trope from the series up on the big screen. It felt less like Star Trek than like Galaxy Quest: The Serious Movie 
 
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 I got my second page for THEY SAVED AYN RAND'S BRAIN!!! inked and scanned today, I also got excessively anal retentive about this page. I ended up setting up  a slew of guides in Photoshop and realigned all of the borders straight and square.

When I'm drawing I can't ever get the lines really straight, just sort of close. Each time I pull out those little blue lines out of the ruler edges they mock me for my imperfections. So I systematically removed the lines and used the guides and the selector tool to make nice straight lines and solid right angles. 

Mostly I'm just wanting to make certain I can crop the images down square. In the past I've left the border intact on the images, but now I've decided to cut it out to save on file size.
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 I've been wandering about some music blogs lately. Some of the one's I've visited regularly like the Manchester Morgue have ceased posting due to legal troubles with file share sites. But there are still some out there posting stuff. The public radio station WFMU's blog has a regular feature of various music blogs. Though some of their music tastes aren't my bag, it is interesting to browse a few of them. It was through that site I found Bodega Pop a blog of ultra obscure world music (a lot of the stuff they feature isn't even found on iTunes) and it was on Bodega Pop I found the band Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her. A pretty awesome Japanese band (though the lead singer's English is so good you could hardly tell)

The Free Music Archive still remains my go-to place, though I have been checking out their specific curator websites a bit more. The Seattle Public Radio station KEXP has an awesome blog with a song of the day podcast (which is also available through iTunes) in general KEXP has a lot of great music, and a lot more to my tastes than WFMU.




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Since about One 'o'clock we've had this huge storm front passing through town. It's spawned four or five tornadoes, including some powerful ones that ripped through Arlington. Thankfully the worst of it passed over where I am. Spent most of the afternoon watching news reports on the storms progress.

We end up by default watching the ABC affiliate's coverage, but I'm finding their meteorologist and overall editorial approach a bit of a pain. The had their chopper in the air following the storm and  watching the path of destruction, it just struck me as kind of lurid. I switched over to the NBC affiliate, and their guy was sticking to the weather map or switching to the news desk for follow ups. A little more traditional,  less focused on the devastation, and their weatherman came across as much more calm, focused, and reassuring.

 

Dalekology

Apr. 2nd, 2012 06:23 pm
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 Steven Moffat posted a pic on twitter that is quite interesting. It's been said that this season they will be featuring all of the Daleks for the show's 60th anniversary, and he's true to his word.

Clearly this is a Mark III Dalek  the Dalek version used for most of the original series. It's painted in the silver  with light blue hemisphere livery that was common during the Second Doctor era. Moffat and Smith have shown a great favoring of the earliest Doctors, and it's nice they include one that era's Daleks (even if it looks like a midget compared to later models)

In honor of the 60th, it would be wonderful to have a multi Doctor story. Patrick Troughton's son David has voiced the Second Doctor before, and there is  enough of a family resemblance that I think fans would accept it.
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 Think Geek, of course has it's annual collection of weird products The Admiral Akbar Singing Bass  seems to be the most absurd, bet likely to end up real item.  

George Takei has an interesting announcement on Facebook

Comicfury announced it's joining with Fur Affinity 

Devinat Art features Mandatory Cat Education 

From NPR: Tweets will shrink to 133 Characters

Reddit's new Timeline feature covers the beginning of time till the heat death of the universe

That's all I've run across so far
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I've started on the next story line for my comic. It came easily enough thanks to the title: THEY SAVED AYN RAND'S BRAIN!!! (yes, it has to be in all caps)  of course I took the name from the schlock-fi  film They Saved Hitler's Brain. Ayn just seemed the perfect candidate for getting her head disembodied and kept alive in a jar, what with her obsession with wealth and rampaging egomania and all.

I'm curious how this is going to play out in the various venues I post my comics. On ComicFury I'm not expecting that great a reaction, with how quick the turnover of new comics is on that site I expect it won't cause much of a stir, and my regular readers do seem to get my humor.

DeviantArt, on the other hand, should be highly amusing. I'm sure I'll get a lot of fun comments off of pretentious Objectivists  pointing out my flawed view of Ayn Rand and her "philosophy". I'm sure I'll annoy a few people with this, and honestly I would be kind of disappointed if I did not. 
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A few days ago I was flipping through the channel when I found MeTV. It's an all rerun station, but their selection is pretty good. The weekdays are filled with all of the classic sitcoms and 70's detective shows. Best of all, Saturday nights they show the Adam West Batman series and a bunch of other sci-fi series. Plus they have a horror host show called Svengoolie who does some lightweight riffing of the movies he's showing.

Overall, this is the perfect replica of a UHF station from the pre-digital era of TV. Some of the Dallas viewers posted on their Facebook page comparing this station to the old Channel 39 of bygone days (back before it became a Univison affiliate)

In general I find I love this station, and I think Weird Al summed it up best...
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Though I spent a lot of today in frustration. I was trying to get the apple TV my brother gave my mom last Christmas working, and it's been a lot of difficulty. The Apple TV does not want to work with the projector, nor can I get the router working with anything.

Since five bucks will buy me a DVI to VGA adapter and that will allow me to run the projector directly off the computer, I figure that is probably the easiest solution.

I also tried watching Iron Man from Netflix, and naturally I got a scratched up disk that jerked around to the point of being unwatchable. So stuck it back in the envelope and sent it back.

I guess I'll just put Doctor Who on the big screen tonight and enjoy Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton snarking at each other.
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Let's review a bit of history...

It's 1990, Kuwait was occupied by the Iraqis, there is an increasing drumbeat for war and a young girl named Nayirah who says she is a nurse and comes before Congressional Human Rights Caucus and tells the horrible tale of how Iraqi soldiers entered their her hospital stealing incubators and leaving babies to die on the floor.

What wasn't told to the Commission or the public at the time was that the girl who was giving this testimony was the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador, and was concocted by a PR firm to justify American intervention. Numerous Senators and the President used the story to illustrate the need for action. Considering the vote for war was passed by only five votes, this lie may have been what started Operation Desert Storm.

Now some twenty years later, we have Kony 2012; a slickly produced film about the atrocities happening in Uganda by the Lord's Resistance Army and it's leader Joseph Kony. Of course, the fact that Kony is not that active in Uganda anymore is pretty much glossed over in the movie.

This current situation reminds me heavily of the Nayirah testimony. Somebody is trying to sell war Uganda. Why? I'm sure the oil has something to do with it, but considering the people that are funding Invisible Children It's real easy to see this as some kind of religious crusade, and the founder of Invisible Children even suggests that.

At best this is a lot of misguided fundamentalist colonialism, at worst it's an intentional public manipulation to justify more blood for oil. Either way, I just find the whole situation sickening.
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The manager told us today he's supposed to have a conference call today with the Distribution Center. The subject is changing the truck schedule, he thinks we might be switching our non truck days (the days most of the crew has off) from Tuesday and Thursday to Wednesday and Sunday. To say the least the prospect of actually having time off on the weekend was well received.

Also today I decided to set up an account with US Treasury to buy savings bonds. It's a small thing, I'm just investing just $25 out of my paycheck every period. But given enough time it should at least amount to something. Combining that with my 401k with Target I might have a decent retirement set up.
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I have sort of been involved with this one little online community of open source comic characters. But recently I've pretty much given up on that line of thinking.

Open sourcing of characters has become a bit of an internet fad. The idea really sprung up around Jenny Everywhere a character that came into existence out of a cartoonist forum in the early 2K's. The character was pretty generic, but had a distinctive look. She achieved quite a bit of popularity inside the internet comic creator world and lots of people have used her at various times. Which is cool and what the concept was all about.

There are also a bunch of open sourcing people over at the Public Domain Super Heroes Wiki and the Free Universe site. I was hanging around on the free universe forum for a while, and even contributed one character.

But the more I looked over the work there, it did seemed like a depository for all those people who say "hey! I got this great idea for a superhero!" and plop it down. It seemd like everybody was creating characters, but nobody was creating stories. And that's why i think a lot of open sourcing is a bit of a dead end. Sure, Jenny Everywhere is a recurrent meme, but she's clearly an exception.She was created to be a flexible character that could be placed just about anywhere, and there was a large community of cartoonists behind her to propagate it.

The public domain characters from the golden age of comics have the advantage of a large body of work to draw upon, plus the continuing interest of new creators. All of which means the PD super heroes find an audience, but the newer OS characters are going nowhere.
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 For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity yelled and screamed at the liberals.three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation in the eyes of my sponsors. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke. I just did not get away with it.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities  we in the Right Wing Media are manufacturing another divisive and diversionary controversy to lay before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens  women should pay for these social activities have access to family planning and effective healthcare. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?  This is clearly all Sandra Fluke's fault. Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?  I bring up a strawman argument to justify my bigotry, In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom (unless it's a homosexual's bedroom) nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level. Even if the President is an illegitimate Muslim Socialist
 
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous insult and demean a woman I did not know, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke my sponsors for the insulting word choices."
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I caught Jaws on TV last night, it's been forever since I actually watched the movie. And one scene kind of stuck out at me. Roy Schrieder and Richard Dreyfuss' characters are talking to the Mayor after they had gone out and found the wrecked fisherman's boat. What I was noticing how frantic everyone was, and how they kept talking over each others lines, in much the way real people talk. 

Watching it made me realized that particular kind of performance is really uncommon nowadays. Admittedly it was more often associated with Robert Altman and his films. One good example being in M*A*S*H when the doctors first arrive and meet the rest of the staff in the mess tent. Hawkeye and Duke find themselves in the middle of conversations between Col. Blake, Radar and Father Mulcahy.

Just lately I can't think of any movie I have seen that tries to go with that kind of naturalistic dialogue. It's much more staid and focused with the usual back and forth pattern. I wonder if this is something the studios just don't like, since they assume the average film goer is an idiot who couldn't follow more that one track of dialogue at once, or if it's just something that has fallen out of favor with creators.
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Word has come out that Andrew Breitbart is dead. In case you are not familiar with this guy, he is one of the most notorious right wing muckracker, conspiracy theroist, and professional media liar in American politics.

And I am quite happy to hear he is dead. I know it's not something considered proper, but fuck, that bastard had so few redeeming qualities in my mind all I can say is the world is better off without him. Leonardo Da Vinci put it best.

How many people there are who could be described as mere channels for food,
producers of excrement, fillers of latrines, for they have no other purpose in this world;
they practice no virtue whatsoever; all that remains after them is a full latrine.
 
And thatt's probably the most fitting epitaph for  this man.

 
 
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Furry Fiesta is one of the other two conventions that hold their event at the same hotel we use for Fencon. I was curious how they used the space and how the convention worked, so I went out there today and spent a few hours wandering about the con.

Registration was the first real difference. They had it set up in two bays of the Red Oak Ballroom (the areas we used for programming last year.) Normally we just have that set up in the hallway. They also did something I know we have been wanting to do for quite a while; they had three or four computers set up in the reg room to allow people to type in their information, thus bypassing the massive amount of data entry the convention has to do to maintain their membership list with paper forms.

They also had one thing in Registration that was downright awesome, they had those printable plastic badges instead of the paper badges we stuck in the sleeves.

The third bay of the Trinity was given over to their artist alley. The deal with their artist alley was first come/first serve every day. Which kind of surprised me, but considering how many artists there are in the fandom, I guess it would be sensible not to hog the tables all weekend.

Con Ops was located in the middle hospitality suite, the room we normally use for the con suite. Their con suite was oddly enough downstairs in the Whispering Oaks room, the old night club room we use for gaming.

Main programming and the dealer's room were more or less the same set up as our show, though in main programming the stage was oriented on the north wall.

Because of the Oak rooms being taken up the way they were, the secondary programming rooms were scattered all over the con, with one downstairs, and the other two on opposite sides of the second floor.

I got there about ten this morning, and stayed till about three. I noticed a lot of their programming features that Fencon runs in "prime time" were much earlier in the schedule. Their charity auction was around noon, but then they did have other events later in the evening that we don't, including a dance.

Of personal interest to me was their video room. I knew it would run heavy on the anime, but not that heavy. Except for screening the Mad Max films (one a day) everything else was anime. When I met FF's Head of Ops at the Fencon party he was kind of interested in how we acquired stuff for the video room. I might need to start some communication with them to offer a few other options for them.

Personally, I didn't get as much out of the con as I could have since I was on my own and my introverted tendencies kept me pretty distant from the group. I am thinking of going back next year, and making a weekend out of it. But only on the condition that the Great And Glorious Klingon Warrior Of Epic Legend Know Far And Wide As Skippy™ makes an appearance.
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Over the years, I've run into at least two people in my life who I would judge to be pathological liars. One pattern I noticed in both cases was how they tried so hard to make themselves the center of attention.

One guy was a member of a local fan club I was in for a while. He claimed he was this truly leet hacker and back in junior high he busted by the Feds for breaking into one of their computers. His other outrageous claim was to have some computer virus he said could effectively destroy any computer. He was also this pretty boy who was real good about stringing girls along. I recall he had two or three girls he was dating at once around Valentines, and ended up re-gifting what the girls gave to him to the others. At the big anime cons he was quite popular with junior/high school girls, but the fact that he was college age made him come across as downright skeevy.

The other was a coworker at Target who, it did not surprise me, did not very long. He was from Scotland originally, and I never found out how he ended up in Texas. He claimed he was in the UK military in their psychological warfare division, and he also said his wife looked like Carmen Electra. He was also one of those excitable extroverts that carried on conversations even when it was pretty clear nobody clearly cared. For the life of me I could not tell you his name now, but I recall very clearly all of his tales that registered so highly on my BS meter.

While I can't say for certain what they said was untrue, my gut just tells me these guys were just full of it. It seemed all they ever talked about was themselves, and tried very hard to make themselves the focus of attention. I must admit I didn't notice this when I regularly associated with them, but the pattern came to light over time. Being a fairly introverted person, I do have trouble understanding this need to make be the center of attention so much you need to lie just to try and impress people.
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