Friday, February 29, 2008

Home (the old one)

Today I have been getting a lot of images of Portland in my mind – sunny spring days, favorite neighborhoods, playing. I’ve been playing a little bit of pitch and putt at McMenamins, walking around Hawthorne and Belmont and Powell Butte, and looking at the blooming trees in the Japanese Garden.

 

It’s just one of those days when I miss my hometown.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

On anniversaries

Tomorrow is the first day of my fourth year blogging – on Blogger, that is. I used to do a bit of a blog on my old Joel and Steve site before this blog was up, but it was a lot different – I actually had to add the text into the HTML manually. (I had started this blog in 2003, but I didn’t add any posts for almost two years.)

After the comic site was pretty much over with, I decided to keep my blogging going, albeit over on another host, and then I transferred everything over to Blogger a few weeks later.

My first post here commemorated another anniversary – it had been nearly one year since the tragic death of my good friend Jeremiah. He died on February 29, 2004 – Leap Day – the first accurate anniversary of which will be tomorrow.

On Saturday, Feb. 28 my roommate John and I had driven up to Kingston to visit Scott (Ashman), and JJ had called me while we were on the way up there. He’d wanted to know what I was up to that evening, because he didn’t have any plans. I had considered shortening our trip so that I could get back to Portland earlier, but I decided not to. So JJ had a party at the house he was living in – whether or not it was his idea, I don’t know – and after a few rowdy, late night hours, something horrible happened which ended Jeremiah’s life.

For a few weeks after that, I secretly felt guilty that I could have prevented everything if I’d just been there for JJ that night. There would have been no party, no alcohol, no gunplay, no death. It was only by the grace of God that I began to heal. He showed me that even though He didn’t cause JJ’s death to happen, it was still in His plan, and that a greater good was to result from it. And even though I will never see but a sliver of the resulting blessings which have flowed since that time, I know that God has miraculously touched so many lives, including my own.

So here’s to the next four years – while we won’t have Jeremiah with us in body, we’ll always have him in our hearts and memories. God bless you all.

 

 

Thirteen cities whose namesakes are more famous in other states.

Anchorage, Kentucky, pop. 2,264

Atlanta, Wisconsin, pop. 627

Boston, Georgia, pop. 1,417

Cleveland, Tennessee, pop. 37,192

Dallas, Pennsylvania, pop. 2,557

Detroit, Alabama, pop. 247

Denver, Iowa, pop. 1,627

Las Vegas, New Mexico, pop. 14,565

Miami, Oklahoma, pop. 13,704

Nashville, Michigan, pop. 1,684

Philadelphia, Mississippi, pop. 7,303

Phoenix, Oregon, pop. 4,060

San Diego, Texas, pop. 4,753

 

I just felt like doing a list today.

1 Talked Back:

At February 28, 2008 at 5:44:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Phoenix, OR ... nice catch there.

 

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Yeah, as opposed to the real-life ones

According to the main Wikipedia article for The Smurfs, they “are a fictional group of small sky blue creatures who live somewhere in the woods.” (emphasis mine)

Fictional? You think?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bathroom observation

The men’s room in my department here at work has three urinals and three toilet stalls, one of which is the ADA-required stall designed for the handicapped. Now as far as I know, there’s only one disabled person here in this whole company, therefore this bathroom stall is just for him. But even if none of our employees was disabled, this stall is necessary (and lawful), because there could be clients or other visitors who are disabled who may need to use that stall.

It is because of this that when someone has to go the bathroom, and all stalls are available, the respectful thing to do is to use one of the normal stalls, just in case that gentleman happens to roll in and need to use the special stall. Only if the first two are taken should one consider using the third one. Yet just about every time I am in a stall doing my business, I’ll hear and see someone come in the room and walk straight to the third stall and get to work, even though the other normal stall next to me is unoccupied.

I really shouldn’t get upset about this, but I do.

Don’t get me started on guys who flush before they pee, then pee, and then walk away without flushing again. That one’s always baffled me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wouldn't you know it

I was finally able to get on the Internet tonight, and I had a couple of things I needed to do (catch up on bills), and about 50 other things I wanted to do when I got online. I have remembered approximately two of those things. And now, here I sit, moments away from leaving, and I still can't think of any of those things.

(I know, I could have uploaded a cartoon, but I haven't drawn any new ones yet. This is actually the first time I've opened the laptop since Friday. And now...I close it.)

Puff, puff

You know what bugs me? When smokers think that they are entitled to extra breaks throughout the day just because their nicotine cravings come on more often than once in the morning and once in the afternoon. And worse, when supervisors accommodate them. I once worked with a guy who would go outside to smoke every hour on the hour, regardless of what work needed to be done and who was waiting for him to do it. And nobody told him it wasn’t okay.

Please don’t give me the argument about non-smokers like me occasionally taking extra non-breaks to use the toilet. It isn’t a fair comparison, because that’s a biological function, not a behavioral one. (Yes, addictions are behavioral.)

3 Talked Back:

At February 26, 2008 at 10:40:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

buy candy cigarettes and join him

 

At February 26, 2008 at 11:36:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

I hate smoke breaks too... Luckily in my biz its kinda not the "in" thing. We had one lady who would go out every few hours and read from a trashy romance novel. Then she'd leave the novels in the breakroom when she was done for supposedly anyone else who might want to imbibe in trash novels.

P.S. Erin and I went out this weekend and we missed you. Palio's.

 

At March 4, 2008 at 9:15:00 AM CST, Blogger meagan said...

GRRRRRR!!
(That's all I have to say in agreement to this particular frustration.)

 

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I love computers

When I logged into an application on my work computer today, the same one that I log into every day, I was greeted with the following message:

WARNING! YOUR PASSWORD EXPIRES IN 10 DAYS! PLEASE CREATE A NEW PASSWORD TO PROCEED: __________

See, I couldn’t get into the application until I changed the password. So in actuality, my password expired at that moment, not in ten days.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Follow-up

[If I had regular Internet access, I’d just edit the last post.]

 

I just remembered that Sylvester Stallone goes by Sly. But that has never sounded right to me. It’s kind of like saying Jack as a substitute for John. Makes no sense.

Just wondering

Not that I know anyone by this name, but what’s the common nickname for Sylvester?

Vest? Vester? Sylvy? Sylly?

Is 366 Days dead?

No, it’s not. It has, however, been on a longer than anticipated break. Nicole and I spent all of last week painting and cleaning our new apartment in preparation for our move, and then we had the big move on Saturday. Yesterday after church we did a lot of unpacking and rearranging, as well as buying lots household items and groceries we needed. It’s expensive to fill an empty fridge!

Also, we haven’t gotten our cable hooked up, which means that we have no Internet until at least March 5th. And that estimate was made before there was another ice storm, so it could be pushed back further if there were more outages. So with no Internet at home or work, I am chomping at the bit, not only to start drawing again, but to pay bills, too. (It makes me nervous knowing there’s even the possibility that a bill could be late.) Fortunately, there’s Internet at Nicole’s parents’ house, which means we’ll be visiting there a bunch.

So, it’s still going to be a little while before 366 Days is back in full swing. And I have a lot of making up to do – but fortunately, I won’t have to think of ideas on the fly, because I have still been doodling here and there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Well, the Wx outside is frightful...

Last night on all the channels, they were having a Winter Weather Advisory for most of the counties around here. The one station I was looking at actually put this on the screen: WINTER Wx ADVISORY. Oh yes, there was plenty of room to display the full word WEATHER, especially on the crawl at the bottom that showed who was affected, school closures, etc. But apparently this is the new trendy thing, unnecessary abbreviation, just like how up until the early 90’s, everyone still used the words “emergency room” until the show “ER” premiered, then everyone just called it “the ER”, like they were some kind of hospital insider.

So this morning, I went out to start the car and sure enough, there was a small layer of ice built up on it. I went to the door and pulled the handle – nothing. Frozen shut. I tried the back door. I walked around to the other side. No luck. So I went inside and filled a bottle with warm water, took it back out and poured it over the seams. I tried the handle and still no luck. As I went in for a second bottle, it hit me: What if it’s just locked? So I got out the keys pushed the button. When I tried the door again, it opened right up. Dummy.

That’s not the end of it. I knew that Nicole would want an umbrella when she came out, and it’s kept in the pocket of the passenger side door. I went over to get it and, you guessed it, the door wouldn’t open. And I’m sure you have already guessed that I assumed this door was also iced over, and that I got another bottle of water to thaw it before realizing that the door was actually locked because it takes two pushes of the button to unlock all of the doors. I fell for it twice. I mean, twx.

2 Talked Back:

At February 22, 2008 at 6:08:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

This is so awesome! I love that you made multiple trips inside. Frankly I'd fall for it too.

 

At February 24, 2008 at 9:26:00 PM CST, Blogger meagan said...

Actually, Katie would NOT fall for it, because she's the one who taught me the adorable phrase "Two for Friends!"

 

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy 149th birthday, Oregon!

Go celebrate, Beaver State – take a day off!

Since Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859, next year is gonna be huge. The big 1-5-0. I should probably send Oregon a birthday card, maybe with a $20 gift card to Applebee’s or something.


Rare Internet-access-at-work Update: I just realized that it is also Arizona's birthday (admitted 1912). You and Oregon can party together amongst the cacti.

2 Talked Back:

At February 14, 2008 at 3:13:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

As a native-born Oregonian (Silverton) I heartily and gratefully accept your gracious birthday wish.

If I may be so bold as to make a gift suggestion, Oregon doesn't much care for Applebees. You know how outdoorsy we all are; might I instead suggest a (formerly GI) Joe's Gift Certificate, or, if you wanted to be local and funky about it, a gife certificate at Deek & Bryan's Next Adventure.

Oregon would also adore getting a gift card to any decent coffee place, just not Starbucks. Stumptown Coffee Roasters perhaps.

 

At February 21, 2008 at 12:42:00 AM CST, Blogger meagan said...

I was also thinking Oregon wouldn't care much for Applebee's. Maybe a gift card to a Made in Oregon store. Or, to Heaven on Earth, ooh, yeah, Oregon would like that, I bet!

 

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Soon to be a screen name on a Paula Deen forum

Every Tuesday is snickerdoodle day down at the company cafeteria, and I indulge most of the time. However, this week’s batch must have sat on a plate a little too close to the griddle, because they tasted like they had a thin coating of bacon grease.

 

That’s right, it was a bacondoodle.

 

2 Talked Back:

At February 12, 2008 at 4:05:00 PM CST, Blogger David said...

A Bacondoodle sounds mighty delicious

 

At February 13, 2008 at 12:47:00 AM CST, Blogger Katie said...

That is VERY Paula Dean. At Christmas my Dad was doing awesome impressions of her and how she'd be sticking a couple sticks of butter in EVERYTHING.

Sounds way gross... Just the smell of bacon and sugar cookie together, ew!

 

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Monday, February 11, 2008

When you have no wall available for a portrait...

...have one of these made for you instead. It's a wooden chalice that is custom lathed to your profile! I think I want one of these for Dinglemunch Day, which is a holiday I made up just now.

Turn Your Head

1 Talked Back:

At February 15, 2008 at 3:28:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

I did this, it came out as a bowling ball, but my game has improved

 

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Probably the funniest comic ever drawn.

Click the image to get the full comic:


about pigs by fuffer

2 Talked Back:

At February 10, 2008 at 10:49:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Just checked out the 366 days of creativity on Flickr. So fantastic!!! I'm so proud of you for doing this. Keep it up because its great creative practice. I thought many of them were so funny!

 

At February 13, 2008 at 6:59:00 AM CST, Blogger mitra said...

Aw, thanks so much! The entry title made my day!
It's my favorite one, too.

 

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First!

On August 8, 2010, the terrible Olivia Newton-John movie Xanadu will celebrate the 30th anniversry of its theatrical release.

I figure that two and a half years is far enough ahead to be the first to coin the word Xanaversary.

Here's a little something to help you lose your lunch:

3 Talked Back:

At February 9, 2008 at 7:43:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Ah, yes. Ex-anadu.

The movie that was produced solely that Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo and Stayin' Alive would have some movie to make fun of.

I do own the soundrack, but that's because it's got one side and one track of ELO goodness. You can't beat that.

Never saw the movie though.

Even Jeff Lynne remade the song "Xanadu" in later years.

In retrospect, it should have worked. Take class (Gene Kelly), hawt pop chyx0r (Olivia Neutron Bomb) '80 pure power pop goodness (ELO) and a plucky unknown (Michael Beck). This movie would be a text book case of wasted effort.

 

At February 9, 2008 at 8:52:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

And now that this page has been posted, it's the only Google search result for "xanaversary"!

 

At February 21, 2008 at 12:45:00 AM CST, Blogger meagan said...

You guys know that Xanadu is currently on broadway right now, right? Roller skates and all.

 

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Friday, February 08, 2008

366 Days update

Just a quick note that today will be one of those days where I probably won’t be able to post a comic. Nicole and I are invited to a Chinese New Year dinner party tonight. Now, don’t worry, I’ll still draw something today...but it will probably be just a sketch or two of ideas for future comics. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to make it up with two comics tomorrow.

Looking ahead, we’re going to be driving to Dallas next weekend to meet up with one of our Portland friends, Erin;  it’ll be difficult to keep the 366 Days schedule, especially if there’s no wi-fi at our hotel. I really will try to keep up, though I might have to post a lesser-quality comic for time’s sake.

Eventually, I hope to be able to draw ahead of schedule by at least a day. That way I can post each day’s comic in the morning, or even the night before, so that it can be viewed all day long. And perhaps I can even draw far enough ahead to be able to bank a few in case another night like tonight happens (which it likely will). And I may occasionally veer away from the single-panel comic, opting to draw something else, like a building, or a vehicle, or a funny-looking monkey. You Just. Never. Know.

1 Talked Back:

At February 12, 2008 at 3:04:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

the bars used to be closed on election day in Missouri, but I guess now they think booze could only help

 

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

If you can't vote your conscience, choose the one with the silliest name

Nicole and I went to vote in the Missouri primary last night, and I have to say, I felt somewhat unsatisfied after all was said and done. Let me give you the breakdown:

1. The law states that there is not to be any campaigning within 25 feet of the polling place. If I remember right, the word was “electioneering”. So, can there still be a guy with a sign at the driveway of the building? I remember when there couldn’t be any campaigning at all, no TV ads, no billboards, no yard signs, nothing on Election Day.

It’s funny, a copy of the entire electioneering law was taped to the outside of the door for your reading pleasure, right above a notice about a lost cat. It would have been hilarious if the sign had read: LOST CAT, ADULT CALICO, ANSWERS TO “VOTE FOR HUCKABEE”

2. When you go inside and sign the book, they actually ask you if you want a Democrat ballot or a Republican ballot. Huhwhatwhat? This means that, no matter what party under which you are actually registered, you are able to cast spoiler votes against the other party if you want to. Let’s say you’re a Dem who thinks your candidate has a better chance against Romney than McCain. Just conspire with your family, friends and neighbors to vote for him. (Of course, this could be prohibited in the fine print of the electioneering rules that I didn’t read because it was raining.)

3. When I received my ballot, I literally had never heard of half of the presidential candidates on there. You know what? A voter’s pamphlet would have been handy. Did Missouri send one out? Not to me, they didn’t. And because I am not much of a news channel watcher, and also, like Nicole, I generally don’t devote too much time worrying about politics or politicians, I didn’t really know enough about the candidates to make an informed decision. I still voted, but I kind of felt like I was cheating myself. Would have been nice to read up a bit.

4. Where were all of the other issues? Ballot measures, initiatives, school levies, library budgets, that sort of thing? And where were the local candidates? Was there nobody in the state or county whose job was up for grabs? I may have been spoiled in Oregon because of our measure-heavy ballots and literally multi-volume voter’s guides. I’ve dulled pencils on those ballots because of all the filling in of rectangles.

So there you have it. Primary Election 2008 is in the books, and I got an “I voted” sticker to wear proudly while at the mall.

I stuck mine to the leg of my corduroys.

1 Talked Back:

At February 6, 2008 at 12:50:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

For a time, we had an anti-electioneering law on the books here in Oregon too.

I recall being asked to remove an issue oriented button because of it. This was, of course, back when we Oregonians had to actually go to a poll (you might remember those days yourself).

If I may be blunt, I think anyone around here who moans about our occastionally-voluminous Voter's Pamphlets needs to read your post here. It's not so much that it doesn't suX0r to have huge Voter's Pamphlets, but as irritating as that might be, not having the information at all is far worse.

 

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Five things I have decided to give up for Lent

1. Saying mean things

2. Kicking puppies

3. Driving cars off of cliffs

4. Saying mean things to puppies, kicking them into cars, and driving them off of cliffs

5. Fried food

1 Talked Back:

At February 5, 2008 at 12:29:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Wow, fella, you gave yourself one hard row to hoe!

That's one job of work there!

Don't hide that light under a bushel basket!

Am I giving up hackeneyed, 'good-old-timey' aphorisms as reactions for lent!

Maybe! Maybe not! Who Knows!

(that fried food one is going to be the toughy!)

 

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Ah-choo, I guess, it's something to do

I sneezed a few minutes ago.  A minute later, my boss was walking around the cubicles saying hi, and she stopped here.

Boss: “Did I just hear someone sneeze?”

Me: “Yeah, that was me.”
Boss: “Bless you. Do you have a cold?”

Me: “Nah, I just felt like sneezing.”

And with that, I have just invented a new pastime: Recreational Sneezing.

And I thought Portland weather was wacky

Last Thursday, it snowed here – a few inches.

Yesterday, it reached almost 80 degrees.

Tonight, they’re predicting rain...mixed with snow.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I'm not going to watch the Super Bowl

I decided this year that it's just not worth waiting through all of that football just to get to the commercials.

1 Talked Back:

At February 4, 2008 at 10:22:00 PM CST, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Tell me that you at least caught the Charlie Brown/Coca-Cola commercial online....

 

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