Your man’s gotta answer for his words, Burr.

-Hamilton (Listening to this a lot since I downloaded it)

Just a quick rant before I talk about comics.

Kind of expanding on what I was thinking about with honesty the other day, I was thinking the inverse.  When to keep one’s mouth shut.  This is a bit inspired by some of the political goings on right now, as I reflect on the general feeling of whiplash we get from our President and his statements on a variety of matters.  And how he often works against himself and his political allies in a variety of ways.  I think his tweets alone are the basis for a legal argument against a variety of policies and have often worsened a variety of situations.  Politicians as a rule tend to be very careful in what they say.  Because it will come back to haunt them.

My basic rule has always been to stand by what I say and if I cannot defend it, I shouldn’t be saying it.  Be it work, LMCBW, or whatever else.  I have a simple rule in place to stand by what I say.  To have the integrity to stand by what I say and defend it with evidence and thought out arguments.  One of the reasons I have never felt conflicted about any topic I discussed is that I put together arguments supported by what I believe to be facts and evidence.  In part because it can be easier to stick to logical, factual ideas rather than the fleeting promises of believe.  And I intend to stand by the views I put forward without denying the possibility that there is new evidence that my point of view might have missed.  Could always be more to learn.

 

And… Comics.

Had a brief respite from working on actual comics.  Just needed a bit of a recharge.  Did a few sketch cards.  Got twenty or so about done.  About halfway through the inking for the first issue.  Going to start lettering in the next few days.  Did a Draw-In thing yesterday with a few comic creators I’ve been connecting with in the area.  It was tiring being social for a few hours.  Cool people at least.One guy recommend a site for free fonts to use in lettering.  Already downloaded a couple and planning to get started soon.

Looking where my comics are right now, I think I could have been tabling this year at VTCC.  Mostly I just didn’t have my shit together.  Story of my life really.  I might try to be ready for a con later in the fall.

I’ve written a lot about ideas.  Beliefs and truths.  Points of view and facts.  Breaking those down and knowing which is which has become an increasingly difficult task of late.  Given how quickly our government and media is degrading into an Orwellian/1984 propaganda machine, the ability to differentiate fact and fiction has become a harder one to master.

Part of this comes from the various aspects of my personal life and experiences, but it does go all the way to the leaders of our government.  It is important to realize how far we go to convince ourselves of things we know aren’t true.  And how challenging it can be to find deeper understandings and truths in a lot of the ideas we cling to.

Listening to Donald Trump talk about Coal, I have to wonder if he really has this business savvy that he claims.  Coal is an industry who’s time has passed.  For decades it has made up a tiny percentage of our energy production, steadily decreasing every year as we come up with cleaner and more efficient ways to power our country.  To my knowledge, this is generally accepted.  So how is it good business to keep an industry that makes up a tiny percentage of our energy production on life support when we’ve already got better ways to do it?

And more local, the solar panels my uncle had considered putting in the old farm land.  He and my father had worked out a deal with a solar panel company, and things were moving in that direction.  Then the town select board meeting came up.  My aunt decided to attend and voiced some strong opposition to it.  Rather than get involved in a potential domestic dispute, the solar company passed on putting panels there.  Personal politics aside–I’m all for solar panels and was actually somewhat impressed that my uncle wanted to go this route–I would say my aunt’s choices in this matter show a lack of understanding of the situation.  Both her and my uncle being in their sixties and had some relatively recent health issues, so how much longer do they plan on farming?  Because they are not making that much money and will likely have to sell off the land and animals in the relatively near future.  In a sense I actually thought my uncle was making a smart decision in acknowledging that farming was not a long term plan by itself.

Paris Accords are on my mind so that is kind of where I’m starting with this, mostly because it parlay the point I’m trying to make about how we struggle to understand and accept truth.  There’s a lot about that just screams a refusal to understand these fundamental truths about our world, our economy and our future.

In general, I feel like there is a disconnect between the world we perceive and the world as it is.  In writing about relationships, this is something I’ve noticed frequently as much as it is prevalent in politics and economics and other areas.  We’re conditioned into accepting truths without questioning or truly understanding them.

Mild Spoilers, anyone that saw the Ghost and Chopper in Rogue One kinda figured where the next step would be.  On a side note, Marvel’s doing an six issue adaptation of Rogue One set to start coming out in April?  Seriously?

So season three of Star Wars: Rebels came to a close this last weekend.  Was mildly surprised that the season did not end on the Battle of Scarif.  It essentially ended with the crew narrowly escaping Thrawn’s attack and proceeding to Yavin 4.  Sabine led a team of Mandalorians to the Rebels’ aid, briefly returning before having to go back to continue fighting to free Mandalore.  That storyline appears to be the main story for season four, which I do have a theory on.

Ezra and Kanan are still present with the team, but this season did introduce the Bendu, who added a new dynamic to the Jedi storyline.  One of the things that seems to be happening with them is that they are being pushed more to the middle between light and dark.  Between Maul, Vader and the Inquisitors, they were confronted or tempted by the Dark Side, with the Bendu being the first to truly advocate for the middle.  That continued throughout the season, leading up to the final battle.

Overall, it was a solid season.  I think they neatly wrapped up a few plot storylines before they progressed into the finale and set up the next season.  I know that they officially list the events of season three unfolding two years before Rogue One and Episode IV, but I can’t help but think there will be a general progression of events to bring that point about sooner.  Maybe have the Battle of Scarif be the mid-season event?  Or even to start the season?  I like the midseason idea myself, but I really don’t think the season will end there.

My theory is that the opening of the season will involve Kanan and Ezra learning about Jedi connections on Yavin 4, Hera getting a promotion, a couple of quick checks on Sabine, some missions for Agent Kallus as he adjusts to working with the Rebels directly–maybe working with Cassian Andor and K-2SO?–with the Battle of Scarif and the Death Star coming about in the middle of the season.  After that, Mandalore.  I think the Darksaber history will be revisited as Kanan and Ezra continue their journey.  Maybe even some explanation of Ahsoka Tano’s fate?  I saw some speculation that Episode VIII will have some connections to the Old Republic stories, so it would not necessarily be surprising to see some of that occur in Rebels.  Especially since a lot of that history that has been confirmed involves Mandalore.

So that’s my prediction.  The group will be straight off to Mandalore after the battle of Scarif and that’s the big arc and focus for the season.

I got a few points bouncing around my head I wanted to touch on.  A bit on work/home separation, human nature… might tie some of this into a NaNoWriMo thing… Not sure yet…

The struggle of balancing work time and personal time has been something on my mind lately.  I saw something not that long ago about how Google has set up a gym and laundromat at their corporate offices, and I believe other places have implemented similar benefits.  Not necessarily a huge fan of this.

I actually have begun to turn down overtime if only because I feel work is trying too hard to take over more of my time.  I’ve been getting more concerned about how this impacts any number of things I wish to accomplish outside of work.  Our culture expects us to “get the job done” at whatever the cost, but that cost is ever growing.

An interesting  thought occurs to me in thinking about how I was considering a venture into farming over the last couple of years.  Mostly in that the separation is very difficult to consistently maintain in that industry.  That was one of my bigger concerns in that particular aspect if only because farming tends to be more of a lifestyle than a job.  Not impossible to find balance, but I would at least acknowledge the challenge.

I think it is an American thing, and not necessarily a healthy one.  We should have the people to make it easier to disconnect and live.  Just a thought.

 

 

First Statement:  People are silly.  I find myself thinking this due to a comment somebody made at work about how “men should use the men’s room and women should use the women’s room”.  There might have been a cheap shot about Hermaphrodites in there.  But what occurred to me is this:  Isn’t the whole premise kind of silly in the first place?  Isn’t it kind of sad we’re still at a point where we require separate bathrooms?  I totally understand the reasons why and they are legit.  As a culture, we’ve still got a lot of work to do in regards to respect and equality.  Really just stating the obvious there.

Second Statement:  Humans are not binary.  Lumping everybody into male or female, straight or gay just doesn’t work.  It never really has.  I was reading something not that long ago about how the percentage of women who have at least considered being with another woman is something in the neighborhood of sixty or seventy percent.  Guys are probably less inclined to take such a question serious enough to get real information on that, but I would admit to having given thought to what such things might be like at one point or another.  No intention of following through, but I would at least acknowledge the consideration.  Point is, we’re beyond the point where the binary designation apply.

Recovering from NYCC…

  • Been a bit burned out lately, but I think the NYCC trip has recharged me creatively.  At least a bit.  I’m hoping to do finish a few drawing in the coming days.  Want to finish those Catwoman and Black Canary drawings I was working on.  Going to try to do some shorter comics for the time being, rather than completely focus on longer works.  Might even bring back Chlorine and Acid for that.
  • Thinking of checking out some other gyms around the area, just see how they compare.
  • I did bit of a post about roles and responsibilities in relationships the other day, in part to sort out my opinions on Trump attacking the Clintons’ over Bill’s affairs.  May have gotten into some personal territory, but it felt like I accomplished my goal.  It was something I felt like I needed to do some delving into, if only so I can be a bit more clear headed on those types of expectations.  The issue of knowing how those roles and responsibilities are defined from relationship to relationship is one that I think has been hazy in my own life and in others.
  • I think over the next year I’m going to be moving along with my plan to liquidate my comics collection.  If all goes according to plan with the Stan Lee signings this year, I’ll have a considerable boost in revenue coming up as a result.  Planning to get moving on signatures for my New 52 Batman run, which I actually did pick up a couple more variant covers of.  I can get a lot of cash pretty quickly if I am smart about it.
  • I’m calling the going down to NYCC on my own experiment a success.  I didn’t die and I accomplished the majority of the things I wanted to.  I also got pretty well oriented to NYC.  Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind going with somebody next year, but I definitely want to make sure we’re all on the same page as far as what we’re down there for.

Some random stuff.

  • Voted in the state primary.  Feeling like I have to participate more.
  • Physically I’m feeling better than I have in a long time.  Still experiencing a lot of sleep deprivation, but overall good.  Last couple of weigh-ins at the gym have been at 165 pounds, so I’m making ground there.  Using the Serious Mass mix to make a 1,300 calorie shake has helped.  Might have been a bit disconcerting to be gaining weight as quick as I have, but I think that’s in part due to how much time I spend at the gym.  I established a solid baseline to build on and that’s helped to add mass quickly.  Also, I’ve been eating like a pig.  I’ve also developed a weird habit of feeling myself up more than I should.  Might be a bit of a bad habit.
  • Well, the work stuff is sorted out a bit and I’ve come up with a much clearer plan.  Basically I’m hoping in October I’ll be much more on track with getting the ball rolling on some business ventures beyond cheese.  Primarily in the areas of comics and graphic design, but there are other options I’m exploring too.
  • Related note, I’m thinking about relationships again.  I wish I had been hitting on the Medical Assistant at the Dermatologist’s office when I was getting my warts blasted.  I think her name was Megan?  Unfortunately I was getting warts blasted so I decided against that pursuit.  Oh well.  She was hot, but knowing my luck attached to someone already.  Still got an option or two on the table.  Might get the ball rolling in that area if a few things go the right way.
  • Why is it we make our lives so complicated?  So much of it is unnecessary, so why not keep it simple?  Kind of a continuation of a few thoughts I brought up recently.  Seems like sticking to that basic idea would do a lot of good.

Continuing to ponder the nature of ideas and beliefs a bit, a brief thought on gun control, some random workout stuff, a drawing and work update.

  • I revisited the Ideas theme I last week and I was thinking about that again.  The process of thoughts and ideas have been something I’m thinking about a lot.  I quoted Obi-Wan Kenobi, which I should do more often.  Anyway, I was thinking the quote I used.  It’s a line from Return of the Jedi where he’s talking to Luke about Vader and he’s explaining how how truth is dependent on point of view.  That’s a bit of a key point that I’ve been circling around.  Beliefs can solidify a point of view too much.  I am trying to emphasize ideas over beliefs if only because a belief limits and don’t necessarily work when new information does not fit those beliefs.  Ideas expand consciousness and perspective.  Create more possibilities and opportunities.
  • I was thinking about Gun Control and this idea of MAD popped into my head–when there’s a shooting every day, it can be hard not to think about guns and gun control.  By MAD, I mean Mutually Assured Destruction.  I’m applying the basic concept of the nuclear arms race to gun control.  We had nukes, so Russia needed them.  India had them, so Pakistan got them–or maybe it was the other way around.  Israel has them, so the entire Middle East thinks they need them–maybe it was the other way around and unconfirmed, but the point is still there.  That’s a bit of what I think we’re crossing into, where gun ownership has moved beyond self-defense and into a territory of an arms race.  “The criminals might have bigger and better guns, so I need them.” I can’t help but think that we’re just playing out the Cold War mentality with the escalation and increase in firearm circulation.  I think it is important to remember how close the Cold War came to ending the world and how that mentality could play out in our society today.
  • Enough serious talk for today.  Cranking on some pages.  Hoping to have a firm rotation and start date to be posting Order of the Dragon again.  I’m a bit angry with myself for letting work side-track me so much.  Also about the dragging out of the process of me changing jobs.  One day back at work and all the momentum from the weekend vanishes.  Mostly I haven’t made Stroganoff in almost a year and a half and I really want to.  Anyway, I’m going to start posting pages on a new Tumblr page I have going.  Did some testing already, not much happening with it right now though.  Going to slowly upload some pages over the next few days.
  • I got TimeHop on my phone and it occasionally pops up with some flexing selfies I took years ago.  Mostly ones I sent to my girlfriend at the time.  I just look at them and think, “Wow.  I look so much better now.”  And it is true.  Despite the general increase in my susceptibility to illness, I am pushing 160 lbs right now and I generally look and feel better than I have in a long time.  Definitely more definition.
  • Kind of amused by the whole Crossfit vs. bodybuilding back and forth.  I do look at Crossfit and see a few things that make me cringe.  As much as I try not to discourage people from exercising or getting in shape, there are things in Crossfit that just seem like a good way to hurt yourself.  Just throwing that out there.  Mostly I just feel a bit whiny because I didn’t kayak this last week.  Combination of work and storms.
  • Good idea I had for a post workout meal, Tuna Salad.  I basically make a big batch of it and have it ready to go for the next week.  My usual mix involves carrots, celery, cheddar cheese, minced onions, relish, mustard and garlic powder.  Lately I’ve been using an olive oil based mayonnaise, which has not been bad.
  • My parents have bit of field land they don’t use for much of anything.  They’ve rented it out for crop land, but there are spots they don’t do much with.  It is a bit swampy at places and a lot of hillside, so my mother has been wanting to pasture it off.  I’ve thought that would be a cool project to get into at some point.  I was thinking about it a bit more, and I would like to raise some goats.  I think it would be a really good area for goats and in general I think they would be fun to have around.
  • Quick add-on.  This afternoon, I got phone call.  It was from a relative, who worked with a state agriculture agency.  She does work with my ex’s farm.  She wanted to know the ex’s cellphone number.  I deleted it from my phone after a couple of months of us making fools of ourselves every time we exchanged words.  Now that I think about it, I think I could find it if I had to–not going to, but I think I could.  My question would be, after a year of us generally making asses of ourselves every time we exchange words, should I have her phone number readily available?
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