March 8, 2017
Been playing a lot of Overwatch. Making it a goal to play at least one hour as each character. That could take awhile.
- Started getting serious again with the Order of the Dragon stuff. Drawing it out in pencil, rather than on the computer. I just like the feel of it better. Going to try to do more of a hybrid workflow. The mix has worked well in other projects, I’m hoping for the same here. I always found a more hybrid approach more appealing, as there are some details that I can get better in pencil and some I can get better digitally. If I have what I consider to be a healthy start, I might start posting new pages in the next week or two. That’s kinda dependent on me stopping with Overwatch long enough.
- Still giving some thought to bringing back Chlorine and Acid in some form, just want to make sure I get it right. One of my main goals with that–and in writing here–is to get some more self-evaluation going. I might be too open and honest at times, but there is a goal at work. Try to share the ideas that will help people grow. I feel like that I failed that in the first go around, but I wonder if a more focused attempt might work for the comic.
- So I heard there will be Star Wars: Rebels Season Four. Is there enough story left to tell? I mean, I feel like the storylines for each character are wrapping up now–we got the freaking Obi-Wan and Maul showdown coming up–and the Rebel Alliance has essentially been formed. I just have to wonder if there is going to be enough story to tell and if it is really going to justify a fourth season.
- So I live the next town over from Middlebury, where there were protests recently about Charles Murray’s speaking engagement and a professor was injured in the course of events. I am honestly not that familiar with his views, but those I am aware of are ones I don’t necessarily agree with. I get the impression that his beliefs influence his research and potentially skew it. Not to fault having beliefs, but there are times when beliefs can interfere with your ability to observe, think and develop ideas. I would personally prefer to see people challenge his ideas than resort to violence, but I can understand the strong feelings.
- Freedom of Speech should be about ideas, but do when certain individuals aren’t really bringing ideas, should they be entitled to a platform? Is Murray really bringing ideas to the table? Was Milo Yiannopoulos anything more than an exploited and troubled individual? (Not to dismiss anything he said, but I do think there are some real personal issues at work there)
March 4, 2017
One thing I find myself thinking about more lately is problem solving. In particular, the desire and preference for the fast solution or the “Quick Fix.” This has been something I’ve noticed at work lately, as there has been a lot more… micromanaging in the cheese production process. I won’t get very technical or detailed about it, but there has been a lot of small adjustments that might solve one problem, but in the end only create two or three more.
I see this more and more in the news lately. Take Trump’s Wall on the Mexican border. Does it really solve anything? Drugs are still going to come in. A wall isn’t going to do a damn thing to stop that. Most of the “criminals” are already well established here. Undocumented workers? They are what keep a lot of agricultural industry going. They are the dishwashers. I don’t see a lot of Americans lining up to do these jobs. It might be a short term solution, but doesn’t it just create more problems and cost even more billions later on to maintain the wall?
I’m reminded of what Yoda said about the Dark Side being stronger–another case in which that puppet had more wisdom than most people–in Empire Strikes Back, when he said, “No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.” The point I see in that is that quick fix might seem easier and more seductive, but doesn’t it lead to more problems in the end?
In another life, with an ex, we had a couple of fish tanks. Each had probably five or six fish and my ex had suggested we get more fish. Personally, I was never really that interested in fish and we did struggle to keep them alive. I told her this and she was a bit miffed. I suggest the idea of getting a dog at that point, being something I had an interest in doing at the time. She ignored the suggestion and brushed it off, and I didn’t really bring it up again.
As serious of a step as that would have been, there were a myriad of issues that needed to be solved. We could have gotten a puppy. We could have gotten ponies if it made her happy. Or more fish. But would it have done that? It would have been the same deal with proposing. Yes, we could have done it, but would it have made a difference if she didn’t want to deal with those other issues? I mean, I lost count of the number of times I said, “we’ll talk when you’re ready” only to have her never really want to talk about anything. In a lot of ways, her quick fix of breaking up saved me from dealing with her drama, but I doubt it really solved any of her problems.
In general, I do find that the quick fixes are more detrimental to the long term than people like to think. One thing I’ve been doing more of lately is thinking about the long term. Have the long term goals clear and defined. My mother asked me the other day if I had “given up” on trying to be a writer. Given up? Fuck no. Admittedly the mental toll of working nights has caught up to me and I’m a bit more sidetracked, but that’s temporary. I’m thirty, I got plenty of time. If I leave my current job, I want to make sure its a better situation, which is the only reason I’m still there. I haven’t set up the better, long term situation.
February 10, 2017
I was reading something the other day about how Tom Perez and his bungling a comment about last year’s Democratic Primary. He acknowledged that the primary process was rigged against Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton and that the next DNC Chair Person would have to be “honest” and “transparent” to succeed. Then he essentially retracted the statement, stating that he “misspoke”. Or rather the party elders and establishment got wind of it and voiced their disapproval. Cue the groaning and eye-rolling. He was right the first time.
I’m trying to be a little less political, but this article I read kind of fits with my general train of thought on a number of matters. Our whole political system needs an influx of new ideas. Why do you think Bernie Sanders, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party had such a significant impact on the election last year? However, those ideas cannot be expected to flourish if truth cannot be acknowledged.
One of the overarching themes I’ve tried to deal with in my writing this blog has been the “Idea of Ideas” and how important it is to always embrace new ideas and information. When it comes to truth, I often quote Obi-Wan Kenobi from Return of the Jedi. In explaining his misleading account of what happened to Luke’s father, Kenobi states that “Many of the Truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” I keep throwing that line out there, but it is a good line.
Ideas were a focus of mine here, but how we regard those ideas is also worth looking at. Truth and belief can be subjective, but they can inspire ideas. I will admit that something I’ve struggled with is knowing when to challenge people’s truths and ideas. Where the lines are drawn. I have disregarded a myriad of them, but sometimes that needs to happen too. Although I would hope my writing here does occasionally inspire people to look at their beliefs, ideas and truths from a different perspective, I don’t claim absolute authority on right or wrong here. I’m sure there a number of opinions on that. I simply hope I challenged some truths and some new ideas came as a result of them. Even if it is just an expanded perception, I think it would be a benefit.
Regardless of the situation, ideas and truth need to be challenged.
January 4, 2017
A new year. Didn’t do one of these last week because of Carrie Fisher’s death. Kinda hit hard.
- Star Wars has been on my mind a lot lately. I had been reading a couple of the newer “Canon” novels, rewatching Clone Wars, catching up on Rebels, saw Rogue One. Even though the prequels did fail to live up to the hype in a lot of ways, rewatching Clone Wars does give me a slightly higher opinion of them. Clone Wars really was a fantastic war serial and helps to raise some of the weaker aspects of the movies. Still, Lucas did leave some gaping holes in the movies.
- Star Wars was really my first fandom and always will be. Like I said the other day, Princess Leia was really my first crush and I grew up with those stories. I might have strayed a bit during and after the prequels, but it was always the true love of fandoms to me.
- It occurred to me the other day I haven’t had Indian Food in forever. I kinda miss the saag and mango curries. Might have to remedy that soon.
- Working on scripting a new comic. Developing it into a blend of Final Fantasy and Firefly. I’m just trying to avoid making it out to be like East of West or The Dark Tower too much. Those are the real standard when it comes to fantasy/scifi western stuff.
- The Tom Petty song “Won’t Back Down” has been my theme of late. So easy to get dragged down by the negativity and bullshit of everybody’s drama sometimes.
December 27, 2016
Fandoms become part of our lives. While I’ve developed loves for a myriad of shows and novels, there was one that has always been there. The first love.
I remember being a kid and wanting nothing more than to watch Episode IV again. And again. And Empire Strikes Back. And Return of the Jedi.
There were a lot of reasons for that. There was a big one though.
She was just such a badass in those movies. Every bit of snark she shot at Tarkin and Vader just made me want to love her even more. Then she starts giving it to Luke and Han and you realize who the real badass of this movie and everything to come will be. And that was a lot of who she was in real life. I remember hearing a story about how Carrie Fisher’s mother was upset that her daughter wasn’t flying first class when they were filming Star Wars. She was in the room when her mother was giving George Lucas and earful about it when Carrie took the phone and told her mother, “Mother, shut the fuck up. I’m flying Coach.” Might not be exactly how the story went down, but it really fits Fisher.
Carrie Fisher was really my first crush. In a lot of ways, a lot of what I’ve looked for in a woman has essentially been defined by Carrie Fisher.
And I suppose there are worse qualifications.
Even after Star Wars, she continued to amaze. After overcoming her various struggles–including the loss of her friend John Belushi–she became a writer and advocate for mental health. Outspoken, opinionated and not afraid of the backlash, she was everything we needed her to be and more. She might not have done movies on the scale of Star Wars in the years that followed but her impact was no less significant.
Of all the iconic figures who have passed away this year, this one feels like it hits harder. She will be missed.
December 21, 2016
Finally saw it this morning.
Plot centers around the daughter of one of the engineers working on the Death Star after her father makes contact with members of the Rebellion. From there she proceeds to lead a group of rebels on a mission to retrieve the plans to the Death Star, which segues nicely into Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Overall, a powerful movie. Very much lays out the groundwork for what transpires in A New Hope and gives it considerably more depth. There were a ton of Easter Eggs and hints that I won’t even begin to get into. All the characters were amazing, very much people you wanted to care about and did.
The thing I heard the most complaints about was the use of CGI characters, primarily in the character Tarkin, originally portrayed by Peter Cushing in the 1970s. While I could understand those complaints, I thought it fairly well done and came across fairly well. And the other characters were well done as well.