Friday, August 29, 2008

Utter Randomness

Seventeen days. Not what I had hoped for in this, the month of "less is more."

My original 'Time Out' strategy (outlined a few posts ago) was, ehhhh.... let's say a moderate success. Could've been better but, more importantly, could've been much worse, too.

There was one week in August when I had multiple opportunities to stray from my plan, yet stuck to my guns and declined invitations for varied extracurricular (i.e. post-work) activities. That helped - but things quickly built up to previous levels and ... well, that's where the 'moderate' rating comes in.

Three nights in a row 'out on the town' can't really be considered cutting down on going out. It's not to say, in any way, that those nights were not well appreciated. On the contrary. Each evening held its own charm and enjoyment - which is precisely what makes turning down the opportunities so difficult!

So, it's a work in progress. I guess I was over-optimistic in assuming I could just shut it off at will. I'll keep working on it. I have to. I'm no C. Montgomery Burns.


I'll leave the analysis at that and move on to other unrelated topics. For one, the pants I wore to work today may have seen their last useful employment - for me, anyhow.

I've known for a while that they've been a bit ill-fitting. You know, just a bit too short in the leg... uncomfortably tight in the thigh/groinal area. See where I'm going with this?

Problem is, I've been too lazy to replace them. Save the fat jokes, please. Yeah, I could stand to lose a few pounds. File that under Common Knowledge. I know that these pants have gotten smaller over time due to repeated washings. Lord knows I'm not getting any taller - so, there's your scientific proof.

Bottom line is, I've had it with these pants. They were chosen today based on their color and not on their fit. And now I'm taking a stand and saying that fit trumps color. They're gone. Done. I'm sick of 'em.

For the most part, I've been wearing thick, heavy, corduroy pants all summer - because they're the most comfortable pants I own. Hot as hell but they fit. Yeah, Fall is right around the corner... but ignoring past improprieties does not bode well for future endeavors. These non-fitting, non-corduroy pants have to go.

While the current corduroy specimens should be okay for the upcoming season, it doesn't mean I shouldn't be in the business of picking up something new. Something that will be weather-appropriate come springtime. That, and I'm sick of wearing the same two pair of pants all week.

Mostly, I hated the effect these soon-to-be-discarded pants had on my ball-region while driving to and from work. Sitting at work. Walking around at work - and after work. You get the picture. I've had enough. My balls have had enough. They're gone.

Whew.. there. I've said it. I look forward to my new proper-fitting pants.


There was an article on today linking to an on-line WebComic. I'm not sure exactly how to reference a "Web Comic" but they're, basically, comic strips that are posted on websites. Not 'traditional' media. So "WebComic" might not be appropriate but you get the picture. Perhaps you already have a few favorites of your own. Even better.

Now that that's cleared up, the WebComic (what I'll refer to them as until I'm convinced otherwise) I was brought to is called Questionable Content.

It's quite entertaining. There are over, what, 1200 strips? I've started at the beginning and gone through the first one hundred, or so.

The early strips look markedly different from the current strips - but that's to be expected. Much like when I look back on the early posts in this space, I notice things have evolved. I'm not saying for better or worse, just that there is some noticeable difference. This phenomenon intrigued me. It's actually what spurred me on this afternoon to go nuts with this post, tonight.

Anyway, I really like the original lines in the early illustrations. Something about the thick ink lines does it for me. Perhaps it's the detachment from realism. I'm not sure - but I know I like it.

It remains to be seen if I'll continue to enjoy it. I'm thinking if I go through it sequentially, it will all be seamless and there won't be any noticeable difference from early to late versions. I'm anxious to find out, though.

What's really amazing to me is that the dude, Jeph Jacques, started his thing in 2003. Yah! 2003, can you believe it? And, as it appears, he's kept it going through today. That fact was my inspiration for tonight.

Obviously, completely different spheres of relativity are at play here. His WebComic is viewed and enjoyed by many - my pitiful WebLog is reluctantly read by few. But that won't stop me from blathering on... relating my thoughts and observances to the masses, or at least those which dare to blow two to ten minutes of their lives reading this drivel.

And to those - I wholeheartedly give my thanks. For real. I mostly do this for myself but I do appreciate knowing that there are some folks out there that actually read what I have to write. That's cool.

Okay - this bit was supposed to be about Questionable Content (and the bizarre community surrounding WebComics that I've been introduced to)... So - check it out. Start from the beginning (or not). And enjoy. I wish I was as talented.

For now, the bizarre forum community observation stuff will have to wait. That short visit was strange. Some real freaky, scary 'real' internet stuff. On-line arguments regarding the nuance of a 'forum thread' vs. a 'chat room'.

I was schooled. Then I was uninterested. It all happened so fast.

Regardless of my whingin', you read. Sweet - and thanks, honestly, thanks for reading.


Honestly? I don't know what the frig it is I'm to blabber about. Fuck. This segment was really different than it will be in four minutes for you in what was, probably, two minutes for me.

Be assured, there was something here. About two or three minutes ago, yes. It was here. Something was, that is. Here. This is where it was. Surely, I confess, it wasn't over there.

Yet (is it me or does this seem like the perfect Russian-language based English word ever? not that it even is one; i'm just saying), I could just as easily be describing the actions of my cat.


Alright, I'll have to come right out and say it. Keep it "Short 'n' Sweet."

Never mind. I was about to put a political opinion bit right here - not sure if that's the thing to do, though.

I'll have my opinion - and influence you all to it, eventually, - but an all-out political rant would totally alter this blog. NOT where I want to go with this. So I'll keep certain 'Search Terms' out of the discussion... Capice?


Shit. Gotta go. This was going to be a record length post. For me, anyway. Obviously. This has no relevance to anything else, hey! Right; never mind.

'Night y'all... sleep with sweet dreams and god bless ya

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Half Time

It's not quite half way through August, sweet August, but it is Hump Day. Wednesday. Which is the half-way point of the week. And that's good enough. Also, with the Summer Olympics well under way I figured "Half Time" was an appropriate title for this post. Although, I've yet to actually see a televised event which has a true half-time.

Have you been watching the Olympics? Like, really watching them? Not if you don't like gymnastics, swimming, or beach volleyball you haven't. That's pretty much what has been force-fed to us on the major NBC network feed. It sucks. During 'prime time' the secondary NBC networks are fairly bereft of coverage.

I suppose it's my downfall that I don't, yet, have HD - as there are some full-time HD feeds, if I'm not mistaken. But the percentage of folks with HD has to be small compared to those with 'regular' television. And for those of us saps in the majority, it all comes on after 1:00 a.m. I've been tuning in (in prime time) - but I wish they'd give some airtime to some of the other events. Just wait 'til next week when we're drowning in all things Track & Field.

There are plenty of other interesting events going on. Why can't they take an hour or so each night to highlight some of those? Thank the gods for the internet. At least they've done that right. There are live feeds on that are serviceable. You can't get video in full-screen (that I've been able to figure out) but pretty much everything is available.

So far, I've watched the second half of the Australia vs. Spain Women's Field Hockey prelim match (Australia routed 6-1, scoring 5 in the second half), some of the US vs. Italy Men's Water Polo match, last night's US vs. Australia Softball game in its entirety (US 3 - Australia 0; No-Hitter by US pitcher Osterman), a bit of Men's Badminton, some Women's Archery, and a bit of Men's Handball.

These are some of the sports I'd like to be able to view on the tele, not hunched over my laptop on a 3"x5" screen. Hopefully, as things get going, the secondary networks will pick it up and these will be available. Highly doubtful, though, with all the advertising dollars being spent. Because, as we all know, the Olympics aren't about the sport - they're all about the corporate sponsors, innit?

That being said, the tele's still much easier and more enjoyable to watch than the laptop screen. It can also pay off well.

Sunday night was the amazing Men's 4 x 100 Freestyle Swimming race in which the US pulled out a fantastic upset of France. The final leg swum by Jason Lezak (US) against Alain Bernard (FRA) was phenomenal. Bernard had been quoted earlier as saying something to the effect of, "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for."

Trash-talking in swimming? Gotta love it. The US beat them by a few hundredths of a second - but that's all it takes. I know it's not good sportsmanship to gloat... but the look of disbelief on the French swimmers' faces was délicieux !

Lezak's final 50 metres were tremendous. With about 25 metres to the finish he poured it on, catching up to Bernard and getting the touch in the end. It was damn exciting. Much more exciting than I can do justice to here. It's probably available on-line in the video archives. If you've got a few extra minutes, I suggest checking it out.

Swimming 'experts' say this was the most amazing 4 x 100 relay race - ever. That's not from me. That's from the experts. So you know it's good.

In fact, I'll make it easy for you. Here's the link.

You may need to install Microsoft Silverlight - but it's free. And quick. And it's worth it. You'll be able to watch all the Olympic action you want after that.

While I'm on links, check out this hockey goal by Australia's Nicole Hudson vs. Spain. The link goes to the full match replay - but, once it's loaded, scoot it up to about the 1h:09m mark (about 75% of the way) of the video and watch the next 2-3 minutes. Even better, watch the entire match.

For reference, there are about 25 minutes on the game clock at this point with the score 1-1. Around 1h:10m in the video, play develops in the Australian end and carries (quickly) all the way down field with a spectacular finish... Alex Ovechkin would be proud. The rout is on. Australia never looks back.

I tell ya, with high-speed internet, the video play is pretty impressive. Decent clarity (even better on close-ups) but excellent delivery speed. Once it's going there aren't many hiccoughs or delays.

The greatest benefit it holds, however, is that the events are broadcast without any commentary, commercials, or candyfloss studio pieces. It's a completely NBC-free experience. Nauseating Bob Costas.

Woah. Seems I've come down with a spell of verbositis. Didn't expect to ramble on so. Guess my Time Out update will be delayed.

In the meantime, check out some of the lesser known Olympic contests. Why not? You're already on the damn internet.