Monday, September 24, 2007

New Links

Just a note, I updated the links on the far right of the page, to include my favorite webcomics and a few extra blog links. Enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Flashback, 1989

Okay, so I don't have much on my mind at the moment, so I'm going to steal ideas from my younger self. Ooo time travel! During my first term of college, I took a writing class. Part of the homework was to keep a journal, where we would write 20 minutes a day, straight through, not pausing for any thought. An interesting concept... He had us start it on the very first day, and asked us to write about our impressions of the class, to turn in at the next class. I sort of branched out from there as my thoughts wandered, as they often do! I'll try to find somethign a bit more interesting from the journal as I read through it. It sure brings back memories...

September 26th, 1989 - 7:48AM

"When I first came into my WR-121 class I didn't know what to expect except possibly a lot of homework. The teacher in front of the class was an elderly lady with a British accent and I thought, "Well, this is good," because I thought she would be easy to get along with for some reason. Sometimes in classes you get kind, older ladies who are extremely patient in teaching. Well, anyway, she left and when no other teacher showed and the room gained 7 or 8 extra people I began to get a little worried. None of us said anything because I don't think we knew one another and that's pretty awkward to jump up unannounced and say "Hey, it's 2:09, should we just leave??" So, I wonder what would have happened if the teacher had not shown at all? I guess eventually we would have to discuss it amongst ourselves whether or not to leave, although some might just wander out if they were near the door. So, finally Mr. Barger got there and told us that the next time on Wednesday we would meet in the Science Building, #111. After the class I took a walk over there to check it out and find the room. In our old classroom, we had about 8 seats empty. This room was twice the size as our old one! We might either need to spread out or bunch up real close. A good point about it though is that the door is not 20 yards from the parking lot and it looked pretty uncrowded, so getting there and leaving will be no problem. Last night I went to my Effective Learning class, you know, one of those 1 hour 20 minute evening classes? I was pretty amazed that I liked the teacher and didn't mind being stuck listening to him drone on and on. So far I don't have any teachers like that, so I'm happy for now. All I have for classes today is a math class at 11 but I need to buy my books so I better get there by 9:30! Those lines are amazing! That's 20. (finished at 8:10AM)"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Collector

There's a movie called "Everything is Illuminated", which I've talked about before. Mainly, I've talked about the eastern European music in it, but Elijah Wood plays a character in that movie that I've found myself identifying with, lately.

Elijah's character is a soft-spoken individual, who has a deep interest in his extended family. In order to be as close to them as possible, he collects things about them. Most of the time, the items he collects are not even all that significant: a dental plate, or a coin found in their pockets. He dubs himself "The Collector" because of this, and although it may seem quirky, I can certainly understand the allure. I do it myself!

When people go on trips or vacations, they want something to remember the experience by. For some, thing means obtaining something pictorial, like a postcard or a small statue of something significant from the area, such as a tiny Eiffel Tower, or Statue of Liberty. Then, when they look at the object, it reminds them of the place.

I treat mementos a little differently; more like Elijah Wood's character. Seemingly inconsequential things, like receipts or business cards, take on a world of meaning to me. If I take a trip somewhere, my souvenir is typically a receipt. If you think about it, it has all the details you need to flash back to a memorable time: the date, the time, the place, and the thing you purchased. Plus, when you hold it in your hand, you recall the first time you ever held it, and it creates a definite link to the past. These objects gain emotions, unlike just a simple shot glass or statue, because they are unique to you and your trip.

In the movie, Elijah saves things that tie directly to emotions. There's a scene where he is eating in the Ukraine with his guides, and orders a potato (as he is a vegetarian and does not eat meat). The potato accidentally falls on the floor, and one of the guides ends up picking it up and dividing it around the table before giving Elijah his slice. Everyone except Elijah laughs, and it is an awkward moment in the film. Elijah's response is to grab one of his many plastic zip lock bags, and store the slice of potato in it. The guides are puzzled by the behavior, but I think I understand it very well. Later in life, as he looks at that bit of potato, he will recall the feelings (which are typically last longer than facts) and be able to relive the moment better than a diary entry every could. As illogical as emotions are, they are a direct link to the past, more so than pictures or words.

My favorite souvenir is a rock, roughly the size of an ordinary penny gum ball. It's a small, rough piece of obsidian that I obtained during my only trip to Europe in 1999. I have ended up carrying it with me every day, ever since, in my pants pocket. It gets transferred around, and has been lost more than once, but never for more than a day, and it always ends up back in my pocket. My father and I visited Europe in July of 1999, and one of the stops was a partially excavated city on the island of Santorini called Akrotiri, that was buried in a volcanic eruption similar to the city at Pompeii. We were asked not to pick up anything from the site, but as I bent to tie my shoe on the dusty ground, I noticed the very small stone directly under my foot on the path. It was nothing special, but to me it not only symbolizes my experience in such a strange place, but it provides me something physical to hold in my hand to remember the journey by. Also, I find myself thinking about the small rock, what it could tell me if it could talk, about the volcanic eruption itself and about the city before it was buried under a mountain of ash and lava.

It's good to dream about things, and remember that there's more out there than just the "now" you're experiencing, in order to put life in perspective. Plus, it's always good to remember where you've been and what you've seen, so that you don't forget what's possible in life.

Anyway, that's my thoughts for the day. Take care!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I really couldn't think of another good, noteworthy website that I visit frequently, so today I'm going to list my favorite webcomics.

Some people enjoy their print newspaper, and have their favorites on the comic page. I have my own daily comic reads, but all online! Check these out if you haven't seen them before, and let me know in my comments section if you have any favorites you think I'd like.

Sluggy Freelance: Pete Abrams has been doing this comic for over 10 years now, online! It's an engaging story, with some wonderful characters and clever humor. You probably have to start at the beginning to truly understand the characters and story, but it's such a fun ride! I envy you!

Funny Farm Comics: I've always loved Funny Farm. It started out simple and has grown so much since then, especially the art style. While still keeping to a simple drawing technique, Ryan Smith is able to put so much dimension and feeling into his stories. Might need to start from the beginning on this one too...

Sandusky: John Pregaman, Jr. has one of my favorite art styles. I even commissioned him to draw me a "Jaycatt", here and here. It's very Disney-ish, and how I wish I could draw furs.

General Protection Fault: Another serial story, so it might take starting from the top to "get" it. Well, eventually it became one. It doesn't get updated very often lately, but there have been some excellent storylines in the middle of the run so far. I highly recommend checking it out.

Sinfest: Nice little daily comic that I enjoy reading, about a young pimp-wannabe and his girl friend (not girlfriend, but just a girl who unfortunately is only a friend to him). The Pooch and Percival segments are some of my favorites. For a sample, start here.

Penny Arcade: Although this comic only runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the PennyArcade crew is pretty funny at times. It's mostly video game humor and commentary, but occasionally I'll spot something that's just hilarious. Here's a quick sample.

Questionable Content: I've really been enjoying this one lately. It mainly focuses on relationships and clerk activity, but you know, it never gets preachy or drama-filled. He always manages to keep it light. Very nice! Another one you might want to start from the beginning.

Sequential Art: Very hard to describe, but some nice characters. Yes, like most, it helps to start from the top!

Gene Catlow: One of my favorite furry comics, this one takes place in a universe with furs and humans, living together. Needs to be read from the top! This one's also a Monday-Wednesday-Friday comic.

Cigarro & Cerveja: The continuing adventures of a hare and goose, pretty funny... One of my favorites is here.

The Class Menagerie: The Class Menagerie has been finished for a while, but it is still my favorite furry webcomic of all. Vince Suzukawa's artwork is excellent, and he really develops his characters.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My continuing entries about places on the web I like to visit!

Although I don't traffic Snopes as much as FARK, since the content doesn't change that much, I find it to be an extremely valuable resource. Still, I like to check it once a week at least.

Snopes is a website that debunks urban legends. Sometimes it even proves them right. From time to time, you've probably heard outlandish things from forwarded emails and whispered comments from coworkers that seemed far fetched. My rule of thumb is, if I ever get a forwarded message describing some particular warning or outrage and wants me to forward it on to everyone I know, I head to Snopes and do a search on the particulars. More often than not, I'll run into an entry about the very subject, and discover that not only is it false, but it has been around for over five years and is only rearing it's ugly head once again to prey on our fears.

Barbara and David Mikkelson do an excellent job describing the legend and talking about it in unbiased terms, and I'm always impressed by the amount of research they do to discover the validity of some of the strangest claims. Some legends even claim more than one thing, and they'll even break it down to explain.

The main Snopes link I placed up there actually takes you to a "What's New" page, which I find is a great way to keep up to date on stuff that's "making the rounds" before you even get asked about it.

Friday, September 07, 2007


These next few entries will talk about what else I like to do online other than SecondLife :) Yes, there is more to me than just the musics and the catting around meowin' and purrin'.

During my breaks at work, and in the mornings, and heck, just whenever I have a few moments, I'll visit the news blog Fark.com. Fark is mainly a collection of strange and interesting news story links, paired with comments from a very large, and funny, member list. They're also big on cats, and every cat related story normally ends up with tons of cute cat pictures :D

Anyone can submit articles for inclusion on the main Fark page, but the ones with the funniest headlines tend to win and get posted for all to see. After all, it's not just the actual news story that makes it worthy for the main page, it's the humorous headline written by the submitter that plays a big part.

For example, some of today's funny headlines include (links go to actual articles, comments to the Fark comments):

"Two bridges in Quebec to be torn down after inspection finds microscopic evidence of the presence of Celine Dion": Comments

"Blind vet beats off gunman. He never saw him coming": Comments

Osama Bin Laden to release video on 9/11 anniversary. Said to include hilarious deleted scenes and appearances from Fidel Castro, Desmond Tutu and General Francisco Franco"
: Comments

Anyway, that's just some of the headlines I spotted for today. Fark is always good for a laugh!