moon

Unexpectedly, Five Years Later...

It's... been a while?  Five years, I guess?  And eight months?  Yeah, about that.

I haven't been active on LiveJournal for a while (obviously), but I now have a Tumblr account, at alunclewe.tumblr.com, and I have been active there recently.  Well, sort of active.  More so than here, anyway.  Though I suppose it wouldn't be possible to be less active than I have been here.

In fact, it was in while writing a new Tumblr post (my longest one yet, I think, and one that in many ways perhaps seemed more like a stereotypical LiveJournal post) that I mentioned my LiveJournal and thought to look back on it and saw how just long it had been... and decided to write at least one last post here.  Well, I say "last", but I don't entirely preclude the possibility that I may post again here from time to time, but it's likely to be infrequent.  You can follow me on Tumblr if you want (slightly) more frequent updates as to what I'm up to.

In the meantime, because it sort of summarizes some of what I've been doing lately, as well as the backstory of how I came to make this post in the first place, I'm going to copy the entirety of my latest Tumblr post below:



So Little Time, So Much To Do

I feel like I may have already used the above title in an old post on my long-fallow LiveJournal, but even if I did, it can’t possibly have been as true then as it is now.

(Incidentally, looking at said LiveJournal now for the first time in years, I’m... rather aghast at what happened to have been the last post on it.  I ought to make at least one more post on my LiveJournal, if only to bump that rather embarrassing post from the final position and redirect any lingering LiveJournal “friends” to my Tumblr...)

So I haven’t updated my Tumblr much lately, and have missed yet another character update for Teras Terrace as well.  I’ve missed the last two weeklyartchallenges, and came very close to missing the one before that, and am going to miss the current one as well, seeing as the deadline is two hours away.  The truth is... I’ve been absolutely swamped with my new teaching job.  I thought I was busy last semester, with my teaching credential program, but it turns out to have paled in comparison to how busy I feel right now.  Between preparation for classes and grading, the job has kept me busy nearly 24-7, and I’ve been getting a maximum of four hours of sleep on weeknights.  I’ve just had no time for anything else.  And I feel terrible.

I’m going to go on, but because I don’t usually use this tumblr for such personal ranting (that is, stereotypically, what LiveJournals are for, I guess?  Maybe I should have posted this there?), I’m going to make this the first time I put the bulk of a post behind a cut...

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moon

Um... YMMV?

So, three years ago I made a post about a horrible, horrible Homestar Runner fanfic I had somehow run across. (I don't remember how I found it in the first place; I certainly hadn't been looking for Homestar Runner fanfic. I have little interest in fanfic in general, and the possible existence of Homestar Runner fanfic had never even occurred to me.)

Well, recently I ran across another mention of this awful fanfic. On TV Tropes.

On a page for fanfic recommendations. Singled out as "one of the best Homestar Runner fanfics out there, and one of very few to mimic the character voices accurately."

I am not generally in the habit of using the acronym "WTF". In this case, however, I think it applies.

I mean, seriously. If this hideous trainwreck is one of the best Homestar Runner fanfics out there, I shudder to think what other Homestar Runner fanfics must be like. If this one actually stands out for getting the characters right more than other fanfics, I can only assume that other Homestar Runner fanfics involve Coach Z, distinguished Oxford professor of gender studies, moonlighting as a brilliant detective trying to put a stop to Strong Sad's murderous rampage.

As I said, I'd never been particularly interested in fanfics... but this is leading me to believe that the bar for what is considered a good fanfic may be even lower than I suspected. Drastically lower. Egad...
moon

2010

Happy new year!

And... happy new post! Does that make any sense? Eh, probably not.

Okay, once again I haven't been posting much; I've been busy. But... that may change in the future. I have big plans for this year, and once things are underway, well, maybe I'll have a little more time to devote to things like this. This week, however, is critical. I have a number of things I want to get done this week. If I don't end up getting them done this week... well, it's not an absolute disaster, actually; it's still possible I can get them done the following week; but the sooner I get them done, the better, and this week would be the best time to do them since I don't have anything else going on.

So... yeah, and anyway, as much as I've said it before (and not had it happen), I do expect to be updating my LiveJournal a bit more often in the following year. Though not just on this account. I mean, this LiveJournal is under the name I use for my webcomics; I actually have two other LiveJournals, one for my acting career and one for role-playing, that I've hardly ever used. That may change. So, while I'll probably keep posting general updates about slices of life or nothing in particular here (as well as posts about my webcomic), I probably won't be posting about my acting (though it may get mentioned in passing) or my role-playing here, since I have other places to post those. (And if anyone should want to follow those journals... well, I'll probably post them later, or you can comment and ask about them.)

Anyway, we'll see how much I stick to my resolve about posting more this time. But in the meantime... I've got a lot to do this week...
moon

Clicker Conundrum

So. In the interests of getting back to more regular updates, I'm going to post something I've been meaning to post for months but never got around to. It's a bit of a logic puzzle—a fairly easy puzzle, actually, but interesting in that it actually arose from real-life circumstances.

Said circumstances being the following: When I moved to my current residence, I was given a clicker to open the gate and the garage door. The code for the gate in the clicker was set by eight switches, each of which could be either up or down (leading to 256 different possible combinations). Now, I decided to take note of the switch positions in case anything happened to the clicker and it had to be replaced. So I wrote down, in order, which switches were in the up position. But then it occurred to me that there was another way to record which switches were up and which were down: I could treat each switch as a digit in a binary number, 1=up and 0=down. To my surprise, though, the number they formed in this way was the same sequence of digits as I'd already recorded!

That description may be a little confusing, so let me give an example. Suppose that, of the eight switches, the first, fourth, and seventh were up (and the rest down). Then I'd record that, using the first method, as 147. Now, as a binary number, I'd put 1s in the first, fourth, and seventh positions, thus: 10010010. Which happens to be equal in decimal notation to 146.

Of course, 147 is close to 146, but it's not quite equal to it, so that wasn't the actual arrangement of the switches on the gate code. Can you figure out the real combination? The solution, as it happens, is unique.

(By the way, yes, I suppose it could be argued that it's unwise of me to publicly give away the gate code to the condo. However: (1) most people reading this don't know where I live, (2) the code would only open the gate to the parking area, not let anyone into the condo itself, and (3) I seriously doubt anyone would bother to get a clicker and set the code just for the privilege of getting into the condo parking area without permission. So... really, I'm not too worried about it.)
moon

Look! An update!

Hm. Looks like it's been over a month since my last update again. Huh.

Hm. Looks like I've started yet another update by commenting on how long it's been since my last update. Huh.

Okay, seriously. I am going to start updating this LiveJournal more frequently again. Seriously.

Hm. Looks like I've made another empty promise to start updating my LiveJournal more frequently again. Huh.

No, really this time.

Hm. Looks like I've said it was really going to happen this time, again. Huh.
moon

48 Hours

I really need to get back in the habit of posting here more often. Well, not "need" to, technically, I guess, but want to. And yeah, I know I keep saying that, and yet never follow through. Things have been busy, though (and yeah, I know I keep saying that too). The last couple weeks I think I've averaged nearly a shoot or an audition a day, which is good, but... you know, busy.

Anyway, for the past three years I've participated in 24 Hour Comics Day, a day when comic creators take up the challenge to conceive, write, and draw an entire 24-page comic in 24 hours. All three times, I've done it at a comic book store in Santa Monica called the Comic Bug. The first year, when I first resolved to participate in 24 Hour Comics Day, it was the closest host site, and I liked the place and the owners enough that I've been back regularly since, and always go there for 24 Hour Comic Day. It's been good. Last year, during 24 Hour Comics Day at the Comic Bug, I happened to be sitting next to the creator of 24 Hour Comics Day himself, Nat Gertler of About Comics. (It was Scott McCloud who first conceived the idea of 24-Hour Comics, but Nat Gertler was responsible for there being a specific day annually devoted to them... and who then, after turning over the reins of 24 Hour Comics Day to ComicsPRO, felt obligated to participate in 24 Hour Comics Day a few times himself to show that he hadn't just abandoned the project.)

However... this year the Long Beach Comic Con was scheduled for the same weekend as 24 Hour Comics Day. And the staff of the Comic Bug had already committed to be at the convention. Which meant they couldn't host 24 Hour Comics Day that weekend. They were hosting it the following weekend, but that wasn't technically the official 24 Hour Comics Day. As it turned out, though, there was a local location hosting 24 Hour Comics Day—Collectors' Paradise in Canoga Park. I'd never been there, but it was apparently the only participating location this year in the Greater Los Angeles area.

(Oops... Maybe not. Taking another look at the 24 Hour Comics website now, I see there was also a participating site in Newhall, Brave New World Comics. I'm pretty sure that site for some reason wasn't listed when I checked originally, though I guess it's not entirely impossible that I just missed it somehow.)

So... this left me with a choice. Do I participate at Collectors' Paradise on the official 24 Hour Comics Day, or at the Comic Bug the following week?

The answer was obvious.

Both.

So, yeah. This last weekend I was at Canoga Park, participating in 24 Hour Comics Day at Collectors' Paradise. (Where, as it happened, I was once again in the same room as Nat Gertler, though not actually at the same table this time.) And I completed yet another 24-page comic, "ROBOGHOST in 'The Net of the Damned'", which I will scan and upload sometime in the next few days.

And then this coming weekend, I plan to be down at the Comic Bug, doing it all again. We'll... we'll see how that goes.
cool

Reading is Good For You

So, yesterday I posted about something that happened the day before, so today I will continue the trend by posting bout something that happened yesterday. Maybe tomorrow I'll post about something that happened today.

After a year or so of not getting around to working out, within the last month or so I've finally gotten back in the habit... well, more or less; I haven't been going to the gym every day as I've intended, but I have been going more days than not. Part of the reason I haven't been going more days is because, well, I find the process very unpleasant. I hate working out. I want to lose my gut, so I'm doing it, but I really hate it.

Actually, working out on the machines I don't mind all that much. The hard part, the part that really kills me, is the cardio work. I don't know; perhaps I'm overdoing it. I am now going to describe in detail what my regular cardio routine comprises, which is probably something no one is interested in, so feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph. I run on the treadmill for fifteen minutes each time I work out. The first twelve minutes I run at six miles per hour, at a six degree incline for the first six minutes, then a three degree incline for the next three, and finally at one-point five degrees. The last three minutes are for cooldown: two minutes at four miles per hour (one minute still at a one point five degree incline and one minute at no incline), and the last minute a leisurely stroll at two miles per hour.

Now, I'd hoped that this would get easier after a few iterations. It hasn't, really. Each time I wonder whether I can get through it. (Occasionally I don't, entirely, and have to support myself briefly on the armrails for part of the time.) Each time, by the time I finally get to the cooldown, I feel completely worn out and at my limit. It's enormously unpleasant, but I keep doing it because, as I said, I want to lose my gut.

Yesterday, I had a movie shoot in the evening, and I didn't really have my lines down. Now, I'd briefly considered once or twice before bringing something with me to read on the treadmill, but had never done so, but in this case it occurred to me that I could kill two birds with one stone, and bring the script with me and go over my lines while I was running.

(Because it's irrelevant to the present story, and I don't want to either leave anyone wondering after the post is over or end it in an anticlimax by going over this then, I suppose I may as well state now that despite my concern about my lines (which I still didn't really have down when the shoot began) the shoot ended up going well, the director seemed happy with my performance, and there were no serious problems, the biggest issue being a cricket that got in the shot once.)

As it turned out, yesterday running on the treadmill seemed much easier than it had previously. This, in itself, wasn't too surprising; I guessed that having something to keep me occupied other than just focusing on the running probably helped out on some psychological level. Certainly I didn't seem to be actually exerting myself any less than usual; I had the treadmill on the same settings as usual, and the readout on the treadmill showed the same number of calories burned and the same distance covered.

What was surprising came during the cooldown phase of my workout. The treadmill includes instruments that measure the user's heart rate when he grips a certain bar. The heart rate monitor is not recommended for use at more than four miles per hour, so I don't use it until then. Anyway, I was startled to find that this time my heart rate reading was significantly lower than usual—about twenty percent lower. That seems like a big difference. So I guess having something to occupy me while I'm running does more than just make it feel easier—apparently it somehow does actually have some physiological effect. Assuming the readouts on the treadmill are accurate, I'm burning just as many calories, but I'm having a much easier time of it, and my heart isn't working as hard. This seems like a good thing.

So. I guess from now on I'll be bringing a book with me to the gym...