Bobette Nourse

The name will mean little to most of you, but she was a good friend.  She had been suffering from several ailments recently, and I heard only a few hours ago that she had passed away on Saturday.

It’s a shame that such like her aren’t around longer, but I guess we should be grateful for the time we are given.

She will be sorely missed.

Well, THAT was fun…

I’ve just spent the last couple of days trying to fix this blog. Comments were repaired by Yahoo tech support, but then I could no longer access the control panel or any of the other functions. The blog itself seemed to be fine, which lessened the worry somewhat, but damn do I need to do regular backups. (I thought Yahoo’s “snapshot” thing did that, but I guess I was mistaken.)

Anyway, more soon. Providing everything works….

UPDATE: Aaaaaaand, comments are broken again. It’s time to commence some serious drinking.


Well, it’s a new year. Lots of stuff happened last year, most of it rather unpleasant (at best). There were a couple of high points, but overall, it was a slow slide into what seems like a home stretch.

I grow less and less patient with the insistence of Facebook and Twitter. Yes, I’m on both of those, but they lost their luster for me some time ago. Whenever I sign on, I feel as if I’m walking into the local Mall, circa 1995.

So, I think in this new year of 2012, I’m going to return to the good old “blog” format. As a special bonus, I can pretty much say whatever I want to, since no one reads this anymore! Finally, a good use for that old devil, Time.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by, dear imaginary reader (I remember you from when I was a kid!). I hope to make more regular entries during the new year, including (I hope) the return of the PaintBlog.

The Obligatory “I’m not quite dead” Post

It’s always pleasant to get a comment now and then on this blog. I felt that as I’d seemed pretty certain when I “shut it down” in Autumn of 2008 that most of the folks who read here would have seen the “Closed” sign and moved on. So when I “restarted” it not too long ago, I figured I’d somehow have to find a new audience.

Of course, blogging now is so…2004, isn’t it? What with Facebook and Twitter and all those sorts of things. Who blogs nowadays? I mean, I guess apart from myself, I hope.

Since the Great Event of nearly one year ago, it might be thought that I’d have more time for doing this. Well, time and space being what they are, all in relative dimension to one another, such a thought had a hard time getting a firm grip on the old keyboard. But I’m going to make an effort to provide more content here. Of what nature I cannot say; perhaps a drawing, some random thoughts, a bit of fiction (can’t seem to give that away) or perhaps one of my long-threatened essays.

Hope to see you around more often, and thank you as always for popping by.

Apples 2.0

The painting above is slightly improved; the apples no longer look insubstantial (or insufferable).  It’s shaping up as a nice project.  A pity that circumstances have changed.  How?  Why, I’m glad you asked.

In the post below this one, I mentioned that I was doing a lot more painting these days, and that a lot of that energy was due to joining an online community of fellow artists.  Being around creative people is always fun and usually inspiring, and this group was no exception.  But you’ll note the use of the past tense in that second phrase.

The “problem” with creative people is that they are, by nature, also very sensitive people.  Since they pick up on ideas and moods and the turn of the light, their sensory apparati can make unintended leaps.

And that, in a nutshell, is what happened here.  The original list owner decided to turn ownership over to someone else, who then turned it over to a third party.  Both the first two then left over some unspecified argument.  Naturally, there was some speculation as to the nature of the argument–people do that sort of thing all the time.  I stay out of such discussions because 1) they don’t really interest me, and 2) they’re none of my business.  But it all seemed harmless enough.

Then, it turned nasty.  One email accused the remaining members of leeching off the goodwill and creativity of the (now gone) founders; this found little favor with the group as you might imagine.  Things got more heated, though there was still ongoing, positive discussion about turning the group toward the future.  It seemed like a bad little ripple, but we were riding it out.

And then, a really unbelievable email appeared, making accusations of bad intent all around.  And the group was either destroyed and recreated, or a purge of “unwanteds” was put into effect; either way, I suddenly (through no choice of my own) found myself an ex-member.  

I’m not the most social person in the world.  I hate parties and never go to them unless circumstances demand it.  This makes on-line forums pretty ideal for me; I can participate or not, and not have to feel as if I’m duty-bound to acknowledge others or be acknowledged by them in turn.  Sure, there are lots of egos, and little cliques form here and there, and if you say anything that might be misinterpreted, you’d better toss the appropriate smiley in there.  But for someone like me, who’d rather just close both halves of my carapace and be all internal, such groups are great.

Which is a shame the one mentioned had to melt down; it was helping me to create new works.  Oh well.  I’ve since had invitations to join some splinter groups, which I take as very flattering, but I’m not coming out of my burrow any time soon.  Are you crazy?  There’s bears out there!

Thanks for coming by, as always.  Later this week, you’ll see the new, improved apples. 


Fudd’s 2nd Law of Opposition

If you plug in everything at once, none of it will work.

I have a lot of computers at the apt, most of which do different things.  One of them, for eg, runs my Vonage phone so it’s not really a computer, but you take my meaning I’ll assume.  Since I’m always thinking of adding more, I decided to buy a 16 port switch that Office Depot had on their “please adopt me” table.  It looked so forlorn and lonely, and it was really cheap, so I said “Why not” and gave the nice man my nice money. 

I brought it home and showed it where the litter box was and made sure my cats smelled it, so they wouldn’t consider it The Enemy and kill it when I wasn’t looking.  I also set it in a remote corner so they wouldn’t be tempted to sleep on it.

Then I unplugged all the cables from my eight-port hub and, naturally, most of them fell behind the printer where I had to scrabble to gather them all back.  And I plugged them into the new switch.  I actually had more things to plug in but this didn’t bother me since (I reasoned) the iMac had been unplugged for a while.  I then reset the cable modem, the wireless router, the Vonage box and so forth…

…and nothing worked.  Nothing!  “Nothing” in this case also included my Vonage phone, so I couldn’t even call tech support!  (Puns about “Bon Vonage” are acceptable here, but only just so don’t push them.)

I tried putting the old stuff back in place, just to eliminate the idea that the new equipment had disturbed the sandbox, but still, nothing worked. 

I tried a different router, one which I had issues with in the past…it actually sat up and gave its best, though.  But still nothing worked.  I could get IP addresses, but no outside access.

That seemed to point to the cable modem–the one thing of which I had no duplicate at hand–as the problem.  What to do?  On July 4th, around 6PM?  There was only one thing I could do on this day, at this hour. 

Super Wal-Mart.   So I drove to the closest one and, yes, they had one left. 

Didn’t help. 

What the hell?  Did I not pay my bill?  Did I not do the proper sacrifices before the Web Gods?  They’re…not into goats anymore?   How could I have missed that?  (Of course, I had no web access.  No way to determine reality!)

Well, the rest of the evening was spent swapping cables and doing Start Run “cmd” and trying to regenerate IP addresses from good old DOS.   Pulling out the old “Start Here!” CDs and seeing if that would make things Start Here.

Finally, I removed all the new technology.  I unplugged and replugged.  And I noticed that the “wireless” LED on the router went into what looked like “madness” mode, flickering and blinking like it had downed about five or six Dr. Peppers.  (It would have been ahead of me at this point.)

So I unplugged, one at a time, until the “wireless” LED began behaving normally (steady-state light).  Plugged the rest back in (to the new adopted switch).  And suddenly, everything worked.  Even the phone.  I was starting to think that goats really were okay.  There was only one cable, to some aberrant device, that caused all the problems.  When I unplugged its cable, all worked.  Plugged back in, none worked.   Naturally, I unplugged it for good.

And started tracing it back.  Was it the new PC, the new XP box?  Was it the Vonage phone?  Was it some stupid net-storage thingy I had entrusted with access?  What was it?

I pulled the cable through the other various cables with which it was entangled and found…that the other end was still plugged into the switch. 

Yes:  I’d plugged the two ends of one cable into two ports on the same switch.  As Robert Frost once said, two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one that meant a lot of trouble-shooting and extra work, and that has made all the difference.

Know your cables, and where they go.   Sorry this story was kind of boring and all, but it was that kind of an evening.

Maybe next time I say interesting things!  Well, it could happen.  Thanks for popping by.

Do YOU Know About Season Fairies?

I think Sugar got herself a bit lost the other night.  Here’s what the landscape ’round these parts looked like, around 12:30 AM on Friday night/Saturday morning.  Bear in mind, this is April 7th/8th in North Carolina.

Snow in April!

The next morning, we had this.  Also bear in mind, I’m “on call” this weekend, so this sight didn’t cheer me at all.

Much as I love Sugar, I hate snow.  Fortunately, by the time noon rolled around, Salt had popped by and done his bit for Season-Fairy-dom. 

Thank you Salt!

Who knows where the snow went, and so quickly?  (Organ sting) Mwa ha ha ha ha, the Shadow knows!

So that’s the weather report for this first weekend in April.  I’ve actually got some painting updates to post, so I appreciate your patience while I bore you, and thanks for stopping by, as always. 

Appetite for Construction

Guess what, I’m still not dead!   I’m actually on what is laughingly called “Spring Break,” which generally translates to “lots of work.”

For example, this week has been taken up with building a half-pipe.  This is not a hash pipe; it’s something skateboarders use, and I agreed to help build one.  After a few hours, I sure wish it was a hash pipe.

More in future, and thanks as always for stopping by.

The Roads Must Roll

Things you might not have cared about:  for several years now, I’ve found it almost impossible to just sit on the couch and watch a DVD. I have to be doing something else, like playing solitaire or writing or turning my CDs into MP3s.   Something, anything.  Just sitting there makes me fidget.

What I do about ninety percent of the time is work out on a treadmill.  If you’ve ever done any exercise on a treadmill, you can believe me when I say there are few things that are duller.  It’s incredibly boring.  Which is why I moved the treadmill in front of the television and hooked up a pair of headphones.  With the right video, the miles just fly past. (With the wrong one, it’s agony on a stick again.)

In the past few months, I’ve discovered that anime is an excellent way to make the miles go quicker, which is why I’ll occasionally say a series is good “treadmill food.” 

(I bet some marketing guy could sell a lot of treadmills with a slogan like “Anime your way to fitness.”  He could bundle a Nordic Trac with a complete set of Vandread DVDs.  There’s another million I’ll never see.)

Anyway, last night, tragedy struck.  My treadmill broke!

Could you hear me yelling AAARRGHHH! where you live?   Yeah, that was me.  Sorry about that.

I was seriously wondering what I was going to do with all these unwatched DVDs.

So today I went looking for a replacement.  Tried out Sears, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart.  My main criteria for a treamill are:

1. Small

2. Cheap

3. Inexpensive

4. Doesn’t cost a lot of money

5. Counts up the miles per session

6. Low price

I don’t care about things like heart-rate monitors or drink dispensers or any of that.  As long as it tells me my distance and there’s a place to put the DVD remote, I’ll be happy.

Well, I actually found one, at Wal-Mart of all places.  Around $200 (still an ouchie, but these things can go up to several thousand dollars), smallish, and um, probably does other stuff too.

While it took two guys to get it into my car, I was able to take it out, bring it down the steps and into my front door, all by myself. 

I guess I’m not as out-of-shape as I thought.  I’m anime-ing my way to fitness after all!

Coming soon: what makes an anime series good treadmill food?  The answer may surprise you!  Because I haven’t quite figured out what it is, yet.  Thanks for visiting!

Stupid Graphics Tricks vs. WordPress, also HELLO!

Each time I try to post a, well, post that has graphics in it, I end up with an entry that has a massive amount of blank space above it.  I’ve got to pull code from older entries and adapt that to get something that makes me look less retarded than I am (and actually shows the graphics).  What the heck am I doing wrong?  Time to visit the forums, sigh.

In the meantime, welcome to our visitors from BridgeBunnies!  That has to be one of the greatest domain names ever, and we here are honored to be added to your blogroll.  The drawing of Lyar Von Ertiana your master refers to is here, and we must confess, we didn’t draw most of Lyar (or Sugar, either).  But we’re working on that!

UPDATE: The graphics thing seems to be related to the size of the graphic (in pixels) as it is displayed.  If I reduce the size, it doesn’t create a giant blanket of white. 

this time.