Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The 40,000th post on a blog today titled “a year later”…

As many of you are well aware, today is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. What pisses me off is that all day… Katrina has been all up in my grill. I woke up, the first thing on the clock radio is the DJ saying what he was doing a year ago. I turn on the TV and instead of the morning traffic report, I find the local station is doing a SIXTEEN HOUR Katrina retrospective, pre-empting all their programming for the day. I get into my car, and every DJ on every station was yammering on about hurricanes. I popped in my Green Day CD for the morning commute instead. (something I NEVER DO!) I go to check my e-mail, and Hotmail has all these disturbing Katrina pictures. At work, the company plans to throw a “lunch picnic” of sorts to commemorate the occasion. My boss is downloading pictures of the devastation to decorate as we speak. I log onto bloglines to see what up in the world, and Everyone whose blog I subscribe to (with the exception of Drew, who never updates his blog anymore) has written about Katrina.

Sheesh. Now I have too. I feel like such a lemming.

The crime of it all is that I woke up in a good mood today. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, my next road trip is a scant 48 hours away, my weekend was spent creatively, and all in all I felt good. This is impossible to maintain when surrounded by people saying things like “we must never forget” or “yeah, the water was up to my waist before I could react” or the ever popular “the government did nothing!”. It’s bad enough that whenever I have met someone new for the past year, the initial conversation is ALWAYS about flooding, hurricanes, evacuation spots, FEMA’s ineptitude, evacuation plans, or how many relatives are currently crammed under your roof. And psychologists around the country are wondering why so many of us here in “the Big Hard” (not Easy anymore… trust me on this) are ready to snap?

I admit… this has not been an easy year. My bills are still behind, I changed jobs about as often as people are supposed change the oil in their car, many of my friends moved away from me (either physically or emotionally), and either the floors in my house have gotten weaker, or I’ve put on some weight.

Now is the Indian summer of my discontent. I need to get some sand under my feet this weekend, and some sun on my tummy. If anyone says the word “hurricane” to me on the road trip, I swear I will end them.

Of course, according to the weather channel, Tropical storm Ernesto will be following the path I was going to take… (Sigh).

Focus on the beach, Rob. Focus on the beach.

Monday, August 28, 2006

So, Rob... where are the cartoons?

Good question. The answer is that my cartoon-writing talents have been focused lately on helping Dave produce new, slightly brilliant and irreverant Dynoman comics. This weekend in fact, I went to Hammond and Dave and I spent the entire day writing at least fifteen episodes of Dynoman... and only stopped when the concept of Skeletor sitting on King Kong's lap yelling, "Quick! Take a picture" had me laughing too hard to write anything down. I promise the next few weeks of the strip will get exponentially funnier, particularly for anyone who was a "Masters of the Universe" fan.

At level ten on the weird-ometer today, I processed an order for sheet metal piping to be shipped to "Angola Prison Death Row". It raised the question of course, what the hell do they need the stuff for? I'd hate to think that I was party to a refit of the gas chamber...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Holy Crap, Annette! Duck!

More Videos on KillSomeTime.com

My reactions to this video were two:

One, how cool it would be to be lying on that beach as the plane came in right over me.

Two, how embarassing it would be on said beach when I crapped my swimsuit.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Saw an interesting movie this week....

This week, the good ol' Netflix queue delivered an unusual movie to my doorstep. (Unusual in that I am simply itching to discuss it a bit with some other folks that have seen it) The movie is called CSA, and is a mockumentary about an alternate history where the south was the victor in the Civil War (or as some of my neighbors would call it, the 'War of northern agression') It was labeled comedy, but only had a few laughs in it... still, I loved it, because it was definately one of those movies that makes you think for a while.

As I said, it is presented as a mockumentary by the BBC being shown on american (confederate) television for the first time, and comes off a bit like something you would see on the history channel including commercials, which provide a lot of the film's lighter moments. Products for things to keep your slaves in check, as well as ads for trade colleges (like devry) where the trades are things like 'slave sciences' 'overseeing' and 'breeding' make you laugh while your jaw drops. The Mockumentary traces the pivotal points of the civil war into the big change (England and France are convinced to back the CSA) and through to present day.

I don't want to go into too much detail here, because I would like for y'all to go out and rent this one and tell me what you think of it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What a difference five years makes....

ROB AT AGE 1: Spent a lot of time in the playpen, and destroying my parents furniture piece by piece. Did in the TV by opening a coffee urn my mom placed on it… did in a lounge chair by spilling my Dad’s model paint on it. The house was sufficiently childproofed by the time my brother arrived a year later.

ROB AT AGE 6: I wanted to be an astronaut, and had a crush on the cute brunette girl up the street. My time was mostly divided between playing in the back yard with the neighborhood kids and watching TV with my Dad.

ROB AT AGE 11: Discovered I was good with my hands, and had a fascination with flying. Started to become a bit of an introvert when I discovered comic books. Daydreamed entirely too much in class, and was classified as “gifted”. Thank goodness these were the days before ridalyn. Still watched a lot of TV.

ROB AT AGE 16: Wanted to be a cartoonist and a writer. Went to Brooklyn Tech because standardized tests said I should. First “published” cartoon in the school’s foreign language department magazine. Involved hot dogs attacking a castle. (the francs attacking allsace-lorraine I think) Dreamed of seeing more of the planet. Found friends that were just as strange as I was. Figured that the people I knew then would be in my life forever.

ROB AT AGE 21: Decided college was for chumps, worked at Aid Auto. Moved out into my first apartment shortly after getting my first car. Lost touch with a bunch of high school friends, made new ones. Still not a published writer, but a pro at getting rejection slips. Joined my first ‘fan’ organization.

ROB AT AGE 26: Second year at UNO. College no longer for chumps, and I’m Big Man On Campus. (Well, I’m a big man anywhere, really.)The legend of the Big Kahunah is born. Met Charity, but refused to date her because she lived with her boyfriend. Made a bunch more friends, lost touch with most of my NYC friends. Still not a published cartoonist, but manage to sneak a cartoon into the school newspaper that almost gets me fired from my job in the residence hall.

ROB AT AGE 31: Engaged to Charity, working in tourism. Still want to be a writer, and a cartoonist. Lost touch with some of my friends from college when I moved into my Algiers Point digs with Charity, made more friends working at Steamboat. Make statements about how stupid the average customer is on my website that almost get me fired from Steamboat. (the no talking about the job on the blog rule is born)

ROB AT AGE 36: Divorced from Charity, and have a crush on the cute brunette girl in the corner pub up the street. Slowly destroying my own furniture a piece at a time (spilled model paint on one… cosmic irony totally in full effect) Finally seem to have patched my life back together after hurricane Katrina. My free time is divided between playing video games with a friend and watching TV. Can feel some of my friendships growing more distant as time and circumstance takes folks in different directions. Strangely okay with that.

I started this post as a filler... seems everyone is posting to their blog today, and I didn't want to feel left out. It got strangely deep though, which I don't regret. Strange how cyclical it all seems, isn't it?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Idle hands, they say....

So, after seeing my ability with photoshop, My boss asked me if I could create a part we don't make. "Sure." says I. the result, the "reindeer flange":
But of course, I could not leave well enough alone. I was also really bored. so, I proudly present "Reindeer flange out for sunset stroll on beach with Angelina Jolie":

I laughed for twenty minutes at the concept.

In other news, I have decided to archive my cartoon efforts for your viewing pleasure. It will make it easier to find them when I tell people that I do indeed cartoon and post the efforts on the internet from time to time :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fun with photoshop...

So, been working on the company website, and I'm finding that a lot of the parts I want to put in the catalog are too big to photograph. Case in point, gutters are normally ten feet long, and would never fit on my desk. This looks like a job for photoshop! I found a part that resembles a small version of what I needed, and went to town.

Before- a piece of halfround downspout.

After- a piece of halfround gutter, but small!

I called my boss and coworker over to check out my handiwork. My boss said "You photoshoped the shit outta that!". My coworker refused to believe that it wasn't a small piece of gutter that I was kidding them with, to the point where he started searching my desk for it. I looked up, smiled and said "It's okay... I'm familiar with the old computer geek saying, 'DOES NOT COMPUTE'"

Lovin the job, folks.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Orleans update.... Hurricane plans and lack thereof.

Well, here we are looking at month twelve removed from hurricane Katrina. Here in the big easy, the news is getting better… traffic signals are functioning, businesses thought shuttered forever are opening their doors, people are moving into their homes after months in the FEMA trailers… but the good news keeps being punctuated by the horrid, like the fact that they’re still finding bodies in New Orleans East almost a year later. The mood is weird, but each day you realize that despite setbacks of stupidity and greed, New Orleanians are a robust bunch. This city will endure.

Unless of course… the city gets wiped from the face of the earth with the arrival of the next hurricane. Speaking of which, hurricane Chris churns somewhere east of the Caribbean, the first storm of the season with the potential to break into the Gulf of Mexico and wreak all sorts of havoc. Even though it’s barely a Cat 1 at this point, everyone here has an eye on it. Half the guys at the factory brought in weather band radios to keep updated, and it’s still at least a week out.

The good news is my cupboard is full of canned soup and veggies. The bad news is that I think I’m still too close to that cold I had to be welcome at my “evacuation point” at Casa Spiehler. The fact that Ace is coming home is still wonderful news, but Mama Stacey is gonna insist I wear a space suit until three at least doctors certify me germ-free.

It may be easier to just drive to New York should the hurricane head my way. If it wasn’t for the gas prices, I probably would make that my plan. Damn hurricanes. Damn Gas prices. Damn instinct for self-preservation. Shoulda moved to outer Mongolia when I had the chance.

Further updates as events warrant.