Aqua Leung

Paul Maybury is a long time online acquaintance. He hung out at Jeremy and my table in Chicago in 2005, he contributed a pinup to Project: Gemini, he's been on Penciljack a long time and while we haven't done any big projects together, I consider him a contemporary. Plus he's a really great guy.

Paul's comic, Aqua Leung, is coming out in April. Here's a preview.

Do me a favor, if you're a comic book reader, have your LCS order Feb08 2122 from Previews so you and all your friends can pick up his book. Paul just moved to Austin and the more sales he gets the more I won't have to pick up his beer tabs.

Actually, we've yet to hang out. Do it so he can afford to get a car.

Carry on.



Eustace Einstein
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
A few weeks ago I drew these silly little cartoons for a contest I found by checking ApeLad's drawings in my Contacts list over on Flickr.

For those link-shy folks, the 83rd anniversary of the New Yorker is coming up and they put out a contest for cartoonists to come up with their vision of the iconic Eustace Tilley. I did five; a steampunk robot, a Thomas Jefferson, a Darwin, a Neil Armstrong and an Einstein.

I got a note today saying I was one of the 20 winners in the contest!

The winners are displayed on newyorker.com. It's not the actual print magazine, but still, it's nothing to sneeze at. Considering there were over 250 entries and most of them were VERY good, I was a bit shocked I actually won. Looking back on it, I only spent a few minutes on each and I felt guilty when seeing some of the entries that I didn't spend more time.

I really didn't think I had a shot. It was just another flight of fancy to occupy my Periodical mind.

So, I will be celebrating somehow. Maybe a few glasses of wine are in order.


I got another email saying that depending on print size, the actual magazine will be running a spread of some of the entries. They won't know till right before which ones will make it.

Also, I don't know if Adam K. won or not, he's being very mum about the whole thing (as are most of the winners) but Len from Jawbone has also won with his entry. Yay!



I decided to with Goggles4u due to their selection. They have some 2,000 frames to choose from. In reality it's probably more like 500 as each listing is the same frame but different sizes. Still, it seemed more than 39dollarglasses, but we'll have to see how the quality is once I receive them.

The ordering process was a no-brainer. Anyone who's ordered online will know how it works. You make your selection, put in your Rx, fill out your billing and shipping info and confirm the order. The tricky part is knowing what size of frame you need, and it's only tricky because it's something I'm sure no one thinks about. It's like hat size or blood pressure - something you should know but don't.

Never fear, they have a section on "how to order" on the site and it makes it relatively simple. If you plan on doing it, the trick is to not only have your Rx but your pupil distance and your frame front size. Take your glasses off, get a ruler, measure from arm hinge to arm hinge. That's your front size. Use that to search so you don't end up finding frames you like that are too small.

I only have two complaints. One; t here wasn't anything saying how long to wait until they were sent. There's an order tracking system, but in the initial confirmation I'd have liked to have seen something saying, "Thank you for your order. You can expect your new frame in 10 days." Two; there's a refraction index that increased the cost of the frames. It was a different in cost and lens weight but nothing saying what was expected in terms of your prescription, ie you have really bad eyes and can't use index 1.57 or something. It left it up to you.

As you can see, frames and lenses cost $25.99, no shipping charge. And you get all the schmancy coating for free. If I'm happy with these I'll probably get another pair with either transition tinting or sunglass tinting. That will be extra by about $30 or so, but in the end, $70 for glasses is still 1/3 to 1/6 the cost at an optometrist.

Today was spent so far getting donuts and going to the store. We desperately needed two more car seats so I grabbed those and some basketball shorts and the kids each got a toy to keep them happy. Chuck E. Cheese last night was an insane asylum. I've never seen that many people there. But the kids were well behaved and even gave their game tickets away at the end of the night. (We only had 20 and I wasn't going to stand in a giant line to get a plastic spider ring and a Tootsie Roll.)

I have to go back out because I forgot stuff and we may try to hit an art store and get a portfolio case for the 100 Artists Project artwork (the folders I have aren't enough to hold them all.) Plus I was thinking of getting a new Wii game. I want to get Metroid but I think the kids might want something too, maybe a dancing game.

That's all for now. Carry on.


Long Weekend

So Ms. A had to leave town for a while which means I have a long weekend with the kids. Half of it is already almost over, but I know it's going to be long and stressful.

Her friend's grandma died so the two of them are driving to Louisiana for the wake and funeral. They'll be back Tuesday. The mom of LMA's best friend watches a couple kids during the day so we asked her to watch G-man till Ms. A gets back. So I'll be leaving work early to pick LMA and her friend up from school and then dropping her friend off and picking G-man up.

That's just Monday and Tuesday. This weekend is going to be a lot of the kids watching TV, playing in the backyard and generally amusing themselves because I have a metric assload of work to get done. A partial list includes:

  • Lettering 11 pages by Feb 1st. It's a paying gig so it gets priority.
  • Lettering 5 pages in the next three weeks. Also paying (I think.)
  • Lettering 15 pages of another book as soon as possible.
  • Lettering roughly 12 pages of an anthology.
  • Updating the 100 Artists website
  • Auctioning the artwork, creating a book for sale on Lulu (and all the administrative stuff that goes with that.)
  • Reorganizing Penciljack (and finding out what the plans with that place are.)
  • Draw?
Plus I redid my task list at work and realized I have about 30 some odd projects I need to get done, most by the end of March. A good number of them are one off things; check a server size, order memory, download a patch, change some user data. I'm just so bad with planning that I get to the end of the day and some how haven't been able to finish any of them. I don't know what the deal is.

So now that Ms. A's going to be gone, all the plans I had to work are gone. She was going to take the kids out on Sunday so I had some time to get things knocked out, but now it's going to be me working or 10 minutes until the next spill or bruised knee or bent ego. Then meals and baths and stories and naps and bed times. I like my kids, they're very fun and cute. Some times I just wish they were a few years older so I could absorb a weekend like this. (To wit, even now I'm hearing "Daddy, I feel and my knee got hurt and dirt and I see it and it got hurt and I talk to you and I hurt and I got all over it wanna see?")

I've also not ordered my glasses yet. I have all the Rx info and measurements. I just haven't pulled the trigger. I don't know what I'm waiting for, I'll probably do it tonight. I found some snazzy red and black frames with wide arms and kinda narrow lenses. Kinda hipster looking without being too fashionable. I can't be seen as being too fashionable, people will expect something from me.

That's all for now, I'll try to be more regular with the posting. Even if I'm just blathering like this.

Carry on.


Hey, there you are!

89/365 Crazy Eye
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
I know, I haven't written in a while. I missed talking about Suzanne Pleshette and Heath Ledger. I missed talking about the historic meeting in Kenya. I missed talking about the tax rebate and the NFL playoffs and the presidential runs and the oscar noms.

To be honest I haven't been doing a whole lot. Lil Miss Austin had a science fair today and the past week has been getting ready for that. (She did a Mentos/Diet Coke volcano and learned what prycolastic means.) Work has been unusually busy and on top of it all my laptop died. I'm making this entry from the ancient Opti GX110 the kids use to get to NickJr.com.

But, I was able to get my eye exam.

One thing I noticed is optometrists make their money from sales of glasses and if you just go in and want an exam it's like going to a car dealership and asking for a bottle of new car smell. I think they realize that people asking for just prescriptions are getting their glasses online.

The doctor was very nice and the exam was quick. They kept asking if I wanted glasses and I kept saying I was just doing some yearly resolutions of having more frequent health check ups and I was in fact off to the dentist tomorrow. Total lie, but I'm sure better than "Oh I think I'll come back for glasses later."

So the next step is to measure this potato I have on my shoulders and send off the Rx and the stats to a glasses place and get some new specs. I'm excited.

I'm also going to be busy lettering a bunch of stuff so there may not be much art going up for a while. I stalled on my sci-fi/fantasy characters and I still have a faerie to do for a friend, but I need to get these commitments done first.

Ah, the life of the hobbyist artist.

Carry on.


Next Campaign - Eyeglasses

With the Suddenlink thing over and not much else going on that I'm willing to talk about, I'll be going through the process of buying glasses online. That should give me something to write about.

I read a story last year linked from Boing Boing I believe about a guy who tested a bunch of online glasses places and decided that it's inexpensive enough to order several pairs. Glasses can be like shoes or hats or jewelry in that they can become an accessory and not just an aid. You can have glasses you wear to work, sassy glasses to wear out at night, sunglasses for weekends and sports glasses for exercise.

I'm sure ideally laser eye surgery is more cost effective in the long run, but with online retailers coming in on average of $50 for a pair of glasses, you'd have to buy 40 pairs of glasses to come close to the average cost for the procedure. Most insurance plans (mine) won't cover it either so you're out of pocket. And yes there's flex spending, but my life right now requires I get my entire paycheck, thank you. You people who can actually save money each month are ruining the curve.

I don't mind wearing glasses. It's never bothered me. I can't stand things in my eyes, even eyedrops, so contacts are out of the question. So I'm going to give it a shot. I'm going to schedule an eye appointment today and get a prescription, then measure my ginormous head and get a pupil distance measurement. Then it's off to shop. I'll probably start at 39dollarglasses.com or goggles4u.com (the later is in the UK but has free shipping.)

I'll keep you posted on the progress.



It came in the mail yesterday, the 100th piece of art.

For those who haven't read back, the 100 Artists Project started as a small idea about a message board collaborative art project. It's since blossomed into a major endeavor and after only 10 months, 100 different people have sent artwork in to support the project. Some have sent more than one, some have sent something twice.

In that time, a single sketchbook has traveled the country 16 times. Before it's done it will have traveled to most US states as well as a dozen countries.

But for now the first part is done.

I have some reading to do now about which online printer could do this for me, but the next step is to get good scans of all the work and then put it up for auction. I was never able to secure a decent scanner so I'll be going to FedEx/Kinkos to scan them all if they've got something that big. Once that's done, I'll post all 100 pieces on eBay. There will be a link back to this blog and the main site. Then I'll spring for the ad on Fark and maybe a few other places. Then I'll update every message board I can find with the link to the auction.

I'm going to wait a while before putting the art print book up for sale, probably have it go online as soon as the auction is over. I don't want to discourage folks from trying for the original art first. I'm going to list the auction at $500 to start. It sounds like a lot, but that's $5 a piece and I think that's REALLY low.

I'm also going to close the form mailing page for a while as well. I need to retool the project and offer people a choice of which project they'd like to join. I want to reword a lot of the site so it's less confusing and people actually only sign up if they're going to participate rather than signing up to sign up. I also need to research a few other charities. I have some ideas for matching projects so we'll see if it all works.

But the good news is, the first part is officially over. We made it. We're done! I'm very excited. Thanks everyone.


Random Wednesday

I'm watching a Dr. Seuss cartoon we DVRed before Christmas. Actully it's not me, the kids are watching it. (I do have to specify that, you'd be surprised.) The books are better by far. It's not that the animation is bad, but the songs are really REALLY bad.

A story on All Things Considered today followed an apprentice tailor. He's studying under an 89 year old man who learned to be a tailor in Italy and has run a shop in Ardmore, PA for 51 years. The young tailor's name is Joe Genuardi. Watch this name, I bet you in 15-20 years there will be a line of clothing called Genuardi and the tagline will be Genuine Genuardi.

Futurama is on Comedy Central now.

Seen on Boing Boing, the Leggett & Platt Starry Night Bed comes with a badass PC, wifi, surround sound posts, projector TV headboard, LCD display, individual temperature control and to top it off, it has a vibration sensor that can tell if you snore and then raises the bed 7° to get you back to normal. For $25,000 it can be yours.

A Texas Commission is running a voucher program to get old cars off the road. If you qualify you can receive up to $3,500 in vouchers for use on a new car.

Basketball started up again after the winter break. Everyone's back at work and assuredly a little heavier thanks to the thick and sugary holidays. Ms. A and G-man had to get a laptop from Chip and dropped by to pick it up. G-man got to see his daddy put the last game away with a three pointer.

We're renewing our lease, which works out cuz Ms. A is painting walls.

All I got for now. Carry on.

Gun Discussion

What's a gun for Dad?
Originally uploaded by Melvind.
For those of you with Flickr accounts, there's a lively discussion on guns going on in the comments of this guy's image.


Stewart & Colbert

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert returned last night after two months of reruns due to the writers strike. The conditions for any show that choses to return is that no amount of the show can be written even by the host, which means both Stewart and Colbert had to do improv unless they wanted to be reported to the Writers Guild.

Stewart's opening was very polished and included graphics and a monologue that could be considered prepared material. Colbert had very little polish but his performance was much more energetic and less bitter than Stewart's.

At one point, Jon Stewart said (and I'm paraphrasing) that after 9/11, their show went off the air for a week. The writers strike is nine times worse than that. (Meaning the results, not the event.) However, his point of view was back and forth and even with comments like that and his residuals equation (distance from viewer to screen times two equals shut the fuck up) were hard to place in terms of which side he favored. Now obviously both performers want the strike to be over and they want what's best for their writing staff. I believe Stewart even attempted to pay his writers to stay but was denied this action by the guild, someone correct me on that.

The indecipherable nature of Stewart's attitude shouldn't have shocked anyone. In an AP story on Dec. 20th he and Colbert were quoted as saying, "We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence." The tenor of the two shows, however, was markedly split. The A Daily Show was a bit slow and bitter but only in comparison to The ColberT ReporT (Warrior Poet) which still contained it's high energy. This could probably be attributed to Stewart being more a writer and comedian and Colbert being more an improvisational actor and comedian.

I know Stewart's going to take a lot of heat for the things he said; at one point mentioning that there was some antisemitic reasons for the negotiations not proceeding. With Colbert is was obvious he was against unions, but was that Stephen Colbert the person or Stephen Colbert the character? It was hard to tell on both sides of the hour if either man or show was supporting the writers or the producers. It almost felt like they'd either grown tired of it and just wanted to move on or they were somehow pressured into going back on the air but didn't care for it.

Either way, they ran long and gave me a headache trying to figure out why Futurama was starting at 11:06.

So yes they're back, but don't expect there to be the biting social and political editorial you've come to expect. Shows like that art sharp because they have talented writers and hosts, but if you removed any part of that it basically becomes The View, and no one wants that.

Carry on.


Dane Cook vs. Every Other Comedian

I had to ask my more hip brother-in-law and his wife this weekend if they knew what the deal was between Dane Cook and Louis CK. I keep having to wipe bits of bile off my screen every time I go to Fark or YouTube and look up something about Dane Cook.

Apparently, he steals jokes.

So I did some investigation and from what I can find, Cook has appropriated the premises of four jokes. Four. That's all I can find.

Joke one: I'd like to name my kid a funny sound. (From Louis CK, but in fact Steve Martin did it first, so is he stealing from CK or Martin?)

Joke two: Seeing a guy on a bike get into an accident. Cook's joke is a guy being hit by a car, CK's is a guy getting hit by a car door. Both comedians have the same setup about trying to say something in the split second it takes for the accident to happen.

Joke three: Buying shoes and the clerk asks if you'd like a smaller size. Dmitri Martin says he'd take the smaller size because his toes were just severed off. Cook says he'd take the smaller size if they also had a bone saw.

Joke four: Itchy asshole. Billy Connolly did this bit back in the mid 80's. Louis CK reprised it about two years ago. Apparently Cook reprised the reprise more recently.

Ok, so four jokes over several albums and appearances. I wasn't able to find any more. Now. It's an known myth that comedians use other comedians' material. It's been going on for ages. Most of the stand up performers in the 80's borrowed from Pryor and Cosby and Carlin and probably even Burns, Lewis, Allen and Abbot/Costello. No comedian is pure. Subconsciously they'll hear something and eventually work it into their own delivery. Why? Because that's how artists work. Artists are human and their take on the world, while individual, is based on shared experiences. What are the odds that two comedians could have the same experience in a shoe store? Quite high if you ask me. How many comedians go to shoe stores? How many times have you been at a shoe store and they ask you if you'll take a different size? It happens. Is it joke stealing? Maybe.

I think what's happened is there are two groups of people who don't like each other and are using this incident to fuel the hatred. There are the hipsters who like the B-list Louis CK and the populists who like the media savvy Dane Cook. In general, hipsters and trendies and cool kids don't like popular things because they are popular and it never made sense to me. It could technically, commercially, emotionally and artistically be the greatest band ever but as soon as it's played on a top 40 radio station, it's no longer cool. And people will rail against it like an Orwellian abuse of freedom.

But why the hatred? Musicians sample all the time. Artists borrow from their influences. If someone blatantly ripped off music, they'd be outed like Milli Vanilli. But here's the catch, how many of us liked the music? If you never saw a music video or concert of them, did you still like the music? If you didn't know Cook stole four jokes, would you still think he was funny?

I'm not a rabid Cook fan. I have a couple albums and frankly I could care less if he adapted a few jokes. It's such a low percentage that it hardly seems worth the acerbity. And I'm not knocking Louis CK for fighting for what's his. He's funny as well and I really hope people can get past this spite. However, if you look at both comedians, if you took Dane Cook's manic and energy riddled performance away and you took Louis CK's swearing away, what do you have left? People trying to take daily observations and make them funny to other people, that's all. Given there are only so many things a person can do in life anyway, aren't you going to run into the same stuff over and over again?

I don't know. I'm sure there's bigger things to worry about. I don't think either comedian is the end all be all. Eddie Izzard's got them both beat. He's smarter and wittier than both these guys stitched together AND Bill Hicks to boot. (But that's a different story.)

Carry on.

Geek vs. Nerd

Recent events have made me re-examine my self proclaimed Geekness, or Geekocity. To me, a Geek is someone who is proud of their obsessions and choices to the point of being chic and trendy but without losing their self awareness. A Nerd is the same person who doesn't care about anything but their obsession.

To illustrate this, have some random and unstudied examples.

A Math Geek appreciates mathematics as a universal language, probably knows a bit of calculus, might have the quadratic equation tattooed on his or her back. A Math Nerd wouldn't have the tattoo and probably teaches a masters calculus course at MIT.

An Art Geek (not to be confused with Artist Geek) will have a favorite artist or three as well as a favorite movement. They know who the founders of dadaism were, can tell the difference between Klimt and Kandinsky and might have something Geiger drew as a tattoo. An Art Nerd has memorized the birthdates of all the Impressionists and doesn't have a tattoo.

A Music Geek (not musician) would be up on the latest music but would listen to none of it of their own volition. They would scour the local scene and only listen to unsigned or self promoting artists that you've never heard of and you feel stupid for not knowing who they are because they're "phenomenal." A Music Nerd might play a clarinet in a city orchestra as well as teach music theory.

A Tech Geek would have an account on slashdot but never use it. They'd have at least one gaming system, work IT somewhere and knows enough about computers and networking to keep their parents guessing as to what they actually do for a living. They might have a favorite cartoon or sci-fi character as a tattoo. A Tech Nerd is an Alpha Geek. They are the top of their field and are more than likely programmers after studying math in college. They don't like new software as much because nothing can be as elegant as what they have now.

The list can go on and on for any field or pastime you can think of. There will always be those who love it and those who live it.

With this in mind I got to thinking about me being a Geek or a Nerd. While I'm aware of comic books, I don't have a collection and I'm currently not reading them. While I read science fiction and fantasy and can usually tell what's good and what's filler, I'm not a LARPer nor do I write short stories for Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. While I'd rather play video games than go outside and play freeze tag, I can count on one hand the number of PC games I have. We have a Wii with three games, the kids play it more than I do. In fact, nothing that I do really qualifies me for even Geek status. I'm Geeky, Geekish, Geeklike, but I do not think I'm in fact a Geek.

Just because I have 95 space and Star Wars Lego sets, have a tattoo of a catperson alien drawing that I did, was first in line to see Serenity and can't find anyone to play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, doesn't mean I'm a Geek.

But hey, at least I'm not a Nerd, they don't have tattoos.

(All kidding aside, this reminded me of something we used to do in High School. There were a group of kids that I can only loosely call friends because there was this rivalry between most of us and I'm not sure were it came from, but we disliked each other as much if not more than we liked our actual friends. In Elementary School and most of Jr. High we were all friends, but then something happened and some kids became cooler and some either didn't become cool or went the opposite way. Whatever the reason, by the time we hit high school we rarely spoke to each other. What's also lost is how the Nerds vs. Jocks semi-annual football game came to pass. The irony not lost on me now was that the Nerds, all my friends, actually boasted a couple of athletes. I know two of us were on the football team and one was on the soccer team. The Jocks, however, I don't remember if they were or not. I know one guy was a tennis player and another played football at least one year, and another guy ran track. But whatever the match ups, we were the Nerds because we weren't as cool, they were the Jocks because they were cooler. I think the Nerds only one once, maybe twice and we'd played a dozen or so times. Weird.)

Carry on.


Things I Miss

Originally uploaded by legoloverman.
Recent posts on Boing Boing and Penciljack have got me in a nostalgic mood. I get this way a lot because I'm inexorably mired in the past and tend to refuse to acknowledge that the future holds any meaningful change. It's not that I fear change, or that I don't want change, it's that I don't think the change will be worth all the commotion. It's a cynic's life.

I was especially moved by legoloverman's classic space designs and it got me thinking that here was someone who must have been hoarding pieces since he was small. (I'm assuming he's roughly my age. I'm also assuming he's a he. Any girl classic space model builders going to disagree with me? Didn't think so.) Plus he must have either a keen appreciation for the pieces or he's an engineer or both. But what got me is there must have been a choice a long time ago, in someone's youth, that this is what they want to do. They're going to master this because they love it and they found out early.

How many of us can say that's happened to us? I'm venturing to say not many. Who finds out when they're 9 that they love crunching numbers or fixing pipes or cleaning septic tanks or breeding chickens or any other number of inglorious careers. I knew I liked to draw but because of my teachers in high school specifically and to a smaller extent college, I wasn't encouraged to draw. My parents did their best, but their main concerns were as follows and in order of importance; roof, food, clothes. After that I think we were kind of allowed to do whatever as long as it didn't involved grain alcohol, people named Skeetch or an amicable association with the local bail bondsman.

I didn't find out I COULD be a good artist - a paying artist, until I'd already made too many choices about what it means to be an adult in a working society. I didn't know about graphic design and when I was in high school, there was no web design. There were computers and computer art and computer graphics and presentations, but it was relatively new. There was desktop publishing in the form of brochures and magazines and other publications, there was advertising (which my grandpa had done but I got the idea he didn't want that for anyone as it was probably very stressful.) I never had the idea that I could support myself being an artist when I got older and because art and soccer were all I knew, that's all I did. When I broke my jaw playing soccer, that's the last I played and went into theater instead.

Of all the things I think I could have done differently, going into theater was probably the biggest one. If anyone struggles more than artists, it's actors. At least artists can freelance or work in marketing. Actors have waiting tables? Instead of acting and music, I should have taken more computer courses and learned about the business of art. In fact, if that's one thing I could pass along to young artists is that you have to have a head for business or else someone else will run your life. That someone may be a mid level management person in a corporate environment, it may be the line cook at the BK Lounge, it may be a spouse or significant other that supports you. But if you don't understand how to make your art work for you, if you aren't savvy and tirelessly self-promotive, you'll end up doing something you have to in order to be able to do something you like.

The ideal society isn't one of peace or prosperity or plenty or well being, it's a society full of people who do what they love to do and are recognized and rewarded for doing it well. I say ideal because surely no one wants to be the subject of Dirty Jobs.

And with that I ran out of muse. Carry on.


Suddenlink and KXAN Part V: The Wrath of KXAN

Well, here's the response I was waiting for from LIN TV owned KXAN.

Here's a basic snippet of how vicious this whole thing has become.
It appears to be all-too representative of Suddenlink's lack of customer regard that it would think that a Temple, Texas station reporting on news in Temple and Waco will be regarded by the folks in Georgetown and other communities it serves in the Austin market as an adequate substitute for one of the strongest Austin news stations. It is also a far more expensive and wasteful proposition for Suddenlink than the modest license fees sought by KXAN.
There's a few things wrong with this statement.

1) That customers rely on one local station for news. I haven't watched local news since we lost Time Warner and News 8 Austin last year. I haven't watched ABC, CBS or NBC local news for 10 years. I listen to NPR and read News8Austin.com. What I get from my local stations are national broadcasts. I watch NBC for Heroes, My Name is Earl, The Office and the occasional Law & Order. Can KCEN bring me that? You bet.

2) Lack of customer regard. I'm only going by what I've read in emails, comments and site postings, but from what I can tell, Suddenlink was worried about losing its customers, KXAN was worried about losing its media coverage. If KXAN was worried about its customers, it would have told LIN TV to suck it up and take a hit and allow Suddenlink to carry the channel until a negotiation was reached. Now, as if spurned by a lover, KXAN writes this to try and make Suddenlink subscribers feel guilty about continuing to receive cable.

3) Time Warner doesn't serve this area. I may not work in television, but I know there's no overlap in cable coverage, least of all in Pflugerville. In fact the only place there MIGHT be an overlap is with Grande Communications somewhere on the east side of 35 around Manor.

4) I can't speak to the expense, but my guess is that's a load of crap. If it's more expensive to run through Temple than get a license from LIN, why was that not done? If all KXAN wanted was the cash, and Suddenlink HAD the cash, I don't think there would be an issue. It doesn't make sense. And as to wasteful? I'm going to watch my NBC HD tonight, thank you KCEN. I didn't have that before.

And with that, I'm officially done with this issue. I'll let the big boys play or comment further. I still miss my Time Warner because of the OnDemand movies and News8Austin but honestly, I don't plan on moving of Suddenlink any time soon, and if I did it'd be because I just watch too much TV or we stop being able to afford it.

Carry on.

Suddenlink and KXAN Part IV

Via Suddenlink's blog.

Suddenlink signed a long-term agreement today (Jan. 3) with the Temple, Texas, NBC affiliate KCEN, and hopes to add KCEN as early as this afternoon to the cable line ups of customers who have been without an NBC affiliate since Dec. 31.
In addition, the HD signal Suddenlink was in negotiations with through KXAN (if you remember the postings back in November) could be available through KCEN very shortly.

It'll be interesting to see what KXAN and LIN TV's response will be, if they respond at all. Knowing how big companies work, I'd be surprised if there was any kind of public acknowledgment.

It's also interesting to be getting news from a town that's 50 miles away. (For reference, we live on the Austin/Pflugerville border. According to Pflugerville's zoning maps, our subdivision is not part of the actual city.) Downtown Austin is 13 miles from our house.

Back to your regularly scheduled viewing.

Latest Obsession

A - Arthur Dent
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
I'm drawing an alphabet's worth of science fiction and fantasy characters.

Someone asked me why I was doing this. I didn't have a good answer. I work compulsively which means I get as far into a project as my brain will allow and then it stops and I end up starting something else. I'm very bad at finishing things out even though they may be a good idea. Plus, if it's something that can't be done quickly, it's like it won't even be started.

I'd make a bad accountant.

I say that only because while I just posted one of my better penciled pieces in recent memory, I look at the three pieces of this project so far and get really down on the artwork. It's rushed. It's not quite comic book and it's not quite cartoon. It's like a hasty hybrid that doesn't enjoy either genre's strengths. However, I'm decent at doing it and it allows me to get things done quickly.

I don't know, I may be too analytical about it. I've got up to the J's already penciled, but I'm not liking many of them and I might start over.

Suddenlink and KXAN Part III

Here's more on the Suddenlink and KXAN/LIN debacle.

That’s why we have offered LIN-TV signficant economic consideration in the form of ad buys, free promotional spots on our channel line up, etc. In fact, we were making study progress toward an agreement on the economics of the deal, but the breakdown came when LIN refused to negotiate just for KXAN.


But please be clear on this: these negotiations did not break down over the small amount of money at issue with respect to the New Mexico systems. They broke down because Suddenlink refuses to pay fair market value for KXAN. If and when Suddenlink does agree to a reasonable payment for KXAN, you can rest assured that LIN will not let the deal fail because of the New Mexico situation.

Via Russ Johnson at Right Side of Tech

Here's some conatact info (copied-n-pasted, thx Russ)

Todd.Cruthird@Suddenlink.com; Jerald.Kent@suddenlink.com; Thomas.McMillin@suddenlink.com; Patricia.McCaskill@suddenlink.com; Mary.Meier@suddenlink.com; eugene.regan@suddenlink.com; steven.fechter@suddenlink.com

prog36@kxan.com; prog36@kxan.com; kxansalesma@kxan.com; information@lintv.com; Vincent.Sadusky@lintv.com; Scott.Blumenthal@lintv.com; Gregory.Schmidt@lintv.com; Denise.Parent@lintv.com; courtney.guertin@LINTV.com

I've seen a divorce and this looks like two people arguing over the stereo that belongs to one of the kids.

The thing is, I shouldn't watch TV. I should be drawing more. My kids like cartoons and I let them watch cartoons. I'd rather they play outside, but if they're sick or it's too cold or hot out, I don't mind them watching Noggin or Nick Jr. I think this stings so much because a lot of people are paying over $100 a month for what boils down to good picture quality on the local stations. Lost, American Idol, and Survivor, The Office aren't big because they're necessarily good (most are) but because they are on the major networks. Most network shows are average at best, but because NBC carries them, they are considerably more popular than the best cable show.

When you get cable instead of satellite, it's usually because of two things. 1) You don't want the TV to go out on a cloudy day and 2) you want your local stations. Well, without the main local station I watch, what's to keep me from going to Dish? I don't think there would be outrage like this over losing Versus, but this is like getting phone service but they don't offer local calling to a third of your town because the company that made those phones wants "fair market value."

So again I'll offer this. Suddenlink, you may have services that are costing you money that no one uses. If LIN really won't budge, drop something and pay them. LIN TV, I have a feeling your "fair market value" has gone up since NBC's been hemorrhaging ad money. Don't make yourself the bad guys by punishing cable companies and their customers. To me your market value has been lowered because of this and I'm wondering how long it needs to go before Suddenlink can push back saying this has hurt your market value and ad buys will be enough.

In the mean time, I'll be getting satellite. Sorry guys, you both lose.


Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008

73/365 Goodbye 2007
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
I wanted to write a pithy comment about resolutions and ringing in the new and what not, but I don't have the energy or the strength. I'm lucky to just be here, writing, taking pictures, occasionally drawing.

Two thousand seven was easily the worst year of my life. I lost a marriage and a house. A member of Ms. A's family died. We spent the entire year broke and in debt.

Yes I can count my blessings. The kids are healthy aside from the expected coughs and colds but LMA has apparently turned into a bully at school and we're trying to fix that at home, which is stressful. G-man is just cute but we know he needs more little kids to play with.

Just like me, I need more adults to play with. I can count on one hand the times I've gone out with people who weren't my kids. I've been stood up and left to go out alone more times this year than in my entire adult life. It was 365 days of just wanting to come home and go to sleep so I could speed up time until it was all over.

This isn't a pity party, I'm just saying what happened, you do what you want with it.

Yes there were good times. I got to take LMA up to see her grandparents. I went to NY to see an old friend. I reunited with a few other old friends I haven't heard from in a while. I did a lot of drawing and actually got paid for it. I'm still employed and apparently doing a decent job - thought I could be doing better I'm sure.

I won't be making any resolutions because the last thing I need to do to myself is be set up to fail, and that's all resolutions are. You want to lose 20lbs, you want to be more assertive, you want to get a better job. Then when you don't, you look back 365 days later and realize you've let yourself down.

Mark Twain said, "Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."

I don't plan on paving anything, in fact, I need to spend this time picking myself up, dusting myself off and kicking some ass...somehow. It's not a resolution, I'm just going to do it.

Happy 2008, let's all make it a wonderful year.

Carry on.