Does this make you laugh like it made me laugh?

At first I laughed, then I more fully imagined the scenario, and laughed some more. F-minus is one of 8 comics I read, so I consider myself a discerning taste in web-comics. I’ve read lots, but winnowed it down to just a few. F Minus consistently makes the grade.

I… I really didn’t intend that pun when I first started typing that sentence.

New Rule: No Drawing

I can’t believe that I’m a lousy artist. I mean, it’s just a matter of DRAWING something, right? My 4-year old can DRAW.

I can’t stand the way my stuff turns out. It’s like… I dunno. 

Oh, wait. I resized the head, and now it looks way better.

So, what I’m doing here — well, it’s complicated. But suffice it to say I’m trying to create a human character in Flash that can be tweaked easily to become an alien, a cyborg, an android, or whatever. Here’s what we have so far.

See? What a great starfield I made!


ANYway, I can easily tweak him to be a cyborg, or maybe do something to show he’s an android. (You don’t know the difference? For SHAME! Cyborgs are humans that have been given mechanical parts. Androids are robots made to look like humans.) (The Borg are cyborgs, Data is an android.)

I can also tweak him to have different facial expressions. Then I only need two dozen more of these. *sigh* 

My Indian name would be Dances With Projects He Never Finishes.

Feedback please…

I need your thoughts and feedback on this. Too silly? Trying to be funny but not? Anything you can say will be helpful.  

          There aren’t a lot of good reasons to enter the sewers, and sparse as they are, Chester had none. He had some bad reasons, which, by his standards, were good enough.

            It was about 7:00 in the morning when Chester came to an open manhole. He’d always wondered what it was like “down there,” and saw a convenient ladder descending into the darkness below. So, curiosity ablaze in his heart like an Arizona brushfire, he carefully stepped down inside, and so began his greatest adventure ever.
            Greater, even, than his sixth grade visit to the girls’ bathroom.
            Greater, in fact, than his accident at the zoo in the primate compound.
            Even greater, and this is absolutely true, than when he fell from a hot-air balloon and landed on another balloon inflating on the ground below, inadvertently starting a brushfire in the Phoenix City Park.
            Now, before I tell you what Chester found down in the sewers, I want you to imagine you’re a vampire looking for a place to live.
            What are the ideal living conditions for you, a vampire, assuming most of the lore about you is true? Well, you want someplace that’s dark all the time. Accidentally walking into a sunlit room is a risk you’d want to avoid. (This is a trait you share with computer programmers, by the way.)
            You also always want to be near an adequate food supply. (Another trait you share with programmers.) For you, however, this means people. A major metropolitan area is ideal.
            Now think to yourself – where in a major metropolitan area is a place that is always devoid of sunlight? If you’re thinking “the sewers,” you’re right. That brings us back to Chester.
            Chester stepped down from the last rung, his boots plopping into about an inch of foul, murky water. Sunlight shone in from above and reflected off the ripples in the little stream where Chester stood.
            Suddenly, there was a scraping sound from behind him, and Chester spun to see what it was. A gorilla, perhaps? A 6th-grade girl? No, it was neither. It was something much worse.
            It was a vampire!
            Well, not really. It was actually a vampire hunter, which differs from vampires in several critical ways, but there’s no time to go into that righ—
            “Who are you?” Chester shouted, frightened by the presence of another human being in this semi-dark, semi-sunlit place. Just then something nudged his boot, and he looked down at the dirty water. The head and neck of a young woman were visible floating into the light, her face pale like a goth albino, and her neck disfigured by two menacing holes.
            Chester could spot a vampire’s victim from a several yards away, and he was much closer to her than that. â€œYou’re a vampire!” he shouted at the man who remained cloaked in the darkness.
            “No,” responded the man, “I’m a vampire hunter.”
            “Ha!” Chester shouted. “Just the sort of thing a vampire would be likely to say!”
            “Actually, no,” the man corrected him. “A vampire would be much more likely to say ‘Arrrrgh!’ and attack you. Trust me, I know.”
            Chester thought. It seemed like a valid enough point. And the man spoke with authority. Chester was quick to yield. He prodded further. “W-why are you here?”
            “I was trying to keep her safe,” the hunter said, pointing to the corpse at his feet. “But I was too late – once he has his prey away from public view, he moves quickly.”
            “And by ‘he’ you mean a vampire?”
            There was a long moment of silence, after which Chester asked, “Does ‘indeed’ mean ‘yes’?”
            “Indee—yes,” replied the hunter.
            “And who was she?” Chester asked, trying unsuccessfully to push her away with his boot.
            “Her? Some poor goth albino who didn’t deserve to die.”
            They both stood there for a moment, unsure what to do next. This was all very new to Chester, who had never dealt with vampires or their hunters before. The closest he’d ever come to something like this was the werewolf hunter he’d met while camping near Yellowstone. But that’s a different story, and it’s probably not even true. It seems to change every time Chester tells it.

My Dream Home….

Pretty accurate, I guess:

Your home is a

Daylight Time-Lord’s Hideout

Your kitchen consists of dilithium-powered food replicators, manned by obedient robot slaves, who are sure to never, ever rebel. I mean, it’s preposterous to even consider it. There’s a Chocolatessin, a word you made up yourself, but that is beginning to catch on among your wealthy neighbors. Your master bedroom has a bedside table with a pad for writing down late-night inspirations. Your study has every science fiction title ever written. One of your garages contains a life-sized X-Wing fighter, and KITT. (KITT was a gift from a well-meaning uncle.)

Your home also includes a robot repair bay, where your mechanized servants are routinely fitted with new restraining bolts. (It’s just a precaution.) Your guests enjoy your animatronic replica of the cantina at Mos Eisley. Outside is your radio telescope, listening constantly for alien transmissions. Especially invaders. They’ll come eventually, even if nobody believes you. (Nobody does.)

And, you have a pet — a cat named “Vincent”.

Below is a snippet of the blueprints:

Find YOUR Dream Home!



Okay. Here we go again — Sunday. Day of rest, day to cease from all our labors. Day to not seek entertainment. Day of booooriiiiiing….

If I’d obeyed the Sabbath a bit more diligently (read: at all), I’d have visited the families I was assigned to visit, I’d have some other work done, and I wouldn’t feel like a schmoe when I had to sit in at Ward Council this morning.

As it was, I had to tell myself to stop worrying about my own shortcomings, and to pay attention to how the ward could be better served.  Now that I’m OUT of that meeting, though, I think it’s okay to worry a bit about my shortcomings, and put repentance to work. 

So! Some resolutions — I’m going to fulfill my callings in the ward. I think the biggest reason I’ve been called to serve in the elder’s quorum presidency is to get my heiney in gear — can’t very well ask others to do their home teaching if I haven’t done mine.  

I’m also going to keep the Sabbath as best I know how. That means that I’m sitting down to write in my journal instead of writing stories or working on the novel — which I could almost justify as “not-labors” since I’m not getting paid for anything I’m writing, who-knows-if-I-ever-will, and really-I’m-teaching-morals-in-my-stories, and-isn’t-that-the-Lord’s-work-after-all?  But a) I’m confident in my writing, and think I will sell words someday, and b) if I tell the Lord I’m not writing for money right now, I’m sure he’d be willing to bless me that such will be the case. If you catch my drift.

I don’t think the Lord is spiteful like that, but I do think that I’d have a hard time asking for the blessing that my writing provide me a living if I’m not obeying his commandments. “Hey, I know I’ve been disobedient — deliberately — but could you help me make money?”  

SO. So. Time to rest, and get to work.

Oh, and this story. Er, few paragraphs

I also found this start-to-a-story that made me laugh.

            There aren’t a lot of good reasons to enter the sewers, and sparse as they are, Chester had none.  He had some bad reasons, which, by his standards, were good enough.

            It was about 7:00 in the morning when Chester came to an open manhole.  He’d always wondered what it was like “down there,” and saw a convenient ladder descending into the darkness below.  So, curiosity ablaze in his heart like an Arizona brushfire, he carefully stepped down inside, and so began his greatest adventure ever.

            Greater, even, than his sixth grade visit to the girls’ bathroom.

            Greater, in fact, than his accident at the zoo in the primate compound.

            Even greater, and this is absolutely true, than when he fell from a hot-air balloon and landed on another balloon inflating on the ground below, inadvertently starting a brushfire in the Phoenix City Park.


That’s all there is. But that last line really surprised me. Shame that the simile that sets it up is so awkward.

A story I started

I’ve been working on a sci-fi novel of late, was hunting through my hard drive to find some stuff I’d written previously. It took me some time to locate it, but in the process I found one story I’d started that, frankly, I have no recollection writing.  I know it’s my writing, but I have no clue when I wrote it — aside from the filestamp, which says it was May 7, 2003 at 2:24 PM.  

Anyway, I found it thoroughly amusing, and I’ve been wanting to write something that I could send off to sci-fi magazines and start getting myself published.  It’s not done yet, but I think I may put some time into it and finish it, rather than proceeding with the novel, so I can start filing rejection letters.

And here it is.

Behind this LJ cut thing. 


           I had always thought that the most convincing argument against the possibility of time travel was that no one from the future had ever showed up in our time. That was what I used to think, until around noon on a very strange day.

            That day is tomorrow.
            A few things about myself: I’m not a scientist. I didn’t do very well in math and sciences in school, either. I passed my high school chemistry class, but that was mostly because I cheated. And I didn’t even cheat very well.
            Don’t let that fool you — I have very strong morals, and a good work ethic. It’s just that I also have a very strong recreational ethic. Watching television took precedence over studying chem.
            But I managed to graduate, and went on to study communications at Sarasota Junior College, where I got involved with the broadcast program. I took a minimum wage job manning the school’s weak FM station — when I say “weak”, I mean you better not be trying to listen if you’re leaving the parking lot — and from there I moved up to becoming an actual DJ at KROK 89.9 FM. Never did finish my degree, and never saw the point. I was working in a decent job, and wasn’t that the end goal of college?
            Now, like I said, I’m no scientist. I enjoy the occasional sci-fi flick, though I’ve never dressed up in costume to go to a movie. I know about “paradoxes”; they’re the big reason why time travel can’t happen. If the traveler killed his father before he himself was conceived, then… then… then we’d all get headaches.
            And let me point something out here. It’s not the time travelling that causes the paradox. It’s the patricide. 
            I’ll get back to that.
            So, tomorrow, I was doing what I normally do, which is taking requests during the commercial breaks, while snacking naughtily on a submarine sandwich over the twenty thousand dollar sound board. Bill, my producer, doesn’t like it, but he has long since given up on glaring at me through the soundproofed glass.
            A reflection in the glass meant there was a visitor coming through the open door behind me. Not a face I recognized, but then my commercials were over, so I had to get back on the air. I announced a song from Depeche Mode, muted my mic, and turned around.
            The stranger was gone.
            Wrong station, I thought. There were six stations broadcasting from these corporate headquarters — yeah, the suits owned us — and it wasn’t uncommon to have a hip-hop or country star wander into the studio, lost.
            Bill cut through on my headset. “I’m going to the john. You want anything?”
            “Yeah, can you bring me back a squirt of that soap?” I deadpanned back.
            “You got it.”
            He left, and I went back to my sandwich. When I looked back up, the reflection of the stranger had returned. This time I turned around.
            He was obese. That was the first thing I noticed. I thought he might be Tongan or Samoan — his features were vaguely native-looking, for lack of a better word. Full lips, flat nose, dark olive skin. I’m Caucasian, so I worry a lot about coming off as racist — especially when twenty-thousand of your listeners belong to minorities.
            So, in an effort to be politically correct and/or sensitive, I tried to take my mind off his obesity and his indiscernable racial heritage, and stared at his clothes.
            They were, in a word, weird.
            No seams, first of all. You don’t really notice seams until they’re not there. It looked like one big — and I do mean big — jumpsuit, except it had no zipper or fasteners. And there were folds that didn’t seem natural, and the brownish hue was very glossy.
            When he later told me he was from the future, I was sure he believed it.
            “Can I help you?” I asked, perhaps a bit condescendingly.
            “I need to meet with you,” came a voice. It didn’t match his lips, and it didn’t come from him. It was almost like it came from the air around me. I was bit unnerved.
            “Okaaaaay,” I replied, now worried I had a legitimate psychopath on my hands. How had he gotten past the front desk?
            “Route three-oh-one, mile marker seventy. After you leave here.”
            What do you say to a five-hundred pound behemoth that you never hope to see again?
            “Right on.”
            “Three-oh-one. Mile marker seventy.” Again, the voice came out of nowhere — though at the time I was ready to dismiss it as the peculiar acoustics of broadcast studios, mixed with the dizziness that came from watching a man that size balance on two legs.
            Now, I need you to understand, I do not do drugs. Never have, never plan to. I’ve been known to drink, but I almost never get drunk, because my dad was killed by a drunk driver, and I hold all drunks accountable. I need you to understand this, because in the next moment, the big guy vanished.
            It wasn’t all slow, Star Trek-style, nor was it instantaneous. It took a full moment — what’s that, half a second? — as he faded from view.
            If having a five-hundred pound man in your vicinity makes you dizzy, having one suddenly not be in your vicinity will do much more so. I reeled. I blinked. I shook my head. I finally stood up to see if he was just in the hall, and I’d blacked out momentarily.
            It was the speaker in the studio. Bill was back at his seat, frightened to see me away from my spot.
            I gestured to him, and mouthed “Did you see that?”
            “What?” He tapped his headphones.
            I sat back down at the mic, and cut to his room.
            “Did you see that?” I repeated, out loud.
            “See what?”
            “That guy that was in here?”
            “No, what guy?” He was duly concerned; I could feel how pale my face must have been.
            “Some guy…” was all I could manage to get out. But the song was ending, and I didn’t have the next one ready. I went through the motions reflexively, loading up the next tune, all the while trying to process what had happened.
            Bill left his booth and came around. “So what guy? What’d he do?”
            Well, Bill, he talked, but his voice didn’t match his mouth, and then he vanished.
            “He was huge,” was all I said.
            Bill was momentarily relieved, then he slapped me on the back of the head. “You scared the crap out of me. I thought some guy came in with a gun or something.”
            I slapped him back, reflexively; even in my stupor I couldn’t let a slap go unretributed. I tried to wipe the shocked look off my face, as I decided not to relate the truth to Bill. He went back to his booth, and I to the studio, where I finished my sandwich, and eyed my Dr. Pepper suspiciously.
            Florida, despite what you may have heard, is not like California. California, for example, doesn’t have a minority group called “people under 70”. There’s not a lot to do for the young crowd, unless you live in Orlando, or perhaps Miami, where youth can join gangs for fun.
            What I’m saying is, I didn’t have any other plans. And thirty miles isn’t that far. And perhaps my curiosity was getting the better of me. Whatever the reason, I was driving down Route 301.
            At mile marker seventy was a dirt road that connected to the pavement, and I figured I couldn’t very well stop on a two-lane road, so I headed off-road. My little Honda isn’t made for dirt roads, but only hicks and construction workers buy trucks in Florida, where the biggest hills are speed bumps.
            I drove maybe a hundred yards on the little road, six-foot-high grass on either side, when I came to a dead end. A sort of cul-de-sac in the field. I turned off the engine, took my cell phone from the cup holder, and said a word I can’t say on-air.
            I had planned to at least let someone know where I was, and say something like “If I don’t call you back in five minutes call the police,” but I saw I had no cell phone reception whatsoever. I repeated the epithet a few more times. It helped very little.
            I started the car again, frustrated to have come this far only to chicken out at the last second. My retreat would have to wait, however, because the fat man was standing beside my window.
            After barely containing my bladder, I spoke to him. The window was up, but I figured he could hear me well enough.
            “You scared me.”
            I heard two responses; one was in another language, and one said “I am from the future.” My first thought, no lie, was that there must be a lot of fatty food in the future. The English was coming from a hidden speaker on his person somewhere, and the foreign language was what his lips were saying.
            “Okay,” I said, still intent on acting cool.
            “I will use your broadcast,” he added. “You will tell the world about me, and what I will show you.”
            You mean Tampa, I thought, but didn’t say. I didn’t want to say yes or no to his little proposal yet, either; for all I knew he had a gun hidden under one of those folds. “What are you gonna show me?”
            “First, proof that I am from the future. I am the only one to ever come from the future, correct?”
            I wanted to make a joke to ease my nerves. Say something like “Jimi Hendrix was way ahead of his time,” but I couldn’t. “Yeah,” I said, conceding for the moment that he really was what he said. “Why is that?” I added.
            “What do you mean?”
            “Why hasn’t anyone else done it before you?”
            “Because it’s very difficult to do. It takes a lot of energy.”
            Now, I’m not sure why I kept asking questions — I suppose I was trying to gain some ground, put him on the defensive. Looking back, I think it was a reaction to being nervous for the first time in years — being a radio personality had given me enough faux confidence to be able to chat with supermodels without breaking a sweat.
            “How much energy?” I prodded.
            He seemed to think about it for a moment, deciding whether I really wanted a figure in gigajoules, or just a rough estimate.
            “I destroyed a star,” he said, his translator’s tone blaisé. It took me a second to see that he was giving me an answer — it took one star destruction’s worth of energy to travel through time. So, yeah, a lot.
            The previous vanishing trick aside, I was now gaining confidence that I was simply dealing with a run-of-the-mill nutcase. But he hadn’t shown any belligerency, and didn’t seem threatening. I was sure I could outrun him if it came to it. I was fairly certain I could outwalk him, for that matter.
            “Wow,” I said casually. “Why?”
            “Mankind’s technology curve is too slow,” he said. “Thirty thousand years from now, we won’t be prepared for war, and we will be decimated.”
            Hate to break it to you, pal, but we’re barely getting used to the idea of doing stuff for our grandkids’ sake a hundred years from now. Earth Day and recycling already test our patience. (I didn’t say that.)
            “So what do you wanna do?”
            “I will show advances in technology to the world, but they must not be used to perpetuate war among mankind.”
            I laughed out loud at that one. “Should we just make them promise to be good?”
            His translator seemed to put an edge on his voice; he probably understood being laughed at wasn’t a good sign. “Much of the reason for war will be null with the science I will show you.”


So that’s the story thus far. I really like the reason why we haven’t seen time travelers before now being the amount of energy it takes.  Howard did the same thing, I now realize, with the Schlock storyline where a GALAXY had to be destroyed to enable time travel.  I’m not sure if that means I got the idea from him, because a) I’m too lazy to search the archives to figure out when he wrote his storyline, and b) even if I beat him to the idea, it’s no guarantee, because he often ran stuff by me before it became scripted. And the time travel storyline I remember him batting around long before it came to fruition.

Anyway, I don’t know what I had in mind for this story when I first started it. But I really enjoy the tone, and some of the jokes made me laugh or smile. I have some ideas now for what I want to have happen, but I’m wondering if the reason I stopped was because I ran out of story.

The End. (of this journal post)