Life of a Stick


  • Category Archives Morrowind Comic
  • Miniforum History Fixed

    As many of you know, I don’t use the commonly available shoutboxes or whatever they’re calling them these days. I prefer to control the code and information myself, even if it means things get done slowly or tend to not work… perfectly. So I created my own little version and I called it the “miniforum.”

    It worked fine, for a bit. Then we hit 900 posts and it got a little confused about what it was supposed to do. I knew what it was supposed to do, but apparently I didn’t explain it quite clear enough.

    Of course, the 900 posts confusion didn’t really cause an actual problem. It wasn’t until about 2MBs of posts were made that PHP decided it wasn’t funny anymore and stopped laughing.

    I’ve returned PHP’s good humor and the chatboxes/miniforums/whatever should now be in good working order. Please notify me if there are any problems. Thanks.


  • Current Game Plan

    I want to lay down for myself (and so others can see) what it is I currently have planned. Please keep in mind that while I’m getting better at judging what I can do and when, this list is subject to me being lazy or busy or both. If there’s something you like on the list, cross your fingers. Or bug me about it. Either way. My current attitude is shifting more towards a focus on Gimpystick.

    Immediate plans: Sit in the magic massage chair for a good 10 minutes, then finish the Anatomy assignment due for class tomorrow. Then sleep.

    Weekish plans:
    -Catch up on my schoolwork that was painfully effected by the snow (More snow by morning! Woo. … Yay.)
    -Add the necessary polish to the Seawolf boats in SecondLife to get them released
    -Finish up Trivium and put the closing capstone stuff on it so it’s over

    Pre-summer plans
    -Pass all of my classes at DigiPen.
    -Update Gimpystick (quick and easy usability features)
    a) Make comments easier to use and reply to
    b) Auto-scale image option on upload
    c) Spell-checker
    -Do Morrowind Comics whenever able (probably not)
    -Play Ocarina of time when I’m lazy and not busy

    Summer plans
    -Start and complete the next Seawolf project in SL
    -Finish the Morrowind Comic
    -Update and universalize look and feel of website
    -Get fun new features into Gimpystick
    -Beat Ocarina of Time if not done yet, and Wind Waker
    -Beat Twilight Princess again
    -Spore, UT2k7, check out Stalker

    I don’t think there’s enough time in the summer for all of that, but I can’t think past summer right now so it goes there.


  • Bunch of Stuff Happened

    It’s probably best to order things chronologically rather than categorically for this post. It’s a long story that lasts about five days. I’ll see if I can condense it into less than five days of reading.

    It all started on Thursday, December 14th. “High wind warnings” were on the news, saying winds would get up to 80-90mph with 130mph gusts. Silly me didn’t realize quite how serious this is. If these numbers don’t mean much to you (and you haven’t been watching the news), then this is enough wind to knock over many, many trees. And when trees fall down, they land on things. Like power lines. And cars. And roads. And houses. But back to the story at hand.

    I showed up at DigiPen campus around 4pm, I think. My plans were to mat mount the final project for Art 101 so I could turn it in before 5pm the next day, when it was due. Then I would work on animation. I’d expected the power to go out, as I’d brought some flashlights.

    When I arrived at school, there were signs posted at every corner that the school was closing at 10pm instead of midnight due to the high winds warning.

    After I left, it was only slightly gusty. I took the “back road” home, like I usually did, because even at 10pm traffic is decently heavy and moving around 50mph through Bellevue. Besides, the back road was a straight shot to my house, and the freeway went in the opposite direction for a bit before turning my way.

    The back road was already littered with tree branches. It was fun to dodge them, and felt a bit like a video game. Then something above me went SHAZAM! and all the lights on the street went out. The scariest part of the drive was when a few cars were coming in the opposite direction so I was effectively blinded, and my car a puddle I didn’t see and sprayed water off the side of the road. Normal enough, except the puddle didn’t end. After the three cars had passed me, I could see the end of the “puddle” about 50m further up.

    The last exciting thing about the back road was when I was halfway home. The sky lit up briefly with this beautiful blue and purple explosion in the distance. I was sure it was the power at my house. Fortunately, it was all the power just before my house. Unfortunately, that meant the streetlight were out, and traffic in the Seattle area is notoriously bad not because of the sheer amounts of people, but because the people suck at driving. So no one had no idea that a downed traffic light means you’re supposed to behave like it’s a stop sign. And no one knew the proper way to handle a six lane, four way intersection as a stop sign, either. I’ll admit, it’s a little daunting, but if you face it logically you don’t have a problem.

    The power didn’t go out until an hour or so after I got home. I spent that night doing general maintenance. I cleaned the dust out of Goliath, this webserver, I put a new PSU in the internet gateway box (which had a faulty fan for the past year or so and required external cooling), and I took the last of the good pieces out of my downed main computer (namely, the CPU) and put it into my secondary machine. So I’m still down to one desktop computer, but it’s almost as good as my best one was. I also did a little general cleaning around my desk. The rest of the night was spent drawing some Trivium comics.

    So the power went out Thursday night. Friday morning at something before 7am I get a call from my good friend xcXEON wondering how things were and if everything was ok. I told him we were out of power, but otherwise fine. I was out of touch. I don’t normally watch the news — I’d heard about the strong winds from my brother, and probably then only because I live in the same house as him. The scope of power outages and damage was much larger than I thought it was, which is why he’d thought it important enough to call me. I enjoyed talking to him, it had been a while, but then I had to get ready and go to school. I had a final project to turn in, and an animation to redo so I could try to up my grade in Animation 101. I had my friend check www.schoolreport.org to make sure DigiPen wasn’t closed, got up and headed out.

    Bad idea. The first road I tried was blocked by half a dozen downed trees. (Ok, only three were visible, but I bet there were more further down) After going through a dozen intersections with broken stoplights, I finally made it to DigiPen after only a little over an hour. Not like it meant much. The doors are electronically sealed, and there was no power. A random programmer and I took a walk around the block to gawk at all the pretty damage from downed trees. Later, the head of facilities showed up and told all the people milling around the sign that said “DigiPen’s closed” that the finals will be rescheduled, and the final project that’s due will be turned in at the start of next semester. I asked about www.schoolreports.org and he said they’d managed to leave a message for them around 8am. The cell phone lines were jammed, and there was probably a downed tower or two.

    I was not looking forward to driving home. Against my better judgement (I claim curiosity), I took the freeway home. I noticed a few cars by the side of the road as traffic crawled along and wondered why they were there.

    A few places started getting power restored during the day. The first ones were the stores and malls. Makes you wonder. A gas station or two got power, and then I noticed something a little scary. There were only one or two gas stations in the area that had power. The line of cars wrapped around the block.

    The night, my dad informed me he was out of gas. Completely empty, and maybe only enough to drive to the gas station. I told him since I was going to be up late working on drawing Triviums, I’d take his car out at around 11pm and gas it up.

    Another bad idea. There was one gas station with gas left (the others had their lights of with “no gas” signs in the driveways) and the line was still around the block. I managed to make it home, and left a note for my dad to take my car, since it still had half a tank.

    Saturday, my friends I’m working on Booster Logic with called me and said their power was back, and that I could stay with them until mine came back.

    I left out two events. One was a trip to a church Christmas dinner party where I brought my phone charger and charged it while I was eating, and the other was a trip to Bellevue Square Mall where I picked up the Playstation 2 game Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. I got lucky. The game’s rare, and the Gamestop at the mall just happened to have ae copy when I was there.

    So when I got the invite from my friends, I packed up my PS2, Disgaea, Shadow of the Colossus (another great game), a change of clothes, my clothes for church, and left. My dad wasn’t interested in taking a free shower for some reason, so he stayed behind in our dark, cold house that was starting to smell a lot like burnt candles.

    The next couple days were a blur. Disgaea is awesome. I felt no guilt, as the power was out at my house and all my plans revolved around the internet (which they didn’t have yet). Been a long time since I’ve played a game for more than an hour or two without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else more important.

    I called my mom about halfway through to see how they were fairing at home. Turns out my dad had tried to light a fire and hadn’t put it far enough back in the fireplace. Nothing burnt down, but the entire house was filled with smoke. It still smells, and probably will for weeks. They also got invited to stay at someone else’s house, but for some reason my dad had declined them again. I’ve been taught that doing good deeds is all well and good, but denying other people the good deeds they want to do isn’t actually very nice. I don’t think anyone ever taught him that. Or maybe he just really needed his special matress for his back, since it’s so bad. Who knows. (I’m rather certain he doesn’t read this, and my mom isn’t tactless enough to tattle-tale on me, so I should be safe in questioning his sanity here.)

    So the last thing of note that happened was this: I woke up this morning at around 10am to the sound of my phone ringing. My brother was calling to let me know that the power had come back on, and that he wanted to make the internet work, but the power buttons on the router wasn’t working. I let him know it wasn’t broken, and I’d just flipped the switch on back, but I’d prefer he wait for me to get home and get everything working.

    I started packing up and I noticed the end of the extension cord that I unplugged my phone from wasn’t glowing green. I checked, and the cable modem/router wasn’t lit up. Oh noes, I thought. What have I done! Then I noticed that the red light on my PS2 wasn’t lit up, and I realized the power was out.

    So I packed up, came home, turned on my computers with only minor issues, and here I am.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get those Triviums I drew inked, or this Christmas Special will never go live.


  • Closing Up the Comics

    I’m closing up both my comics. They’ll likely be down for at least four years (college, remember?), perhaps forever. You never know what’ll happen on Christmas or summer breaks, though — but there’s no way I can make any promises at this point.

    Just for the record, I don’t want to do this. I’d love to continue drawing these comics forever. But in truth, I should have given up in the middle of last January when I started having a lot of trouble updating them. I just never know when to quit, so I keep making promises to myself and others I can never seem to keep. However, I believe it’s more important to have hope and goals that may never happen than to have none at all. The hard part is getting back on the horse every time you fall off, because it seems to happen a lot.

    There’s a “closed” filler up for the Trivium comic. I’m sure the transparent symbology used will be visible to anyone who sees it (lol, motel6). I’m still trying to figure out what to do for the Morrowind comic.


  • Trivium, Three Times a Week

    I have a friend and his girlfriend who decided to start a webcomic. It’s been a long time coming, and I made a deal with them.

    They’re both fans with Trivium, so if I update Trivium three times a week, they will start their comic within a month and update two times a week.

    Of course, this also means that the Morrowind Comic will have to update more often.


  • My Moment of Strength

    A couple days ago I posted about some goals I had. Specifically, I was going to update my comics every day, and when I felt I couldn’t for whatever reason I would spend the time coloring the Morrowind Comic.

    Well, I was very rash. I made that goal in about a two hour window when I was feeling well. I haven’t felt that well in a month or so, and I probably won’t feel that well again for quite some time. I do, however, want to keep the goal. And it’s gonna be hard as nothing else to do so.

    Here goes my extreme force of will. Let’s see how long I can go before breaking!


  • There’s Moss on my Rock!

    So I bought Photoshop, as you all know. And I also bought Poser, which some of you may not know. And a friend (tek_hed) recently gave me a Wacom tablet. And I do so love art, even if I’m not the best at drawing it and find it difficult to force the pencil to touch paper at times.

    And what have I been doing about it? Nothing! I’ve got all these neat toys and nothing is going on! I think it’s about time I got the ball rolling again and started up with my comics and stuff. So I’ve set a goal!

    Goal: Update a comic a day, round robin style. If I’m in a slump with ideas or just feeling lousy, color the Morrowind Comic instead of making a new comic. If there’s no comic to color, force myself to draw at least a one-panel filler for whatever comic is next in the rotation.

    For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been feeling worse and worse the past few weeks. I’ve been tired, lethargic, having annoying and persistant headaches, exhausted, and I’ve just generally not felt well. I’ve been visiting doctors for months, and had an MRI (that was expensive) many blood tests, and finally I had a “sleep study” done.

    According to the MRI I have a healthy brain with healthy, normal sinuses. According to the blood tests I don’t have an ulcer or infection or low iron or anything, and I’m not even malnourished.

    But the sleep test! Finally something that came back positive! I’ve got sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when one stops breathing during the night, pulling them out of REM sleep so they can fix the problem.

    So the solution is to get a CPAP (That’s a P, not an R), which fortunately is just a machine. Some sleep apnea requires surgery to fix, but most people only need a “Continuous Positive Air Pressure” machine. Basically a small air compressor that keeps air flowing in through their nose to keep the airway from collapsing.

    It’ll probably be another couple weeks before I can get in to do another sleep study so they can find out the pressure to use on the CPAP. But I might as well do what I can in the meantime. Like waking up.


  • Getting Myself in Gear

    I think it’s about time I start up Trivium and the Morrowind Comic again. My little stress/sick/whatever escapade has kind of died down, and now I’m merely busy. And I’d like to continue them, but if I don’t start up soon I’m going to forget how to do them.

    I don’t like deferring things. When I put something off, I tend to either forget about it, or find other reasons to put it off. I have reasons not to be able to finish a Trivium today, but I’m going to set the goal that before I fall asleep tonight I will have a Trivium inked and uploaded for your viewing pleasure.

    Wish me luck!


  • What I Plan

    Currently I’m focusing my time on finishing http://www.boosterlogic.com/. I wanted to have it done by today, but things didn’t work out as well as I’ve planned, so I’m hoping to get it done by the end of the week.

    After I’m done binging on that, I plan on outputting three or four or more Morrowind Comics for a couple of weeks. At the same time my website goals are, in this order: 1) Give Gimpystick greater functionality, 2) Build a news engine for Skaarjonastick.com, 3) Build a gallery engine for Skaarjonastick.com.

    Once I have the news/gallery engines in place, however simple, I can tinkler with and customize them at my leisure. The hard part is just going to be getting a good base implimented first. For those that are unfamiliar with my habits, I don’t like using pre-built software. I like to build things myself. That way they do exactly what I want, when I want it, and I can more easily change anything when I want to because it’s in my style.

    The hard part for me is going to be getting a new visual layout. I want something that I can use all over the site — for Trivium Entertainment, my Morrowind Comic, this site, the galleries, Gimpystick, and anything else I have. I’ve asked around for some help, but everyone I know is as busy as I am. We’ll see what happens, I suppose.

    After I’ve spent a few weeks on my own website, I’m going to see about getting a job. Of course, with how communication is going with a friend of mine, I may end up with a 9-5 job before I want it.


  • Throwing Around Ideas

    I’ve got a few new ideas and some old ideas, and I wanted to write them down somewhere. I figured here is good enough.

    My current plans for the Morrowind Comic are to finish it before Oblivion comes out. I’ve heard dates ranging from October to December for a release, so I’ll just have to try to get it done as fast as I can. My goal of two comics a week hasn’t been going very well, but I’m still trying to get as many done as I can.

    I’ve said a few things about after I finish the Morrowind Comic.
    1) I’m never working on two comics concurrently again.
    2) After I finish my Morrowind Comic, I’m going to try getting my proposed figure tutorial going.

    I may not be the best at drawing, but I’m good at figuring things out and troubleshooting, so I should be able to provide some information in the tutorial that’s useful.

    It was also mentioned that I oughta make an inking tutorial so people can be aware of how I ink my comics. It’s been mentioned that the linework on them is very clear. I’ll see if I can’t get some kind of tutorial like that up and running sometime, too.



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