Drivel that cannot fit in a single panel comic.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stairway to some grass

Mary trolls for useful advice, assuming that Toby can remember a single word that Terry said. I hope this rehash won't take another two weeks. Mary will have to banish Terry Bryson from Charterstone because she dispenses useful non-life destroying advice. Mary cannot abide useful non-life destroying advice.

Mary arrived on Eid ul-Fitr on the day celebrated in non-North American parts of the world.

I saw this coming! What did Sally think would happen once she pushed Ted to try to make friends with a co-worker? Don't worry Sally, Aria is Ted's work friend, he will still turn to you for sex.

Free tip for better living:
Never drink Chardonnay after gargling with Listerine.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Exercise Log: September 22 - 27

This week I ran and biked 28.47 miles, burned 2891 calories and weigh 147.7 pounds.

Monday: ran 3.83 miles in 39:45
Tuesday: biked 3.11 miles in 13:37
Wednesday: ran 1.35 miles in 17:12; 5.99 miles in 1:05:00; 1.31 miles in 17:00
Thursday: ran 2.53 miles in 30:00
Saturday: ran 10.35 miles in 1:57:26

I bought a new pair of running shoes. They feel great. I will stick with Asics.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Texas A&M - Galveston

The TAMU - Galveston students and faculty were very friendly and polite to me while I helped them get set up in a couple of classrooms. It made my day.

Below an article from the Eagle about the transfer of the Texas A&M - Galveston students:

A&M leaders estimate cost of Sea Aggie transfers at $37M
Repairing damage at Texas A&M University's branch campus in Galveston and moving the displaced students to College Station and housing them during the interim could cost more than $37 million, university officials said Thursday.

Administrators estimated preliminary damage and relocation costs at $34 million for Texas A&M at Galveston and another $3.5 million for the College Station campus, where 285 course sections have been added to accommodate the 1,572 displaced Sea Aggies.

The money ultimately will be paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, insurance and special item funding from the state, A&M officials said, noting that estimates already had been provided to the governor's office.

Administrators have said the relocation would be "cost-neutral" for students.

The Galveston campus was evacuated and closed down Sept. 10, just days before Hurricane Ike ravaged the Texas coast. A&M officials have said it would remain closed for the semester.

On Thursday, Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano and Galveston campus Vice President and Chief Executive Bowen Loftin updated the Texas A&M System Board of Regents on the effects of the hurricane. The update came less than two weeks after Ike pounded the coastal town and just one day after Galveston students began taking classes in Aggieland.

"To say that this is an unprecedented effort in higher education I think is absolutely the case. I don't think we know of any other situation [like it]," Murano told regents Thursday, the first day of their two-day meeting. "Nothing of this magnitude -- 1,572 students in a matter of less than two weeks."

Roughly 88 percent of the Galveston campus student body -- including its entire Corps of Cadets -- opted to relocate to College Station, and Loftin said he expected more to come. Others are taking classes via distance learning.

Loftin said he would begin contacting the remaining 200 or so students who have not been reached to see if there is any way the university can serve them. Those who can't continue this semester will be allowed to withdraw without penalty, and the tuition will be rolled over to the spring semester, when the campus is set to reopen, Loftin said.

"We put the students first," Loftin said. "That's the most important thing we could do."

More than 70 faculty members -- all but four of the total -- have signed on to teach classes in College Station, Loftin and Murano said.

Murano said the university decided against dispersing the Galveston students among existing course sections. Instead, she said, 285 new sections have been added to keep the students with their classmates and professors.

Of those sections, about a dozen will meet on nights and weekends, Murano said. Some are meeting in non-traditional spaces such as A&M United Methodist Church and St. Mary's Catholic Church, The Tradition at Northgate and Calloway House and even in Sbisa Dining Hall.

Murano said officials had secured 300 beds on campus and 1,200 rental units in the community for the visitors.

"To tell you it was a big undertaking is an understatement," Murano said, explaining that the relocation affected dozens of departments such as housing, transportation, dining, parking, billing, financial aid, medical services, counseling, communications and research.

"Everything you can think of, we needed to provide in a couple weeks or less," she said.

The College Station City Council also met on Thursday and unanimously agreed to allow city officials to be "more lenient" with residents who might be violating city ordinances by housing Galveston students. The ordinance prevents more than four unrelated people from living together.

During the board meeting, Loftin showed slides of the damage to the campus. The Sea Aggie Center and one of the dorms -- two of the weakest buildings on campus -- sustained significant damage. Other buildings, however, appeared unaffected by the storm.

All emergency repairs are complete, Loftin said. However, he said, there is some concern about the availability of student housing for the spring semester.

Loftin told the regents his dream was for the regents, together with Murano and A&M System Chancellor Mike McKinney, to be in Galveston in December, watching as the 100 or so graduating seniors walk the stage.

"That's the dream we have right now. I think we can do it," Loftin said as he displayed a photo taken before the storm of waves crashing over the seawall and onto a memorial erected after the deadly hurricane in 1900. "The Aggie Spirit, the spirit of Galveston, lives on."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I give up

Today is my mother's birthday and this cartoon appeared in today's online Houston Chronicle. My mother does not own dogs or roller skates. I found it humorous because of the lady's name and the silliness.

Leroy you are a clever one but Loretta will not appreciate it.

I give up following the background art in Mary Worth even though it is more interesting than this plot.

Terry Bryson slowly realizes that she is speaking to a child in a woman's body. I love Toby's petulant pose. Looks like some more icon material.

Foam, pillows and duct tape.

Listening to my Julie London channel on Pandora wondering how many versions of "Hello Dolly" I will hear today.

I have gained greater peace of mind when I have given up the need to be right about minor things.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Package v. Reality and other Photos

When I was in college InterVarsity Christian Fellowship were the nerdy, kind of goofy people who happened to be Christians (I was turned on to Star Trek while a member) and often befriended nerdy, kind of goofy seekers while Campus Crusade took everything a bit more seriously. InterVarsity members would have appreciated the humor in the room schedule. I'm not sure how Campus Crusade members would have reacted.

I've been contacted via mail by the current InterVarsity staff person to provide support as an alumni and join an alumni organization. I'm curious but also afraid to send in the post card. I wonder if InterVarsity still attracts the nerdier students.

Some bonus Loki photos. It was a rare moment with good lighting and contrasting flooring. These were taken in the exam room while we waited for the vet.

That tongue is about 3 inches wide. Thankfully, Loki is not much of a kisser.

Loki waits for the doctor to enter. He surprised the tech that walked in. She saw the name on the chart and expected to find a Lhasa Apso who is a frequent patient. My Loki is the complete opposite of a Lhasa Apso.

The Texas Hall of Fame had a dessert theme in its concert bookings.

Today's lunch (these were part of a special - buy four and get a bunch of other food free). The package:

The reality out of the microwave:
My boss' dog followed me to my office after I cooked this thing. The smell of peanut sauce was too tantalizing for a Jack Russell Terrier to ignore. I let her lick the plate. With all the people in the office feeding her bits of food she will gain five pounds by the end of the semester.

Texas A&M in the funnies and it's not even an Aggie joke

I expect to receive an e-mail from Dr. Murano (not a personal one but a university-wide one) asking everyone to stop pointing out today's Baldo to her or asking her about it. Baldo does not run in the Eagle but it does appear on the Houston Chronicle website. Tomorrow, the Eagle might mention Dr. Murano's appearance in the funnies. Then maybe not because the Eagle might have to explain its tiny comics section (tiny both in terms of selection and print size). I bet the comments will be turned off for that article online.

For those who do not follow Baldo, Gracie, the little girl writing, has been working on her essay for Hispanic Heritage month since Monday. Baldo is a good comic strip and would make a great replacement for any of the zombie strips*.

Speaking of zombie strips, it looks like Terry Bryson is working on her escape from Toby's stupid. Don't bother using the door, Terry; go out the window, that way you will avoid walking behind Toby and catching some of her stupid. As a security expert, Terry has already mentally scoped out the room and knows which objects she can grab quickly and use to defend herself.

I'm no longer certain about background continuity anymore. When Terry and Toby first entered this room the window was directly behind them. Now it appears the window has moved but it is consistent with yesterday. What is that in the lower left hand corner of the second panel? That better not be Toby's monitor. Gah! Now I have a headache!

The sad thing is that despite Joe Giella's age and funky scenery shifting he still draws way better than I do.

*Zombie strip - a comic strip that continues to run in the papers despite the death of its creator.

The UTI has passed or at least no longer causing me discomfort.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I find the anthropomorphic piggy bank disturbing on several levels.

I took Loki to the vet for his annual check up. He received a clean bill of health and he is not overweight. 79.3 pounds. He will have to come back to the vet to receive a lepto booster. Apparently, lepto has made an appearance in Brazos County. It is a disease that dogs get from drinking stagnant water or eating things that squirrels have urinated on. I need to follow the advice of Mary Worth and EDUCATE MYSELF about lepto.
I'm fighting what I think is a minor UTI. I had to make two extra stops, one on the way to the vet and one on the way home. I drank four cups of cranberry juice. That stuff has more calories than Coke! 140 calories per serving and the two bottles had two servings. I also took some pills that provide relief and turns my urine into a shocking shade of orange.
Thanks to the cranberry juice I will go over my daily recommended amount of calories (1,980 - 2,330). That does not bother me. I hope my body made good use of all that cranberry juice.
I added the title after I realized the direction that this post was going.
You can make me feel better by admitting that you follow this blog and make my blog follower widget look less pathetic.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cool Alex Toth Drawings...

and a single panel of Mary Worth. I love that Terry Bryson points toward the window when she warns Toby. Phishing to agoraphobia maybe?
I found these drawings via Drawn! They are Alex Toth design sketches. Alex Toth the man responsible for some of my childhood and Adult Swim. He designed Jonny Quest, Birdman, Space Ghost, Mightor, Herculoids, Super Friends, Josie and the Pussy Cats and other "oh my god that was real and not some fever dream I had as a kid" cartoons.
Alex Toth has a bit of fun with Race Bannon and a gas mask. I want to make this an icon.
From Sealab 2020: Holy crap! Look at all those gauges and screens! That level of detail would have blown Hanna-Barbera's animation budget.
I think Roger had some lines in Sealab 2021. I like the close up drawing of the cassette tape player.

More drawings can be found at

One of the presentation drawings screams 1970's. Hanna-Barbera pitched a cartoon about a bionic police dog! I wonder if that one actually made it to air?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Exercise Log: September 15 - 20

This week I ran and biked 23.36 miles, burned 2386.7 calories and weigh 147.3 pounds.

Monday: ran 5.42 miles in 1:01:34
Tuesday: biked 3.15 miles in 13:48
Wednesday: ran 4.48 miles in 48:41
Thursday: ran 4.60 miles in 50:19
Saturday: ran 5.71 miles in 1:05:00

Last two weeks I've skipped my Friday workout. Two weeks ago, I spent Friday preparing for Hurricane Ike and yesterday I went grocery shopping with Walter and intended to do some exercise when we got home. Instead I watched two hours of Star Trek: Voyager. Lately, on the Friday evenings that I have worked out I really had to push myself to go to the gym. Maybe a bit of boredom has set in or my body is signaling that I need more rest.

I might skip gym on Friday evenings and walk the dog instead. I have long runs the next three Saturdays in preparation for the Harbor Half Marathon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Funny out of context panel:
Get your Terry Bryson icon:

I wonder if Terry Farrell from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine served as the model for Terry Bryson?

Get a befuddled Toby Cameron icon:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We are not bonding

I've been on the receiving end of these kinds of conversations way too often. Mostly with women to whom I cannot tell to shut up without dealing with a lot of drama. If one utters out loud the words, "blah blah blah" several times in the course of a conversation that should indicate that one really has nothing to say. Conversation is the wrong word because that implies the involvement of at least two people. What is the word for one person talking and another person sitting there suffering through the sounds being jammed into their ears and their brain cells killing themselves to escape the pain?

I'm not sure if it's worth suffering just for some bit of kindness.
The species is cockatiel self-image. The bird's actual size is about 10 inches but in its mind its size is 10 feet. Rare for it to appear outdoors.
We have background continuity but not foreground continuity. It should take Terry Bryson another week to help Toby make the connection. Try percussive stimulation, Terry.
I love Earl the vacuum cleaner boy.
Why does Sally feel compelled to force Ted to try to make friends at the office? He should be on good terms, cooperative and helpful but friendship is not necessary especially if he has nothing in common with his co-workers. I wonder if Sally would push this if Ted worked in an office mostly populated by women?

I like my co-workers but I would not spend my own time with them. Forced socialization would make a bad work environment for me.

Says and goes are not synonyms. Lately, that mistake has really bothered me. I try to ignore it and I do not say anything to those who make it. In the larger scheme of things this should hardly rate a flicker of a thought. I considerate it an indication of current state of my life. I have time for this kind of thing to bother me therefore life is good.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

News from family

My mother's house is undamaged. My sister's house is one of the few on her street that did not get major damage. My aunt and uncle's house was hit by 4 trees. They are all still without power but everyone is okay.

On this front the bird's cage is back in its place in front of the window. My brother-in-law is spending the night here because he does not have power and the place he was staying is very crowded.

Both of us are off tomorrow. Walter was scheduled this day off and I took some annual leave. This had nothing to do with Ike.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Made it through

We just got rain and wind gusts but no power outage nor flooding. My family closer to the coast made it through but they do not have power. Last time I checked on them they did not sustain any damage to their homes but they have a lot of debris in their yards. I don't know if my mother's mobile home made it through undamaged.

The pets made it through. I think the birds were more upset about having their cage moved than the goings on outside.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mary Worth Watch

I will miss a couple of days of Mary Worth because of Hurricane Ike. I'm 150 miles inland but in the storm's path and will likely receive heavy rains, high winds and maybe power outage. I don't run the computer during nasty weather anyway. The nasty weather is expected to hit my area by Saturday morning.

Most of my family lives ~50 miles inland - northwest of Houston. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

When this passes I will go back and check on Mary and her background. Maybe Joe Giella can surpass his previous record of 2 days of background continuity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

She's back!

The meddler is back and we have background continuity between panels. Background continuity between panels may become the new thing to watch for in Mary Worth.

This looks like a brief appearance then we get to deal with weeks of Toby's angst and loss of confidence regarding her intelligence and resourcefulness.

Has Toby figured out how the identity thieves acquired her personal information? Probably not, instead we will get treated to weeks of Toby trying explain things to Ian and Ian's frustration with his attempts to get his wife's neurons to fire.

Mary celebrates Halloween early with her choice of clothes.

I'm keeping the poll up in case this appearance is just for the day.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

40 effing days!

I like support under my chairs and tables but that's just me.

40 days without a Mary Worth appearance. Will Mary reappear before the end of Ramadan (September 30 - October 1 in North America)?* That's one pious biddy - Lent and Ramadan.


Feel free to participate in the newest poll - Mary Worth will reappear for which holiday?

September 30: Eid ul-Fitr (last day of Ramadan) - Muslim holiday
October 9: Yom Kippur - Jewish holiday
October 28: Diwali - Hindu holiday
December 9: Bodhi Day - Buddhist holiday

Monday, September 08, 2008

Doctors say the darndest things

Walter had a check up a couple of days ago. I saw the same doctor a few weeks ago to deal with something on my skin. This doctor doesn't see me as often as he does Walter.

My low heart rate (48 when I went to the doctor - 45 when the dentist checked a couple of weeks ago, normal is 60 - 80) came up as a subject of discussion with the doctor. He told Walter not to startle me when I'm at rest because it could lead to fainting. According to the doctor being startled leads to a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate and since both my blood pressure and heart rate are low, I'm vulnerable to fainting if startled. So I guess instead of telling me to sit down, I should run a few laps before receiving startling news.

I've been thinking about this too much for the past two days. Sort of bracing for something unlikely to happen. I know part of Walter wants to test the doc's assertion. I kind of want to test it myself. I haven't read any articles about runners having this problem.

I have an appointment to give blood on Friday. I will find out if the blood pressure is too low for the Red Cross. I have given three times since taking up running.


Loki likes wearing his life jacket but he really does not care for riding in the canoe. I need to get a picture of him modeling his jacket. He did last 5 minutes longer than his previous trip but we won't do anymore canoe trips with Loki because it puts stress on both Loki and Walter. I wouldn't mind taking him on a camping trip if a safe place were available for him to be while we paddled around in the canoe. He loves to ride in the truck and play at the lake.


Maybe Mary Worth has given up appearing in her comic strip for Lent. Wrong season in the real world but at the glacial pace that Mary Worth time moves it could be the Lenten season.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


The AC is fixed. It needed a small part replaced. Cost less than $100 but we do have an older system that will need replacement in the future. Hopefully, far in the future. We have savings for this sort of thing.

Help is on the way

The AC repairman is on his way. Our AC went out last night. Fortunately, it is relatively cool right now (highs in the low 90's, lows in the upper 60's). I'm sitting in the hottest room in the house writing this blog entry.

It was nice to be able to sleep in and then run in the daylight, today.

This week I biked and ran 23.53 miles, burned 2369.4 calories and weigh 149.3 pounds.

Monday: ran 3.47 miles in 41:18
Tuesday: bike 3.09 miles in 13:57
Wednesday: ran 6.09 miles in 1:07:21
Thursday: ran 2.41 miles in 26:32
Saturday: ran 8.47 miles in 1:35:42

I skipped Friday because it was so pleasant in the shade and I did not feel like going to the gym. I had talked Walter into a sunset canoe trip but his head hurt and we went out to dinner instead. I did get Loki into his life vest and was able to make adjustments. I may need to make some more adjustments to make it easier for him to urinate. He doesn't mind wearing the jacket.

We will attempt an evening canoe trip on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Gold's Gym Games

This greeted me when I went to the gym yesterday. Second in women under 40. Surprised by the lack of participation in the men under 40.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New record!

Mary Worth has been Mary Worthless for 33 days in a row. A new record.

One of my gag writing techniques is to write down a bit of a conversation and then depict only the last statement. I think this is funny because I know the whole conversation but the reader is left wondering what lead up to this moment. The whole conversation is usually quite absurd. Yes, I have some weird conversations play out in my head. None of this weirdness happens under the influence of mind altering substances.
Single panel comics that depict only a slice of a larger story are my favorite kind of gags. These work best when done sparingly. If I had weird conversations playing out in my head on a daily basis, I would question my sanity.
I think name Ethel is an inherently funny name. Couple that with the silliness of naming body parts (after a famous Ethel, no less) and sharing that information with another person, the result is Linda laughing out loud and unable to adequately explain what is so funny to those around her.
Answering, "Nothing" to the question, "What is so funny?" really means you don't want to know and would only lead to more questions that I cannot answer.
I don't know how these absurd thoughts end up in my head but I appreciate the gift.