Apparently there’s a presidential debate tonight, so let’s look at the candidates as VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS

On one side, we have Donald Trump. He’s a default character available from the beginning. He hits really hard, but he’s slow. He has a degree of unpredictability that, somehow, just makes him really predictable. A lot of rookies play as him because, against another rookie or easy CPUs he often is easy to win with.

Then we have Hillary Clinton. She’s another default character available from the start, and she has a lot of skills and strength that makes her a strong character, but all her moves are difficult to pull off and require a lot of practice. Like, a really lot of practice. You doing anything else with your life? You won’t be able to use her very well. You need a lot of money time to get good with her, and those who do are usually able to beat everyone else easily. A novice can hardly beat anyone.

We also have Jill Stein! She’s a hidden, unlockable, hidden character who is really difficult to unlock. However, she’s easy to use and strong, so a novice is able to use her well, as is someone who has practiced with her a lot. She’s high in the tier list. Not top tier, though. That’s Diddy Kong, who was removed from the race for throwing mud. Or maybe it was poop. Either way, she does have some weaknesses, such as an inability to use items well.

Gary Johnson is also a hidden, unlockable character, but he’s the joke character. He’s not very good. At all. Though he’s also difficult to unlock.

Also, Bernie Sanders has been found in the game’s coding. He was cut from the final version, but he’s still in the game’s files in incomplete form. There’s some really specific and complex glitches that can let you play as him, and for the most part he works without much trouble. For the most part it’s just that a match with him and Clinton leads to some game crashes. He generally plays like a stronger Jill Stein but has his own set of weaknesses.

I hope you enjoyed this complete turnaround of my previous statement about being unable to social media anymore because I started my dayjob today.

Creator Highlight: Amanda Rosenberg

In this last highlight post until I am again able to remove myself from capitalism for a while, let’s look at another funny person I found on Medium, Amanda Rosenberg. She writes funny stuff and is an editor at some group thing-or-other on Medium, I don’t know how it works, it just has a name, actually, maybe it’s the banner that’s important, which would make sense since it went with the ugliest color they could find, come on, that’s not not nearly the ugliest color. Not nearly gray enough.

She has also written some pieces on depression. I’m here to talk about the funny bits.

Amanda has actually written quite a few pieces of mock company email strings such as from CEOs. I um. I assume they’re mock ups. I assume I’m using that word right. I assume these aren’t real emails. Here’s “Emails From A CEO Who Just Has A Few Changes To The Website“, with infinite scrolling and this amazing section:

What if the homepage was just a picture of a white wall? Think about it. People will be like “Where am I? What’s happening?” and isn’t that the whole point of having a site?

There’s also “Emails From A CEO Who Just Had A Great Branding Idea“, featuring a website covered in human skin. How’s that for the ugliest color to be found?

Next there’s this piece about Apple removing the headphone jack. I have never used an Apple product. I can only assume this is accurate! There are also these amazing “Motivational Startup Taglines” such as “BUILD THE PAST, IN THE PRESENT, WITH FUTURE MONEY,” and “EMPOWER, OVERPOWER, CAULIFLOWER.” Though I prefer eggplant. After all, there is no “can’t” in “eggplant”.

Um. Let’s move on.

Last one, and definitely the most powerful of the bunch, is “My Thoughts On The Brexit Vote“, and if you read this, Amanda, I am in no way trying to downgrade your other stuff in favor of what does appear to be random keyboard mashings! (Because of course I am certain every single letter in that piece was chosen with precision and dexterity? Dexterity is a thing people use to choose letters, I am pretty sure.)

Anyway, that’s some highlights for the sharp-witted Amanda Rosenberg. I’m out for…

Wait, you know what? No. One more thing.

I Replaced The Word ‘Millennials’ With ‘43-Year-Old White Men’ And Now These Headlines Are *Italian Chef Kissing Fingers Gesture*

It’s a pretty simple piece that just changes one term, but, here’s the thing. Apparently there was a little hubbub about a week ago about an editor-in-chief on the news site Mother Jones tweeting about hating millennials because they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton (or something–the tweet has since been deleted).

“43-Year-Old White Men Just Aren’t That Into Hillary Clinton, and it Could Cost Her the Election”

Mrlneh? I think maybe headlines related to Trump are even better. “Can Donald Trump win over 43-Year-Old White Men?” Although just about anything related to the election seems to work pretty well. Unrelated to the election but:

“Will the Left Survive the 43-Year-Old White Men?”

Actually you know the original piece I didn’t find too funny, but apparently when the idea is applied to actual series-sounding titles with possible ramifications on the real world and not just weird faddish articles I find it funny! Look I may be editorializing a little here but I’m pretty sure what we can learn from this is that I’m terrible.

Amanda Rosenberg! Check her out! Her writing, I mean.

I just got the call

OMEGA PROTOCOL IS GO

wait no

The dayjob called for me to return to work on Monday. It’s time for my small social media presence to get smaller! Here’s basically my gameplan:

  • Tomorrow I’ll post the last highlight. I might return to it next year, since I intend to go on furlough again so I can then go crazy on editing.
  • I may post some art on Sunday, and then that’ll be it for a while.
  • Overall I’ll just have less time to post things, so I guess I won’t.
  • Man, I really don’t do much, do I?
  • I mean, I kept meaning to get back to making video game videos, but could never organize things enough to do so.
  • At this point my microphone probably stopped working again.
  • Oh well.
  • Chapters will still be posted at the start of each month.
  • Patrons on my Patreon will still get a weekly update, and someday this will work and I won’t have to go to a dayjob that makes me sad at the state of human affairs.
  • I may die.

My plan is to basically spend 90% of my free time working on the third book. Fortunately I’m finished up to May so I have enough of a buffer to not have to really worry at all, unlike a couple years ago (and maybe last year? I don’t remember, it was a blur). There are a couple other projects I wanted to do, and I might quickly do one before I return on Monday, buuut maybe not. I might just leave them both for next year. If I somehow find time I might even still try to get those game videos going again, but I doubt it.

2016 is now over. 2017!!! (you can’t tell but that’s in all caps)

A brief…ish metaphor for the USA times

Say you enter a cafe for lunch. Not a café, of course, because it’s hard to add those little symbols to letters while typing and the French suck–this is America, gaddfern it–in fact, we just start pronouncing cafe “cayff”. So anyway, you enter a cayff and want something to food.

How about a salad? Well, you’ve heard some weird stuff about it, some people say the lettuce wasn’t protected against disease and the tomatoes are mushy, but you checked and the lettuce was protected against disease although questions were brought up over the–I’m gonna say some kind of spray that protected it against disease? I don’t know can you imagine injecting lettuce with a needle? I looked it up and apparently a needle was found in some Romanian lettuce but I mean ha ha where even is Romania? Is it in Rome? I also found this which is adorable.

bunny

Also you checked and the tomatoes are mushy but, still, overall very healthy, very nice. I actually don’t like salads but I assume most people find them edible!

It turns out this cayff only serves one thing at a time, and it only changes every four years (usually). What it serves is decided upon by all the customers who happen to be there at the time. Whichever side is loudest most populous is what is served for those four years. Everyone seems to be focusing on two dishes though, neither of which is the salad. You ask a waiter about it, and they shrug. You ask a few more waiters, and then finally you ask someone who has eaten at the cayff before and they explain that the salad is available down in the basement past a rickety set of stairs, through a flooded passageway, over a wobbly wooden rope bridge over a chasm, and through a Roman gladiator coliseum. They put it there, and nobody ever took the salad, and so they left it there.

You manage to see it using some binoculars or something, and yep, it would be really hard to notice unless you go around asking and looking. No wonder no one goes for it.

You also notice a plate of butter-fried butter covered in nickels with a side of no health care.

Okay, you go back upstairs. What’s the two dishes everyone else is looking at? Well, one of them is an orange Skittle. A giant orange Skittle. That’s poisoned.

why are we eating here again

Okay, okay, okay, what about the other one? Hey, it’s a steak! That’s pretty good, right? It has a side of white bread sogged up with grease and a big hole cut in the center so it’s mostly just the crust, but maybe you won’t have to eat that. Maybe you can just eat the steak.

Although… now that you are remembering, your friend ate here a little while ago for breakfast. They had two steaks available, but one included a fruit salad, though there were some hard bits in the steak. The other steak–the one that is now available for lunch–was actually made of rat meat. Or pigeon meat, or whatever you want to say. Now, they’re saying this lunch steak is not made of that stuff. It is 100% grade-A beef, and it even offers some of the fruit from the fruit salad.

You don’t see the fruit salad, though (they say it’s coming), and you can’t be sure they’re telling the truth about the content of the steak. Sure, your friend could have been lying, but why would they lie, and also, I only said it was a friend because I thought this story might be inconsistent if you’d eaten here before. The breakfast metaphor doesn’t even work all that well. Also, some of the steak’s friends showed up and are dropping hints that the steak would go ahead with the TPP anydangway.

Let’s take a brief moment to reiterate the orange Skittle was poison. Also I can’t actually tell if Skittle is the singular form or if it really is just Skittles overall. Also Skittles is starting to look really weird. Oh yeah and by the way orange is my least favorite Skittle flavor. Actually I don’t like orange-flavored most things. Yet they always seem so common.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, the steak.

So maybe the steak is cool now? Maybe it won’t be rotten and stuffed with money? Maybe it won’t be soaked in oil and cooked in coal?

To push this metaphor unnecessarily further, everyone is divided into tables and each table’s vote is homogeneous, the plurality vote of the table is considered the general vote. You get dumped at a table full of people who don’t think that Skittle is poisonous. You might as well drum up awareness of the salad. The more people who know, the closer we can get to having more choices.

The steak may turn out fine. It may turn out figgin excellent. And the salad could even turn out mediocre. But the range of possibilities seems more positive for the salad.

THIS METAPHOR STOPPED BEING BRIEF HALF AN HOUR AGO I APOLOGIZE

Random chance in writing

I actually randomize a…n almost bizarre amount of stuff in the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos. Some events I randomize–I’m pretty sure the initial setup of the four battles in chapter 17 of Darmenzi had the participants of the four fights randomized, and from there I just wrote how it would naturally play out. I hadn’t planned how they would turn out (though the orb then got nabbed by someone else anyway so it wasn’t that critical, I guess).

But that’s not all. Every time I develop a new character, whether premeditated for a future book or someone written in as I’m writing, I’ll open up a random number generator and randomly determine a number of features for the character, gender/sex being a big one. Regardless of any preconceived notions I have about a character, I’ll randomize what sex they are. (A lot of older characters I didn’t do this for because they’ve existed in such a way for so long.) Another datapoint: glasses. It turns out a lot of people nowadays need corrective eyewear. It’s not really such a nerd accessory anymore, and you can’t remove the need for vision correctiveness by just being cool (although you can just wear contact lenses, I guess).

Oh yeah, and sexual orientation. That’s randomized.

(Not all of these things are fully randomized, and some of them could be subject to change as I get to know a character. One character just had to have eyeglasses. Another character I simply realized, as I worked out the plot for a future story, was certainly homosexual.)

Anyway, my point here is that I randomly determine so much in writing that why don’t I try to use it to help me write blog posts? TO WIKIPEDIA’S RANDOM ARTICLE FEATURE

ong what if someone wrote a story with wikipedia’s articles as the characters, and there’s a group of article characters that are orphans ong

Er… there are a lot. Like, more than the population of a big town. More than the population of the town I used to live in.

And they’re all on a deserted island alone. There’s a Wikipedia war or something, probably like an edit war, and the orphaned articles get stranded on an island filled with pies, and only one of them can be Lord of the Pies, coming this fall to Reality Show TVision.

ART (or at least some facsimile of it): Thyvae

I said I maybe might! Doodled up in about I don’t actually know how long but it couldn’t have been more than 10 or 20 minutes, maybe 30, the simplest-looking species from the CCC on Mintop, the thyvae. The original inspiration was hydras. You know, from nature.

thyvae

These doodles are by no means meant to be a final word on how these things look. I just like having stuff to actually post for once.

Creator Highlight: James Stuart

I’ve just changed the title for this to creator, because I figured, hey, if I’m doing more than just story-authors, why not do comics, too? I read a lot of comics, it turns out. So why not take a look at a comic? Why not took a lake– Sorry, what? I mean, why not take a look at a comic by an Australian pal of mine, James, called Sam the Dawg.

I mean, sure, he has a wonky update schedule where he doesn’t always update, but he’s been updating again, so why not get it noticed so that he can be totally embarrassed if he falls behind again? Yes, I am sometimes evil. I mean helpful.

Anyway! Sam the Dawg is a comic mostly about a dog named Sam. It doesn’t have a particularly established canon really, he generally appears to have an owner who at least has the same name as James. It’s a pretty clever and cute comic that generally seems to be about whatever he comes up with (there have been a few without Sam in the past, as well). James also works on other art and projects (and university) which is why the comic doesn’t always have updates but anyway before I lose track of what I’m saying I’ma just post some comics!

In fact, he updated with one just today. It has pirates!

Like all good webcomics, there are also sometimes video game references.

So I was scrolling through looking for something both good and that wouldn’t need other comics to understand and somehow traveled three years into the past. His art style has changed over time. I remember when he decided to start drawing Sam with a mouth that didn’t look just pasted on!

A lot of 2014 and 2015 had comics related to one another. There was an ongoing story involving a shovel, as well as the start of a short-lived series called Maximum Punch.

And then there’s this classic one that’s just silly.

And here’s a couple fun ones about Animal Crossing.

Anyway, there’s some highlights. I recommend checking out more! Comics from before 2013 have a lot more simplistic style than the later ones, although I wouldn’t say they were worse (note: I only wouldn’t say that because I’d have go look back through and compare them, and I’ve taken too long on this post as it is, as I do with every blog post, so I’m gonna end it soon).

One last thing I’ll note is that he’s also done some animation work. This one is pretty neat!

Oh yeah, and James was the guy who drew the art for the Nobody Ever Visits the Magma Monster shirt for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos that’s available, and no I didn’t just highlight James so I could mention that.

ART: The Conqueror animation

I like to draw sometimes. I’m not any good at it, but I still like to do it. And by not any good, I mean if I draw in a style that allows me to not care if it turns out good or not, it can turn out, well, decent, anyway. Especially for being drawn with a figgin computer mouse. I’ve been thinking of drawing some characters from the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos in a simplified style I’ve had going on, so I might post some of those drawings here. For right now here’s a simple two-frame animation of Conrad I made that I plan to use in a new Patreon intro video I’m planning to make later.

conradpatreon1

And now, spiders.

I went out for a walk today because of Pokemon GO and decided to head around the nearby lake again. There’s a trail. People walk on it. Maybe I can find a Pokemon?? (Spoilers, I didn’t.) As I walked on the trail along the lake, I looked up suddenly and was greeted by… THIS

20160914_073022.jpg

What? Can’t see it? Hang on…

Author (or Writer) Highlight: Lauren Parker

Whoa, wait, I started this two weeks ago? This last week kinda blew by. Yeesh. So today I have something a little different, because I realized if I just focus on those writing stories I’ll run out of entries before the month is over. That probably shouldn’t be the case since there’s so many people writing, but the crux is how many are writing good? Side crux, if I find it interesting. There’s also the factor of my wanting to focus on those who may not have a big following, which of course means it’s hard for me to find them.

Anyway! Let’s look at Lauren Parker. She’s a neat lady who writes and says things, but I’m focusing on the write because, ha ha listening to people? I first came across her on Medium, and she has some cool pieces on there! Her writing is pointed, funny when available, and sometimes even inspirational, though still with that zesty tinge of crazy that makes the internet amazing (no, not that kind of crazy, I mean the good crazy, you know, like high-density lipoprotein, aka good cholesterol).

A few examples from Medium: Events I Submit to be Considered for the Olympics, which is a rather quick read but long-lasting due to the images it conjures. It starts out strong and with a cereal I’ve never heard of so I had to look it up and now I have to assume that everything related to the cereal and its company went into the decision to name it mostly because the company is co-owned by the figgin Chinese government.

I think I got off-track.

Apparently there was some guy telling other guys to bother women wearing headphones a little while back, and Lauren wrote a companion piece related wherein she suggests you set yourself on fire. I mean, there’s other parts, including the important straightforward end paragraph, but fire. It works.

The last one I’ll post is longer and more inspirational/haggardational: An Open Letter to Myself. Actually, now that I think about it, this could totally be seen as a short story in second-person voice. It’s a little stream-of-consciousness, but I’d say it’s uplifting in a sideways sort of way. Not everyone can just stop and reflect a mirror at themself.

Okay! Join me tomorrow when it’ll suddenly be next week and I’ll realize that even expanding to “anyone who writes anything ever” I’ll run out of people in a month. I really shouldn’t. I probably won’t. But for some reason it sure feels like it.