Sunday, February 28, 2021

Lucky 13!

 It's February, and that means that the blog has gotten another year older!

Yes, the first blog post was written exactly 13 years ago yesterday! It's officially a teenager. Honestly, where has the time gone? I haven't done much with this place lately, sadly. Blogs seem to be a dying breed. But nevertheless, this one persisted, and shall persist.

But one, sadly, will not. Now would be a time to officially announce that my sister blog, In 10 Words, has been discontinued. I haven't updated it since New Year's Day, and frankly no one noticed. 

My reasoning for starting that blog it was the same reason I started this one: to keep my mind sane. Summing things up in exactly ten words was a fun mental exercise, and that turned into twelve years of insanity.  Maybe piggy back off the success of a more popular blog and get a book deal out of it? But obviously that didn't happen. 

Single topic blogs about pop culture gets rather taxing when you're not in tune with it as much as possible. I kept stressing myself up to keep a deadline for an audience in the single digits. I've been wanting to retire that blog for ages, and it finally came. I thought I'd put this whole fanfare about it. But my mental health has been so taxed I decided to just quietly stop updating it. Maybe I'll pick it up again in the future? Who knows. It's been a long, crazy ride, but it's finally over. For now. It's been a load off of my mental health, since I spent the better part of the last year running on fumes. I haven't been this relaxed in a while.

With that out of the way, it's now time for some 13 related imagery!





Thanks for reading! See you next month!


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Shiny!

Man, what a year it's been, huh? 

First, Covid is still around. Then, Trump people stormed the US Capitol and for some reason they all WEREN'T automatically arrested for it.

Saturday Morning Cartoons are back! 

MeTV even has a weekday morning block showing old cartoons that Cartoon Network refuses to touch. We're talking most of the Looney Tunes catalog, we're talking Droopy, black and white Popeye, the works. I knew January 6th was gonna be a weird one when I discovered that they let Pepe le Pew back on TV.

Ken Jennings hosts Jeopardy now, and he's also on a new version of The Chase with Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer (this primetime ABC version is kind of boring, TBH)

We lost some good people like Cecily Tyson, Hank Aaron, Sonny Fox, Cloris Leachman, Marc Wilmore, Allan Burns (co-created The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Munsters, My Mother The Car, and Cap'n Crunch!), and of course Larry King.

Bernie Sanders was everywhere

And now GameStop and AMC are the hottest stocks in the country.

I wonder what 2022 will have in store, and...Hold on, it's only JANUARY?!

Fuck.

Well...what else have I been up to this past month?

With YOU KNOW WHO finally out of the White House, I decided it was time to dive back into the world of Pokemon Sword.

It took five days to add about fifty more Pokemon, but I finally got around to completing the Galar Pokedex with all 400 mons to get the Shiny Charm! It makes shinies appear much easier in the game.

There's several methods of catching shiny Pokemon in this game, but the normal odds of finding a shiny in the wild are 1 in 4096, and that drops to 1 in roughly 1365. And if you try to breed a shiny through what's known as the Masuda Method (breeding pokemon from two different regions), that number goes from 1 in 682 to 1 in 512. So, still a long shot, but better.

And since I got that shiny charm roughly a week and a half ago, I've found five shinies.


My first attempt was Wooloo. I've been searching for this one on and off for more or less the entire time I've had the game. I get the shiny charm and BOOM, I find one within a day. I named it Tommy Boy.

BUT, alas dear readers, what you're reading was my FIRST attempt. Yes, through sheer panic and anxiety of finally finding my white whale (which was in this case a black sheep), I forgot to save the game when I caught it, and at least an entire hour's worth of progress went down the drain.

After some mild panic set in, I decided to go back to the hunt. I waited this long for one to show up, what's another few hours gonna go?

But we're in luck! A second one showed up after 29 battles, or about half an hour.

This one was female, so I named her Hydrox. Don't worry, I saved at least three times after I caught it.

Then came egg hatching a Buneary.

Why this one? Well, I already have a shiny Bunnelby and a Scorbunny, so I might as well get ALL of the shiny buns. And then I realized that Azumarill survived Dexit, too, so I'll be on the hunt for a shiny one of those later.


This one...was just dumb luck. I wasn't even looking for anything, I just decided to go battle a random Hitmonlee and BOOM, it was green!

It was only fitting that I named him Kickpuncher.

This Landorus came off Surprise Trade and quite frankly, I think it was hacked. Or at least made in a technically legal way, it looks like it came from one of those giveaway accounts.

And finally, I hatched one of my favorite shinies, this Carvahna, just a few hours ago. I call the big one Bitey.


Well, that'll do it for this month. Hope to see you all in February!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Good Riddance 2020!

 So here we are, the end of 2020!

This year blew. I think it's safe to say that.

We lost a lot of good people this year. I lost my grandmother back in September. She was 90 and she'd been in poor health for the past few years, so this didn't come as a surprise. But it still hurt. 

We also lost, among others: Alex Trebek, Sean Connery, Squiggy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, the guy who voiced Peppy in Star Fox 64 (Robert May aka "Do A Barrell Roll!" himself!), Kobe Bryant, Jeremy Bulloch, David Prowse, Whitey Ford, Chadwick Boseman, Diana Rigg, Kamala The Ugandan Giant, Regis Philbin, Eddie Van Halen, Carl Reiner, Fred Willard, Jerry Stiller, Little Richard, Gene Deitch, James Lipton, Kenny Rogers, Olivia de Havilland, Bill Withers, Jim Lehrer, Terry Jones, Kirk Douglas...

And just in the past few days: MF DOOM (back on Halloween, no less), Jon Huber (aka Brodie Lee), and Dawn Wells.

Yes, we lost Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island thanks to Covid. The show was a childhood favorite, and I know I'm not alone in that. It was a Nick @ Nite staple back in the day. I always liked her more than Ginger. And speaking of which, that leaves Tina Louise as the last surviving castaway.

Luckily Dawn Wells was a fixture at autograph shows like Chiller Theater, so finding a signature on ebay is both easy and relatively cheap, so that's where I went the moment I heard the news. I wish I could've met her in person, by all accounts she seemed like a lovely person.

And when 2020 comes to a close, so will Flash. What would early 2000s internet be without it?

Kids today will never know the pain of having to wait so long for Mario Twins (a four minute video!) to load that you could play a separate minigame while you waited.


This was the pinnacle of comedy in the early 2000s. Poorly drawn cartoons about video games with lots of poop jokes.

There was also this classic from Lemon Demon:

This was probably the first BIG viral cartoon, but I'm more familiar with this video by him:

Colin Mochrie was the Chuck Norris of Animutation. I have fond memories of that one.

And then there's the grandaddy of them all: Homestar Runner.

I jumped in during my later years of High School, which places it around 2003 or 2004. Right before the 100th Strong Bad Email, and I've been a loyal follower ever since. Most of their catalogue migrated to youtube, but not all of it. The flash version of Halloween Potion-ma-jig was a terribly hard loss, since it integrated a Choose Your Own Adventure-style algorithm that had three different endings, and that video only has one of them. (the youtube version is embedded above)

Thankfully some kind soul uploaded the other two endings.

I think HSR picked the funniest options, which was for the best. I still don't know what "Powdered Thanksgiving" is.

It just sucks since they were one of the last hangers on for Flash, and while they have a plan to migrate to a post-flash world, it's no longer gonna be the same. Seriously, it's the only internet cartoon that I'm aware of that had easter eggs in them, and now most of them aren't accessible. 

With that out of the way, time to share what I got for Christmas!



Not much this year, but when you're 33, you don't really want much to begin with. I got another bottle of my favorite barbeque sauce, the new Hyrule Warriors game (it's pretty sweet), the Steven Universe box set, and of course gift cards. And it wouldn't be Christmas in 2020 if I didn't get new masks. Not pictured were new work clothes, stocking stuffers like deodorant, and toothpaste. Everyone in my house got more toothpaste for Christmas.

I also got new pajama pants:

Christmas Vacation themed! They're comfy.

Oh, and I have to highlight an early Christmas gift:

Izzy's Quest For Olympic Gold has finally been found and uploaded to Youtube!! I've mentioned before that finding it had been my White Whale, and the week before Christmas a kind soul had been going around Twitter and showing it to anyone who ever tweeted about it, especially me. And not only is the special here fully intact, it has all the commercials, too! What's notable is that those very commercials pinpoint to when this special aired, which was in August of 1996. I'm more than certain that THIS was the very broadcast I saw back in the day. A few of the commercials brought back some strong memories, especially the one for Rice Krispies Treats Cereal.

So what did I think after not seeing it in almost twenty-five years? Well..it's okay. It wasn't the godawful trainwreck I'd been expecting, but it's not good, either. I knew I didn't watch until the end, but I got farther into the special than I thought. I remember tuning out after the gymnastics portion, but there were only five minutes left after that.

The Olympics are usually super strict about promoting its brand when any other kind of media tries to talk about it, so it's kind of off putting to watch this special and it does not stop reminding you that this is about the Olympics. Sports, ambition, brotherhood, good sportsmanship, bribery and corruption, and basketball. That's what it's all about. 

Other than that, the plot is very basic. Izzy wants to go to the human world to compete in the Olympics, but he has to earn the five Olympic rings first to do so, which are mainly symbolic. He has only twenty two minutes to do it, so it's rather rushed. Spoiler alert: He earns all five rings before his Torchworld is torn apart by his friends and family bickering at each other about whether Izzy was worthy in the first place, Izzy gets to compete, everyone lives happily ever after. Izzy has a good heart, but he's kinda annoying. I think he's supposed to be a young teen at best? They don't specify his age, but he's probably around that magic age of 6 to 11. It worked for OK KO.

Would I recommend watching it? Yes, if only for the novelty of it. If the special wasn't known for being lost in the first place, it's not really surprising that it was forgotten. There's way better sports cartoons you could be watching instead, but none of them actually involve the Olympics.

And it was pretty easy to find where my cel is in the special!

It appears at roughly seven minutes and forty seconds in. This was the best screengrab I could get, but it's more or less the exact frame.

And so comes to what I do every year and plan out a resolution. Usually I don't have one since I never follow through on them in the first place, but I actually have one this year:

Make it to 2022.

Simple, yes, but getting here to 2021 was a challenge in and of itself. But we're not out of the woods just yet! If nothing goes wrong, I'll see all of you for January's entry.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Thankful

 Well, November has come and gone, and THANK GOD the election is (mostly) over.

The guy we wanted to win won! Hooray!


Now comes the annual "What Am I Thankful For This Year"? entry that you all love so well.

There's really the basics: Thankful that I still have my job, my health, a roof over my head. My family is currently in the midst of a Covid scare. Yeah, my mother got briefly exposed to a co-worker that had it and my parents got tested yesterday. Outlook is looking good since both parties had masks on the whole time they were together and it's looking unlikely that any of us have it. But if you don't see an entry by New Year's...you'll know the worst has happened.

Also, we lost Alex Trebek at the beginning of the month. I knew it was coming (I called it a year ago that we'd be saying goodbye in 2020), but that didn't make it any less painful. He was by all accounts a lovely man and I would've loved to have met him. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be.

BUT that didn't stop me from getting my hands on this beauty:

I scrolled through eBay the moment I heard the news and came across this signed card. It hits all my buttons: the picture is of mustache and perm era Alex, he's posing with books with himself on the cover, AND it's technically signed to my name! What a stroke of luck that I bought it off a fellow Steve (and at a good price!)

But with that out of the way, here's some good stuff to look forward to!

Christmas Music Season!

Yeah, I used to be a "Christmas Music in December ONLY" type for the longest time, but the sudden loss of one of my best friends last December made me not want to be in the mood for Christmas last year, so to cope I started to listen to Christmas music the rest of the year. But now we're in the midst of Mariah Carey, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Buble emerging from their coffins to bombard us with all the holiday classics wherever we go. But this time I welcome it. I'm still in grief.

New iPhone!

Yes folks, I finally bit the bullet and upgraded! No more shattered screens! No more awkwardly lit pictures! I'm going from the 6s to the 12 Pro, literally the newest one out there. So since I bought it during Black Friday Weekend, I didn't exactly walk out of the Verizon store with one. Rather, it's gonna come in the mail and I'm gonna have to finagle a way to get all my old stuff onto the new phone. I used to be Mr. Tech, the guy who has to explain to my parents how to work the simplest functions on a their computers. But now I've been humbled, I'm 33 and the lack of a home button frightened me.

Expect some really nice looking pictures for the annual Christmas entry.

The return of the McRib!

Yes, the fast food gods decided that 2020 would NOT end in a total wash and are gracing us with the McRib's presence once again! It returns December 2nd, and will probably not last too long after that. Now, I'm not expecting a mad rush for it a la the Popeye's Chicken Sandwich (which was totally worth it. I just got lucky and ate one the day before the word got out), but if all goes well, I should have my first taste of it by the weekend.

It'll be the first national rollout since 2012, but I honestly forgot the last time I actually ate one. I'm pretty sure it was ten years ago, since that's when I wrote an entry about it.



Yeah, those pictures looks nice, but they predate the iPhone cameras. Expect hi res photos the next time I see you guys.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Spooky Times!

 It's Halloween once again!

Yeah, like everything else this year, it was kind of a bust. Usually, I'd spend this post talking about New York Comic Con, show you what I got, and show off the cool cosplays I saw.

That didn't happen this year. And it got me bummed.

But fret not, dear listeners! I recreated me experience as best I could and still managed to stand on a really long line this past month.

I voted early for the first time last Saturday! Yes folks, New York finally entered the 20th century and had early voting for the first time in a presidential election! I knew lines were gonna be long, and was prepared for a wait, but...woof.

When I early voted during the primaries, I was in and out in five minutes. Of course, I went on the LAST day of early voting. And primaries don't get a big turnout in the first place. I saw long lines around the country and thought, maybe New York would've gotten its act together and I'd only wait about an hour, maybe two, tops.

Ha ha, no. Thanks to the lack of polling places for early voting, plus covid limiting how many people can be in a space at once, overall enthusiasm to vote, and bragging rights to have voted on the first day that early voting was ever held, I waited on line for a total of four hours and fifty minutes.

Want proof? Here's the timestamp of that first picture, when I got on line:



Compared to when I got out of the voting booth:

Yeah, I was there for a while. But completely worth it. I had to pee by hour four, and thankfully that's when I reached the building to even REACH a bathroom. And THAT was a hassle in and of itself.

But it was all worth it in the end. I waited nearly five hours, but I would've gladly waited more. And I live in one of the states where my vote for president doesn't even matter! But there was also all the important downballot races, and you know I filled in the bubbles for those.

Just for fun, here's where I was at the one hour mark. Didn't make it TOO far in, but I knew I was in for a wait.

Here's two hours. We all thought we'd be home free when we turned that corner.

Three hours. Nope! It looped around the parking lot before you even got close to the actual building. I was telling folks in line with me that the last time I stood in a line this long, Stan Lee was at the end of it.

Four hours. I knew that my years of experience of waiting in lines at NYCC was preparing me for this exact moment.

Roughly half an hour later: The door to get in! Actually getting in to vote took another fifteen minutes, roughly.

Hopefully this becomes worth it past Tuesday. I can barely take another four days of this nonsense, let alone four more years.

Please vote. And you've all known me long enough to know who I want you to vote for.

If we survive next week, I'll see you all in November.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Flintstones Turn 60?!

This month was absolute shit. Death, depression, floods, injuries, impending doom (more so than usual).

But enough about last week, let's turn our attention towards something good:

The Flintstones premiered on this date SIXTY years ago!

It seems like just yesterday I was writing about the fiftieth anniversary back in 2010. Yes, I've been blogging for so long, my old posts now have sequels a decade later. It's weird knowing shows that you grew up on were the same ones that your parents and grandparents watched back in the day. There would be no prime time animation, or animated sitcoms without it. So, basically a blessing and a curse.

They really need to meet up with the Jetsons again. It's been far too long.

I already showed off this cel I bought a few months back, but it's worth seeing again. But speaking of cels, I recently picked up this one:

They're a pair of cels (and the drawing) from some episode of Yogi's Space Race. Hey, it had Jabberjaw on it, I HAD to get it. The drawings might be tiny, but they're really clean and clear. This sat on eBay for five bucks until an hour before it ended, but I still managed to snag them for a decent price.


I really need to get around to reading this, I keep hearing good things. It got dark, but I keep telling myself "what can DC comics do to the Flintstone that Hanna Barbera already did to it?"

It's even signed by Mark Russell, the artist, to boot! He was a nice guy.

Speaking of comics, I managed to finally snag a copy of the comic where they went to the 1964 NY World's Fair a while back. Again, I need to get around to reading this, the cover alone is really charming.

Did you know there was an episode late in the series where they actually went to the fair? The show got weird near the end, time machines were involved. Oddly enough, Gazoo WASN'T in that one.

And you might've known that the Flintstones once shilled for Winston cigarettes, but did you know that there were three different commercials? The one where Fred and Barney duck out of yard work is the most famous one, but it's still weird to see someone have a record of a cigarette jingle, 

or watching a cartoon character actually go into a tobacco shop.

Fred didn't even pay for that already opened pack of smokes. He was right to just leave Rocky out in the cold like that.

And I have to share what's one of the more baffling Flintstones projects: Fred & Barney Meet The Thing

The only time the two actually crossed over was in this intro, the show itself was a package of a half hour episode of "The New Fred and Barney Show" and two 11 minute segments of a Thing cartoon. And this version of the Thing wasn't a member of the Fantastic Four. No, it was about the adventures of young Benji Grimm in current day America, who fought crime by turning into The Thing with some help from a magic ring. Hard to believe this only lasted thirteen episodes, really.

Here's to sixty years, Flintstones, and here's to sixty more! Do kids know anything about the Flintstones these days apart from the vitamins and the cereals?

Monday, August 31, 2020

AuGHOST 2020

 August was mostly crap, lets be honest here.


But something that kept me sane was participating in the AuGHOST drawing challenge once again.


One prompt a day, one ghost to go along with it. I also did it last year and the year before. I'll be honest, I almost didn't do it this year since it's, you know, drawing for 31 days. I was also low on art supplies, I ran out of room in the little notebook I'd been drawing in. But one Michael's run later and I came home with an actual sketchbook and a few packs of fancy markers. Not the REALLY fancy ones, but they got the job done. And no more lines on the drawings, either! I'm moving up in the world.

I've been under a lot of stress lately (but who hasn't?), but it turns out that drawing relaxed me. Maybe its because all of my concentration was focused on putting shapes on the page? Either way, I should doodle more often.

With that out of the way, let me show you this year's ghosts!

1) Bright

My thought going into this was to draw Homer Simpson wearing Henry Kissinger's glasses from memory.

But he came out looking more like George Costanza, or Colin Robinson from What We Do in The Shadows. This was my first attempt in the new style, and didn't quite realize that the markers smudged. That's drawing left handed for you.

2) Wax

One of a few "this looked better in my head." It was my first time playing around with shadows. I pictured the ghost being a candle, but I thought it was cooler if the flame was in its mouth and not on top of the head.

3) Confine

Wow Ghost was promised a nice cask of Amontillado, but things didn't turn out as well as he hoped it would be.

4) Lure

Everyone knows ghosts LOVE free bird seed! 

(Yes, that's supposed to be bird seed. Grayscale is weird)

5) Watery

"Get him a red hat and a Speedo." My first thought for this prompt was "Life Aquatic." Didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, kinda forgot what Bill Murray's beard looked like.

6) Ornate

Look at him with his lil Burger King crown. Gonna admit it, but this was my favorite ghost I ever drew. Crown aside, he's just a perfect drawing and I spent the rest of the month trying to recapture that.

7) Time

Time is certainly a flat circle here. Was thinking of the classic Mickey Mouse watch for this one.


8) Electric

Creepy. Kooky. Mysterious. Spooky. Altogether ooky.

Pretty good facsimile to Uncle Fester, if I must say.

9) Well

That's a weird hand...thing reaching out of that well. It was this or I tried to draw Ghost Ronald Reagan (he DID say "well" a lot.)

10) Scattered

Smothered and covered!

11) Puppet

Ghost muppet! I didn't like how the mouth came out, though. I panicked.

12) Roast

Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do!

13) Airy

"Say, did somebody say...box kits?"
"No!"

I liked how this came out. I might be spatially impaired, drawing a box kite is a lot harder than you'd think.

14) Grounded

What did ghostie do?!

15) Cryptic

BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!

16) Entwined

This came about when I realized that 2020 didn't seem to have any recurring ghosts, like Wow Ghost was for 2018, and Hatchet Ghost was for 2019. This was tryouts to see if Box Kite Ghost or Bright Ghost were able to be kept around. Turns out glasses are easier to draw than a box kite.

17) Opera

It's not over until the fat ghostie sings!

18) Old Fashioned

"Whuts all this, then?!" I liked the idea of drawing an old fashioned Bobby cop. Anything else I could think of for this one, like an old wind-up toy, or Dave Thomas from Wendy's seemed harder to draw. Just drawing the hat was tough enough.

19) Garden

See, here's Bright Ghost again who is suddenly Seymour in this drawing. I didn't feel confident enough to draw Audrey II, so I just drew Petey Piranha from Super Mario Sunshine instead. This was another one of my favorite drawings this time around.

20) Beheaded

Ah, the sad, sad tale of Hatchet Ghost. In 2019, he was just this weird ghost with a weird looking hatchet. Then he cut off his arm. Then somehow he cut off his other arm. Then he got his eye scratched out by a cat. Then he got caught in the Ghostbuster's ghost trap. Then somehow he lost a chunk out of his bottom. And now he's lost his head.

21) Telepathic

Ghostie thinks he's Aquaman or something. I think that's supposed to be a fishbowl, but looks more like some sort of bag.

22) Knot

"Not only is it not bad it's knot bread!" This ghost is enjoying a Pretzel Wagon pretzel, like all the movie stars are talking about!

23) Crow

or rather "Croooooow!" I was thinking whether do draw a ghost dressed as The Crow, or one dressed as Crow T Robot from MST3K, then decided to just do both. I gotta say, one came out better than the other one. This version of Crow T looks more like the one who caught on fire. Sorry, Crow.

24) Project

This bit's just not the same without Patrick Swayze.

25) Weathered

I certainly drew out my emotions on the page, there. That was certainly my mood this time a week ago. What a year this month has been.

26) Gory

On top of losing his head, now Hatchet Ghost has to deal with a spear in his chest.

27) Jaunty

This one's evoking a certain singing frog (he only performs when no one else is watching).

Fun fact, that's the second attempt at this prompt. The first one looked like this:

I liked how the upper half came out better here, but then I panicked when I was drawing the lower half. That's supposed to be a leg.

28) Guardian

Don't make him tap the sign.

29) Frost

He's a lil chilly, but he's got a scarf on. I like how this one came out.

30) Egg

Another on the list of "this looked better in my head. I was trying to evoke Sheldon from Garfield & Friends.

At least I have something in common with Rob Liefeld: We can't draw feet.

31) Cosmic

And finally, we have Cosmic. Wow Ghost has the Infinity Gauntlet, we're all fucked. You might be creeped out by this, but it certainly puts a smile on his face. Since it's the last entry, I decided to go all out with the colors. It's the most I've used in a single drawing so far.

I hope you all liked looking at my drawings! Be sure to look up the "#AuGHOST" and "#AuGHOST2020" tags on Twitter and Instagram for more pictures from way better artists than me. See you all in September!

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