Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life Happens

Today's Dork Tower is up.

But so are the last couple, which I never posted here.

I think these catches everyone here up to date:

(In case you missed them, the start of the series can be found HERE and HERE.)

Part the Third of the Series

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.

Part the Fourth of the Series

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.

Part the Fifth of the Series

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.

This series isn't generating as many comments as others have, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. It's awfully enjoyable, throwing characters into unfamiliar situations. Those are the points when they tend to take on a life of their own, and go off in directions you never could have predicted at the start of the run.


Sorry for the radio silence last week. Sometimes, Life Happens. There's some giant stuff going on right now, and making sure I have the time to give various things the time they deserve has been a bit stressful.

There are four potentially giant opportunities that have come knocking. Of course, they all came at the same time. So we'll see if any of them actually pan out. But they and other things kinda of have me living on pins and needles these days. Will there be other sporadic points where I don't update I hope not, but I can't rule it out. I'd have run some repeats last week, but it would have felt a bit odd, what with being in the middle of an ongoing series, and all.

Anyways, with luck, there'll be a big announcement in October or November. Until then, my fingers are crossed...


I'll be at the ACD Open House today, doing a signing from 3:30 to 4:30, I believe.

If anyone's going to be're probably already there. So this is a bit of a daft announcement.


What's that, you say? You're NOT reading "Recipes of the Damned," one of my very favorite food blogs (or anti-food blogs, I guess, given its subject matter)?

For shame. Get the hence, now! Have "More Fun With Velveeta."

(I wonder if Igor Bars count as a Recipe of the Damned...)


England 4, Croatia 1.

I'm just sayin', is all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dork Tower, Monday, August 25

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.


If no images pop up on this post, it's most likely something to do with, which hosts my various sites. I've been having problems getting through to for a while now.

It'd be lovely if it did indeed turn out that the site was far too busy (ONE of these days I'll get slashdotted - yes, yes I will), but most likely it's just a glitch. Keep trying back if you get one of the numerous error messages I've been receiving.


We consider Kitty Kitteh (pronounced "Kitty Kit-TAY"), Doozer's mom, as part of the family, even though she's an outdoor cat.

When she first came around, a couple of years ago, she was completely feral, and wouldn't let you come near her. Over the years, though, she's become quite the little love, and now rubs on my legs and enjoys - indeed, seems to revel in - being petted these days.

When she had her last litter of kittens, some may remember, we were able to catch them all, and find them good homes. Then we caught Kitty Kitteh, and took her to the vet, to be spayed. This proved far less traumatic to her than I feared, and she stayed around, finally putting on weight.

Well, I'd been worried sick these last few days, more than a week had gone by since we'd seen Kitty Kitteh: by far the longest she's gone missing since the operation last year. Indeed, since then, at most she'll vanish overnight. So a full week sort of left me a bit of a wreck. I'll be honest: I feared the worst.

"She's just on vacation," the Lovely and Talented Judith would joke, trying to make me feel better. I knew she was worried as well. Still, growing up on a farm, with barn cats, she can take The Circle Of Life better than I: farm kitties live and die, and come and go. Things Happen.

I grew up with a pet kitty - Gumby - who was an outdoor cat: to me, such cats don't disappear - they're ALWAYS around.

Anyway, long story short - yeah, worried sick. I was in a dark place all weekend. We're in the country, here. There are things in the shadows. We hear them at night.

This morning, while I was drawing, Judith came in to show me something: she walked me to the door, and there was Kitty Kitteh - a bit thinner, yes. But all there.

Seeing her again was really wonderful, and I feel like a weight's been lifted from my shoulders. At the very least, a dark cloud's gone.

I think she enjoyed the meal.

"She's lost weight," I noted.

"She vacationed at a Kitty Spa," explained Judith.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dork Tower, Friday, August 15

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


You know what you can do with $20?

Buy an Official Rachael Ray Garbage Bowl!

I'm not making this up! And her fans are raving about it! It's a bestseller, with 107 reviews averaging a 4.7 score out of five!

"I got two for me and one for a friend. We love them," raves one buyer.

"The R.R. garbage bowl is GREAT ! It's deep, light weight and is such a handy tool to have in the kitchen. Even tho' I have lots of other bowl that I could use.... it's so nice to have a specific one that I use just for it's purpose," runs a typical comment.

"I used to use anything I could get my hands on but now I feel so important because I have the real deal a Garbage Bowl," spouts another five-star review.

Twenty dollars! For a "Garbage Bowl."

In case you're not familiar with Rachael Ray's "30 Minute Meals" TV show, nor the bone-chilling phrases "Yum-o" nor "EVOO," let me just say that having a garbage bowl at hand when you're cooking is NOT a bad idea at all. In part because it keeps your work area clean and organized. In part because, as Alton Brown would say, the bowl is a multi-tasker: it's cheap. You can use ANY bowl in the kitchen. You know: ANY bowl. ANY BOWL, Raytards. BOWL! ANY! YOU...HAVE...BOWLS...ALL...AROUND...YOU!

Perhaps I'm just cranky this morning, but DON'T SPEND $20 FOR A BOWL TO PUT GARBAGE IN! I mean, at least just BURN the $20 and cut out the middle-man!

"Is it wrong that this appalls me?" asked the Lovely and Talented Judith, who discovered these at a local store.

"I'd be appalled if it DIDN'T appall you," I noted, trying to comfort her from yet further proof that God Is Either Dead Or Quite, Quite Unwell.

On the other hand, you've got to admit: it's sort of appropriate.

"Garbage Bowl, by Rachael Ray."

Something about those words just fit.

EDIT: Even worse? The Marble version, which looks less like a Garbage Bowl and more like a
Toilet Bowl...that's been used...recently. Ick.

"I got yer Garbage Bowl right HERE, baby. Yum-O!" says Rayray.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dork Tower, Wednesday, August 13

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


The Madison Mallards won the first game in the Southern Division playoffs, beating the Wisconsin Woodchucks 4-1 in Wausau. It's the first game that's really meant anything to the Mallards in a while (they won the first half of the season in the Southern Division, and have been out of the race for home field advantage for a some time, now, thanks to a second-half collapse that saw them lose two games for every one they won).

This is also the first game they've won all year in Wausau (the Woodchucks, similarly, haven't won in Madison), and it puts them in a position to win the Southern Division (and go on to the Northwoods League Championship series) tonight, in Madison. First pitch: 7:05 pm.

Go Mallards!


Dinner a couple of nights ago:

I found some lovely fresh egg noodles at Midway Asian foods, and couldn't wait to use them. So I picked up a half-pound of organic chicken breast from Artamos Deli, and pulled the string beans and carrots we had from this week's Farm Box out of the fridge, and came up with pan-fried noodles with chicken and beans, in a fresh garlic and ginger white sauce.

Unfortunately, we'd run out of sesame oil, a couple of dashes of which would have given it that lovely, smoky foundation I crave from pan-fried noodles. But the peanut oil did its job, and I was really happy with the results.

Though not one of the most glamorous cookbooks around, I find the Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook just a real solid companion, for its simplicity and ability to demystify Chinese cooking. Once you've gotten solid in a few of the recipes here, it's easy as heck to improvise a stir-fry. while I'm far from a master of Asian foods, but I do love this book. You can find earlier editions for it dirt-cheap at places like Half-Price Books. Worst comes to worse, you can throw it at people who don't appreciate your cooking, and do some real damage.


Speaking of Asian foods, I finally found myself on the West side of Madison for lunch, the other day, giving me the opportunity to try a Vietnamese sandwich (Bahn Mi) for the very first time.

Saigon Noodles on Odana Road does possibly the best bowl of Pho in Madison, and it's Bun Ka (a fabulous rice noodle dish with superbly grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, and a delectable sweet and spicy chili-garlic sauce) has long been a favorite of ours. Still, I'd always been intrigued by the sign in their window for "Vietnamese Sandwiches."

Partially inspired by Kevin Weeks' rather terrific article on sandwiches at, I tried one at last.

Holy cow, what took me so long to discover these? The bread was lovely - a fresh, crisp crusted (but not overly crunchy) mini-baguette that was perfectly chewy and delicately flavorful. I'd imagined there would be more fillings than there were, but what was there was great: grilled chicken, daikon, cucumber, thinly-sliced jalapeno, cilantro, carrot, chili-garlic sauce...and inexpensive, too, at $3.90.

I suspect this was not even a particularly great example of the genre - as far as I can tell, Saigon Noodles is the only place in Madison that makes these - but it blew me away. I can't wait to find the truly outstanding Bahn Mi in Chicago, New York, or wherever...


Hey. It's Gen-Con week, isn't it?

Yeah. Damn. Not gonna be there...



Monday, August 11, 2008

Dork Tower, Monday August 11

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


This is at once too painfully close to home, and too funny, for words.

Especially given Friday's cartoon.

The Goodgle Ad on today's Homepage:


Russia - will it:

(a) Leave most of Georgia, but remain in the breakaway states?

(b) Remain in Georgia as an occupying force?

(c) Leave most of Georgia, but not until Geirgia's military is crippled?

(d) Leave most of Georgia, but install a new regime?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Freakout, Vol. XXVII

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


Am I the only person on teh internets freaking out that there's war going on between Russia and Georgia right now?


Oh, bloody hell and dammit. It's the last two regular season home games for the Mallards, already.

They made it into the playoffs next week y winning the first half of the Northwoods League South Division. However, the team kind of collapsed in the second half, finding new and exciting ways to lose almost every night.Their 11-20 record means that they've lost almost twice as many games as they've won in the second half.

It also means we really really really want the Waterloo Bucks or the Lacrosse Loggers to take the second half, if we've any hope at all of getting home field advantage.

Unfortunately, we play the Bucks tonight and tomorrow.

Grumble grumble grumble grumble.

Anyway, Daniel Logan, who portrayed Boba Fett in Star Wars Episode II will be at the Duck Pond tonight. Here's a little drawing I did for the Mallards, for a handout they've been using:


With apologies to Scott Bateman:

John Kovalic's Sketchbook of Seacrest and Sham


My main computer, a Mac desktop Dual 2.5 GHz Power PC Gr running 10.5.4, has slowed down incredibly, recently.

Don't wanna buy a new computer. Wasn't planning on buying a new computer. But I gotta figure out why it's become so slow and pause-y, recently...


I truly believe
>no news story this year can possibly get weirder than this one. Ever.

Dog-cloner denies she was Mormon sex kidnapper Joyce McKinney

It has:

* Cloning of a deceased pitbull in South Korea

* Mormon door-to-door missionary kidnapped and held as sex slave in mink-lined handcuffs at a 17th century English cottage

* International fugitive disguised as a nun holed up in Appalachian Mountains

* Topless photos of 70s party girl

And these quotes:

“I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.”

"I believe that Booger was an angel that God rented out to me for short period of time," she said. "And he knew I would be lost without him, so he sent me some more. He sent me five more mini-Boogers."

I am in awe of this story.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dork Tower, Dorkstock, Door(k) County

Dorkstock VII: The Year of the (Musk)Rat is happening again this year, as a convention-within-a-convention at Rock-Con, the pride of Rockford, Illinois.

I'm not joking: Rock-Con is a superb little convention, mostly miniatures, but that's where Dorkstock comes in! We'll have games galore! We'll have Igor Bar contests! We'll have trips to Beef-A-Roo! It'll be an absolurte blast! So come on down, and say "hi" to the Army of Dorkness!


I've noticed that whatever I post on the new Dork Tower web site tends to get picked up by the LiveJournal Dork Tower feed. So I'll try not to post on the main site too often. Probably only Tuesdays and Thursdays, with briefer updates and ramblings going on my LiveJournal site. Since not everybody's into LJ, I'll try and mirror this as best I can on my MySpace page, my Facebook page or my new Blogspot home. But until someone comes up with a way that these can be automatically mirrored, these last three spots may be spottier.


The Lovely And Talented Judith and I went up north for the weekend, to the Whad'Ya Know road show in beautiful Door County, WI. (MUNCHKIN GAG ALERT: As Steve Jackson joked, "isn't there a Treasure County, too?")

Door County is a cute little Cape-Cod-like peninsula, the kind even landlocked states seem to have. It is most assuredly extraordinarily pleasant, especially if you like buying cheap tacky souvenirs, hideously expensive tacky souvenirs, or cherries. Did I mention cherries? Door County is to cherries as Forrest Gump is to shrimp. You can get sweet cherries, sour cherries, cherry pie, cherry streusel, cherry jam, cherry salsa, dried cherries, cherry cobbler, sour candy cherries, cherry gumbo, fried cherries, cherry po'boy...

Of course, to get anywhere north of Madison on Highway 42, you have to drive through Rosendale, a speed-trap so notorious, it's citizens wear it with pride:

It is, also, apparently, a community with a problem. One brought on perchance by TOO MUCH ILL-GOTTEN SPEED-TRAP MONEY FLOWING THROUGH THEIR VEINS:

It was very much the Entire Wisconsin Experience. Who was sitting next to us at the Sister Bay Bowl Friday fish fry (perch, of course)? Outgoing Green Bay Packers president Bob Harlan.

We even managed to fit in a Swedish breakfast at Al Johnson's, a restaurant more famous for its goats on the roof than it's very decent Swedish pancakes and meatballs. It was sorta like if Ikea opened a petting zoo...that you couldn't taunt you...the bastards!

And, of course, obligatory shot of Cartoonist staring into the Distance, with vast Lake Behind Him.

Anyway, if you say “Door County” fast enough, it comes out as “Dork County,” and that’s fine by me.


Working on Munchkin Quest II (BTW: love that folks on BoardGameGeek are rating Munchkin Quest, even though it's not out for months yet.

Take a guess what this monster will be called.

Go on. Guess. Try it. Go on....