Letters to Holly

Friday, February 27

A Weekend Gift

The replacement for sadtrombone.com is here.

You're welcome.

Picture of the Day
This is what it's like in Chez Ass Smack lately.

Thursday, February 26


I left work early yesterday when Your Sis called me for help. She locked the keys in her car, and she was hosting a teacher committee immediately. In the car were the committee materials. Off I went. I knew about the meeting well in advance, and the original plan was for me to come home from work at the normal time and hide in the workshop. Now, I was going to be in there for hours. And I was.

The teachers were hashing out senior-project proposals. The meeting was supposed to end around 6. They left at eight, and they were getting sparky as the night rolled on. It became too late for me to start supper, and we snacked instead on meeting leftovers. And as we cleaned up, Your Sis tried to laugh off the calamity by telling me she didn't need those items in the car after all. I almost exploded. Yesterday was the kind of day filled with all the things normal days aren't.

Picture of the Day
Death to everyone. Die die die.

Wednesday, February 25


I just emailed the comic to the publishers. I checked it at home last night and this morning and made small adjustments to the file properties. I'm five days ahead of my deadline, and I have time to make edits if they ask. Except for the last few pieces of dialogue. They stay. The comic doesn't work without them.

I awoke to find my tub drain was broken, and I suspected the pull rod had rotted away. I cleaned the plug and didn't see any jagged edges. If it was a break, it was clean. I then checked the drain to find the suspected rod (assuming tub drains work like sink drains). I couldn't see it, but the drain was clogged with hair. It might be underneath all that. I used tweezers to remove the gunk -- much like playing Operation on a Wookie -- and still couldn't find a rod. I jimmied the plug into the drain gasket and realized in my morning stupor that the drain doesn't plug via a faucet nob. And then I realized that the plug had slipped off the gasket because I emptied the remnant of a shampoo bottle yesterday morning. I screwed the plug back in and tested it. Worked just fine.

Picture of the Day
The Apollo 10 crew adopted Snoopy as a mascot. Here, they pet their good-luck charm as they head toward the rocket.

Tuesday, February 24

Finish Line

I tweaked some text in the comic yesterday. Bolding certain words for emphasis, really. I shaded in two panel backgrounds and one more look at the comic told me I'm at the end. I don't see what significant adjustments I can make at this stage, and I'll probably send it off to the publisher tomorrow. I have that torso-encompassing feeling that the work is over. I want to keep the groove going with a few one-page stories and images to keep these drawing muscles from atrophying.

Your Sis finds herself in a barrage of committees and efforts outside the classroom. She's wild-haired and crazy-eyed.

We dusted off the Bullock telescope to do some star gazing. We saw a planet we think was Venus. We couldn't see rings, but we could see our breath, and the cold drove us inside quickly.

Picture of the Day
An actual product: A little ring pillow to help you nap in the office. Pilopilo.com.

Sunday, February 22

Heart Attacks and Elbow Drops

My idea for this weekend was to let the comic sit for two days before I picked it up and read it fresh. That was the idea.

Then I thought, for fun, I'd check the anthology website, just to see if they had any notes encouraging submitters to tidy up the stories and send them in. Nothing seemed to have changed since I first saw the site in January. And then I noticed the technical specs. Originally it read "200 dpi," the resolution for the final images. I had made the comic to that setting. It now read "300 dpi." Because I had scanned the art at 200 dpi, panic set in. I had to digitally assemble the comic once again. The "final" files I made late last week were worthless. After a quick lunch to build up my reserves, I sat down and recolored and re-lettered the comic at the higher resolution. It took a few hours and plumb wore me out. Before this I spent all of Saturday morning cleaning and reorganizing my workshop. Once I found the mistake, all that had to stop, and now my room is a slop of paper stacks.

It's simply bad form to not notify folks when you change the art specs. Only my neurosis allowed me to salvage the comic.

I printed the comic again and put it aside. Your Sister hadn't read it. I kept it away from her so she can have a clean read when she finally got to see it. That was on Sunday. I left the room. I killed some time and returned to find her crying. While I don't want to make the missus cry, it is the reaction I was hoping for. The comic has wallop, at least for her. Mission accomplished.

On Sunday we caught rasslin' in Asheville, and we rooted against the other's favorites. I also baffled the kids sitting in front of me who couldn't understand why anyone would cheer for the bad guy. They'll learn.

The Oscars was a fun show last night, and Hugh Jackman is a total showman.

Picture of the Day
Work, work, work.