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Atoman–Superhero Comics Discussion #1

…because I have nothing better to post and the class I wrote this in was fucking awesome so I’m sharing.

Today, we’re discussing superhero comics because why the hell not. We’ll begin with Atoman by Jerry Robinson, a sad, sad attempt at writing a superhero story line, in my opinion. This discussion is about the construction (graphics/panel placement) and story line creation of the comic at the time in which it was created and why. I was limited in word count at the time, so don’t hate.

atoman

And while looking for the above image, I may have discovered that this comic is still around. Someone, please tell me it isn’t so. *looks again* Maybe I’m wrong. *shrugs* At any rate, let us begin….

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Atoman pg 3Page 3 of Atoman by Jerry Robinson, which is the opening, is entirely too busy and atrocious for my taste with the multitude of Atomic Bomb headlines covering the top, and pieces of the story all around the center of the page. It seems as though they’re attempting to tell the entire story on one page, and it’s just too much. My eyes don’t know where to stop.

Atoman pg 5Once the actual story begins on page 4, the timing of Atoman is too fast-paced. The coloring is completely off and tends to run outside the lines, which tells me this comic book was done in a hurry. Perhaps it was made in one of the assembly-like lines, where it was produced cheaply, quickly, and quantity was the goal. I wouldn’t doubt the artistry is copy-cat style because all of it pretty much is, stemming from the early pulp magazine days, but the images in Atoman are fairly bland and the panels don’t really stand out. Another reason to consider it “assembly line” pulp fiction.

Atoman pg 7Since it’s around the time of the atom bomb, they even throw in a panel showing Einstein, but in the beginning, practically each panel showed a different person, unlike Superman in Action Comics #1, which displayed Superman in nearly every panel, start to finish. The next two pages are completely prologue, explaining in two simplistic pages the years put in to “conquer atomic power.” An interesting contrast in the dialogue on page 7 in the panel below is how they’re discussing, after using atomic power “destructively against the hate-filled fascist enemies of mankind,” they decide they “must turn to peaceful construction” in the use of atomic power to help the entire world. This is the perfect example of how fast-paced and not-thought-out this story is.

Some of the panels show dialogue that is a dead giveaway to the next panel, like the first panel on page 8, and just are not necessary. We jump from “evil minds are plotting right now” to oh hey, look at that, evil minds are plotting in the next panel. Mr. Twist (I’m guessing the name comes from the attempted twist in the plot?) is plotting to steal the secret to atomic power. He uses a henchman to get it for him, of course. How did Mr. Twist know Dale would be in the vault all day studying the secret to atomic power? There are huge pieces of the story missing. HUGE!

Mr. Twist’s face in nearly every panel is shaded to the point that it’s almost black. I think it’s an attempt to make him look more evil or hide his identity. Meanwhile, Zelda and Barry Dale have hardly any shading on their faces throughout. At times, Zelda’s face seemed to disappear, there was so little detail. Botox?

I think that Robinson took a fairly easy story that could be produced quickly using something from reality to help the reader relate to the story, and he maybe even did so over a weekend. It’s a sad tale, in my opinion, and should be a lesson in what NOT to do when creating a comic book.

What’s your opinion? And remember, swearing is fine, as long as it isn’t directed at anyone insultingly. Seriously. Don’t make me ban you.

 

Certification

…and all that it entails.

certification-word-cloud

So our main networking or whatever guy had a chat with a few of us last week and said it’d be a good idea if we, during our copious amounts of down time, would watch these online videos and start getting certified in some IT areas. Okay, so it’s not a bad idea. I wouldn’t mind having some of those certifications. But here’s the thing….

First, getting any IT certification involves just a tad more than watching some videos. If I remember correctly, a test is involved too, one that costs money to take. Will that be reimbursed? They don’t reimburse teachers for their certification test, so I doubt I’d get reimbursed for my IT certifications.

And are those certifications going to be reflected on my paycheck? I already know the answer to this and it’s a flat out no. Why? I’m a lowly help desk hourly-rate employee. If they’d like to change that, I’d be more than happy to go after those certifications. But, if I’m MCSE or otherwise certified, why in God’s name would I stay in this position making what I make, which is less than half of what I could make with any IT certification?

IT Certifications in demand

Brilliant fucking thinking.

As usual.

I won’t even go into some of the other shit coming down the pike.

Ashes to Ashes

…and dust to dust.

quit-smoking-7

Three months ago, I quit smoking. I know. I’m still in shock over it. But to be honest, I don’t even miss it. Seriously. I just go about my day/night doing whatever and very rarely does a thought of having a smoke pop into my mind.

Which has me ecstatic!

It’s also saving me a shit-ton of money, so for this trifecta of celebration, I’m buying myself some pretties. Clothes, that is. I deserve it.

I hardly even use my e-cig or vapor. Of course, I’ve been sick for two weeks so I haven’t even touched those.

But yeah, for surviving three months without a cigarette, I’m treating myself to a few nice things…….and then I’ll start saving for a house and a new car and whatever else my pretty little heart desires.

Keep on going, bitches! You can achieve anything once you set your mind to it.

Jinxie

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Re-imaging and Upgrades

…also known as ‘Jinxie needs a new damn computer because her hard drive crashed’.

hard-drive-crash-recovery

After being off work for a week and a half, I returned to my trusty Windows 7 work computer. Everything was just as I’d left it, and I started working on emails, since I had no voice and that would make talking on the phone a tad difficult. Then I decided since it was slow and I really couldn’t talk, it’d be a good idea to move my station…again. Might as well just get it over with, right? It’s bound to happen anyway. So that’s what I did. I got everything moved, hooked up everything and got my computer back on the network, and then BAM! Screens go black and the bitch won’t fully boot up. Seriously? Now? Fine. I tried to repair it, but it was beyond my skill level, so I walked into the tech room where two techs happen to be at their stations, and asked, “Who wants to re-image my computer?” They both laughed and one grabbed his disc and followed me back to my station. Then we decided that since I was going to have to help teachers and admins out in the district who were suddenly faced with Windows 8.1 after being on XP for years and years it would be a good idea to upgrade me to 8.1 too.

He tried imaging my computer THREE TIMES and it wouldn’t take. I made mention of how nice it would be if I had a 7010 64-bit computer. He laughed and said there weren’t any 7010s in stock. We ended up having to replace my computer anyway and the OS upgrade finally took. YAY! It only took a few hours.

And just before I left work on Monday, I opened the computer’s properties, and do you know what I discovered? It may be a 780, but it’s a 64-bit!

Onward to Photoshop!!!

(no, I didn't do this one but it's funny)

(no, I didn’t do this one but it’s funny)

You Gotta Stop

…and rest once in a while, or Life will force you to.

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I work hard. In fact, I work my ass off with all that I do. I have my day job, which is a 40-hour per week venture in the information systems industry a.k.a computer stuff. It gives me a stable salary and benefits, and provides me the ability to do nice things for Umi. I have my publishing company, where I help other authors get their stories out there in the world. I freelance line and copy edit, helping authors make their stories better. I am an author as well. I’m a Commander on the Zombie Survival Crew, which can entail many different things. On top of all of that, I take care of my mother (Umi). Sometimes, like this past week, she takes care of me.

For the past week and a half, I have been very, very ill. It hit me fast and hard. I was at work Wednesday morning without issue, then by lunch I’d developed a scratchy throat and a bit of a cough. By the end of the day, the cough was more pronounced, and when I woke up the next morning at 5 a.m., I felt like dying. My fever spiked to 101.6, I’d sweat profusely because of it, and then I’d get the chills and was freezing, dropping my temperature to 98.2 and lower.

I’ve been working my ass off for a good long while now, not taking a moment to rest because when I’m not at work (the day job), I’m still working…at night, on the weekends, whenever. Running a business takes a lot of work and energy. Freelancing does too. The issue is that I haven’t stopped. I haven’t rested. I’ve been working straight through every hour of every day, sleeping maybe five hours a night during the week, maybe a bit more on the weekends.

And I believe that’s what got me.

Aside from Juliette having acute bronchitis in Denver.

I’m sure I caught it from her, but if I’d been rested, it likely wouldn’t have taken me out so quickly and fiercely.

Sometimes, you have to just stop and rest.

Even if that means unplugging for a day or two.

I was pretty much unplugged for five days. FIVE DAYS. That’s insanity to me.

But I didn’t care because I felt like I was dying during those first five days.

CakeorDeath

Lesson learned: stop and rest, smell the roses, or Life will force you to stop…and hey, that just might kill you.

Ch Ch Ch Changes

…and I totally continued the earworm from that last post. You’re welcome.

I said Change would come to the techisphere of My Geekdom, and after receiving the survey results on our antiquated IS department (you think I’m joking, but I’m not), our Director had a little talk with us. Survey says, “Hey, you’re antiquated!” Director says, “Hey, we need to change this shit now!” Okay, not really in those words, but you get the gist. Lord knows I’m all for Change. I say “Bring It, Bitch!” Because there’s nothing like Change to catapult you into the future and freak people the ever-living fuck out, and we all know that I find that shit amusing as hell. I’ve already had one call from a Windows 8.1 hater. This Fall when school starts is going to be so much fun!

john-krasinski

One major Change that’s going on is the upgrade from Windows XP (yeah, I know, don’t even ask) to Windows 7 and 8.1. Some of our software isn’t compatible with Win8.1–mainly on admin machines because it’s admin software that hasn’t quite caught up to reality yet–so we have to only upgrade them to Win7 so they’ll work. Some of them have that stupid Celeron processor, so they can ONLY be upgraded to Windows 7 because Celeron can’t handle 8.1. If a tech upgrades a Celeron processor to 8.1, it’s bluescreen city. Likewise, the RAM needs upgraded, but do you think the techs are doing that? Hell no. That’s another list for after the upgrades because that’s how shit works. I just talked to someone who’d been upgraded to Win7, and their Celeron machine had 1GB RAM. *facepalm*

Also? Everyone seems to be moving to a different part of the building except for the help desk, thank the gods. I don’t want to move all of my shit again. However, as traffic seems to have increased in front of me, I’m now considering moving back a cubicle when the guy in there moves to whereverthefuck he’s going because it’s fucking noisy now and I can’t hear my calls. Major drawback. Damn it.

And finally, my boss is retiring on the 30th. While I’m happy for him, I’m also a tad nervous because they have yet to replace him (that’s how the district works; replace after someone leaves because, you know, it would make sense to hire someone and have him train them). Now all requests, including vacation requests, will go through the Director. Good thing I decided against taking off in August for Wizard World Chicago. Regardless, my boss is laid back, easy going, and will pretty much say yes to anything, which is probably why they’re not having him train his replacement. *shrugs* They haven’t even decided on who it will be yet and they did interviews awhile back. They also haven’t hired someone for our final help desk opening, which is going to hurt us come August because it’ll be busy as hell, and if we don’t have someone trained in here, it’s gonna dump that extra load on the four of us.

*sigh* I’m gonna need a vacation come September. *goes to look for conventions around that time near the beach . . . or just a beach in general* Oh hey! Four-day weekend over the 4th!

sitting-on-the-beach

 

Why I Can’t Read or Edit Your Book

…without some sort of monetary transaction. Y’know, like you pay me and I’ll edit your book or design your cover or whateverthefuck it is you’d like me to do with it.

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I’m not sure if most of you are aware of this, but quite frankly, folks, I just don’t have the time to edit or even read your book for free. I know you don’t want to hear this and it saddens you because you may value my opinion, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get it done. I work full time and work five different jobs. It’s hard enough to carve out hours to freelance edit, edit for my own publishing company, and write my own damn stories on top of my “day” job. I rarely even get leisure reading time anymore, which really sucks because I’m pretty fucking sure my Kindle book list has now topped the 1,000 books mark.

So while I would absolutely love to read your book and give you my opinion, or edit it and rake you over the coals, I just can’t. “Won’t” isn’t even a factor, so please don’t be offended when I tell you “no.” You’ll notice I didn’t say “if” there. That’s because I never edit/read for free anymore. I can’t afford the time off another project that will pay me.

And while I have you here, I also don’t have time to do your research for you, unless you’d like to fork out a nice chunk of change (large bills, please) for it. There are folk who specialize in research. I even know some of them. There is also this fucking amazing website called “Google.” You should check it out. It’s done wonders for me. I mean, hell, how do you think I learned all of this shit in the first place? Oh, all right, I actually did go to college and get a degree, but I am constantly searching things on Google, to the point that one could almost call me the Google Queen, except that I know people who use it more than I do. That should scare you. And hey, if Umi can do it, anybody can. Don’t be a pussy.

Google

Likewise, there are websites that specialize in matching writers with people who need writers. You can Google that too! I don’t have time to answer a bunch of questions for you on whatever your questions are about when it comes to looking for/finding a writer/editor/whatthefuckever, and if we get past me already telling you that I don’t have time, then it’s gone too far and just pissing me off, especially if I’m cranky.

Look, I try to be nice as much as possible until I have to be a bitch, and if you think I’m a bitch, then I’m doing my job and not overloaded with the work of people trying to take advantage of me or my connections. I know that’s not always the case, but it is some of the time, and those fuckers are the ones who ruin it for the rest of you.

So go give them hell.

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Cleaning House

…and praying I get to keep my job that I love so much.

A lot has been happening within and without Jinxie’s World these days, and on the outside, in the really real world, work is one of those things. Changes, they are a-comin’ within the techiesphere of the school district I work for, and some may not like those changes. Some of the changes may also not be good changes, but personally, I’ve never had an issue with change unless it fucks me royally and leaves me like a beat up hooker in the alleyway.

Whoa! I’ve been reading Chuck Wendig’s blog too much.

Anyway, work changes . . . we all hate ‘em.

David Bowie changes

And hate is such a horrible word. It’s negative, and one of the things we can’t be anymore is negative, so let’s stop using “hate” and go with “dislike” instead.

People dislike changes. They always have, and fight it tooth and nail until their dying breath . . . or they’re told to pick up their last paycheck. So fighting change isn’t a good thing; you have to learn to go with the flow of change because listen to me, people, change is inevitable.

And change with a capital C is happening where I work.

I love my job. I’d like to keep it, so I’m doing whatever I need to do to do that. *blinks* Wow, let’s try that again. I’m minding my damn P’s and Q’s with the new regime, but in all honesty, I’m okay with changes. Lord knows I’ve seen a lot of those fuckers over the past six years to get used to them.

So you want to make changes in my world? I say Bring It! I am no stranger to the Road of Change.

changes ahead

And This Week’s Virus…

…reminds me of Dr. Mario. Did you play that? It was like Tetris, but with drugs . . . gods, it all makes sense now.

©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

I’m kidding. But really, in the world of cyber viruses, the same goddamn program as last week–or whenever the Malware started–is giving me problems this week, only it’s a different issue. Now the shortcut either doesn’t work or disappears altogether. Seriously. The fucker just vanishes. I don’t know where it goes, but I just replace the folder in the drive and then replace the shortcut, and all is well in the cybersphere of that particular universe. It’s all I can do to keep the program running because if I remove that malware, the program won’t work at all.

Know what the issue is? XP is vulnerable now that Windows has discontinued support of it, and that is the reason the entire district is going through a massive OS overhaul. Same with our antivirus, which is also having issues, so really, it’s pointless for me to send a tech out to re-image these computers when they’re about to be imaged with the new OS this summer.

Haven’t seen hide nor hair of that Conficker.B virus in a while. Somebody finally squashed that worm.

In another realm of the geekisphere, I am now NOT going out in the field to help with the new Windows 8.1 image install districtwide, at least, not until I return from vacation when more people will be back at the help desk. No worries. I’ve got . . . oh hey, today is my last day before vacation! Nice. Oh wait, I’m still working, just not at the day job. Damn. And I have to work a partial day next week to cover the time I’m short on vacation and sick leave for this near two-week extravaganza of conventions.

One of these days, I will take a REAL vacation.

Peace out, bitches!

PS: There may or may not be a post on Monday.

PPS: There will NOT be a My Geekdom post next Wednesday, unless something happens on the partial workday that I feel worthy of blogging. *grins*

And We’re Off

…but gods help me, I think I might lose my mind over the next two weeks.

Last Friday began my 10-hour days, which allows me to have one of the five days in the week off. Since I’m sitting here typing this, I’ll give you a guess as to which day that is.

I’m kidding. I actually typed this up on Friday (during my last 30 minutes of work…shh, don’t tell anyone), but I *do* have Mondays off for the next several weeks. On top of that, I will be taking my vacation from the day job June 5th through June 16th for varying reasons:

  1. Phoenix Comicon is the 5th through the 8th and I’m flying in one of my Just Ink Press authors, RC Murphy, to sit at the booth with me and for general diablerie, of which, of course, I mean mischief and not Satanic magical debauchery. Watch out for two Zombie Survival Crew Commanders running around the con and slaying zombies (if I can find any new weapons now that I’ve discovered all of mine are BANNED).
  2. Denver Comic Con is the 12th through the 15th, where I’ll be working with Michael Rooker, who unexpectedly decided to show up in Phoenix on the 8th so get your asses down to the Civic Center on Sunday! It’s also my 45th birthday weekend when I’m in Denver and I plan to make it a totally DRAGON birthday (only some of you will get the dragon thing). W00t!
  3. I figured I’d take off on the 10th and 11th because really, what’s the fucking point of going to work for two days in the middle of two 5-day weekends?

So as you can see, I’m going to be quite busy during my “vacation,” with exception to those two days in the middle where I plan to do N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Where you can find me… Just Ink Press will be sharing a booth with Magdalena Peach Clothing Co. at Phoenix Comicon, booth 793. Find us. Buy things. We’ll have a nice assortment of craftware as well.

Con BooksThe next two days are going to be HELL on me, but oh the blessed time off will be wonderful…until I have to go back on the 17th. *sigh*  Hey, at least I have a good day job, right? ;) Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Target to return my Nerf bow that is prohibited at the convention. I know, right? WTF?

 

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