Better Filler than Nothing
Just so we’re on the same page, last week I said we’d have another filler panel, and lo.
If you are not familiar with what a “Filler Strip” is, click on the link. Be warned, it’s a TV Tropes link, so unless you’ve got the next 3 to 24 hours free, you may want to wait until you’ve got a day off.
Meat Extenders and other Fillers
Not going to sugarcoat it. This is a filler episode. I figured it’s better to plop down a filler than to let last week’s keep riding. As for why I didn’t have an actual panel ready… Well, I’m still working on some behind the scenes improvements.
And as Brandon suggests, I may not have anything for next week either. Busy, busy, busy! Don’t worry though, the “jokes” are still in the queue.
Why Monopolies are Bad
I used to bounce back and forth between the phone company and the cable company when it came to my internet service. The competition kind of kept things honest, and while prices were never really all that low, at least one of them would be reasonable at any given point in time.
So then Time Warner Cable got bought out by Charter, and turned into Spectrum. “Oh, this is a good thing for consumers!” cried the lobbyists. Meanwhile, AT&T stopped providing phone and internet services to the area because they couldn’t find enough consumers interested in their Uverse promotions. The result? My internet jumped up from $40 to $60 a month.
Now you might be thinking, “Hey, that’s just normal price increases,” but my Dad lives 20 miles south in a neighborhood still serviced by AT&T. He and I got the EXACT SAME INTERNET PLANS AT THE SAME TIME FOR THE SAME PRICE. His is still $40 a month.
Of course you might be thinking, well maybe they just haven’t gotten around to raising your dad’s– Let me cut you off there. They jacked my rates up back in April. “Well, if you live out in the boonies—” Nope. I live in a major US city. These fuckers are price gouging a working class neighborhood that has no real alternative.
So I cancelled them, and now I download YouTube videos at work to a thumbdrive so I can watch them at home after work. I also tether my cell phone at home so I can check on various websites, but streaming video is kind of verboten because data plans aren’t cheap either.
OK, so I probably could have used this for the “Sunday Rant”, but when trying to think of an idea for a comic this week, I just couldn’t get this out of my head.
The characters’ lives and mine aren’t exactly parallel, so while an upgrade would be nice, the three year old system I’m using is sufficient for my present needs.
Of course an area where I could really use the upgrade is in the software that I use to make the comic, but so far the more modern programs have had some serious drawbacks I’m not too keen on.
One of my tried and true methods for improving the quality of the comic was to increase the resolution that I work at. Of course it gets resampled down to something much more web-friendly prior to publishing, but the images I work with are massive. While the hardware can easily take it, the software has reached its hard coded limits.
The Stories We Never Tell
Crazy things happen in the military that would make anyone rather incredulous. You find yourself in situations that would be impossible in the civilian world… And if you did find yourself in that situation in the civilian world, you might be facing criminal charges as well.
But in the military, crazy things happen all the time. When it looks like reality took a vacation, the chain of command will do the sanest thing they know how. If you can “unfuck yourself”, they’ll overlook it, and everybody will just drive on as if nothing ever happened.