Sunday, December 10, 2017

Holy Shit! Is it Sunday again?

Well, I just renewed the hosting plan with IX Webhosting for another 12 months. I was kind of hoping to set up a server and host everything from home, but there’s been an intermittent problem with my home internet connection, so that’s probably not the best idea at this time. Also, I don’t trust “Spectrum” and would like to preserve the option to cancel them for being a such a shitty ISP.

Speaking of internet

All this could be moot next week as the FCC intends to kill net neutrality on Thursday. While I’m pretty sure you’ll still be able to get to Facebook and Instagram, I’m a bit leery as to the shape the internet will take by this time next year.

This may even be the end of Flush Twice. Once ISP’s get to pick and choose which websites you get to access, it’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to go searching for that plan with “Unlimited access to FlushTwice.com!” When the number of visitors drops to nil, there’s really no reason for me to continue the site, and no reason for me to pay for a webhost or registrar.

Of course you may be thinking, “Well, we didn’t even have net neutrality before 2014, what makes you think killing net neutrality will be any different now?”

The difference is the reason net neutrality was instituted in the first place. ISP’s and other network owners didn’t have practical tools to do the deep packet inspection across the entire internet as they do now. They had “dumb pipes” as it were, and once the realized they could use new technology to bring forth a really fucked up dystopia, people from all walks of life stepped in and demanded the net be covered under the FCC’s Title II.

And while that slowed down those tax-pocketing telecoms a little, we’re soon going to see just how infuriating ISP’s can be.

Of course the way I see it, if the FCC doesn’t want to regulate things anymore, then maybe it’s time to dissolve the agency. And while we’re in the spirit of deregulating, how about removing the regulatory capture that prevents upstart internet providers from bringing new services to communities?

I’m just saying that if this administration is such a champion of free markets and competition, how about they open the internet to some actual fucking competition?

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, December 10, 2017
So how did you like this joke?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

We’re Almost there!

I just want to thank everyone again for visiting Flush Twice. We’ve got four more weekends left in 2017, and it looks like we’re going to make it!

“Make it?”

I know I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch, but it looks like 2017 will be the first year for me to have a post for every single day. 52 COMICS, 53 RANTS, and 260 JOKES equals 365 DAYS for 2017! Woohoo!

Yeah, other sites do this year after year. Heck, even mBlip posts several new things every day without my lifting a finger. But I personally have to craft every single post on Flush Twice. Oh sure, the joke contributors do most of the heavy lifting by sending me jokes, but who do you think does all the editing? Those forwards don’t paragraph, spellcheck, and punctuate themselves!

“Contributors?”

You didn’t think I wrote these jokes did you? Oh no. There are two, sometimes three, contributors to the joke queue every week. I select the “best” jokes, fix grammar, and clean up the formatting from the anonymous contributors who send me these emails with subject lines like “FWD: Fwd: Fwd: fw: Very Funny Stuff! LOLOL!”

And you can help too! If you have jokes being sent to you, FWD: Fwd: Fwd: them to me! The email address is flush2x@gmail.com. Contributors are kept 100% anonymous, and believe me when I tell you I’m waaay too lazy to use your email address for spammy purposes! I just scrape out the jokey goodness and toss the empty husk of your email in the trash. No purchase necessary, enter as often as you like. Void where prohibited, taxed, or restricted by law. Odds of winning are based on number of entrants.

OK, so once again, thanks to viewers, raters, and contributors for making me make the best Flush Twice that the world has ever scene. Just imagine what Flush Twice is going to look like 10 years down the road!

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, December 3, 2017
So how did you like this joke?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

My Current Style

So there are rules that I must follow when I make a comic. Naturally because they’re my rules, I can change them on a whim, but the rules are about consistency, and that consistency becomes the style. So for today’s rant, I thought I’d just pontificate on the style of my comic.

Since late 2005 my panels had consisted of a thick black border that the speech bubbles could overlap. Sometimes, like in yesterday’s panel, The border becomes just a background. Usually I only do this for holiday promotions, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.

The speech bubble tail has to point to the speaker’s mouth. I read somewhere once that it only has to point to their head. Oh no. That tail needs to point to the mouth or it just looks really sloppy.

The text is my own font. I hope you like it. I’ve only been working on it for the past 13 years. For some reason, I never thought the comic looked right using all capital letters. I’m usually quite fastidious about spelling and grammar.

The character shading is something that evolved from a tutorial on how to create a mercury puddle effect in Paint Shop Pro. It’s the same concept but handled in a different way because the original method wouldn’t scale to higher resolutions. This stylistic shading has become my signature technique, and it’s even fooled some people into believing 3D software was involved.

Speaking of 3d software, a few years ago I started fooling around with the editor in the Cube 2 engine, aka “Sauerbraten“. By the end of 2011, I switched to using screenshots of my designs.

I don’t always use the screenshot sets though. Occasionally I use a shaded cube background for when the setting isn’t really all that important or I’m just being lazy. It’s also a thing where I’ll just leave it black for that borderless look.

And now that leaves me with the last thing I’ll mention: The follow up text below the comic. Honestly I should know better. The comic should stand on its own, but for some reason I feel compelled to elaborate. It’s gotten to the point that sometimes the comic doesn’t make sense unless you read the exposition. I really need to work harder on avoiding that.

So that’s about all I’m going to write about for today. What other stylistic characteristics do you think exemplifies “Pathos in the Plumbing”? I’d love to hear what any of you have to say.

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, November 26, 2017
So how did you like this joke?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Staycation

If you’re in the service industry, you probably have to work most holidays, but I work in manufacturing, so I get Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving off every year. So it occurred to me that I could use three vacation days and take that whole week off! Bare in mind that there are also the weekends on either side of said week, so it stretches my time off to nine days.

“Are you going anywhere?” my coworkers would ask.

“Yeah. Home,” came my terse reply.

Of course that doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing anything. I have a lot of work around the house, things to do on this site, chores to do for my father, and let us not forget that Thanksgiving doesn’t happen all by itself. I’ll be making deviled eggs and peeling potatoes for my aunt, so I’ll be busy, busy, busy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, November 19, 2017
So how did you like this joke?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

I’m Not Sure We’re Reaching Our Target Audience

I don’t visit this site like the rest of you. I open a hidden page where I can log on to add more jokes and comics. While I’m there, I can look at the stats to see how many people are visiting the site. Lately, there’s been an increase in the number of times that this site has been unreachable. There’s also been a correlational decrease in the visitor stats.

I can’t tell for sure because I’m not testing the site every ten minutes, but I’m starting to suspect server downtime is having a bad influence on my numbers. People can’t get through, so they stop coming.

This makes me sad for a couple of reasons. #1) I’m paying out good money to my webhost and getting spotty service. #2) If no one is visiting, then why bother? I could just as easily run a tumblr page.

You know what I’d really like to do? I’d like to go back to running my own webserver right here at the house. The biggest problem with that is the fact that I haven’t done it since 2005, and I’m not really sure how to do it anymore. There’s also the potential for even more down time since there aren’t any highly reliable low cost to free dynamic DNS services.

Anyway, I’ll have to get busy and weigh my options. Renewal is coming up right after Christmas, so if I’m going to do this, it has to be before then.

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, November 12, 2017
So how did you like this joke?