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< Piro >

buy from us, or we'll starve...


Tuesday - April 3, 2001

[Piro] - 16:31:00 - [link here]

Y'know, sometimes i wonder what exactly I am doing wrong.

If you've been reading the rants, most of you will remember the fun I had back in February when i moved into my new apartment. Of particular joy was the problems getting my cable modem installed. Since i was an existing Media One / Comcast customer who just moved from one end of town to another, moving my cable service over to the new address was supposed to be no big deal. In fact, it would have been 'no big deal', except for the fact that someone had physically yanked the cable in the wall out so hard that it came loose somewhere up in the attic. The first guy who showed up didn't have a clue what to do - in fact, he seemed so lost that he quite literally walked away from my problem and didn't even close the service call. This small detail, it seems, came back to haunt me yesterday.

I'm not big on excuses. I may whine and bitch a lot, but i still believe that there is no excuse for not getting things done right or on time. This struggle has been particularly hard for the past couple of months. At work, I have literally had to work not only full 8-10 hr days all week, but saturday AND sunday for three out of the past four weekends as my project had deadline after deadline in rapid succession. As of 12:30 last night, my part in this project is basically done, and my team and I can start looking forward to getting home at reasonable times again as well as having something called 'a weekend'. Keeping MT going in the middle of this has been no small struggle, and frankly, the fact that last week was a series of (IMHO) some pretty darn good comics made me feel pretty good. To me, even with the unfair facts of the past month, there is no such thing as an excuses for being behind.

What gets me tho, is the fact that I have been getting emails bitching at me for the fact that either they are sick of dead art days, or getting on my case about the 'lack of progress with the plot'. Ok, i might be daft, but I thought i was doing ok, especially given my time constraints over the past few weeks. My favorite comments have been how i've been skimping on art lately, and re-using frames. (sigh) I have no qualms about slamming the quality of the artwork - i still think it sucks and needs vast improvement - those kind of critiques i have no problem with. What i can't deal with are emails that imply that i am slacking off or not working as hard as i should on the comic. Those really piss me off. Largo and I work our asses off on this stupid site - and we don't expect or want praise for it (in fact, please dont... just enjoy it, ok? ^^;;) We can't work harder on it without quitting our jobs. It's a fact of life.

Now, before you email me telling me how great MT is, etc, etc, yes - thank you. I get so many supportive e-mails that even my practically non-existent ego swells at times to the size of a small grape. This is not really necessary tho. I would rather you visit the forums and talk about the story and the characters. Of all the things about MT, i enjoy that the most. I love to see how people respond to the story, to the characters, to the MT world. True, i get a deviant chuckle out of a lot of it, but sometimes i am surprised by the insight some people have. If we are evoking emotive, thoughtful, intelligent, or even silly response to our work, THAT'S the reward we get for our efforts. Praise is great stuff, but if we fed off of it, we would be shallow people. Which we aren't. Well, Largo maybe, but not me. Not really. Honest.

I think my bad reaction to criticism comes down to two things - being tired and grumpy (yes, i get that way sometimes) and the fact that often, a criticism will point out something that bothers me as well. Those are the ones that hit close to home. I know that MT is in a bigger league now than a 'just my friends visit it' kind of site, so not only are everyone's expectations higher, but so are our own. I think i responded rather pissily (is that a word?) to some of the critiques - something i always regret doing. Doing something like MT exposes you much more than I think a lot of you realize - so please understand that sometimes you'll see me react to things in ways i'm not exactly proud of.

At any rate, now that the last of the deadlines for the Project from Hell are done and finished (i might even (gasp) take friday off!), i am looking forward to actually sitting down and crankin out some MT goodness both in strip form and some long overdue colorworks.

So imagine my irritation when i got home last night and discovered that Comcast had disconnected my cable service.

Yep. Disconnected. No cable modem, no cable tv. After five minutes on the phone with the rather nice people over at Comcast, we figured out what happened. If you recall, the first MORON who came (cough) never closed the service report. His visit was a 'install' visit - which is where he sets things up, gets me to sign some stuff, plugs in the cable modem, and off he goes. Once he discovered that there was no cable in the wall, he had no idea what to do, and basically just left. This work order, which was never closed, eventually came up 'canceled'. My service was never really set up. But what about the guy who came out four days later who worked so hard to get my cable installed? the guy who crawled thru a hole in the ceiling to get at the cluster of cables in the attic? It appears that this visit was a 'repair' visit, which did nothing to set up anything. He assumed that all the paper work was done, and the account was setup.

So, to make a long story short, i've been happily using my cable modem and tv for the past month, but Comcast didn't have any billing associated with the service. So, when they did an audit yesterday, they discovered activity on this address and sent someone out to put a trap on the line.


The people over at comcast were very apologetic, and I have an appointment on Friday for them to come out and re-connect my service. I get to live in the dark ages of no net connection till then. Whee.

I suppose i shouldn't complain too much - they will be fixing it (might even be sooner) and once it's up and running this will just a be story to chuckle over. Right now, with as tired as I am, it sucks. :P What i find so irritating is that the huge difference between the service techs who worked on my installation. I have no problem with the fact that the first guy didn't know what to do. it's the fact that he never followed thru, the fact that he JUST DROPPED it, that really annoys me. To me, it's not how good your are at something, it's how hard you try. That's all that really matters.

So, only real effect this is gonna have on MT is that I won't be able to update tonight at 1:00am (hell, i haven't started drawing the thing yet - and no, monday's one frame is NOT going to be frame #1 in wed's comic) - so look for Wed's MT to show up around 10:00 am EST.

I've got a lot of other things to talk about, but this will do for now. Thanks for the understanding (from those who do understand) and i'll poke back in tomorrow morning.

right now i need to find more coffee before i fall asleep.

< Largo >

you're already here.

"black & white"

Thursday - March 29, 2001

[Largo] - 08:30:00 - [link here]

I really need to get thru my email backlog…

First up, we finally got a shopping cart system in place for our online store, so now you can go and order all your MT-swag at once. Besides getting the store up, we also have one of largo's shirts now available, the "Evil L33T' shirt.

Now if only we can get the 'ph33r my l33t n4k3d sk|11z" boxer shorts online.

Black & White rules all.

Like every other crazed gamer with an ego the size of Cleveland, I've taken a liking to the recently released god simulation game by Peter Molyneux.

The game is simple, you're a god with all amazing cosmic powers and trappings that go along with it. As you can imagine, being a god is a hell of a lot of fun, with all the lightning, and the fire, and the wrath, and the running, and the thing… and - you get the idea.

The game is based around the idea that your actions determine what you are, for example; feeding your villagers would be considered 'good', while feeding your villagers to your pet would be a bad thing. Your actions determine whether you are Black or White.

The best part about the game, is it doesn't judge you, you judge yourself. This can be a real mind fsck at times. Being good is a lot more work then you'd think. Especially when you think in terms of traditional AD&D Alignment - in the past there was always a balance of good & evil between law & chaos. In Black & White, they only focus on either good or evil. So you really find yourself asking "What is good?" saying "Is helping this villager really a good act, or should I encourage him to help himself?"

Being evil is a lot easier, you can help or not help on a whim and just remain evil by torturing your people on a regular basis. There really isn't anything quite as satisfying as picking up a villager and seeing how far you can throw him into the ocean. The *Ka-Plunk* sound made when they hit the water is really relaxing.

I tried to be a good god, but that just hasn't worked out. My people became lazy and began to complain about everything. So I torched the greedy miserable slobs till they got their act together.

There's nothing like a little divine retribution before breakfast.


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