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January

I Solemnly Swear...
Monday, January 30, 2006 - 10:00 PM
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...to post Story for you - some amount of quality story, large or small - every Thursday. Thought you'd like to know.

Newsflash: Tim Buckley is Not a Jerk
Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 6:30 PM
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My friend Tony and I happened to both be in Boston this weekend, so we grabbed lunch (mmmm gyros). He was there for Vericon, and there was a webcomics panel that caught my eye, so we went and sat in on it for a while. It featured the creators of three of the comics I read regularly - Questionable Content, Dominic Deegan, and Control-Alt-Delete, along with another big comic I hadn't heard of, called Something Positive.

We spent most of the panel laughing - when you get four people who generally like each other and who make a living by being clever, some really hilarious interplay develops. I took some good notes as someone who's working to develop a web page with an audience. (hi guys! you're awesome!)

All four of the guys were great, and looked like they were having a lot of fun. They all agreed that you have to love what you're doing first, and worry about business and everything afterwards. It's a good thing crafting prose is my third-favorite thing in the world, right after food and naps. Mookie seems like a sweetheart of a guy; Jeph of QC was hilarious and had this sort of casual acerbic quality that I dug (it's sort of tough for me to picture that guy typing "OMGZ LOL" as he often does); and Randy of Something Positive struck me as a really really genuine guy. Also hilarious.

Tim Buckley sort of surprised me. I've been vocal with my opinion of him before: I'd always thought that the personality he's displayed in public has been sort of a dick, like having a webcomic explode in popularity had really gone to his head. I never thought he treated his fans very well. People who keep track of stuff like that probably remember when Tim, apparently drunk, summarily disbanded the CAD guild that he had started on the Dark Iron server. Scott Kurtz referred to it as "Hurricane Buckley", and we all laughed. Even now, his post about being at Vericon refers to his panel "with the other webcomics present." He tells us, "You can come ask me questions, pick my brain about whatever." The panel certainly wasn't the Tim Buckley show, despite the implication.

But at the panel, he was warm, and friendly, and funny, and not hugely egotistical, and generally seemed to be a good guy. It struck me as he talked that it's not that he doesn't care about his fans: on the contrary, he repeatedly expressed gratitude to them for allowing him to do something he loves for a living. Instead, he's just bluntly realistic about the fact that, realistically, you can't always please anyone but yourself. It's not that he doesn't care about his fans, it's that he doesn't care what they think. It sounds like selfishness, but it's not: there's an important difference between a selfish prick, and a nice guy that's casually, harmlessly, and admittedly self-centered. Even his casual declaration that 300,000 people read his website every day seemed less like ego and more like a casual declaration. It's like, he's doing what he loves, and if other people love it enough to let him make a living off it, awesome; if not, so be it. I honestly like the philosophy, and for him, well, the results speak for themselves. It's not like 300,000 people don't visit his site every day.

He also made fun of himself at the panel for being spazzy: he said something along the lines of, "Sometimes I get stressed and angry and just decide it's time to quit everything and just leave. Then five minutes later I calm myself down and realize it's a dumb idea." I wonder if he was thinking of the Dark Iron guild. At any rate, self-deprecation scores big points in my book.

And hey Tim, if you read this - I know you don't care what I think. ;)

1/18 Interview Posted
Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 4:15 PM
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Medros has let me know that he's posted the interview from the day before I launched Book Two. It's about twenty minutes long, and there's some good stuff in it. Have a listen and let me know what you think! If you haven't read The Murloc is Lonely, there are spoilers, because Medros is a punk.

Now Parts Have Names!
Saturday, January 28, 2006 - 11:30 AM
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I'm up in Boston again - had a date last night, and crashed on Nate&Stu's couch last night. While this couch has hosted my single best night's couch-sleep ever, last night was not that night. I woke up at 9:30 with a pounding headache (guess why?). I couldn't fall back asleep, so I hopped online and stared at my table of contents for a while.

The idea of naming the parts came from the fact that I wasn't entirely satisfied with the names I'd given the Books. I'd tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you. Feel free to speculate, though.

So click on over to the table of contents and have a look at the new Part titles. What do you guys think?

Story: Chapter II
Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 1:00 AM
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I had intended to have a great deal more written than this for tonight. Writer's block hit at one point, slowing me down a bit; I also spent most of a day writing stuff which, while excellent, ended up getting shunted a few posts or chapters or Parts down the line. Good stuff, and you'll read it eventually. Just, not tonight.

Tonight, I've got the first few pages of Chapter Two. Hope you enjoy.

Drum Roll Please Again
Thursday, January 19, 2006 - 3:00 PM
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Without further preamble:

Book Two, Chapter One.

Interview & Website
Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 9:30 PM
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Update: I have been interview'd.  Medros tells me that there will be a recording made available in the near future; I will let you guys know as soon as I know.  Nervous plus caffeine plus no sleep makes Albatros something something... completely coherent?  Not quite! =]

I am on the air with Medros!  Listen here (WMA/low quality) or click here for more options.

Look!  New website!  Brand new awesome bird! (sketched for me by my friend Meredith, whose site is linked over to the right, and to whom I will give a proper shout-out soon)

Last Thursday, when I announced that The Murloc is Lonely would be returning in a week, I decided that (logically) this could only mean that I also had one week to redesign the whole site.  I spent literally every waking hour this holiday weekend hand-coding HTML, much to the derision of my friends, and managed to learn enough about CSS's & PHP (woooo acronyms) to code some cool tricks into the thing.  Most of it is back end stuff that you guys won't really notice, but some of it - go click around on the new Archive page (link below) and see how that all works.  It's ridiculously beginner coding, apparently, but baby I don't care... I got myself a for() loop and I'm proud of it!

Work has sent me to a conference tomorrow, which means I won't be anywhere near a computer for most of the day.  I will have Chapter One of Book Two on a thumb drive in my pocket, and at some point during the conference, I will sneak off somewhere - come hell and high water - and upload that mother for you.  So for tonight, listen in to me and Medros; hop on the forums and tell me what you think of the new site; and get yourself psyched for tomorrow.

Interview Wednesday Night
Monday, January 16, 2006 - 9:45 PM
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Wednesday evening, at 9:30 EST, in preparation for the taking back up of my sword and pen, I'll be doing an interview on MMORadio with Medros.  I'm looking forward to chatting with him again.  When 9:30 Wednesday rolls around, I hope you'll click here to listen in.  (Windows Media Player, low bandwidth/quality.  Other options are available at their site.)

Our last chat was six months ago, back at the end of Part Two, before I had a website or anything.  (That was my first interview ever, if you can't tell by how nervous I sound when I first come on.)

Audio interviews make me nervous - you can't go back and edit stuff.  I hope I don't accidentally give away the super-secret time travel ending. >.>

Thursday is still the big day - I'll be rolling out Chapter One of Book Two.  I'll be rolling out some other cool stuff, as well, but that'll be my surprise.

Drum-roll Please
Friday, January 13, 2006 - 1:15 AM
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The news you've all been waiting for.

I wonder, if anyone remembers a few months ago, when some s**t went down.  When someone showed up and kicked someone's ass, and someone won that no one thought would win, and everyone wanted to know why.  There is a picture to the right, whipped up for me in record time by the wonderful kibs, which should serve to remind you if you've forgotten.  As I said: you may recall, some s**t went down.  (I've taken the picture down for the moment.  It'll go back up in the soon-to-be-unveiled Fan Art section.)

Then three months went by, and there was some personal-life stuff and some work-life stuff and a whole bunch of stuff that kept me from writing.  I put together some intervening short stories (a project which I have not abandoned) to pass the time for you guys.  And they were fun and all, but they weren't, you know, The Murloc is Lonely.  I miss The Murloc is Lonely.  And, being the author, I decided it was time to do something about it.

So re-read the last chapter of Book One, get yourself psyched, because in less than a week - on Thursday, January 19th  - I'm going to post the first chapter of Book Two.  I promise, it will have been worth the wait.

As for me, I've got a lot of work to do in the next six days.  You'll see.

Cheers,
Albatros

Patch 1.9
Monday, January 9, 2006 - 1:00 PM
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If you left World of Warcraft at any point in the last year or so because of the feel of a static world, or because there wasn't enough end-game content that didn't involve running through the same lava tunnel every week hoping your favorite shoulder pads would drop, you should think about re-joining.  I haven't had time to jump in game, but I've managed to sneak some forum-reading time at work, and it seems that the quest to get the Scepter of the Sands with which you open up the gates of the mysterious Ahn'Qiraj blah blah etc., is really freakin' awesome.

WoW Expansion
Friday, January 6, 2006 - 10:40 AM
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I've wondered if the inclusion of the Blood Elves in the WoW expansion was an attempt to tap a sort of male sexual fantasy element into the game's appeal.  I've wondered if they'd descend to the level of somehow using subdued but wholly unnecessary sexuality in the marketing of the thing.  nah...

(I also wonder what ads Google is going to serve up for the site now!)

edit: Blizz replaced the picture.  At first, it was a night elf female wearing... a bra.  No kidding.  The new one is much more tasteful.

true story
Thursday, January 5, 2006 - 12:30 PM
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A Buddhist walks up to a hot-dog stand and says, "Make me one with everything."

Happy 2006!
Sunday, January 1, 2006 - 8:30 PM
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I've been chez mes parents with Ajax for the holiday week, and it was good, clean country fun.  They have goats now - thirteen of them, with names like Bunny (whose ears are all white) and Saddle-bags (who has white markings on her sides that look like her namesake).  Goats, for the record, are AWESOME.

It was nip and tuck whether I was going to have anything at all to do last night - Nate is at home in another state, Stu was sleeping up for a surfing vacation he's on now, Sheeley was with his girlfriend, and my parents, God bless 'em, were going to be staying up late sanding the kitchen floor.  At the last minute, a dear friend (and ex-girlfriend) of mine called on her way home to New York City, so I invited myself down for the night.  Since Ajax was a birthday present from her four years ago and she misses him, and since going home by way of Connecticut to drop him off would have had me arriving in New York too close to midnight for comfort, I brought the cat along.  He's the most well-behaved car cat: he zonks out in his carrier for hours on end, hopping out to say hi to the collector at every toll booth.

Thanks to a confusing map and a set of lost keys (Buddha stole them!), we ended up late to a party and on a subway at the stroke of midnight.  I managed to snag a New Year's peck on the way over the Manhattan Bridge, with fireworks going off over the bay below the Financial District.  Truly not a bad way to spend the first minutes of aught-six.

This last year was pretty rough for me.  I got my car stolen; I was drunkenly mugged; my bike was stolen (these were all within three weeks in June, mind you); my girlfriend and I broke up for the second, third, and fourth (slash final) times; the majority of my social life moved to Boston; and I had the worst semester academically since probably third grade.  There has been some good stuff, of course: my parents getting the farm finally; my job getting really interesting; and, of course, my story and this site and you guys, who have been a shining beacon of not-suck among the suck.  So here's to you guys: thanks for keeping aught-five from being quite as bad a year as it could have been, and here's hoping that aught-six is a great year for everyone.  And, peace on earth, and stuff.

::CHAMPAGNE::

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