MUSKRAT RAMBLINGS, Thursday, January 21, 2010 – Six Weeks of Ass Kickings

Or: How I Stopped Worrying And Learned to Love Aplomb
posted by John

OK…dust off some cobwebs here…and 2010 starts.

A bit later than I’d expected, to be quite frank about it. But then, the last six to seven weeks pretty much kicked my ass, work-wise. Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes, you’re the windshield as a jackhammer-wielding maniac smashes the windshield into a million tiny pieces…. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised I made as many deadines as I did during this time: new Munchkin stuff is in the works; Out of the Box games are chugging along well; Louisa hasn’t been left behind in any comically hilarious “Home Alone” moments. Geek Dad Win!

A month and a half ago my laptop’s hard drive crashed, and crashed hard. Fortunately, everything was backed up and under warranty – yet it still took the better part of two weeks to get back up to speed. I blame some Bucky Balls, but I really should probably be blaming myself for playing with said Bucky Balls too near a hard drive. No direct evidence – just a suspicion: a suspicion supported by the fact that I am an idiot.

Five weeks ago, I had to fly out to Los Angeles for a meeting. One…single…meeting. This ate up three days. Don’t ask. Four weeks ago it was Christmas and New Year’s. This took the two days each out of the weekly schedule.

On a more personal note, three weeks ago, I had to fly to Long Island, to spend some time, and say goodbye to my uncle Dale, my Mom’s only brother. The next week, my uncle died, and my Mom came to visit. (The same day my uncle died, the Lovely and talented Judith’s 17 year-old cat, Maude, had to be put to sleep). So this week was the first real week since early mid-December that I actually had a full work week.

Although Louisa, barfing in the car Monday morning, did eat up a bit of that time. Fortunately, she barfed (spectacularly, and at a two year-old level, might I add?)just as we got to the Day Care center, where a spare set of clothes was available. Then the car had to go through the Deep Cleaning process (they can get yak out of a car? MAN, I wish I had known that in college). Still, all in all, it’s been a productive five days.

The good news is, I’m ahead on the strip again, and hope to build the backlog back up into something impressive. Though you can’t tell from this week’s strips, I’ve been able to spend more time on the drawings, as well as working on the gags to near-obsession (more on that next week).

The goal is to try and have something at every day of the workweek: comics Monday, Wednesday and Friday, blog posts Tuesday and Thursday. Good blog posts, not a hasty “HEY! I have a half-hour to spare” blog post. Like this one. We’ll see.


I fear the bad news in all of this is that I just can’t make Warpcon this year. I love Warpcon, and think of it more as a gathering of friends, now, rather than an actual con. But too much needs to be done on this side of the Atlantic. My deepest apologies to everyone. I shan’t make a habit of this.


In the meantime, there is some sort of cool stuff going on, regarding Dork Tower and Haiti relief. In case you don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter, here’s a brief summary:

For the entire month of January, ALL sales of Dork Tower e-books at will go directly to “Gamers Help Haiti/Doctors Without Borders.” So if you ever wanted to pick up a Dork Tower collection via the interwebs, now is the time.

Dwarfing this utterly is the main “Gamers Help haiti” drive. Let me be the last person to tell you that for a mere $20 donation, you receive close to $1,500 worth of amazingly cool RPG downloads. Included in the mega-bundle is the first Dork Tower collection, “Dork Covenant.” In a few days alone, the folks at have helped raise nearly $70,000! By the time you read this, it may well be nearing the $100,000 mark. The sheer brilliance of this is almost indescribable. What’s also been cool is seeing some people who are donating more, saying that $20 is far too little for a mega-bundle such as this. Go, you guys! The deal lasts through January, and has crashed their servers more than once, so keep trying, if you haven’t already taken advantage of this.

Lastly, the folks over at Wired’s GeekDad site are having their own drive. Donating $15 gets you a chance to win some very cool stuff, including having you Avatar drawn by me. A $100 donation gets you…umm…SIX chances, so perhaps donate $105 for the full seven chances, but it ALSO guarantees you a signed, sketched-in copy of the Dork Covenant collection.


Lastly (gee…is a half-hour up, already?), there have been many reports of broken links in the archives. We’re working on that, but it may take some time.

Fingers crossed, we’ll also be starting on some other cool upgrades to the site. More on that as it progresses. But hey, my 30 minutes are up.

Muskrat out.



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