Good-bye 2016.

2016 was a hell of a year for me. I went from a full-time employee with benefits to a temporary part-time employee with no benefits in a new state. The math is undeniable, I don’t make enough to survive. It won’t take much to make 2017 better but it will take an extraordinary effort to make it great. Let’s hope I am up to the task. Thanks to all of you out there who have supported me. Stay tuned.

Getting Back To It.

Thank you to GIMP 2.8 and Inkscape. They two free software packages which have allowed me to continue putting out comics. It’s going to take a while to get used to all of the features and even the basic functions. I’ll take it. It’s rough being creative and having your ability to create in an electronic world taken away. I wish my latest work would have been funnier but I am just thrilled to be creating again. It’s my stress relief when everything else is going crazy. Thanks to all of you for your patience and for giving me something great to read while I was working things out. A special thanks to Rachel Mankowitz and the Cricket Pages (Rachelmankowitz.wordpress.com), Jen Paetsch Little Monster Girl Comics (Lmgcomic.wordpress.com) and Grumpy Young Bloke (Grumpyyoungbloke.wordpress.com) Whether it was emails of help or support or just consistently reading my strip even when it’s not as funny as it should be, thanks for reminding me that I should get back to it! Stay tuned.

Out of Business.

As you might have read from earlier posts, most of my electronic equipment has bit the dust in the last few months. I have had to purchase various products including a new computer, all without a source of income. I needed the computer since the only way to apply for jobs is over the internet. After bit of work I was able to get my scanner and printer run with Windows 10. Then came Adobe.

They have, over the years, swallowed up the other creative software platforms and become quite the giant. They eventually figured out that in order to make money, you now have to rent their software via the Creative Cloud. Not for me, I had purchased CS4 back in 2009 because it was an investment in my future. When I was working for Dave it was the industry standard. I purchased it online, was given my key code and on my merry way, until now.

I have had a few cartoons scanned but CS4 is giving me problems. It now tells me my license is not valid, but that can’t be because I paid fifteen hundred dollars for it. I contacted support and after loading and reloading then license repair tools and hours chatting with the group from Mumbai, I have come up empty. I should say left out to rot.

They were as helpful as a bag of concrete is to a drowning man. The last person told me, “well it is an older platform”. Translation, we are forcing you to buy something new but what we don’t sell software now, we rent it. I am angry. Look, it did what I needed it to and it didn’t matter if it had all of the bells and whistles but that wasn’t good enough. This group of speed bumps has told me there is nothing they can do. I can purchase a new license, get a Creative Cloud account and pay monthly rent on software I already own, REALLY! The “expert” told me to check the forums, are you shitting me? The people who made this product don’t know what to do and now they what me to check with other people like me who are lost. Well, guess what, that went nowhere too! I guess it would be asking too much to get me a license that F***ing works.

I am out of business and for Sam and Murphy, this looks to be the end until I can come up with an alternative to these thieving giants. If there is anything I wrote to offend Adobe, come and get me you Son of Bitches, you have my address!

I am sorry to those of you out there who are following Sam and Murphy. Sorry for this, it is not my usual kind of post, I try to stay positive. I will try my best but to be honest I just don’t have it in me with all of the other problems I have incurred since my move. Again, I am sorry, I’ll keep trying when I can.

Shopping.

I needed a new pair of shoes. It appears that the ventilation slots on the sides were actually holes. I usually shop online but with my lack of income new budget and time urgency, I thought I would go where the locals shop.

I eventually ended up in a department store which had a “sale” on the shoes I was looking for. Now I know why I don’t shop at stores.

When I walked in I was hit with what sounded like some kind of loop of someone with the hiccups reverberating out of the store speakers. I was told it was music. If you ever wonder how far down the hole the music industry has gone, go to a department store and listen to the playlist. Thanks Disney, great job! After a few minutes of that, I wanted to find Housewares so I could get something sharp to shove in my ears.

Eventually I made it to the Shoe Department which was a simulation of some kind of disaster scenario. Balls of paper which had been pulled out of the shoes were littering the floor and most of the boxes were busted or broken from people trying to shove shoes back in place after removing them. I think we should have a national IQ test; If you can put shoes back into the box in the same position they were in when you pulled them out then you should be allowed to obtain a driver’s license, register to vote and have children.

I found the “sales” shoes I was looking for and apparently shoes are now like jeans, they come in a “wore vintage look”. I would guess most of the residence of this state had tried these shoes on and possibly even run a marathon or two. I brought them over to the clerk because I figured someone might have stolen a pair and left their own shoes as tribute but this was not the case. She informed me that these where the shoes, that someone must have tried them on and walked through the department. I realize that it is necessary to try things on because it says size 11 but depending on the manufacturer, not always.

My problem was shortly after she said someone had tried them on, the only thought I had was of me standing in the checkout line at the grocery store this morning. There was this guy standing in front of me and he was wearing flip flops, his feet looked like an armadillo with dandruff. I’ll never look at potato chips the same. Anyway, I was sure he had tried on the shoes I was looking to buy. I smiled politely at her and said thanks, have a nice day.

I have decided to hang in there with my old ventilators until I can find a deal online. I don’t know what happens to the shoes in the warehouse before they ship to me but it has to be better. Stay tuned.

Communication And A Little Luck.

Communication Skills.

My people are known for their inherent luck, we even have our own cereal to prove it. “That’s me Lucky Charms.” That being said, I have to be the only one of my people who has missed out on this natural genetic occurrence.

It has been a long month but I finally got an interview, unfortunately it was the worse interview I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. These folks did everything within their power to try to convince me not to work there. The person I was supposed to interview with was too busy at a luncheon to do my interview. That’s the winning attitude gang; we’re number one and deserve a luncheon! So I was handed off to the next person in succession, who shockingly, seemed unprepared. She took me around the department introducing me to the people I would be working with. Far be it from me to question the procedures of a big corporation but I thought it was an important step to actually interview the person before you start telling people this is your new co-worker. In all fairness, this was handed over to her sort of last-minute. I’ll bet communication is the key to their success.

After a wonderful tour of the facility, my tour guide handed me over to the department manager. I thought this was my chance to shine until he looked at me like I crapped on his best pair of Skechers Shape-Ups. He appeared completely baffled, kind of like someone looking at a radio for the first time and thinking, how do they get all of those musicians inside that box? Maybe he didn’t know they were hiring for his department. Huh, communication again.

His look suddenly switched to condescension when he said there would be very few hours available and then asked if I was capable of doing the job. I said I was more than capable of doing this job and apparently someone in HR feels the same way since I was scheduled for an interview after reviewing my resume. I probably should have smiled less while shooting off my mouth. Clearly we wouldn’t be hanging in the same social circles. As he walked away I noticed something I hadn’t before, someone had managed to put a rectum in a golf shirt and taught it to walk. You throw a fast ball, it comes back just as fast when it’s hit. How’s that for communication?

I was done with the whole process when I got word that I was hired and I should check my email for the next steps. I thanked everyone for the opportunity and on my way out the door I had already come up with an excuse about contracting monkey pox so I could turn down the offer. Two days later I got an email with the next steps. Oddly it looked just like a rejection letter. I had managed to get hired and given my walking papers in just two days. I have never been fired and now I can say I was fired from a job I never worked a day on. I would like to have had a luncheon for my last day. I guess they all got together as a company and finally communicated when it came to my application. See, I was able to improve their communication skills in just one visit. Thank you Irish Luck, I knew you were hiding somewhere in my DNA. I can save my monkey pox story for another time! Stay tuned!

Boom Boom…Out Go The Lights.

Boom Boom…Out Go The Lights.

I need a moment of silence, my computer is dead. My work horse, entertainment center and creative station has left the building, right behind Elvis. It has shaken off this electric coil and left me kicking and screaming as I am being pushed into the twenty-first century to upgrade. Hasta la vista or “Vista” as in goodbye Windows Vista. I did manage to salvage most of my important files by making several promises to never to use the computer for that again, no more gaming. What did you think I was talking about?

Lucky break though, I have an old notebook which I bought years ago for just this kind of occasion but it’s running Windows 7. Lucky break…gone. This notebook was meant to read email and do some quick internet searches. Yeah, right. It is slower than a snail on Lithium and when the ads load, well let’s just say you would have plenty of time to go to Thailand if you wanted Thai food. It’s like streaming a movie on a dial-up connection. I like shadow puppet theater while I’m waiting.

I can’t load any of the programs I use to create Sam and Murphy because the machine can’t handle anything more than a screen saver. I am also experiencing compatibility issues. I understand why some of the software is incompatible but my scanner, printer and other hardware are also incompatible, like reality TV and quality programming. I am going to need some time to figure this out, especially with no income, so during the intermission, you’ll be stuck with my run-on sentences writing. Stay tuned.

Dress Code.

I am finally settling in to my new life and other than the fact that it is hotter than a bonfire in hell, I am starting to check out the local customs. Apparently, there is some kind of dress code that was not in the brochure. Many of the older set have taken to Panama Jack Hats and fluorescent shirts circa 1980, think Miami Vice only 700 or 800 miles north. They look like an extra on the set of the original Jurassic Park. I still favor a baseball cap, combined with a pair of sunglasses and my Irish tan which is…uh, red. The finished product makes it look like I am wearing a white swim cap and goggles and that beats a Panama Jack Hat any day in my book. Stay tuned.

Traveling Fool Part 3

Hooray! I finally made it to my new home but not before completing a few senseless rituals. Now, I’m generally a clean person but in order to get my deposit back, I had to clean as if surgery were being performed there after right after I leave. Scrubbing, rinsing repeat, knowing the whole time they are going to come in and do the same thing over. It’s similar to when you were very young and your parents let you help out with chores around the house. After you finished the job, they smiled, told you what a great job you did and then went back and did the job the way they wanted in the first place. They wanted you to feel like a responsible adult. News flash, if I was a responsible adult, I wouldn’t have left my job, moved someplace new without a replacement job waiting. My feelings wouldn’t have been hurt one bit if you just want to clean the place your way.

Jump forward 700 miles and here I am at my new place. Before I could get a mail box key, I had to complete my move-in inspection. No problem but I decided instead of filling the form out noting the immaculate condition, I thought it would be a better idea to describe things as they will look after a year of living there, that way everything will look the way I described it when I move out. I’ll let you know how that works. This place has the option of renting a washer and dryer, buying your own or using the laundry facility. I chose the last option since I don’t think this will be permanent. During the inspection I noted that the dryer vent pipe was not closed, you could see light, so there was a direct opening to outside. This of course invites bugs and the warm air which would be like leaving a window open while running the air conditioner. The property manager looks at me and with a straight face and says, “The hole is there so when you hook up a dryer the air goes outside”. Honestly, I just let that one go.

I am getting settled and hopefully by next week I will be hitting the pavement job hunting and maybe even punch out a cartoon. Stay tuned.

Dinner For An Idiot.

I am an idiot. I just had a farewell dinner with the best friend I’ll ever have. She has made me a better person and has inspired me to try harder to achieve so much more. The best memories of my time here were spent with her. I have told her this so I am not a total idiot but I can’t help feeling I am leaving the best thing in my life behind. Sorry, this is not my usual kind of post but I just wanted to write this down so in case I ever wonder which day it was that I made a huge mistake, I can look back on this post.