kybearfuzz: (Workout)
Yesterday, I went to the gym for the first time in a couple of months. I work out regularly, but I often do cardio by running outside or lift free weights at home. I joined Planet Fitness back in January because I needed to change things up and a place to get my cardio in when the weather was nasty. For the first six weeks, I was in a great routine. However, with Mom's stroke and broken hip, the aftermath of her hospital stay, the flooding at my house, the washing machine, and other bits of family-related drama, the gym visits fell to the wayside. It was just easier to work out at home and then deal with the other things.

Yeaterday's visit was perfect really. In my absence, the New Years resolution folks have bailed and the gym is a more manageable environment. I grabbed a bench in the free-weight area to get some chest presses in next to a very brawny daddy bear, then hit some of the chest and back machines. I finished out with some cardio and an episode of "Bob's Burgers."

When I got home, I mowed the yard in anticipation of rain. I got my shower and hunkered down for some coloring of comic pages, while watching both "Friday the 13th" and "Friday the 13th Part 2."

I feel pretty good today. Seriously, why should that surprise me so much?
kybearfuzz: (Bill the Cat)
I bought my first lawn mower when I moved in my house in 2001. It's just like the one I grew up using, a 20" gas-powered mower. It's done a great job for all these years, but last week while I was mowing it seemed to be giving me a near-death rattle. The motor wasn't running as smoothly and it seemed to struggle quite a bit.

Since then, I've been looking online at different mowers. I have been wanting to try something different, so I've been spying the electric lawn mowers. Buying gas for the old mower is a pain, so I'd like to see about avoid it. Battery-powered ones have their ups and downs, mostly linked to battery life. Corded ones have their drawbacks as well, as many folks have told me about running over the electric cord.

On the way home from work today, I stopped at Home Depot to look at the furry eye candy... er, to comparison shop for mowers. They didn't have much in the way of electric mowers. The only model in stock was battery-powered and expensive. However, just next to it was something that caught my eye, something I'd not seen for a long time.

A manual reel mower.

The design is a bit fancier than the mowers I remember, but it principles are very much the same. I've never used one. My dad had one, but it literally sat outside in a corner of the yard, like a prop or a decorative item. The blades and wheels on it had long rusted in place, so it was completely non-functional.

So, on a lark, I bought one. It's far cheaper than the powered mowers and the online reviews are actually very positive. It's must quieter than powered models and, while it requires a bit more effort by me, it should be good for a cardio workout. For my 1/4 acre yard, which is 1/3 wooded, it may be an effective stop-gap while I continue a search for the electric mower. I put it together tonight after my chest/back workout.

I'm very eager to try it out tomorrow after work.
kybearfuzz: (Default)
A couple of weeks back, I decided to rejoin a gym. After five or so years of working out at home and running outside, I felt like I needed a change. I had grown bored with the workouts and have talked myself out of doing them or stopping them mid-way. The seasonal malaise doesn't help either. With a gym like Planet Fitness costing $20/month, I thought it would be reasonably inexpensive and help with my motivation.

And it's working.

There is a location on my way home from work, so I have no excuse not to stop by, short of leaving my gym bag at home. I'm still trying to transition my workout schedules and routines to the free-weights and weight machines, but I feel that it's going well.

In addition, I have something that I didn't have working out at home -- eye candy!

Lawd, the eye-candy! While Planet Fitness doesn't have the muscle-heads running about, as it's not really their target audience, it does have some very fit fellers running about, often without underwear or jocks, so flopping is visible. And as it caters to folks who are just trying to get in shape, a lot of the guys are bears, bearded, furry -- your average blue-collar joes.

Thus far, I'm back into my five to six-day workouts, including legs, which I typically never enjoyed, but the workout machines are good for them.

I'm still waiting for the new year's resolution people to filter out, but so far I'm enjoying it quite a bit. And I've not given up my home workouts, but I'm saving them for days where getting out of the house isn't good (like rainy or snowy days).
kybearfuzz: (Comic Book Bears)
I've always enjoyed the Giffen-era "Legion of Super-Heroes" from back in the 1980s. I loved the artwork. It was the era when I started reading the Legion, learning about how each Legionnaire had to have one unique power to belong, sometimes with heroes only having one power.

Duo DamselSometimes the heroes had some pretty weak powers. Duo Damsel was one of those, having the ability to split into two identical selves, each having no other power. While in reality, it would be a very cool and practical power, being able to get so much more done. In the comic book world, it hardly put her at Superman levels. Still she was a favorite of mine.

One of my favorite quotes was from Duo Damsel.

"The best part of the LSH is how heroes with relatively weak powers can combine to become highly effective."

I enjoyed how a hero with a single power could be useful in certain circumstances. So for fun, in the comments, tell me your power and your "kid, boy, girl..." code-name. Remember, you have to have a power no one in the Legion has to be eligible to be Legionnaire.

Mine would be "Replay Lad," who had the power of psychometry, allowing him to see past events when he touched objects or people. And of course, he could fly using the Legion flight ring.
kybearfuzz: (Purple Tie 2014)
A few years back, there was a "meme" of sorts going around, where users would take a photo of themselves every day for a year. Quite a number of handsome fellers did this and it was fun to watch.

On a different page, I was listening to a podcast last year that said that creative people (people who write, draw, whatever) should engage in their creativity every day, even if it's something small or quick.

Last year, I decided to combine both ideas into a meme of my own. I decided to challenge myself to draw something... anything... at least once a day, every day, for 2015. It took a lot of effort to remember to do it every day, but as of last night, I finished the last drawing for the set. You can find the whole set here on my Flickr account or click on any of the big image behind the cut.

365 Toons Part 01365 Toons Part 02365 Toons Part 03365 Toons Part 04365 Toons Part 05365 Toons Part 06365 Toons Part 07365 Toons Part 08365 Toons Part 09365 Toons Part 10365 Toons Part 11365 Toons Part 12

It's been an interesting little experiment. I didn't want to skip a day if I could avoid it. So on weeks or weekends I traveled, I had to make sure to set aside a few moments to draw something. I carried a small pad of paper with me, but also drew on napkins, scratch paper, even wooden blocks when needed. One morning I did forget to intentionally draw something, but luckily, I recalled doodling on the blotter on my desk at work when on a conference call the previous day (see Day 167 - Calendar Scribbles). Some of the cartoons were elaborate, others not so much, and some were pencils, inks, and colored pages of the Bear Patrol comic.

Keeping track of the numbers seemed to cause me issues too. I've had to re-number the set twice because I skipped a number, but not a day.

The most fun of the set is looking back and seeing reflections of my mood, of life events, of different stresses that played out during the year. It's all there really. So it's been like having a second journal of sorts.

Now that 2016 is here, I'm not going to try to make it a point to do it every day, but I'm sure I'll be drawing nearly the same amount anyway. Still, I'm glad I put myself through it. It was fun and I enjoyed the outcome.
kybearfuzz: (iPod People)
This week has been a busy one and an irritating one, the latter part due mainly to my own actions.

Tuesday night, I finally took the plunge and updated my iPhone operating software to the latest version. I often hold off doing the updates because they sometimes have issues and I'd rather wait and let others try it first. So after finally caving in to the update, I found that my iPhone no longer would be recognized by iTunes on my desktop.

Checking the software status on iTunes, I found it was the most recent version. According to a web search, I needed to update my Mac mini's operating software. So I downloaded the updated overnight, as it took over three hours. The next morning, I did the install of the OS X "El Capitan" system. It warned me that Photoshop and Microsoft Office wouldn't work, but I had hit go already. Insert "D'OH!"

The install was taking a while, so I went to work and dreaded what I'd encounter on my arrival home in the afternoon. And my fears were correct. While my iPhone will now sync to the updated iTunes, my Photoshop CS will no longer work, the system stating that the new operating system will not run Power PC programs. I tried to updated a few utilities to see if it would work, but no dice. I thought about buying a new version of Photoshop CS, but the last version on CD was CS6 and it costs $1200. Newer versions are now by online subscription, at a minimum of $9.99/month.

I debated on what to do next. I have relied on Photoshop to color my comic and other cartoons, but I'm not sure a subscription is worth the price, considering the limited reasons I use it. One option was to downgrade the operating software back to an earlier version to continue using my old Photoshop, but it would only be a stop-gap measure as I'll have to replace them both at some point once the software was no longer supported on any platform.

I've purchased Manga Studios 5 from Amazon and it should arrive tomorrow. From what I've seen, it seems to be able to do whatever I need, including reading old PSD files and creating new ones if necessary, as well as permitting a few new tricks. I'm hopeful. [ profile] aceofspace and other friends have suggested alternate programs that might help, so I'll be looking into those in case the Manga software isn't going to work for me.

All of this because of my iPhone. Well, that's not necessarily fair. It was bound to happen eventually, I guess.
kybearfuzz: (Patsy)
I slept really well last night, after staying up after midnight and sending out various text messages. I got up and worked out, had lunch, and took a nap. Yeah, I lead an exciting life. Here are a few odds and ends of the day:

  • the best damn fiddler from calabogie to kaladarAfter an online discussion last night with a certain burly bear in Ottawa, I wanted to watch "The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar". It's a 1969 Canadian Film Award Winner for Best Picture (these are now called Genie Awards, the Canadian equivalent of an Oscar). It stars Chris Wiggins, a nice furry bear of a guy who is well known as "Jack Marshak" in "Friday the 13th: The Series," in the lead role and was the first film for Margot Kidder, who plays his daughter. It's the story of a poor bush worker who refuses to sacrifice his dignity to provide his family with a better life. It's a very good, low budget drama. You can watch the whole flick on YouTube.

  • Today being New Years Day, I counted my Found Money for the year. For those who are new to the journal, I keep track of all the money I find throughout the year in parking lots, etc. It started as a little experiment, I just keep doing it. The amount seems to be relatively small, but shrinking, as this is the lowest amount found in six years.

    Found Money 2014

  • After dinner, I sat down to watch the above movie, a so-so horror flick called "The Damned," and a couple of episodes of "Criminal Minds." I also got started on drawing the next issue of "Grizzly & The Bear Patrol." Two pages down so far, just eighteen to go. Here are some rough pencils of page 2.

    001 - Rough Pencils
kybearfuzz: (Bag Hag)

Odds and ends of the week thus far.

  • After being off work for a week, Monday was a rough one. This time of year makes it hard to get out of bed with it being so cold. Even Maggie the Cat isn’t all energetic in the mornings any more.

  • I watched a Netflix DVD last night called ”The Giant Behemoth. It was a 1959 monster movie about a radioactive dinosaur in England. It stars John Turner, who was the bearded hottie in “The Black Torment” I wrote about last week. He’s a bit younger in this one, with no beard or shirtless scenes, but it was good camp for a cheap movie. Some cool things about the movie was the special effects, which were primitive. The dinosaur didn’t breath fire, but would emit radioactive bursts that could roast a person, which happened quite a bit. And when the people of London were being evacuated, they must have used locals for background actors. A lot of the people in very tense dramatic moments could be seen nervously smirking or smiling and taking quick glances at the camera. In the scenes where they were running from the monsters, I was impressed to see these little old grannies really hoofing it.

  • I finished the plotting of the next issue of my comic book last night. I just have to set up the panels and I will probably start drawing it tomorrow. Issue #16… wow…
  • .

  • I have no NYE plans. My usual plans include attending the annual bash thrown by my softball buddy Thom and his hubby Jay, but this year they’re taking a break. They’ve even posted on FB that they have no plans themselves and have no idea what to do tonight. They just got back from a trip down South, so I’m sure they’ll be taking it easy anyway.

  • I got my new ID badge at work today. My photo is very, VERY yellow. I look jaundiced. Nice that they used the DMV camera and that I’ll keep it for the next four years. Sigh… where is Photoshop when you needed it…

Happy Hump Day, all y’all!

Posted via

kybearfuzz: (Grizzly 3)
One of my morning errands was to finally get a printed copy of last comic book issue.

There is a little something fun about holding the printed copy of the comic book in my hands. As usual, I ran to Kinko's to get it done. Today, I was helped by a guy named Rod, who is usually an okay guy, but he must be having a crappy morning. I cracked a joke and he didn't even blink. So I made my request and he started working on it in awkward silence while I waited.

Grizzly & The Bear Patrol 15 Printed

Still, the result was good. I have to admit that it seems to come out darker than it does on the computer screen. I do the comic in "RGB" and I have heard that I should do them in "CYMK" color mode. However, since the comic is primarily an online comic, RGB is supposed to be better. I need to check into some kind of conversion for the printing, especially if I go forward with any plans to print these in the future.

Once I have the printed copy, I put them in plastic sleeves, with the original artwork and the finished product on opposing pages.

Grizzly & The Bear Patrol 15 Printed

The end result is pretty compact and easy to shelve, so I can pull them and take a look at them later for reference.

Grizzly & The Bear Patrol 15 Printed
kybearfuzz: (Halo)
So before I packed up and headed south, I purchased a used DVD of "Black Christmas". I've written about this movie over and over again. I'm jokingly obsessed. I have no idea why, I just find the movie fascinating in odds ways.

Now I have the Blu-ray and a DVD copy already, this after I gave away another copy to a buddy, so why buy another? In my research online about the movie, I came across a nearly defunct website that listed some cool features on an earlier DVD release that strangely are missing from later DVD and Blu-Ray releases. So, I found a copy on Amazon Marketplace. It had been sitting at my post office while my mail was held during Christmas.

I got this DVD copy in the mail today and it's full of extras that are absent from the later releases -- good extras.

BC Poster Bit
Black Christmas Movie Poster

Among the extras available are:
  • Audio commentary by Director Bob Clark (he also directed "A Christmas Story" and "Porky's").
  • Audio commentary by stars John Saxon and Keir Dullea.
  • A "Revisited" Documentary.
  • A Episode of a TV Series called "Dark Dreamers" staring John Saxon (not sure why this is on here, but okay... something more to watch)

What surprised me about the DVD is that there are even more extras as a DVD-ROM, yet the DVD doesn't even state this on the cover or the interior flier. I wouldn't have even known of them if I hadn't seen them on the aforementioned website.

The DVD-ROM includes a PDF press book for "Silent Night, Deadly Night," which was the original US release title; a PDF of their movie posters (the above pic is a portion of one of them); and (the best part) is a PDF of the original script, with crossed-out scene, hand-written pages, etc. It must have been a working script by the writers. It's nice to be able to read some of the lines that got a bit blurred in the movie. Even more fun was some of the cut scenes, which were actually pretty funny. This is probably one of the fun scenes in the movie, between Sergeant Nash and Barb (Margot Kidder) when she gets the best of the officer, using a word he's unfamiliar with.

Black Christmas Script Bit
Black Christmas Fellatio Phone Number

Unlike most movies today, where they do whole "making of" documentaries to accompany a film, there is very little production documentation and photos I can find. It is rare that I delve so far into something like this. I have one more "piece" of the movie background to get. In my searches, I came across a paperback novelization of the film in 1976, released in Canada (where the movie was filmed), written from the screenplay. Supposedly, it contains extra scenes that are documented out, probably like the script I have. With the joys of the internet, I managed to find a used copy of a nearly 40-year-old paperback. It should be here next week.

I am such a geek. Seriously.
kybearfuzz: (Halo)
It's another one of those nights. I broke out my comic book journal and started jotting down plot lines for my next couple of issues of my comic. I wasn't sure what to watch on TV, so I just put the Blu-Ray of "Black Christmas" (1974) in the player and watched it.

Black Christmas (1974)

It seems that no matter how many times I watch the movie, there's always something new I failed to catch before. I think part of that reason is that I often "listen" to a movie while drawing or writing, instead of watching the movie. Tonight, I was watching it a bit more and got drawn into figuring out the layout of the sorority house where everything takes place. It's actually a real house in the Toronto area and has had a few minor remodels over the decades.

It's been 40 years since the movie was released and the writer/director died in a car accident a few years back. I think the movie could have had a sequel made, seeing how most of the original actors were killed off, but the surviving ones are still around. John Saxon, who was the Lt. Fuller, is still kicking and I can see him leading an investigation out of retirement in a follow-up movie when the killer resurfaces or something. I can practically guarantee that it would never happen, but a man can dream.

Heck, this is probably one of the reasons that fan fiction can become so popular.
kybearfuzz: (Kilted)
Genealogy and genetics have always fascinated me. It probably started long before I even knew what genetics was really. Everyone always made comments about me and the twin whenever they were told we were twins. "Wow, they don't look anything alike," people would say. We were amazingly opposite in appearance back then, the twin being slim and having that blond (nearly white) hair and hazel eyes in contrast to my stocky build and dark hair and eyes. Yet, looking at other family members, I saw familiar pieces in them in each of us.

Considering that it is supposed to be a dominant genetic trait, the dark hair and eyes appear in very few of us. In the 21 kids in my generation, only three of us do not have blue eyes -- my sis, the twin, and me -- and only I have those nearly black eyes where the pupils are hard to see without a light. I could play a Star Trek Betazoid without the need for colored contact lenses (geek reference).

One of the big mysteries in my family was where this dark hair and eyes came from. There is a "vein" of people in the family who have these characteristics -- my great-grandmother, my grandfather (her son), my mom (his daughter) and me and my sister. Doing the family tree provided no clues as the documentation wasn't the best and my family has been here for 170+ years (in the same county no less). We long suspected that we had some Native American ancestry. There was also the possibility of some Portuguese descent that is relatively common in Eastern Kentucky, or African genes that could have been undocumented.

A couple of years ago, [ profile] guinnesscub posted his results from his "23andMe" DNA test that provided some info about his genetic diversity, where genetically his ancestors hailed from based on his DNA. I thought that was pretty cool and wanted to do it for some time. The FDA cracked down on 23andMe because of some disease diagnostic stuff in their data, so they aren't doing the test right now until it gets cleared up.

So around Christmas time, I bought the AncestryDNA kit online and sent it off for testing. Well, the results are in:

About Me GeneticallyThe results are only estimates, but they provide some clues to things and offer up a few surprises that go against what I had anticipated. The largest percentage is Western Europe which is primarily the areas of France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, etc., but may also include England and Denmark. We don't have a lot of family names that reflect these areas, but maiden names are hard to find. Great Britain includes England, Wales and Scotland, which were no surprises as I knew of several ancestors from those areas, but the percentage was a bit lower than I expected. Ireland was not a surprise either, but the lower percentage was, as I'd always guessed we had a lot more Irish ancestry.

The "trace region" data is curious to me, especially the "Iberian peninsula" data, which includes Portugal and Spain. This may actually support that the dark hair and eyes could be from ancestry of this region, which also is thought to be the reason for the "Black Irish" phenotype in Ireland.

One of the biggest surprises was that I had no Native American or African DNA. Having Native American ancestry was always a family rumor, but it seems it was just a rumor now.

I'm glad I did this because it was fun and informative. However, I admit I am curious now what the 23andme data set would have said about me for comparison.
kybearfuzz: (Bag Hag)
Last night, after finishing my 3.4 mile run, I showered and crashed. My neighbor was mowing his yard late, which means I'll tackle it tonight. After watching "Terror Train" the night before, I felt like wanting more Jamie Lee Curtis and watched "Prom Night" on DVD. It's so late-1970's, I adore it. While the murders are horrible (and done in such darkness it's hard to see any blood), I admit that the dancing is the real horror in the movie. Disco. Heh...

While watching the movie, I had planned to do some writing or some drawing, but instead got drawn into something my boss told me her son was doing. He's in a summer program and his project was to calculate numbers 1 through 60, using four-fours in any mathematical combination. For example, (4/4)x(4/4)=1, (4/4)+(4/4)=2, etc. I just started it as a gag myself and found myself compelled to keep going until I had done all 60. It can get pretty intricate after a while -- using exponents, factorials, square roots -- to get the desired number. The odd numbers were the roughest, such as 51 = (4!) x sq rt (4) + 4 - 4^0. I did it in about 20 minutes, but wow, I'm such a geek.

As I was getting ready for bed, I looked for a photo for Throwback Thursday posting. Naturally, I got wrapped up in looking at old pics and found photos I'd forgotten about. I'm still hunting for one particular picture I know is in the house somewhere, but found this one from the summer of 1975.

Summer 1975

Me, my sister, and the twin sitting on my Batman cycle with our older cousin Stephanie. I'm two years old and was obviously destined to love superheroes.
kybearfuzz: (Comic Book Bears)
I managed to walk through two days of the Cincinnati Comic Expo and had a good time. I even talked longtime MIA [ profile] cubtharsis into joining the melee.

The main attraction for me was meeting George Perez. I got there as it opened and made a bee line for his booth. There was a small line already, which quadrupled in minutes after I got there.

I normally don't get ga-ga over celebrities. I admire their work, but as a person I don't feel the need to get autographs or photos. George Perez is one of the very few I have dreamed of meeting. I've been a fan of his for over 30 years and have tried to emulate his work, his amazing sense of detail, etc. After two hours in line, I got to the table where I asked him to draw Marvel's Hercules. It took him four minutes and then got a photo with him with the drawing. Yeah, I'm acting like a goober, but it truly does reflect how I felt at that moment -- pure amazement. It was a bucket list moment for me.

George Perez George Perez and Me George Perez
George drawing Hercules, George and Me with the Hercules drawing, and George working on Firestorm for another attendee

We ran around for the rest of the day, buying comic books, tee-shirts and posters, and saying hi to other friends who were attending.

Afterward, we went to dinner then [ profile] cubtharsis and I hit the USS Nightmare for a scare, caught up over coffee at Starbucks, and hit the 701 Bar for a beer. I got home at 1 AM, exhausted.

I went back to the Expo yesterday for a couple of hours. George Perez had a much shorter line on day two. I heard that the crowded line had already been there and gone that morning. I got back in line and watched him draw Aquaman for a pretty blonde lady. I thought about getting Wonder Girl or Troia drawn, but instead wanted the long-haired and bearded version of Aquaman instead (it fits the bearish theme of the art on my walls in my comic book room). It was amazingly detailed and just stunning. Both of the pieces I had him do are below:

Hercules by George Perez Aquaman by George Perez
Hercules and Aquaman

After all that walking around on concrete floors, running my usual four mile run, and my chest and back workout, I'm worn out. I took today off to recover, but it was a great weekend.
kybearfuzz: (Happy Edna)
As read and paraphrased from Twitter:

"Why does rubbing alcohol have an expiration date?"

Rubbing alcohol is usually a 50% (or more) solution of isopropyl alcohol in water and is classified as a drug by the FDA due to its antiseptic properties. If you look on the label, it has a "Drug Facts" section on it normally.

Drug companies are required to have scientific data to support the stability of the product, meaning essentially how long will it retain its potency over time in its commercial container. Manufacturers of rubbing alcohol put an expiry date on their product because they have data to show that it will retain its potency (the amount of isopropyl alcohol content) up to that date.

Does this mean that after this date, the potency has gone down? Maybe and maybe not. Given the nature of this product, it's more likely that this is the minimum time measured that the potency is guaranteed.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program...
kybearfuzz: (Comic Book Bears)
[happy comic geek mode]

After a late start to work and even later start heading home, I was happy to stop by my local comic book shop to pick up a few things.

Infinite Crisis

I snagged a copy of Infinite Crisis #1. Great artwork by Phil Jimenez and awesome cover by George Perez.

No spoilers, but that last page... WOW!!!!

... I never thought I'd see him appear in comics again.... :)

[/happy comic geek]


kybearfuzz: (Default)

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