Archive for June, 2010

Comic: Hollow Oak University – #4 – Zero Confidence

June 28, 2010

Greetings from The Windy City, Chicago! I am in the home of the deep dish pizza for my own scientific reason: I am giving a presentation at a conference for the national organization of aerospace engineers. Hopefully, this update actually works as I scheduled it last week to be posted today. My sister schedules posts all the time over at her blog, Reading For Robin, and she seems to do an okay job of it, so I should be able to as well, right? If not, I can blame the generation gap, even though she is only a few years younger than I. Technology!

Today’s comic finds Berkeley and Chester at the local watering hole. Berkeley, like most of us, cannot leave work at the office. Tunnelvision is a real problem for me sometimes, where I cannot see anything past the problem I am working on, even if I am not physically working on it. Chester, however, doesn’t have this problem and finds a more relevant metaphor than more science for Berkeley’s troubles. Could this be a tease for a new character? You will just have to wait and see (the answer is yes, by the way).

Much appreciation goes out to Sean for this comic. As you can see it is very art-heavy. I left it up to him as to how exactly to portray the bar and he went all out, with an actual bar and a dartboard. A freakin’ dartboard! I can almost picture darts flying at it and badly missing the bullseye. I think this may be our best comic yet and 90% of that is because of the art. I absolutely love Berkeley’s expression in the third panel. It is very dynamic.

We are still working out some kinks in posting these comics. Unfortunately, WordPress is not very cooperative when it comes to sizing the strips when they are posted, which either results in the text being too small or too stretched on the normal view of the blog. However, you can always click on the actual comic strip, which will lead to its optimal dimensions. If you are having problems and have some ideas how to fix it within the confines of WordPress, please let me know. Or, just click on the blog alot, tell your friends, and if we get popular enough, we will get our own website and make lots of money. Just a suggestion!


P.S. Have you found the Easter Egg joke for each strip yet?


Poem: Karaoke

June 23, 2010

I wanted Lady GaGa but they gave me Paul McCartney
How can we even call this a party?
People are milling around, not paying attention
So I start to sing like I’m a Muppet from John Henson

I bust out the first verse, get people to their feet
Pretty soon, I’ll be the singer they all want to meet
Now I’m at the chorus, belting it all on key
You wouldn’t have thought I was a singer, little ole me

Then “Highway to Hell” hits and the bar is rockin’
You know “These Boots Were Meant for Walkin.”
Even the little old lady gets up and grabs the mic
And imitates Fergie on “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night”

Arms around each other, we sway to the music
Once you open your mouth, it is so easy to do it
Not everyone can be on “American Idol”
But in karaoke, the joy of singing is tidal

Comic: Hollow Oak University – #3 – Moving On Up

June 21, 2010

Trickery into helping someone move is a well worn trope, but one that works so well. I wonder if Chester will end up doing most of the moving himself as Professor (or Doctor) Harvey stands off to the side. Harvey is Chester’s and Berkeley’s boss, so naturally if he asks them to jump, they would respond “Why would you want us to jump?” Here though, Dr. Harvey knows the best way to entice his employee is with the promise of recognition. We are but easily manipulated fools.

On the topic of moving, since Father’s Day was yesterday, I will regale you with a tale of moving that involves my father and myself. Some years ago, as I was moving into college, my father was there to help. And by help, I mean provide most of the muscle. This fact did not go unnoticed by my dad. In fact, he said something to the effect of “Don’t you find it embarassing that your 50 year old dad can carry more boxes than yourself?” I think by the fact that I am telling you this stort, that answer is no. Us scientists and engineers aren’t big on the whole physical actions thing, which why I picture Chester and Harvey just staring at boxes until they call a moving service.

I hope you enjoy this week’s strip. Next week, I’ll be in the Windy City, presenting my own research (that, thankfully, did not explode), so the strip for next Monday may be a little late in being posted. But fear not, I may tinker around with WordPress and schedule an update (a feature I’ve never used before) or try to get to a computer, post haste after my talk. I am not abandoning you!


Poem: Ode to a Father

June 20, 2010

Glove in hand
You taught me how to play
Put me on my own two feet
And showed me how to stand

Worked hard to provide
So we may never suffer
Stood up for our family
So that we may never hide

Always there with a smile and a joke
Keeping us in stitches
And when I am down
There with an encouraging poke

No one can ask for a better role model
On how to be a great man
Knowing when to stay quiet
And when to push it full throttle

You are my hero
Super powered and all
In my lists of greatest dads
You are next to zero

So I take this moment to praise you
Though I do that every day
You mean so much to me
For everything that you do

Haiku: Toy Story 3 (Movie Review)

June 19, 2010

Damn you, oh Pixar
Always making good movies
Not a dry eye here

Haiku: Dr. Strangelove (Movie Review)

June 18, 2010

Still a great movie
After all these years, still fresh
Best satire ever?

Haiku: A Scanner Darkly (Movie Review)

June 17, 2010

Drug movies are weird
This one not an exception
Visual unique

Photography: Miami at Sea

June 16, 2010
The sun sets over Miami

Nature and mankind, coming together for a beautiful image

Comic: Hollow Oak University – #2 – The Stork

June 14, 2010

Hollow Oak University

Where to begin? Obviously, not at the beginning, since the first blogpost for this comic is attached to the second strip, not the first. So let me start slightly after the beginning: Sean presented me with three comic strip ideas, with HOU (That’s what the cool kids call Hollow Oak University) being one of them. What were the other two? Not going to tell, because they might still see the light of day at some point in the future. Gotta save some ideas for the major motion picture, you know?

They say write what you know, and while Sean and I aren’t quite the mad scientists Berkeley (introduced in this strip) and Chester (introduced in the first strip) are, we do know the trials and tribulations of doing research in a University setting. Berkeley and Chester aren’t grad students, per se, they are more like staff, those who work on research, but aren’t professors, but aren’t there to take classes. Hence, they have a lot of free time to create and destroy.

What does the future hold for these characters? Who knows? I hope to have a year’s worth of work, which is going to be hard, because I have a tendency to abandon long-term creative pursuits after a few weeks (see my Lost blogs, both “Lost for a 100 Days,” my solo blog, and “Lost: Science vs. Faith,” which, lo and behold, was a colaborative effort with Sean. Both have not been updated in ages). But I am really excited about HOU and how could I not be? Look at the artwork, that is all Sean. I write the lame punchlines and he makes them at least look pretty.

So, please enjoy Hollow Oak University. On the update side, for now, I plan to upload one new comic every week, on Mondays. As we build up our warehouse of comics, updates will come more frequently. Also note that if you are having trouble reading the comic, you can click on it to enlarge it. If you are still having trouble, let me know and I will see if I can format the size on WordPress by hand.

See you next week!


Humor: One-Liners, One More Time

June 11, 2010

I bet there were a lot of bald birds back in the days of quill pens.

I once turned the beat around. Before I came along it was heavily into drugs.

I was called a living cartoon character at one point. It was the best compliment I got since I started working at ACME.

You think anyone tells their friend to get worked up when they are too calm?

Circles are overrated.

Where would you place the trophy you won for “Worst Mantlepiece”?

Novels were once called trivials.

The reason why marathoners have to burst through the finish line with their bodies is because they cannot run with scissors.

Some religions think if you take a picture of someone, you steal a piece of their soulds. This makes digital cameras portable containment chambers from Ghostbusters.