2017 in review

Another year in the books.  And boy, if 2016 was the year the entire world came unglued, 2017 was the year we forgot we were supposed to glue it all back together.

On a personal level, though, this was quite the year.  I got transferred to a new office where I get paid more…  But have to spend all that extra money on transportation.  So basically, I’m making the exact same amount I was before.  Kind of defeats the purpose, up until I realized just how much better the new hub is.  The technology is top of the line, the hub is cleaner, and I’ve officially reached the point where I don’t even need a guide to get around most of it!  More than I can say for the other hub.  Seriously, I worked there five years, and I still couldn’t find shit.

2017 was also the year I ended The Gael Saga.  The Gael Saga, while probably not my most ambitious concept ever, was still a lot of fun to write.  Most of the time.  In any case, it’s the first series I’ve actually managed to see to completion, and it left me with a lot of feelings as those who’ve read the blog and listened to my podcast are aware.  I felt pride for completing it.  I felt that weird sort of hollow feeling that comes with finishing a long-ass project, and having no idea where to go from there.  I felt happiness that the few people who’ve read it and reviewed it seem to like it.

Speaking of podcasts, 2017 was the year I got WAY into podcasts.  I subscribed to several, I recorded several…  I even did a guest spot on one.  The Thrifty Niggle was, oddly enough, the podcast that kind of got me back into podcasts four or five years after getting bored with all the ones I used to subscribe to either discontinued, or got boring.  It was a fun time for one and all.

My own podcast, Red Flannel Radio, the podcast I keep SAYING I’m going to either put on hiatus, or that I’ll be updating more frequently, has taken off rather nicely.  At the time I’m writing this, the subscriber count seems to have dropped from twenty to fourteen.  I guess either the lack of consistent updates, or spoiling The Last Jedi had something to do with that.  In any case, I’ve been in and out of podcasting, and this right here has been my favorite podcast to do.  I look forward to exercising more stream of consciousness in 2018.

2017 was also the year I tried streaming on YouTube…  But I don’t really plan on that becoming anything bigger than a hobby, based on the lackluster views.

2017 was the year the most controversial Star Wars movie was released.  The Last Jedi has got to be the first Star Wars movie in history to polarize a crowd, and I was glad to have seen it while it was still in theaters.

There were plenty of celebrity deaths this year, as there are every year…  But man, Chester Bennington probably hit me the hardest.

I’ve made my case for nu-metal in general back in the day, and I stand by it.  Linkin Park, love ’em or hate ’em, was a pretty big part of my childhood.  I actually enjoyed their music…  Right up until about “A Thousand Suns”, but that’s a rant for another day.  Chester Bennington…  I wouldn’t say he was a hero, necessarily, but I definitely liked what the guy had to offer.  And it was even looking like he was going to be the new vocalist for Stone Temple Pilots of all things.

Then I found out he’d committed suicide on the way to work.  Man, you want to talk about an announcement that punches you in the gut.  It left me in a funk for the better part of a week.  I actually took Linkin Park off my phone for most of the second half of this year.  Yeah, I still have Linkin Park albums on my phone.  Or at least I used to.  I’ve only just recently put them back on, and began listening to them again, but even now, it’s kind of weird.

I always joked that “In the End” was like someone’s suicide note set to a rap.  seventeen years later, that joke isn’t funny anymore.  And only PARTLY because I ran it into the ground.

On a lighter note, 2017 was also the year South Park bounced back from the disaster of season 20.  I didn’t catch every single episode, but the ones I DID catch were brilliant.

And speaking of South Park, 2017 was also the year their second video game came out for PS4.  I went in expecting to get stuck hopelessly on one puzzle like I did in Stick of Truth, but as it turns out, I actually managed to beat it!  And I enjoyed every single moment I was playing it.

Then Phone Destroyer came out.  I gave it a try, and…  I’m sure a lot of people will like it, but honestly, for me, playing CCGs on a phone is agony.  It’s one of the reasons I eventually gave up on Eternal Mobile.

In politics, 2017 was the year that proved that maybe Alabama doesn’t love republicans as much as I thought.  My friend, frequent cover artist, and goer of churches Korean, insists up and down Roy Moore was going to lose that race no matter what happened.  I honestly have to take his word for it on the grounds I was barely paying attention, and I was barely paying attention because I operated under the assumption Alabama loved its republicans.  I even made the joke: “Yeah, Roy Moore may be a pedophile, but it could be worse.  He could be a democrat.”  But I guess that ended up not being the case.  If a democrat can win in Alabama, who knows?  Maybe that bastard Kris Kobach will lose the governor’s election coming up here in Kansas!  Yeah, that might actually be wishful thinking.  Whatever, I’m still voting Orman if and when he runs.

2017 was full of Trump tweets, and my previously mentioned friend suddenly deciding he LIKED Trump now.  Largely because he gives Kim Jong Un the business every time North korea comes up, and my friend has been to South Korea.  Honestly, I won’t be surprised if this is the sort of egging on that results in our country getting nuked.  Maybe not by North Korea, but I’m pretty sure somebody with nukes is going to take those tweets personally, and decide “Fuck America!”, and blow us up.

Donald Trump as president…  This is a topic I generally avoid talking about, because honestly, this blog will turn into a monumental buzzkill if I did.  However, I just don’t have the same inthusiasm for his presidency as my friends suddenly do.  Admittedly, I’ve ALWAYS hated the republicans, where as my dislike for the democrats is fairly recent, but even if Trump were a democrat, I have a hard time saying I approve of him or anything he stands for.  Outside of repealing NAFTA, which I notice hasn’t happened yet… Come to think of it, he hasn’t really accomplished anything besides emplament a tax plan that has trickledown written all over it, and may very well effect my disability pay if what I’ve heard is correct.  His attempts at repealing Obamacare have been shot down, his attempts to get the wall built in 2017 have gone nowhere…  Really, if it weren’t for the tax plan, I’d say Trump has been a paperweight president at absolute best.  Which is probably why I like him a little better than George W. Bush…  Although if I’m being honest, that statement is akin to saying I like eating sand better than I like eating broken glass.  Not to mention, this was only year one.  We’ve got anywhere between three and seven more years of this asshole, and it’s not going to be easy.  Especially if my previously mentioned friend is correct, and the democrats shit the bed again.

I’d personally like to think that, between Alabama, Virginia, and New Jersey, the dems may slowly but surely be learning their lesson.  Or the republicans are getting cocky, and putting anemic candidates up for election on the grounds they think they can get away with it.  I know a lot of long-time fossils are leaving deciding not to seek reelection in 2018, and we’ll see what happens there.  Maybe they’ll make good on that promise, or maybe they’ll pull a Marco Rubio, say they won’t be seeking reelection, then suddenly change their mind in July and run for reelection.  And people wonder why I lost respect for Rubio.

2017 was the year that net neutrality was finally repealed.  This, for those who don’t follow my Facebook, is a passionate topic for me.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you genuinely believe the big three (Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon) are going to play fair, and give the little guy a break now that there aren’t any rules saying they have to, you’re a fucking idiot.  If you think YouTube isn’t going to get labeled a “premium service” in the age of the tiered internet that Ajit Pie and his cronies have been masterbating to since 2006, you’re a fucking idiot.  Prove me wrong, but when you suddenly find vid.me inaccessible, but Go90 runs like a dream, and YouTube suddenly costs an extra twenty bucks a month just to access, try not to hate me TOO much.

There was a lot of internet drama, and a lot of SJW bullshit in 2017, but honestly, I tend to distance myself from that shit.  I don’t care about PewdiePie fucking with fiver, I don’t care about Anita whatsherface, I don’t care about ANYTHING relating to Kekistan…  I was surprised to hear that Catherine, a game I loved when it first came out and still holds a special place in my heart, went from being an amazing experience to an exercise in misogyny and transphobia.  I don’t see it.  Unless you’re talking about the possibility where in you can find a path that reveals Erica, the waitress, used to be Eric, and the only person oblivious to it is the guy she’s dating, but even then…  I don’t know.  Just let me have my game, man!  Stop turning everything into a fucking race war!  Or a transgender politics issue!  I don’t want to debate with you on transphobia in American culture, I just want to climb some nightmare towers!  Is that really too much to ask?

I guess in short, 2017 was…  Interesting.  I wouldn’t say bad, but I wouldn’t say good, either.  Just interesting.

I’m definitely interested in 2018.  Politics have been interesting these last couple of years, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  The rerelease of Catherine (Catherine: Full Body), Mega Man 11, and a couple other releases are definitely on my list of things to get a hold of.  More podcasts, more novels from yours truly…  And hell, maybe some more streams for the two people who like those.  Maybe even other projects, if I should choose to share them with you.  Till then, I hope everybody has a happy new year.  Be safe, and in the case of us Kansas folk, stay warm.  Seriously, the temperature is going to hit negative numbers tonight

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Canceling COLA

Well, for the second time in a row, I find that I’m making the announcement that I’m canceling a project altogether.

This time around, it’s the project I’ve named COLA.  I’ve talked about it before, and I had really high hopes for it when I started it.  Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I’ve found that I’ve hit a roadblock that I can’t get past.

It’s especially disappointing in my case because the first few chapters just flat out came spilling out of my head.  I managed to get about nine chapters down in the spand of a weekend.  True, they were relatively short chapters, and combined, they only managed fifteen or so pages in Word, but it was something I’ve only ever experienced while writing the first couple of Gael Saga novels.

Somewhere around the tenth chapter or so, though, I found that I just couldn’t take this idea anywhere further.  I do have a couple concepts written down, but it takes some serious doing to get from point-A to point-B.  Point-B may very well be inaccessible at this point.

Besides, I’m already working on a project: The Majin Among Us.  This project has taken up most of my attention that isn’t going into Red Flannel Radio (the podcast I keep saying is on hiatus until I decide to just sit down and record my dumb ass for about half an hour), and my experiments in YouTubing under the alias Steaksaw McGraw.  I have too much shit going on at once, and COLA is, at this point, the most expendible of my projects.  Steaksaw McGraw is probably next on the chopping block if I have to axe more things, but for now, the balance is…  Uh…  Balanced, I guess.

I’m sorry if you were looking forward to COLA.  Perhaps one day, I’ll come back to it, and see if I can do anything with it.  For now, I hope you aren’t too disappointed.

And if you were more interested in The Majin Among Us, then you’ll be glad to know that I’m chugging along just fine on that one.  I find myself actually ADDING chapters to what I already have.  A lot of the additions are supplemental material I failed to include in the rough draft due to it being NaNoWriMo, me having a deadline to meet, and thinking this excess detail wouldn’t be important.  Since I blew it on meeting the deadline by about sixteen days, and still managed to fall short of the required wordcount when I finally finished it, I figured “fuck it, I’ll add the new chapters.”

I usually make it a rule that my stories only get paperback copies on KDP if they’re longer than one-hundred pages in Word.  I’m not sure of the math, but if it’s a hundred in Word, it’ll be more or less the same amount when it’s all crammed into a six-by-nine paperback.  This is why The Novellas of Highfill, Kansas (all two of them) and Charlie’s Chocolate Factory of Unspeakable Horrors don’t have paperback copies.  That, and I’m pretty sure somebody from the Dahl estate is on the verge of suing me for that one, but if Dorothy Must Die can get away with it…

In any case, the point I’m trying to make is that it’s looking very likely that you’ll be seeing a paperback version of The Majin Among Us as well as a digital version.  So if you’re one of those old fossils that prefers paper over digital, you’re covered.  Most likely.

Audio copies aren’t planned at this point.  I’ve seriously been meaning to play with Amazon’s audio book service, but I don’t even know where to begin.  For sure, I thought about going with The Gael Saga as my first audio book, but I have no guarantee that’ll be the direction I go.

Know that for sure, COLA has been shelved, and The Majin Among Us will be out in paperback most likely.

Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

 

Two Projects Going On at the Same Time?

As everybody knows, I tried my hand at NaNoWriMo this year.  The bad news, and perhaps the most obvious news, is I failed to meet the deadline.  Again.  Not to mention the wordcount was going to be an issue even if I DID finish the story in time.

Still, I don’t hate the project so far.  I’m still working on it as of this writing, but am on the verge of reaching the ending.  And then, the revisions.  The countless, countless revisions.

Whether or not it’ll receive a paperback version is honestly up in the air.  I usually try to hit 100 pages on Microsoft Word before I guarantee a paperback.  HikikoMorey came dangerously close to being Ebook only.  Right now, all I can guarantee is I don’t plan on discontinuing The Majin Among Us just yet.

However, over the weekend, I was struck with inspiration.  next thing I know, I have about two Korean watermelon-flavored softdrinks pumping through my system, and about five chapters of a new, more adult-oriented project written down.

And when I say adult-oriented, I mean a story for adults.  I don’t mean porn, or even erotica.  Plenty of drugs, though.

The second project I’m working on is under the working title of COLA.  Much like Gael, and the Highfill, Kansas novellas, it jumps from the prospective of at approximately three narrators.  In fact, this approach to story telling seems to slowly, but surely be becoming my style.  Nothing wrong with it, obviously, but it’s just a musing I find myself stumbling across after looking over what I have thus far.

Between The Majin Among Us, and COLA, I have no idea which one is going to see the light of day first.  COLA is definitely the newer one, but the idea is definitely flowing out of my brain a lot more quickly than The Majin Among Us.  T.M.A.U. took a lot longer than a single weekend to get five chapters done.  Not to mention it’s much easier for me to write from an adult’s perspective than it is a teenager’s.

I’m not making any guarantees which one will be finished first.  Assuming, of course, I decide either one of them is worth sharing at the end of the day.  It’s definitely going to be 2018 before you see either of these in their final form.

All I can say for sure is that I’m currently juggling two completely different stories.  I haven’t done this since high school, and this usually led to either one of them, or both of them getting dropped completely back then.  Then again, I’m much better at finishing what I started when it comes to writing projects these days.  As long as it isn’t a total brick wall like Alabasq ended up being.  Both times around.

I’ll be sure to keep you informed on the goings on with bothFor now, though, this is all I got.  Hope you’re satisfied with me teasing you for the time being. projects.

From Undefeated to Unbearable to Watch

If I’ve learned anything in life, I’ve learned that being a Chiefs fan is an exercise in masochism.  Every football team has its off-days, and some even have off-seasons (IE, this year’s Indianapolis Colts).  But man, The Chiefs really know how to build your hopes up just high enough to make it hurt that much more when the cleats come down on your balls.

At first, we were 5-0.  We managed to be the longest going undefeated team in 2017, if not one of them, and the playoffs were a guarantee.  Shit, we beat the fucking Patriots in game 1!

Then game 6 happened, and it’s honestly been all down hill from there.

Losing to The Steelers is one thing: love them or hate them, Pittsburgh’s got one of the better teams in the league.  I could probably forgive our loss to The Cowboys, but only because I missed that game.  Losing to The Raiders was humiliating: partly because it’s the fucking Raiders, but also because they scored that same touchdown, like, five different times in a row, but had to replay it every single time because somebody kept getting ten and fifteen-yard-penalties that negated the play entirely.

And then, we played The Giants.  The 1-7 Giants, I might add.  one of my favorite YouTubers of all time has frequently referred to The G-men as “The NFL’s sentient derp”, and this year, it’s not hard to see why.  This is really the quarterback who led Big Blue into what looked like a slaughter, and somehow managed to pants Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots?  Because based on the clips shows I’ve seen, the one thing this team has going for it is that it’s not Cleveland, whom as of this writing are sitting ugly at 0-10.

The Chiefs, even during their undefeated streak, weren’t a flawless team.  While not as bad as some teams, our defense left a lot to be desired.  Still, even a team like this ought to be able to get a touchdown.

This game, without a shadow of a doubt, has got to be the most boring Chiefs game I’ve ever sat through.  And I’m definitely counting games that had a score of 35 to 0.  Regardless of who had the 35 and who had the 0.  Fieldgoalmania was running wild, brother, and somehow, this game managed to make it into overtime.  In which it was won by ANOTHER FUCKING FIELDGOAL!

Our next game is against The Bills.  The Giants may be having a bad year, but The Bills are having a bad… decade, I guess.  In their last game, the quarterback threw not one, not two, but FIVE interceptions.  In one half.  And I have five bucks on the table right now that says we somehow lose this one as well.

I’m in disbelief that this is the same team that, at the beginning of the season, destroyed The Patriots.  But I guess this is the sort of thing that happens here in KC.  When the games actually matter, the Chiefs choke.  Fuck my life.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole: My Thoughts

It’s been a long time since I’ve managed to successfully play a game to completion.  By which I mean I finished the storyline, and not the obsessive compulsive “FIND FUCKING EVERYTHING!” way of gameplay Jirard The Completionist has apparently made a thing over on YouTube.

The last time I ever managed to start a game, and see it all the way to the end, Catherine was the hot new thing everybody was obsessed with.  Before realizing it was just a really pretty tower climber with anime graphics, getting bored, and moving on.  I liked Catherine, but trust me, if I reviewed that game here, we’d be here all night.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole (heheheheh) officially holds the distinction of being the first game in six years I’ve played from start to finish.  Even Killer is Dead couldn’t accomplish that, and Suda51 is pretty much my video game god in adulthood.

The funny thing, though, is I never finished The Stick of Truth: the game that came before this one.  I played it, I made some pretty decent progress…  But then I got beamed up onto The Visitors’ ship, and I distinctly remember that being the point where I decided I’d had enough.  I don’t know if it was a heavy reliance on point-and-shoot puzzles, or if the visitors puzzle was so frustrating that I got annoyed and moved on to…  Whatever I ended up moving on to (2014 is kind of a blur anymore).  I distinctly remember the fart controls in that game being way more complicated than they needed to be.  Oi, the things you think you’ll never say out loud.  And this is coming from a guy who once proudly owned a Sega Genesis game by the name of Boogerman.

Fortunately, I found that you don’t need to finish The Stick of Truth to understand what’s going on in The Fractured But Whole.  The parents appear to hate each other a lot more compared to the first game, but the storyline with the titular Stick of Truth is abandoned completely in favor of playing superheroes.

In all honesty, I never really liked the superhero characters in South Park.  Granted, the Coon and Friends trilogy wasn’t nearly as tedious and painful to sit through as the Imagination Land trilogy, but I just didn’t get into it.  The fact Mentberry Crunch ended up being the savior of mankind was great, and ended up saving the entire thing from being a chore, but honestly, I have little desire to sit through it again.

All that being said, somehow, the superhero characters work better as video game characters.  Maybe it’s because we’re seeing all this from their perspective, and from their perspective, the battles and the overall adventure is loads more epic.  Or maybe I just didn’t give the superhero characters their due the first time around.  Maybe I SHOULD watch that trilogy again.

The combat in Fractured But Whole is an improvement.  Rather than rip off Paper Mario, they decided to…  I want to say rip off Mega Man Battle Network, but I’ve heard others compare the combat to XCOM, and to a similar extent, Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle.  The latter basically being both an XCOM ripoff, and being the ultimate crossover game that literally nobody asked for.  Seriously, when was the last time the rabbids were relevant?

In any case, combat is based around selecting an attack, and positioning yourself on a battle grid.  Sometimes, the only thing you can do is reposition your party, and other times, you can unload some serious whupass on some sixth graders.  There’s definitely some thought that goes into each battle, and I found it to be a major improvement.  If it ever got tedious, it had less to do with the combat itself, and more to do with the people I was fighting.

Another feature that becomes available in combat is the “microagression” mechanic.  Characters in this game have a lot to say, and if they drop a slur like “queer”, “sissy”, and “pussy”, you can declare microagression, gain a free hit, and negate their turn completely.  It’s amusing enough, although I have to question how I didn’t get a microagression opportunity when one character called me a “homo”, and yet it declared microagression when Butters declares “I’m a healer, not a fighter, although I can do both.”

The story…  Is South Park.  Much like the first game, it’s got some pretty generous amounts of fan service that only long-time fans of the show will really appreciate.  Not to mention they added in tidbits from the last couple of seasons that came after Stick of Truth.  IE, the song “Where My Country Gone” playing over the musack machine in some of the stores.

Once again, you play as a created character, but this time, you can decide what gender they are, what race they are, what religion they are, whether they’re cisgender or transgender…  I get the feeling this was Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s answer to the people griping about how you could only create boys in Stick of Truth.  That, or the addition of PC Principal to South Park canon warrented some PC humor, and this seemed like a good way of shoving it in.  I’ll believe either one, honestly.

Apparently, the game becomes more difficult if you decide to make your character black.  I don’t know HOW exactly, on the count I wussed out and played a white kid.  However, if playing as a cisgendered girl proved anything to me, it’s that it really doesn’t have any payoff what you pick.

My only real gripe with Fractured But Whole is that The cut scenes, near as I can tell, are unskippable.  Not great for when you’re stuck on a boss, and find yourself losing multiple times in a row.

You can turn down the difficulty, or turn it UP if you’re psychotic enough, at any point in the game.  I generally kept it on the standard difficulty…  Right up until I got to the second-to-last boss fight in the game where the superhero versions of you and your friends travel back in time, and fight the Stick of Truth versions of yourselves.  I’ll own up to pussing out after about ten tries with five different arrangements of party members.  Sue me.

And yeah, spoilers.  Whatever: everybody and their mom is putting up Let’s Plays of it on YouTube.

All and all, I enjoyed this game from start to finish.  It had its moments of frustrations, but it only ever felt unfair around the second-to-last boss fight.  And even then, they give you the option to puss out and lower the difficulty.  If anything was ever difficult before and after that, it was either my fault for not checking the objective right away, or because Mitch Conner is a cheating sack of crap.

I highly recommend you play this game.

 

The Jellies: My Thoughts Thus Far

I legitimately can’t remember the last time a show with this much promise ended up being this disappointing.  I shouldn’t be surprised in the longrun.  After all, this is Adult Swim.  Rick and Morty is probably the one original show on there that either doesn’t suck right out the gate like literally ANYTHING featuring Tim and Eric, or has officially worn out its welcome like Squidbillies.

The commercial seemed so promising.  I found myself using “Walla Walla!  Doopity doo!” as a sort of accomplishment sound.  Sort of a “YEAH, BOYEE!”, or “IN YOUR FACE, SON!” sort of declaration, you know?  I almost made it the notification chime on my cell phone, but opted for Mr. Meseeks instead.

Then the show hit.  We’re only two episodes in, and I already want my money back.  Yeah, I know, I didn’t pay for anything technically.  And yet, I still feel like someone owes me money for watching this trash.

The adopted son, the only character in the family who ISN’T an anthropomorphic jellyfish, is the least interesting character in the show.  Fuck humans: I want to see what these jellyfish are doing on land!  I suppose the series is still fairly young at the time I’m writing this, but so far, both episodes I’ve seen have focused entirely on the human son.

On top of that, everything about this show seems so dated.  I mean come the fuck on, guy,  Pimp My Ride reference in 2017?  That show hasn’t been relevant since 2007.  I’m not even sure Xhibit is even alive anymore, let alone doing rap.  The fact I even remember Xhibit in the first place is either proof I’m fucking old as fuck, or that I used to have really bad taste in music when I was a teenager.  Though if I knew rap was going to become this bland, manufactured, Migos bullshit, I’d probably have appreciated guys like Xhibit a lot more.

Considering episode two delt with transgenderism to a degree, it’s especially amazing.  How can a show that tackles issues this current feel so dated?  I don’t know, but they found a way.

Throw in a couple other clichés, like the token whigger, hair-brained schemes, and the possibility of a dumbass dad, and this show’s painting by the numbers.  I was kinda expecting a fucked up family dynamic judging by how the parents acted in later comercials.  For the record, that’s not a selling point.  I just saw it on the comercial, and braced myself for it on the night the show premiered.

I’m guessing Rick and Morty has set the bar rickdiculously high.  It proved that not EVERY show on Adult Swim has to be poorly animated, poorly written, and/or involve Tim god damn Heidecker in any way shape or form.  I guess it was foolish of me to expect a year that gave us the long-awaited season 3 of Rick and Morty and the series finale to Samurai Jack to maintain the status quo and continue giving us good shit.  I mean yeah, Tim and Eric Bedtime Stories is still stinking up the airwaves, but at this stage, I’ve just come to accept that those two fucktards are just never going to leave, and that people love them despite the fact they’re so unfunny that it’s literally painful to sit through.  Also, Squidbillies and Robot Chicken got new seasons, but despite wearing out their welcome, I don’t mind them nearly as much.  Hell, Robot Chicken actually still manages to make me laugh on occasion.

On one hand, I want to give The Jellies the benefit of a doubt.  After all, I’m only two episodes in.  If BoJack Horseman has taught me anything, it’s that I should probably give shows like this more of a chance.  The first season of BoJack had a pretty rough start, but if you soldier through the first three or four episodes, it gets way better.

On the other hand…  This is Adult Swim.  What you see is often what you get.  So I’m not optimistic that this show’s going to get any better.

Regarding Red Flannel Radio

It’s been fun.  Sadly, this is where I announce I have to put the podcast on hiatus.

For starters, this is the time of year when my roommate is off for the summer.  Normally, we barely have any contact with one-another.  She’s at work from 8:00 to 4:00, I’m at work from 2:00 to 7:00 (on average).  My afternoons are usually full of writing, and in recent months, Red Flannel Radio recording and editing.  However, with her hanging around, there’s no way I can record this show.  I’m not one of those guys who invites their friends, or their girlfriend/boyfriend, or their wife/husband, or kids, or whatever on to the show.  I ain’t no Bill Burr.  Red Flannel Radio is a solo act, and even if I had the kind of connections to have guests on board, I’d sooner do the entire show on my own.

My afternoons of solitude technically don’t come to an end till this upcoming Friday.  I thought for sure I could fire off one last episode, and maybe even explain the situation there.  Sadly, something else has come up.

My job has decided to start calling us in early.  So now, my hours have changed to a time that is super inconvenient if you wanted to fire off a thirty-minute ramble before work.

It also doesn’t help matters that we’re heading into the summer.  When you’re in my line of work, shit gets hot.  By the end of the shift, I’m so sweaty, exhausted, and hating my life and virtually everyone in it that the podcast would probably be a much different animal.  Not to mention by the evening, I’ve absorbed a generous amount of news from my favorite news sources, and just in case the heat hasn’t given me a healthy dose of misanthropy, whatever stupid shit Donald Trump and/or the republicans said recently ends up topping me off nicely.

I’m still writing for sure.  In fact, that sort of sweaty exhausted misanthropy is what fuels a lot of my creativity.  Not to mention typing on my computer is significantly less intrusive and irritating to my roommate than me putting together audio content.  Trust me, about this time two years ago, I was recording “funny” parody jingles and dumb skits and putting them up on Soundcloud.  Not only did nobody on Soundcloud like most of them (amputech4000 seemed to have a following), but the people living with me expressed their annoyance with it at least twice.

As long as I’m talking about writing, I’ll gladly mention that I’m up to chapter 30 of The Hood and the Heroine.

I’m also streaming a game or two on occasion on Wednesday nights…  Although that’s mostly for shits, giggles, and to test out how things on my PS4 work.  If people watch, cool.  If not…  Well, I still got to play a video game I thought was fun.  Most likely.  So whatever.

Red Flannel Radio, on the other hand, is pretty much on the shelf.  If not till August, then until I can find a place away from the complainers, and record to my heart’s content.  Too bad blind people can’t drive, or I could’ve made like Mark Bennet: host of I Said Shut Up!, and made my car the studio.  Sure, I’d probably make the neighbors super confused, but I’ve never given a flying fuck what the neighbors think.  Probably why a lot of them generally move out, am I right?  Ba-zing!

If I think of a way to work around this, I probably will.  Till then, I’ll probably focus more on the book I probably should’ve finished by now.  For sure, I figured I’d be on the second or third draft by now.

I’d like to thank everyone for subscribing, for listening, and really, for giving me the motivation to keep the ramblefest going well after it served its purpose.

I’ve covered a lot of topics in improvised audio form on that show.  Maybe it’s time I converted them into more well thought-out blog articles here?  Maybe do more with this thing than talk about getting sidetracked with side projects.  Time will tell for sure.  Till then, stay tuned for more TJB/Red Flannel/Steaksaw goodness.

Remember When I Used to Update This Thing?

I admit, I haven’t been the best blogger in the universe.  I haven’t been doing a very diligent job of updating this thing, or my Facebook.  I also don’t have a Twitter, because I think Twitter is fucking stupid.  I also don’t have an instagram, because I’m not a very vision oriented person.  Also, I’ve heard Instagram is Twitter for illiterates, and as I said before, Twitter is fucking stupid.

My only real excuse is my side projects required a lot of my attention.  For a while, I was playing with the idea of streaming gameplay, as well as a podcast.

As of this posting, I believe I may be done with streaming.  I wasn’t expecting to get Pewdiepie levels of fame over night.  I played the YouTube game back in 2007-2008: when a little guy stood more of a chance of getting somewhere, and one-hundred subscribers was considered a milestone.

A lot of my disappointment with my latest YouTube outing has less to do with the response (or lack there of), and more to do with the fact I hated about eighty percent of the videos I’ve put up there now.  There were some unforeseen instances that ended up hampering the experience.  Like that Darkest Dungeon stream where I forgot to switch on my mic.  Or that WWE2K17 stream where I laughed at entrance music that apparently got filtered out of the archived version for some reason.  Or the fact Knee Deep requires a lot of reading, and I’m a slow-ass reader.

SIDE NOTE: that jigsaw in Knee Deep ended up being a lot easier to solve than I originally thought.  Shit, if I knew the pieces turned yellow when you connected them properly, I would’ve braved the sstorm.  Oh well.

I haven’t given up on the idea of streaming altogether, but I think this might be less of an ambition, and more of a fun little aside I occasionally do.

No sir, the REAL distraction that has taken time away from The Hood and the Heroine: book 3 of the Gael Saga, is my podcast: Red Flannel Radio.

I started the podcast when I was between books, waiting for cover art, and really wanted to give the podcast game another go.  I’ve done podcasts in the past, and…  Well…  Let’s just say, rate of success may vary.

In 2006, my friend, frequent cover artist, and former roommate and I tried our hand at podcasting.  We made a dumb little show by the name of The Mechanical Cannibals.  I think.  Mechanical Cannibal was definitely involved in the title.  Either way, it was apparent out the gate that neither of us knew what we were doing, and we both had different ideas about how to do this.

Roomy wanted a super-organized blueprint laid out before we went into recording, and I wanted to just throw caution to the wind and just dick around for an hour.  In the end, we ended up compromising with a very loose blueprint that left room for improv.  We had segments, but none of which were concrete.  We’d have segments like game reviews, movie reviews, my roommate’s “annoying song of the whenever”, and a couple others I can’t remember anymore.  Just because they were on episode 1, though, didn’t guarantee they’d carry over to episode 2.

Another big problem with Mechanical Cannibal was finding a webhost.  I was playing with 50webs.com at the time, but they didn’t allow you to host mp3 files.  Least of all if you had a free account like I did at the time.  Soundcloud didn’t exist in 2006…  Or I didn’t know about it.  In any case, we shared it on one of those file storage sites like megaupload.com.  Except it wasn’t that specific one.  I think it was something like File Jar or something?  All I know for sure is that was a terrible way to host the show, and unsurprisingly, we got discouraged to keep going after the three episodes we recorded were met with absolute dead silence.  It doesn’t help episode 2 got taken down by the site for…  Some reason.  Probably copyright infringement, seeing as how it featured the annoying song of the whenever.

Four years would go by.  Then, in 2010, I’d plug my PS3 headset into my computer tower, and adapt my religious obsession for UFC into a podcast.  This time, I learned from the mistakes of the past, and while I still wouldn’t have called myself an expert, I had a better idea of how NOT to do a podcast.

This time around, I was running a show by the name of The Sacred Octagon.  I posted my audio to still images, made a video file out of them, and posted them to the now defunked blip.tv.  As a bonus, you actually made money if people let the ads play.  Unlike last time, I knew that a show with a very specific topic required a more concrete blueprint.  I talked mostly about UFC events, though I occasionally talked Bellator, and maybe even Strikeforce.  A lot of the time, it was recapping that season of Ultimate Fighter, or giving my predictions on UFC pay-per-views.  Not to mention reporting results from those UFC PPVs, and seeing if I guessed right.  Hint, I don’t think I did all that often.

In mid 2011, I ended up putting the show on hiatus due to the home stretch of my college years demanding my immediate attention, and me taking my attempts at getting for-real-published a lot more seriously.  I picked the podcast back up in 2013…  Only to fall victim to “The Great Blip.tv Purge”.

I didn’t keep copies of my videos, or even the audio files, because why bother?  It’s a weekly show about a very topical thing.  As a result, I basically lost everything, and couldn’t reupload anything to anywhere else because I’d lost everything else.

For the next few years, I chose to make my writing the primary focus.  It helped that 2012-2014 was more or less the height of my old blog’s popularity.

Then, in 2017, I began my most recent podcast: Red Flannel Radio.  This right here was the podcast I wanted to have over a decade ago: no script, no structure, no mercy!  The only rule I set for myself was to try really hard not to talk politics.  And unfortunately, Donald god damn Trump is just too tempting a target for a hardcore Berniecrat like me to take potshots at from time to time.

Honestly, this podcast is a show I consider to be my greatest success in the field yet.  I have a reliable host with Soundcloud.com.  I have about ten subscribers as of this posting, which is about seven more than I was ever hoping to get.  And just in case Soundcloud decides to kurplode, or purge someone like me as the result of going a different direction, there’s a couple other podcast hosts I know of.  A friend of mine recommended I do what I did with Sacred Octagon, and post video versions on YouTube, but the problem is I’m pretty sure YouTube’s little algorithm will find something to bitch me out over.  Namely, I like to use thirty second clips (give or take) of music in my intros and outros.

I have no idea what to say other than Red Flannel Radio has been a blast.  I actually look forward to Tuesday afternoons now.  I just sit back, and I dump all the chatter in my brain into a thirty minute (give or take) slab of audio file.  I have some laughs, I discuss topics I want to talk about, I don’t have to worry about maintaining a segment, or skimming through news sites…  It’s pretty much just thirty minutes of TJB being TJB.  Or Flannel Guy, as I seem to be known on this show, but it’s all good.

So yeah, I’ve been distracted as all hell with this podcast.  Who knows: if indie publishing ends up not working out, I might just keep this up.

But make no mistake, dear reader: The Gael Saga will be finished.  I know I flopped on Jade Blade Legacy, but this one I do plan on finishing.  From there…  Eh, we’ll see.  But for now, I do plan on finishing The Hood and the Heroine.  Right now, as of this posting, I’m up to chapter 27 in the first draft.  Admittedly, that’s not quite where I thought I’d be, but I’m making progress.  And without  YouTube channel to worry about, I should have that much more time to devote to the project.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on news and updates.  Till then, I strongly recommend you check out the podcast.

 

April Fools 2017: How to Fuck Your Couch Like a MAN!

cover

Coming soon to a Kindle near you: Eugene Wafleshire’s breakout self help thriller that will change your life forever and ever.  How to Fuck Your Couch Like a MAN! is more than just a guide to fucking your couch in the manliest ways possible.  This book teaches you about other manly things, as well as other household items you could be fucking when your couch is in rehab.  A must read for couchophiliacs all over the world!

Eugene Wafleshire is many things: he’s a philosopher, a scholar, a Ron Paul cosplayer, a chainsmoker, and perhaps the horniest human being since Sir Daniel Y.  Sexbang.  He is also one of my closest friends, and the person I turn to the most for terrible advice.  I’ve sat and listened to the gospel of Eugene Wafleshire, and I’m a better person for it.  I hope.  Now, for the first time since he used the pen name Muhammad Fear for that ghost story nobody liked, he’s published his glorious gospel for everyone to read, and to practice later on.

I received an advanced copy of the book myself, and I got to say, How to Fuck Your Couch Like a Man is perhaps the single most brilliant book I’ve read.  It’s rivaled only by The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson, and…  Well, let’s be honest, there’s not as much chouch fucking in Manson’s book.

I’ll make an announcement for sure when this book becomes available for everyone to purchase.  Till then, I hope you have something to look forward to.