Winter Defiance

Winter Defiance Addendum
Friday, December 9th, 2005

Somehow it seems appropriate for the roads to be all frozen, the landscape blanketed in snow and ice, and the frost curlicueing across the windows. After all, I have tickets for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at noon today.

(Hopefully that movie can displace all memory of me ever having rented The Dukes of Hazzard, much less having watched it. The DVD version of the film was stuffed full of "unrated" content. Yuck.)

Winter Defiance
Thursday, December 8th, 2005

We've gotten some pretty good snow in Utah Valley this week. This hasn't stopped me from grilling on my back deck, though. I've been doing the low-carb* thing since Thanksgiving, and there's really only one RIGHT way to cook big, tender chunks of animal flesh -- over flame. I feel like I'm throwing a winter-defiance party every day at lunchtime. The grill heats up, the snow melts off of it and boils away to steam, and then I (quickly) slip out the kitchen door onto the deck, slap my PETA-unfriendly slabs of dead animal over the flames, and then wait inside with a timer while watching the thermometer on the grill through the window.

Yesterday the grill ran out of gas. No problem... I bought a replacement tank a day earlier, anticipating the problem. Unfortunately, yesterday it was also about 10 degrees Farenheit on the back deck, and the grill was icy. I got the tank installed, but it wouldn't flow -- probably because of gunk in the hose, a problem I've had before, and which is solved by disconnecting the hose, putting your mouth on it, and blowing really hard with the valves open.

Putting your mouth on a brass fitting in 10-degree-weather is a great way to end up leaving your lips attached to the grill, so I quickly arrived at the decision to bring the grill inside for a tune-up. Oh, the irony. Just Sunday the Ward sent out a newsletter with instructions from the local Fire Department on "how not to have a house fire" printed on the back. I'm pretty sure that "don't you be fiddling with a gas grill inside your house, you idiot" was on the list SOMEWHERE.

Still, I got away with it. The grill works like a champ, and the tank that's on it should last at least until March. I had a steak for lunch yesterday, and then (vegetarians should now avert their eyes and skip to the next paragraph) grilled up a chicken breast wrapped in three slices of thick, Hormel Black Label bacon. I chopped that up, added half an avocado and some ranch dressing, and tupperware'd it for dinner at the Temple. It was so good cold that I'm sure I'll be trussing chicken with bacon in grillings to come.

The biggest problem with the snow and the cold is that Turbo Schlock, my 2003 cyber-green New Beetle, does not LOOK like a fit-for-cold-weather car. Forget the fact that it heats up quickly, or that the heated seats make even the coldest mornings toasty -- the happy green color and the silly Beetle shape just look SAD when covered in snow and frozen street-slush. Tuesday evening the Bishop looked at my car as the two of us emerged from the evening's bout with the Ward finances, and said "if you look closely enough, I think you can see it SHIVERING."

Winter hasn't even officially begun yet, and already I'm campaigning to defy it. Hopefully my grilling on the back deck, and driving a bright-green Beetle (with, I might add, the sun roof open... I worked out at the gym yesterday, and the 27-degree air felt kind of refreshing on the drive home) won't tip some cosmic balance and bring down a three-day blizzard. But if it does, I'll just sweep the grill off, and take out my frustrations on chunks of some tasty animals I never met, and who never did anything to me, but they're dead and I'm hungry.

*Note: I realize that there are those among my readers who hear the phrase "low-carb" and immediately desire to offer me nutritional advice. I have a new rule: Don't email me unless you want to say nice, supporting things about my lifestyle choices. I've been low-carbing since before it was a fad, and I know my body and my diet much better than you do. What's that you say? You've got a Master's Degree in Nutritional Science? I tell you what... I'll keep eating bacon-wrapped chicken breasts and you can eat your degree. Just don't make me feed it to you.

This Just In -- BLC 2006 Calendar!
Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

I just got word that the Blank Label Comics 2006 Calendar is ready to be ordered from Order now if you want to give it as a Christmas gift! The cast members from Schlock Mercenary appear in November, but the whole calendar is great. Especially, umm... June. June has real, ummm... bounce.

Petey and the Tohdfraug Admiral
Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

This week's marker-art auction is up! If you want to own Petey and the Tohdfraug Admiral, follow the link or click on the picture there to the right, and make with the bidding. This piece is especially timely, because that little "intervention" Petey staged between the Tohdfraug fleet and the people of the Qlavo system (see August 28th's strip for a refresher) isn't over yet... tune in next week.

"Tune in" he says... okay, how many of you actually remember television sets that had to be "tuned in" to recieve broadcasts? It's a good thing hypertext transfer protocols don't work that way ("Looks like it's drifting from port 80 to port 80.01. Lemme nudge the rabbit ears real quick"). The only people reading this strip would be HAM radio operators, and I'd never make a dime because all their disposable income goes into (ahem) bigger antennae.

In other news, I'll now be hearing from every HAM radio operator who reads the strip.

A couple more links...
December 6th, 2005

The folks at Turn Signals on a Land Raider mentioned my 2000-strip milestone in their side-bar. I tell you, I often wish I had the time and money to paint myself a massive Warhammer army, and reading TSOALR reminds me that I don't even need to wargame to enjoy those kinds of toys. I could just engage in massive games of pretend.

John Lynch, a Schlocker from Down Under, mentioned the milestone in this blogpost, and said lots of kind words, to boot. He seems to think the coming plot twists will be satisfying. I wonder who could have given him THAT idea...

If I've left anybody out, I'm sorry. Next time we have a reciprocal link-fest, I'll be sure to get on the stick sooner, and stay on the stick longer. Stupid stick...