Posted April 5, 2013 at 03:00 am
Today's strip was a bit rushed, because I had reservations about the strip that was supposed to go in its place. For that reason, I'll just put it here.

I once asked him why he's here. He never stopped screaming, yet still managed to wail a soliloquy in a language long gone from a world that once twinkled in the night sky.
Alt Text: I once asked him why he's here. He never stopped screaming, yet still managed to wail a soliloquy in a language long gone from a world that once twinkled in the night sky.

Don't think about it, don't talk to anyone about it. Let's just leave it there to soak in the juices of the universe into which its awful existence has been wretched.
Posted March 18, 2013 at 05:09 pm
So, I've enjoyed Harvest Moon for a long time. I started at the SNES version and naturally worked upward from there.

Currently I'm playing the 3DS version "A New Beginning," but more on that later.

If you've never heard of Harvest Moon, it's basically about running a farm. Planting crops, tending animals, selling products, and even getting married and having a kid. You usually upgrade your tools for more efficient farming, and make friends with villagers by giving them gifts.

The first mistake most people might have is thinking it's a simulator. It's not at all. There are plenty of proper farming simulators out there, but there are no other franchises that have the style and personality of a Harvest Moon title. You could reasonably compare it to Animal Crossing without being extremely off-base. However, I've never enjoyed an Animal Crossing game in the same way I enjoy Harvest Moon. There's really no game like it.

So where does one start? What's the apex of the Harvest Moon series? I think a lot of people will agree that there are 3 major Harvest Moon titles that really defined the genre. While your favorite may be different from one of these, they tend to represent the series in the truest manner, for better or worse.

These titles are:
Friends of Mineral Town (Gameboy Advance)
Harvest Moon 64 (Nintendo 64)
Back to Nature (Playstation 1)

They have all of the major trappings such as extensive mining, interesting characters, and interactive festival events. The lesser titles of the Harvest Moon series tend to skirt on some of these basic things, and their sales numbers often proved that players want certain things out of a Harvest Moon game.

My personal favorite is Back to Nature, but I find all three of those to be fun, true versions.

I'm not going to go through each game in the series and say which ones I like and which I don't, but I will make some general statements.

The titles on the Wii, for example, seem to be very poor examples of what the series should be (Specifically Tree of Tranquility and Animal Parade). Everything is slow, clunky, and the frame rates are terrible. The character designs are also uninspired. Everybody looks like a Mii, and that is not what a Harvest Moon character should look like. After playing hours of Animal Parade and quitting several times out of frustration, I finally decided it's an extremely poor installment. I didn't make it far into Tree of Tranquility, which seemed to have a lot of the same problems.

The later titles on the DS (mainly Tale of Two Towns and Grand Bazaar) are also large departures from what a lot of people loved about the Harvest Moon series. Not many people cite them as their favorites. The earlier titles on the DS had some good points, however. Island Of Happiness, Sunshine Islands and Harvest Moon DS are all very competent versions, and I enjoyed each of them.

Many people like Magical Melody for the Gamecube and Wii. A lot of the trappings were there, but I found the controls to be extremely unforgiving.

I won't go into any more detail about the games other than the newest version I've been playing lately, which is Harvest Moon: A New Beginning.

When I first start it, I notice two things.
1) These are really good character designs. Maybe the best ever.
2) There's no one here and nothing to do!

The first month, you're thrown into a tutorial mode that, if you weren't told about it from an outside source, you would think this was all the game was. You have a few plots in which to plant (with no indication you ever be able to plant more than a few crops at a time). Also, there are literally only 3 people in town! And zero bachelors/bachelorettes to woo. There seems to be no mine either. For a month, you're left wondering if this is all there is.

Thankfully once you're at around the 25th, things start opening up, almost to a point where you think you're drowning. More people come to town, and you can build things to bring more people in. Once you build things, other places open up, and it's a sort of cascade of new content all coming at you at once. I wondered if I would have been overwhelmed if it started with everything already opened up, but I can't be sure now.

At this point, I can say it lives up to the reputation of being a good harvest moon title, and I've been considering things that could make it better, and how it's improved over past iterations.

One thing it does right is the ruck sack. For some reason, I've always felt that you should be able to upgrade your ruck sack instead of it just starting maxed out. My only regret is I've already maxed it out, so I don't get to do that anymore.

Other things I think it does right:
- You can move anything and everything. Every farming plot on your land, every building on your farm (including your house), every building/house in town, every road, everything. You can move all of it and arrange it to how you want. If there's one character in particular you really want to build a friendship with, you can put their house right next to your road into town, and you will pass them every day, making it easier than it's ever been.
- Trees/stones don't take a lot of time to chop/break. Even if you have 99 branches in your ruck sack, you can simply place them on the ground, and with one whack, turn them into 99 pieces of lumber. Full-sized trees only take two whacks with an axe (if your axe is the right level for the tree), cutting down on some of the tedium.
- The crafting system. You can make a heck of a lot of stuff. You make all of your own buildings and equipment, as well as decorations for a variety of reasons.

It could do better in these areas:
- There is a long unskippable cutscene almost every day between 10AM-10:15AM and 6PM-6:15PM if you happen to be outside. This is completely unnecessary. You will find yourself hiding indoors during these times.
- People only working 3-4 days a week. This is unacceptable. There's nothing more frustrating than having to wait until a day someone opens, and even then they're not open until 10AM.
- Not knowing how to access something. I wanted to some mining, for example. However, the mine doesn't become available until you build completely unrelated buildings in town.
- You can only mine a small amount each day. Mining is my favorite part of Harvest Moon, and it feels like they're always trying to remove or minimize it as much as possible.
- This is kind of a positive and negative, but there is a huge amount of different creatures. At some point, I think it would be okay to just have a dragonfly instead of 4 different species of dragonfly. Same goes with fish.
- You're told right away that giving people gifts is a good way to get things in return. So far, I've been giving people a lot of stuff they like, but I've only ever gotten anything from the blacksmith.
- Giving someone something they don't like makes them like you less.

A lot of these downsides go into a theory I have that a lot of these mechanics are designed to keep you playing as long as possible. They're getting better at hiding this, but I don't understand why they need you to play a single-player game for 200 hours. I think anyone would be happy with just 30 hours of really good gameplay, and it would do a lot better with what I imagine is a market that is growing older and has less time to play games.

All that said, it's a good game. It's probably the best Harvest Moon in a long time, and I recommend it.

Now, before I said there was no franchise that was like Harvest Moon. However, that was a lie. There is a franchise that is very much like Harvest Moon. In fact, it's so much like it that it would be positively litigious... if it weren't made by the same company.

That franchise, of course, is Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon.

For a long time, I thought "Right. It's probably nothing like Harvest Moon. They're just trying to push their new RPG - trying to expand the market." But in reality, that is exactly what it is. Take your favorite Harvest Moon game, now put in weapons, monsters and dungeons. That's Rune Factory.

The series started on the DS, which I think is smart. Handhelds are still the perfect way to play Harvest Moon/Rune Factory, in my opinion.

The first Rune Factory was pretty decent. It played and felt a lot like an RPG version of Friends of Mineral Town, and was all around pretty solid.

Unfortunately Rune Factory 2 was practically broken by design. The voice acting was terrible, and you are tutorialized until you're married! It's your son who plays the real game. This sounds like it can work in theory, but it simply doesn't. Just skip this one.

Now you're up to the third installment on the DS, Rune Factory 3. This is, in my opinion, the best Rune Factory of all time. It's fast, the controls feel great, the fishing's great, the characters are all really interesting, and it's the only game I've ever played where the English voice acting is better than the Japanese. My only complaint is you can pretty much beat the whole game in one game year, and the days go by pretty quick. It's way too fun to be over so soon.

On the Wii titles, we first have Rune Factory Frontier. This game came before Rune Factory 3, and possibly as a result, didn't have the quick excitement of Rune Factory 3. It's still a great version of Rune Factory I've enjoyed more than once. It also has the first fat bachelorette. That's kind of charming really, but the artist they used didn't really know how to draw fat girls, I think.

Tides of Destiny was... confusing. I don't think people should play it looking for a proper Harvest Moon RPG experience. It almost swept under the rug the importance of farming in favor of the relationship and fighting mechanics. I managed to max out all relationships and get married with a kid and all that, but at no point did I really feel like I cared. It kept me going, but it wasn't the Rune Factory I was looking for.

On the horizon is Rune Factory 4. I'll definitely be buying it, regardless of reviews, because I need to see for myself what it is, no matter what. It's my sincere wish that it holds securely to what Rune Factory 3 did, but with a bit more content.

So, that was probably pretty rambling, but I hope I gave you some idea of the series if you weren't familiar with it. If you liked some of the ones I didn't, that's okay. I'm definitely not here to tell you your tastes are bad. There's value in only liking the black sheep of a series.

Keep on harvestin' those moons.
Posted March 11, 2013 at 03:36 pm
Update: Volume 1 is sold out.

The delayed second half of the Volume 2 shipment has come in, so there are a few of those left and available in the shop. There are even fewer Volume 1 books, and I expect those to disappear immediately.

Note: There will be a new shipment of books later this year, but those books will not have the option of sketches.

If you do not need a sketch, you will have plenty of chances to own books later. I am also considering the option of selling sketches separately later on, and I will do sketches at conventions, as well as once in a while having a few books to sketch and mail out, so this isn't your last opportunity ever to get a Ronnie sketch, unless I finally get a McNugget clogged in my aorta and keel over.

Posted March 4, 2013 at 09:24 am
Update: A second part of the Volume 2 shipment is on its way. If you already ordered one, yours will not be delayed.

Just got one more limited run of books in stock. While I will be getting a full print run later, this will be the last time you can get Volume 1 or 2 sketched in.

I wish I could make sketches available all of the time, but given the nature of storage and stuff, I can't always be near them to draw in 'em.

As usual, thank you for supporting me in this whole thing I do. You're great!
Posted February 2, 2013 at 08:40 pm
Hey guys, I guess I've put this off long enough. People often ask me what kind of anime I like.

I would start by saying I don't actually like Gun Girl, Moe and Magical Girl shows like comic Ronnie does.

What I really like is light-hearted slice-of-life comedy. I tend to avoid sci-fi/magic/fantasy unless it's really light on those elements. My tastes really begin and end there, but thankfully, there are a lot of shows that cater to me.

As a youngster, I watched all anime. It started of course with Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball, but then I went on to harder stuff like Trigun, Tenchi Muyo, and even Love Hina (the latter of which actually made me dislike anime for a long time. I thought I was bored with anime, but actually I just hate harem.)

Some years later, Fullmetal Alchemist came out. This is definitely not my kind of show nowadays (with tragedy and magic galore), but it got me interested in anime again. It's definitely a testament to Arakawa Hiromu's talents. If you don't know about Fullmetal Alchemist, there were two versions of the show. The first version (Fullmetal Alchemist) was faithful to the original manga until it caught up with and passed Arakawa's production schedule. At this point, the anime staff made up the second half of the series, which did not match the future manga. Then they made an entirely different show, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood which was faithful to the series from start to finish. If you're curious, no they did not reuse anything. It was a completely new series. People argue over which was the best. Me, I like both equally, and I'm glad I don't have a preference. It means I love two great shows.

This kind of (but not really) got me back into anime. It opened me up to a suggestion from a friend. "Welcome to the NHK" she said. You'll like it, she said!

Well, I'm a stubborn person. I rarely take recommendations to heart. But I took a chance, and man that show threw me for a loop. (I'll have a list of my favorite shows and whether I recommend them at the bottom of this post, so you don't have to write that down now.) It's about a shut-in (known as a hikkikomori) who lives off his parent's money as a NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training). He spends his days cooped up in his little Japanese apartment, having to listen to his neighbor blasting the same anime theme song over and over. Long story short, it's a fairly piercing depiction of a social outcast, and is based loosely on the life of the author.

This was when I learned anime didn't have to be all about fighting and magic and fantasy. It can be about people's lives, and be fairly realistic. You don't see nearly as much of that in western cartoons. (Maybe that's why I like King of the Hill so much). I got hooked on slice-of-life, and delved deeper.

I moved on to Azumanga Daioh. Boy, what a snoozer... I thought at first. Then, when I pushed about halfway through the series, it clicked for me. Once you get to know and love the characters, you really understand the show and how fun it is, or at least I did. It was a lighthearted and funny depiction of high school. (My first of many, but the best of any.) This remains one of my favorite shows. If you haven't gotten more than a few episodes in, keep trying!

Now I tend to wade through tons of anime (lots of high school stuff because there's just so much of it) and found early on that there's a weird phenomenon with these types of shows. Starting around 2001, they splintered off into your Pantsu shows, where they liberally reveal lady's undergarments for reasons, and your Magical Skirt where they work at all costs to prevent the revelation of undergarments, even if the skirt is distorted in weird fashions. (Note that underwear can still be shown in a Magical Skirt show, but it will not be worn by a person unless there's fabric between the underwear and the skin.) Before 2001, panties appeared when and how they wished. The quality of the show might dictate how often and whether or not it was gratuitous, but it wasn't quite as prolific an issue as it is today. These rules don't apply 100% of the time, but they tend to be the a huge factor in slice-of-life shows. I believe barbie doll anatomy began around this time as well.

All that said, I definitely prefer Magical Skirt, because I'm here to enjoy a show, not have them try and elicit a response out of me by showing me drawings of underwear on high schoolers or worse.

So, that's kind of a history on my anime hobby. Here's some shows I like and why I like them. Many of them you can see on Crunchyroll or Hulu, some you may have to buy the DVD, but some you may just have to torrent or watch on a shady website. Try and get them the good way first, though!

I'll try to roughly put these in the order of how much I enjoy them. Shows with a * next to them are "must watch by everyone". Keep in mind, these are opinions, so don't feel like I'm personally attacking you if I don't like the show you like. Enjoy whatever you want however you want. I know I'm a bit odd! Also, I'm sorry if any of these has some weird, gross or unpleasant moment. It's been a while since I've seen a lot of these, and I sometimes go "Yeugh, I forgot that show had THAT scene in it."

*Welcome to the NHK - A fairly emotional, but not scary or tragic show about a shut-in.

Azumanga Daioh - A class of high school girls just being funny. Lots of fun, with funny characters.

*Princess Jellyfish - A nerd girl lives with a bunch of other nerd girls until she meets her Pygmalion. It's a very sweet and extremely funny show.

*Usagi Drop - A bachelor adopts his grandfather's illegitimate child. It's a touching and funny show.

*Nichijou - A very wacky, absurd comedy. It's very fun.

Arakawa Under The Bridge - A really fun show about a bunch of crazy homeless people. There's a bit of absurdity/supernatural to it.

Space Brothers - An emotional, but slow-paced show about two space-bound brothers. The younger brother has become an astronaut, but can the older, more awkward brother do it?

Toradora! - I can't help but love the main characters in this show. I just think they're adorable, both the guy with the mean eyes yet soft heart and the girl who is a textbook case of tsundere.

Polar Bear Cafe - A bunch of realistically drawn animals who talk, living their daily lives among humans. Pretty much sells itself.

Comic Party - The first season is a hilarious and touching slice-of-life about a guy who wants to draw doujinshi (fan-made) manga. The second season is poo poo made by a different production company and writers.

I! My! Me! Strawberry Eggs - There's a bit of gratuitous underwear in this one. But it's also from 2001, so it still kind of gets a pass on that. It's a funny and touching show about cross-dressing to get a job. It feels a little pandering at times, but I was willing to overlook it this time.

Hanamaru Kindergarten - A fresh-out-of-college guy teaches at a kindergarten and has a crush on another teacher. The show also focuses on 3 children in particular, and is pretty fun.

Fullmetal Alchemist - After a failed attempt to revive their dead mother with alchemy, Ed and Al are on a quest to recover Al's body lost in the transmutation. Action packed, but also respites from the action that are just as engaging.

Genshiken - A bunch of nerds hang out in a college club for anime/manga. Eventually a cool guy comes in who also loves the stuff, but his tough girlfriend can't figure out why he'd bother. For the most part, it's a fairly realistic depiction of nerdiness.

Petopeto-San - Monsters who look like humans live among us. It's about a monster girl who, if she touches someone's skin, they stick to her, because her species is black-widow-like. One unwilling boy ends up stuck to her on more than one occasion.

Kimi Ni Todoke - Did you want an introduction into shoujo romance anime? This is where you start. It has a unique art style that may be off-putting at first, but it set the standard for shoujo romance.

Aishiteruze Baby - If Kimi Ni Todoke appealed to you, this is a very similar shoujo show, but from a teenage guy's perspective - a playboy who has been appointed to care for a preschool-age child. (Have you seen "I like corm?" It's from that.)

Lovely Complex - About an overly tall red-headed girl and a diminishingly short boy who find that maybe they have feelings for each other. It's a much more accessible and fun shoujo romance than Kimi Ni Todoke.

Working!! - An entertaining slice-of-life about working in a family restaurant. At first it seemed like a harem, but it wasn't (just lots of girls). Fun to watch.

Hanasaku Iroha - A girl is forced to live with her grandmother in a Japanese traditional inn and work there. It's fine. It's fine.

Hayate The Combat Butler - The first two seasons are a funny twist on the harem plot. It's a much more enjoyable show if you've seen lots of anime. A debt-ridden guy is forced to become a butler for a kid who's in love with him. In fact, many girls fall in love with him, but he's 100% oblivious in every possible way, giving zero progress to any of his chasers, and I think that's why I like it.

The Gokusen - A Yakuza heiress is the teacher at a rough-and-tumble all-boy's school. It's lots of fun. I recommend the manga as well.

Eden of the East - A slightly futuristic show about... stuff. It would take too much to explain it here. Either way, I enjoy it.

High School Rumble - A pretty funny show about a delinquent who's in love with a girl, but the girl is in love with the king of dorks. Unfortunately, the ending kind of spoiled the rest of the show for me, but your mileage may vary.

Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~ - A show about a guy who moves into his family's old-style apartment complex with some interesting characters. I liked this one quite a bit, but it has an old art style that may turn some people off.

Tsuritama - It's about an alien who is trying to get the main character to fish for him. It's a pretty funny show, probably more suited to younger audiences, but I think people of all ages can enjoy it.

Binb? Shimai Monogatari - A high school girl and her elementary-school sister are abandoned by their father, and they have to live on their own. A very sweet show.

Ramen Fighter Miki - A very funny show about Miki, the daughter of a ramen shop owner. Miki is very loud and likes to get into fights, even fist fights with her mother. Her rival is the baker across the street. This show made me guffaw more than once.

Maico 2010 - A 1998 anime that takes place entirely in one radio studio booth. They receive an unfinished android who is to be the on-air personality. Lots of humor and emotion in this one.

Honey & Clover - If you want to experience every emotion, this is for you. It's about an art college, and there are people, I don't know. Love, life, etc.

Ouran High School Host Club - A girl who people think is a boy gets recruited to being a male host for wealthy girls. It's pretty funny.

Yakitate! Japan - It's kind of a sports anime, but about bread-making. I enjoyed it at first, but the show became sillier than I would have liked, so I haven't seen the whole thing.

K-On - People are passionate about this show. It's about 4 (and later 5) high school girls in the Keionbu (light music club). It's easy to watch, but it doesn't really have a plot. However, I understand why people like it.

Steins; Gate - It's one of my favorite plot points. "We invented time travel in our apartment on accident." But I would have liked it more if the science had been a bit different. I'm big into time travel in general, so I'm picky about that sort of thing.

Sound of the Sky - Military K-On. Some people say it's not, but I really really feel like it is.

Haruhi Suzumiya - It's okay. I like it. It's about a girl (Haruhi) who really wants there to be aliens and espers and time travelers, so her wish comes true. You really want to watch it all from start to finish, ending with the movie. (I watched it in chronological order instead of TV-aired order. Some prefer the latter) When you get to the endless 8, watch the first 2 episodes and the last episode. The middle 5 are pointless.

Alice Academy - Somewhat entertaining show about a magical school. Kind of like an anime Harry Potter. I find the manga to be unreadable though. (Lots of style, but hard to follow)

Angel Beats - A show about the limbo between death and heaven. It can be really really sad, so be prepared for that.

Kannagi - I don't remember much about this one. A guy carves a wooden figure of a goddess, and she comes to life and lives with him. It's not as creepy as it sounds. I remember enjoying it.

Hyakko - A fairly standard high-school slice-of-life. It's fine if you're bored.

Lucky Star - It's funnier if you've watched Haruhi first. The art style is surprisingly different from most anime. Everyone got big ol' heads. I don't think I like it as much as everyone else does, but that's okay.

Chobits - Nah.

Hand Maid May - A bit less weird/pandering than Chobits (but with similar themes). I didn't mind this show too much, but it was still a bit eh.

Ghost Stories - A kid's show about ghost hunting. I thought it was funny once in a while, but mostly I watched because I was bored. There's an English dub that changes all the dialogue Shin-Chan style, so keep that in mind.

Shakugan No Shana - Watchable, but somewhat forgettable. It's about a girl who... something, I don't remember. Demons? Sure.

Myself; Yourself - I actually don't like this show, but I thought I'd mention it. It contains more drama per square inch than any other show on TV. I don't know why I watched all of it. Even the ending is kind of depressing.

Oreimo - I figured I should include this show. The title is a bit misleading (I can't believe my sister is this cute) which, in the context of the show, means more "Why is she being nice to me" than the alternative. That said, I still find it just a tiny bit pandering, and even though I watched it all, I came away with the conclusion that I don't really care for it. (Update: Don't watch it.)

That's about all, I suppose. Happy hunting!
Posted January 13, 2013 at 09:43 pm
Update: A few people may experience a delay of a few days as I try and get all the orders sketched in and mailed out.

Update 2: Volume 2 is now back out of stock. Still gonna get more books in later, so don't fret! (I can't disable the button in the store right now, but I will when I'm able. It shouldn't let you order one, regardless.)

I just received a small, limited run of volumes 1 and 2, so go get 'em.

I'm still expecting a full run of books later in the year, so if you miss out, it won't be the end of the world!

Have a good 'un!

Posted January 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm
Heya, a friend of mine's webcomic Go Get A Roomie has a kickstarter for its first book. If you don't know about Roomie already, how about ya check it out?

True story, every time someone says "Roomie" in reference to the comic, I think they're writing "Ronnie" and then I get excited that someone is paying attention to me.
Posted November 28, 2012 at 09:53 am
For starters, her full name is Grumpy Frumpy Lumpy Dumpy Rumpy, but we call her Rumpy for pulmonary health reasons. She's a rumpy Manx. For that reason, the name Rumpy is the most original thing ever.

Earlier Whomp! strips portrayed her as a type of villain, but that's mainly because she's really hard to understand. She also used to be pretty selfish, but she's recently been the least selfish of my four cats.

A Rumpy is an unsure beast. She doesn't know if you're gonna love her or chase her. I'm not sure why this is the case, as she's never been punished or yelled at, and her sister Needles is so unafraid of me, she'll crawl on me, kneading my jelly belly even while I'm growling loudly "I'm working, I'M WORKING."

Rumpy's also not really a rescue case, so she wasn't abused in a former life, either. We got her and Needles before they were weened and we bottle fed both of them. That's my guess as to why they're both fat, since they eat the same food as our healthy-weight . Rumpy is the much fatter of the sisters, and I'll get them both on a diet plan before too long. It's difficult with other cats in the home (especially one that's underweight), but I'm working on something.

Rumpy. Loves. Feet.

Holy heck does this kitty love the down-low-heel-to-toe. When she's not draping herself over your bare feet at the desk or when you're trying to cook something (inevitably tripping over her big butt)

She's very polite about eating. I feel like she does spend too much time at the bowl, but she never pushes away other cats to get at it. Typically the cats have a bowl of dry food for them to eat as their normal meals. On occasion, for a treat, they are given a treat of canned food to share. (It's unwise to only feed a cat canned food, for many health reasons.) Rumpy will wait patiently (more out of social anxiety than politeness I'm sure) for everyone to get their share before she goes in to clean the plates. She doesn't always get as much as they do, but she has her figure to worry about, too!

I've always worried that perhaps Rumpy has sight problems. As shown in today's comic, she likes to STARE. It can be unsettling, because you don't know what she wants. She'll just stare at you for a really long time, like you're about to give her candy. She also bats at every power cord she finds sprawled across the floor. She'll sit there and hit it several minutes, her own paw making it jump at her, causing her to leap back in fear. Do you think it's snakes, Rumpy??? HAVE YOU EVER EVEN SEEN A SNAKE YOU FATTY FAT?!

I asked a doctor, but he said her vision seemed fine, so I don't know. Maybe she is just kind of stupid. Maybe she's very smart. I'm not sure.

Recently, when Buddy and Needles were brought home from a veterinary checkup, the pet carrier (which had a towel in it) was left on the floor of the living room, open. A short time later I noticed Rumpy was lying in it. I doubt this was some secret "Take me to the vet" code and deciphered it more correctly as she wanted a place to hide and call her own while still being able to watch people. We've bought little cat homes before, but if you've ever had a cat, they are rarely interested in what you buy, unless it can be defined in some way as "cardboard box."

So I went into my home office, and under the TV next to my desk (which has a small very basic entertainment center), I cleared out the bottom-most shelf and placed a towel in it. Sure enough, Rumpy switched from the pet carrier to this shelf. I can now watch her pretty much all the time, and she lies there this very moment. She even stares at me less than she used to.

I sometimes worry that her weight makes her sad. Don't worry, Rumpy. We'll get healthy together. Just hang in there! (And quit hogging the Taco Bell, you dang cat.)
Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Just felt like sharing with you a couple of dishes I have adjusted to my taste and lifestyle health choices.

Ronnie's Brown Chili

I came up with this out of what was, apparently, an overactive imagination. When I was a teenager, I said to my mom, "Could you make that chili you used to make that I loved so much?" She says, "Sure!" So she browns and drains the ground beef (a good start), then adds tomato sauce, kidney beans, chili powder and other spices. She's made a proper chili.

"No, the OTHER chili you used to make," I said. She had no idea what I was talking about. So I set off to make what I assume I'd never actually eaten before. It was actually my first try that came up with this extremely simple recipe.

1 lb. Ground Beef (I don't think you can substitute turkey here. I wouldn't.)
1 can Baked Beans [28 oz] (In my experience Van Camp's original has been the best flavor for this dish.)

1) Brown the beef in a medium-sized skillet or saucepan.
2) Drain the grease (save this and make gravy!)
3) Add beans and heat to perfection. (Excessive stirring on the stovetop can quickly lead to mushy beans. I would recommend microwaving, but it can make ground beef tough)

The flavor of the beef and beans together is just something I've really enjoyed.

Big Boy Beans & Franks

I love beans and franks, but I don't like the wieners they use in Beanee Weenee, and Pork & Beans don't really suit my tastes. So I came up with this.

1 can 28oz Baked Beans (Same as above: Van Camp's Original is best, in my opinion.)
1 12 oz Pack Hot Dog Wieners (Bar S isn't the best brand, but it does pretty well for this particular dish.)

1) Chop the wieners. Err on the side of small.
2) Boil the wieners until they have swollen.
3) Mix the wieners and beans in a microwave safe dish and microwave them until they're hot. This is a good way to prevent the mushiness of stovetop beans, plus it's faster and cleaner.

A simple but delicious recipe. Also fairly inexpensive!

Chicken Breading for Professionals and Hobbyists

This is just a technique I like to use when preparing and breading chicken for deep frying.

When deep frying, you should cut the chicken breasts to smaller sizes so they cook evenly and quickly. I like big thin strips, but small cube-like chunks is also good.

The technique is Flour -> Wet -> Flour -> Freeze -> Wet -> Flour -> Fry. Basically just flour your chicken chunk, then put drop it in a water/egg mixture, then back in the flour, then onto a greased pan. Freeze those chunks, then wet and flour them again just before frying. You get a nice imitation chicken skin that's less gross than having to think about how you're actually eating the skin of a chicken.

(When flouring and wetting stuff, remember to use one hand to touch dry stuff and one for wet stuff. It takes some practice, but your hands will be much less messy afterwards.)

That's about all, I suppose. Mainly I just wanted to share my love of the versatility Van Camp's Baked Beans. Someone make them to give me money for promoting them. Or beans. Yeah, just beans will be fine.
Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:35 am
Recently, Whomp! became an affiliate of The Hiveworks, which takes high-quality comics and gives them to the world. We took it one step further, however, and I've joined into Hiveworks straight up.


CALM DOWN, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. The comics will still be about anime, McNuggets and sadness, whatever I feel like spraying out of my comic gland that day. No one has influence on the creative process but me.

All you'll see is the affiliate bar that's already up there, and a logo in a discreet spot. We're also going to eventually be getting more cool merch for people to put on their desks/bodies/children.

Most of all, I can keep doing this for a long time.

Hiveworks is a network of friends who want to bring good comics to the world, and I wouldn't have joined them if I thought it would be anything less than great for the comic.

Have a good one, y'all!

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