Friday, December 22, 2006


Gone to the land of dial-up. Don't expect a new post until after New Years.


(have a holly jolly christmas)
it's in my head!
(It's the best time of)
Get it OUT!
(the year. I don't know)
(if there'll be snow)
(but have a cup of cheer)
(have a holly)
(christmas. it's the best)
(time of the year)
>wham< >wham< >wham<
(if there'll be snow)
(buuut haaaavvve uhhh cuuuuup uuuuuuuuuuuhf cheeee.....)
[fade to unconscious]

"what's wrong with him, doctor?"
"judging from the severe bruising on his head and the crack in his
skull I'd say he had a christmas song stuck in his head. we get that a
lot this time of year. We're thinking naming the new wing after Burl Ives."

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I'm getting two conflicting reports about when the Winter Solstice is this year. One calendar says Dec 21 while another says Dec 22. I'm going with Dec 22 since it's the usual date. (Upon further research I find that whether it's the 21st or 22nd depends on what time zone you're in. For the East coast it's early on the 22nd. For the rest of the States it's the 21st.)

Winter Solstice, for those of you who slept through science class or attended DC public school, is the shortest day and longest night of the year...barring, of course, that time when you accidently swapped the Vivarin and Tylenol and couldn't blink until about 4:30 in the morning. The Earth's rotational axis tilted 23° 27 minutes from that of our sun. This means that during some parts of the year the north axis points at the sun and during some parts of the year the south axis points at the sun. The winter and summer solstices mark the extremes of this cycle. The Winter Solstice also marks the beginning of the Dougmas season.

The Solstice has been celebrated by various cultures going back for millenia. Whatever else it may have been, Stonehenge was a calendar for marking the various solstices and equinoxes. There's also the Newgrange mound in Ireland that just marks the Winter Solstice and predates Stonehenge by several centuries.

The Romans celebrated the solstice with the Saturnalia festival that lasted from Dec 17 to Dec 23. During this time they'd dedicate the temple to Saturn, the god of farming. They'd also decorate their homes with evergreen trees and wreaths, deck the halls with boughs of holly, and exchange gifts.

Other cultures use the solstice to celebrate the births of Egyptian Osiris, Greek Apollo and Bacchus, Chaldean Adonis, and Persian Mithra. All sun gods.
Germans built a stone altar to Hertha, or Bertha, goddess of domesticity and the home, during winter solstice.
The Norse had Odin, a big bearded man dressed in red who travelled through fire, who brought gifts to good children. He also brought along a demon to flog, punish, or even take bad children. This demon remains in eastern European celebrations in Santa's companion Krumpus.

The festival of Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was celebrated on the day that the days start getting longer after the winter solstice. That day happens to be Dec 25. So it could be argued that they just went from celebrating the rebirth of the sun god to celebrating the rebirth of God's son.

In the 4th Century Rome was pretty well Christianized (probably not a word, but work with me here). While the death of Christ was celebrated at Easter (another co-oped holiday) his birth wasn't celebrated. Despite all evidence pointed to his birth in the spring Christian leaders chose Dec 25 to celebrate his birth.

So that's the reason for the season. This Christ guy is just some wanna be Johnny come lately. The season is about celebrating the return of the sun.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Check out my other blog at It was started as a place to post old Daria cartoons but I've expanded it to be a general cartoon blog. I've just started going through Invader Zim. Next I'm thinking Clerks or Robot Chicken.

I saw this balloon on Nov 25 as Dad and I started our drive to Kansas City so I could meet my ride back to DC.

Pre-color correction

Post-color correction

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Now on DVD

Tuesday is new DVD day. You can see what's being released on IMDB (

I've seen three of the new releases. Follow the links to my reviews.
A Scanner Darkly
Lady in the Water
My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Monday, December 18, 2006

Warning: Religious blather

I don't usually address news in this blog. I figure there's about a zillion other sites you can check if you want that. But this news article is about one of the touchier religious subjects so, this being a blog about my religion of one I have to have an opinion.
The article in question talked about a group (2 or 7 depending on what you read) of Episcopal churches in Virginia splitting from the US Episcopal church and joining a church in Nigeria. The issue that is driving these parishes from the main church is the issue of homosexuality. See, back in November US Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was installed as the first woman to head an Anglican church. She supports V. Gene Robinson, a gay man elected bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Now, you may not know this, but after years of controversial research scientist have been able to determine that gays may actually be human. This has come as a surprise to many people in Christian, Muslim, and various African groups I'll collectively refer to as "Other". Around the world, including America, there have been calls to have all homosexuals rounded up and imprisoned or executed. If you're having trouble finding people with these attitudes you can start by looking for people who think acknowledging that other religions have holidays around the Winter Solstice is an attack on Christianity. But with these recent findings of a common ancestor with you and me homosexual males and females have been able to demand and achieve equal rights. This has pissed off many people. People who, 150 years ago, would likely deny that blacks are also human.
Among the rights the gay community has gained is the previously mentioned right to become a bishop, the right to marry in a few European countries and an American state or two, and the right to serve in the military as long as they don't let anyone know they're gay. It's the issue of gay marriage that I want to address here.

Pretty much all arguements about preventing gays from marrying start with the phrase "The Bible says..." or "In Leviticus..." blah blah God says it's bad. Now, I could go into the history of the book of Leviticus and translation issues, the mutation of the Bible over the last couple millenia, the bigotry of the time reflected in the book, etc etc etc. But I won't. It's pretty clear that the issue is a religious one. Even the so-called scientific studies that talk about the impact on society, the raising of children, and what not are all written by groups with an interest one way or the other. These studies can't be relied on for answers.

Since this is clearly a religious issue I suggest that the government get out of the discussion. Get rid of marriage in a legal context. As far as the government is concerned marriage is just a legal matter to determine taxation, inheritance, and who makes medical decisions. So the government gives the legal documentation a new name and makes it available to any two people of legal age. Heck, allow it to be fine tuned. I may want my wife to inherit everything, but my best friend, sibling, or ex may have a better grasp of my own desires as far as medical care. The point is that since marriage is a legal thing to the government and a moral thing to the religious then only the religious should be dealing with the issue. Grandfather in everyone who is married already and give out Legal Partner status to new people. Then, if they really want to use the title "married" they can find a church to do it for them. Some churches will do it, others won't. Let them fight it out among the congregations, not the courts.

The Church of Dougintology takes the stand that any two people of consenting age who want to spend their lives together should be permitted to get married. The leadership has seen many same-sex couples raising intelligent, straight, well adjusted children in loving homes and has seen many different-sex couples raising illiterate, violent, thugs in homes that neglect them. By the numbers it appears that same-sex couples make better parents than different-sex couples. However, this is misleading because same-sex couples only have kids if they want them while different-sex couples usually have them because of a failure of birth control. But to the faithful the important thing is the love, not the genitals. Married couples are good for a stable economy no matter whats in their pants.

In short, if you're not the one getting married it's not your business who is.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Movie Review: Eragon

Eragon: A New Hope
Long, long ago in a galaxy not to far away...
Once upon a time there were dragons and the dragon riders. Together they kept the piece in the Old Republic. But the dragon riders grew arrogant in their power. They were betrayed and destroyed by one of their own, a young dragon rider by the name of Darth Galbatorix. King Galbatorix has ruled the world with a cruel hand for decades. But there is a legend which speaks of a new dragon rider who will rise up and destroy Galbatorix and bring balance to The Force.
Our movie opens with Darth Durza, Darth Galbatorix's right hand, chasing Princess Arya, who has stolen a precious object from the King. On the verge of being captured she sends this object off to keep it from being captured.
The object lands in the hands of a young farm boy named Eragon Skywalker. His mother and father missing he has been raised by his uncle. He knows of an old man, Obi-Brom Kenobi, who knows of this mysterious object and goes off in search of him. When he returns home the king's Stormtroopers have killed his family.
Together Obi-Brom and Eragon go off to return this object to the Rebel Alliance. But their quest is thrown in jeopardy when they're forced to make a detour into the lair of the Galbatorix's henchman, Darth Durza, to rescue the princess. In the process Obi-Brom gives his life to save Eragon.
Eragon and Arya escape and fly their dragon, the Saphira Falcon, to the rebel base. But they are tracked and the King sends his army to wipe out their stronghold. There's a dramatic air battle between Eragon Skywalker and Darth Durka in which the rebel base is saved and things are setup for the sequel.

The whole thing looks like it was a SciFi Channel production but they actually managed to get a script that doesn't completely suck.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Reprinted from a previous entry:

This is one of the three recipies that I take around with me through my various moves. As Dougmas approaches fudge must be made. I should warn you that in some states they use this recipe to execute diabetics on death row.

Million $ Fudge
given to me by Janet Patterson

12 oz sweet choc.
12 oz semi-sweet choc.
4.5 cups sugar
1 large can evaporated milk
1.5 tbsp butter
1 pt marshmellow creme
2 cups of nuts

Shave or cut the chocolate in pieces. Cook sugar, milk, and salt for 6 minutes at boiling. You will have to watch to keep from scorching milk.
Place chocolate, marshmellow creme, butter, and nuts in large bowl and pour boiling mixture over them. Beat until all are melted and mixture is thick enough to pour into a buttered pan. Cut into pieces - will stay soft for a long time.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

From the Dougintology Aquisition Department

I've rented an SUV to drive home for Christmas. I've got an old family dining room table that is taking up too much space in my house and need something big enough to haul it back. One of the things I could rent to go with it is a GPS navigator. It costs an extra $9.99/day. So it's $100. No big deal. But for some reason my bill jumped by close to $150. At that price I decided I had all the excuse I needed to buy my own.

So I popped out and got me a TomTom One.

The most difficult thing to do was turn it on.

It has all the United States and Canadian maps stored on a single 1GB SD memory card. It can establish a bluetooth connection with your cellphone and download traffic and weather information.
The screen is smaller than the other GPS doo-dads I've played with. But the other GPS thingys have all been preinstalled in a Prius. So the 3.5" screen isn't bad.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Book Review: The Bear Went Over the Mountain

I just finished reading "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" by William Kotzwinkle.

The book starts with a university professor on sabbatical in the wilds of Maine. He's there to write a book. Ok, he goes off into the wilds to write a ripoff of a popular book. But his cabin burns down and destroys his only copy of the finished manuscript. So he rebuilds the cabin and writes another book that isn't a ripoff. Fearing another cabin fire, he keeps his only copy in a briefcase hidden at the base of a pine tree where the low hanging branches hide it. But a bear sees him hiding the final manuscript and, thinking it's food, investigates. He reads the book, thinks it's pretty good, dresses like a human, and takes it into New York to find a publisher.

Thinking him the new Hemingway, the publishers sign him with a generous contract and send him all over the country to promote his new book. He has to learn how to behave in the city, how to fight his instincts, and most of all not get discovered and tossed in a zoo.

Meanwhile, as the bear slowly overcomes his bearlike nature, the professor finds himself slowly taking on the features, instincts, and senses of a bear.

Near the end of the book the professor comes out of hibernation in the middle of winter to find that his book has become a number one bestseller. He goes off to sue the bear for his book back.

This is a fairly light read that won't tax you at all. The story is engaging enough that you won't want to put it down. It's funny enough that you'll spend most of the book stifling laughs if you're reading it in public. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Movie Review: Happy Feet

It's not necessary, but having seen "March of the Penguins" first will help you enjoy this movie.
Mumble is an emperor penguin. But instead of singing like the rest of the penguins he dances. Eventually (that word covers a LOT of movie) he's driven out the rest of the penguins because the elders say that his dancing is the cause of the fish famine. He and a bunch of regular black and white and hispanic penguins go off looking for the aliens (humans) who have been harvesting all the fish in the hopes that they can convince them to stop taking their fish.
Somehow (another half hour of movie in that word) he gets the humans to follow him back to the flock. The flock dances for the humans and the humans start to realize that their overfishing is causing a famine for the penguins. There's a montage where humans fight about what to do about it in the UN and suddenly there's plenty of fish to eat.

Frankly, I think the writers are giving humans more credit than they deserve. I hate the taste of fish, but the economics of providing fish for 6,561,323,592 people (Dec 5 estimate) who like fish is going to win out over some flightless water fowl who don't even vote.

Good soundtrack, good message, good movie, but I'm not getting it on DVD. I only needed to see it once.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Movie Review: The Fountain

The word "trippy" was made for this movie.
There's three intermixed stories in this movie and how they intermingle, or if they do at all, is left as an exercise for the viewer.

In the Garden of Eden there were two trees. The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. We ate from the Tree of Knowledge and were banished while the Tree of Life was hidden in a Mayan temple.

Hugh Jackman serves in the court of Queen Isabella (Rachel Weisz). One of her priests discovered the Tree of Life while exploring New Spain. She sends Hugh to go get some sap from the tree so that she may banish death from Spain and she and he can live together forever.

Hugh Jackman is a doctor married to Rachel Weisz. She is dying from brain cancer. He's trying to find a cure. The most promising results are from a sample of a tree they found in Guatamala.
She's writing a book about the Mayans and how Isabella sent someone to find the Tree of Life. Their creation myth includes the creator's head become a nebula that they think is heaven.

Hugh Jackman is in a interstellar snow globe taking the Tree of Life... or maybe it's his wife... to a nebula where it will be reborn. He's haunted by visions of Rachel Weisz in the form of the doctor's wife and Queen Isabella.

Good movie but it's hard to figure out. Check the comments to see why or go see it yourself.

The flashbacks and visions can lead one to think that these are the same people throughout history but that all gets screwed up when Hugh the Conquistador drinks the sap from the Tree of Life and gets consumed from the inside by flowers.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Movie Review: Stranger Than Fiction

I'm not a Will Ferrell fan. I think most of his work has the entertainment value of a good long fart and less imagination. There have been three times that I found him worthwhile at all.

Once was in this video.

Yes, George Bush really is that scared of horses.
I know he did George Bush impression on Saturday Night Live, too, but the ones that I've seen weren't as well written as this one.

The second time was playing the Hitler loving writer in the new version of "The Producers".

The third time was in the new movie "Stranger Than Fiction".

Cartoon taken from The Comic Critic.

The basic premise is that a novelist is writing a story but the person she's writing about really exists. As she writes the real person hears the novel as narration. In the end of the book she plans to kill him but hasn't figured out how yet. The real person makes some life changes trying to get out of the story. At the same time he's trying to figure out who is writing about him so he can get her to stop.

I won't be getting it on DVD, but it was a fairly good movie and didn't at all make me want to banish Will Ferrell to a nightclub in Arkansas.

Friday, December 08, 2006

New blog to suggest

Check out the blog "Indexed". The author illustrates silly ideas with charts and Venn diagrams.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


GPO (Government Printing Office) sprung three palettes of books on us. Normally we have a couple of days notice before they send us excess books so we can dress for the occasion. And then its a palette and a half or two. This time they sent us three full palettes.
So Ron and I set to it. Took us about an hour and a half to get though them all. Someone left a couple of carts out in the loading area so we used theirs instead of our smaller carts. At least when our carts are filled I can still push them. These wouldn't budge. It took Ron pulling and me pushing to overcome inertia, then I'd run ahead and open doors while Ron aimed for the door as best he could.
My office is the designated dumping area for the boxes of books. Luckily I don't need much besides my desk and computers.

I hurt. Tomorrow I'll hurt more.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Working with plyboo

Written Sunday as a running commentary:

I thought I'd be able to work with the plyboo in my kitchen. That's where it's been stored for the last few weeks. But I'd have to move out the refrigerator. The weather is only in the low to mid 40's so I drag the first piece out to the front yard.
When packing up the house before moving out my jigsaw and circulating saw were the first to get stored. Too bad the tool closet is the hardest part of the house to reach. But I got them out.
My original plan was to put ... ok, my original plan was to buy a collapsing table saw from Home Depot. But getting it home would only have been simple if I were to assemble it in the Home Depot parking lot. Otherwise it was a two person job. Then I'd need help picking up the sheets of wood to feed them through the saw. So I abandoned that idea in favor of either the circular saw or jigsaw.
I didn't want to use them at first because there's too much allowance for human error. The cuts wouldn't be straight. So I thought I'd buy a couple of clamps and clip on a piece of lumber to use as a guide. Too bad lumber doesn't come straight.

You know what does come straight? Plyboo. This is the first time I've been able to work with straight edges and right angles since buying the house. I measured 16" down each side, put on the T-square, drew lines and the lines actually met in the middle. That NEVER happens.

I made the first cut with the jigsaw. The bottom looks great, but the top DID splinter. I'm not sure splinter is the right word. The bamboo fibers did come loose from the sheet. I'll trim them up and see if the paint will hold them in place.
The first length that I cut off can be used as the guide for the next piece. Not the side that I cut. The other side is the edge and it's as straight as my perfectionist (on this project anyway) personality demands.

The second cut is really great. The top splintered again but the bottom looks as perfect as I expected. It doesn't come any straighter. The very end got a bit mangled, but I'm writing that up to not being supported properly. All the weight from the board is focussed on that spot and twists badly.

On the fourth cut the blade on my jigsaw bent.

The circular saw reduces splintering on top, but it gets pinched easier and the cut ends more messily than with the jigsaw.

The neighbor kids came by wanting to help. I let them measure a few things and sweep off the excess sawdust. It's amazing how someone can screw up a broom. When they asked to run the saw I just laughed.

After finishing up the second board I packed it in and went to catch a movie.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Heinlein's new book

Robert Heinlein has a new book out. The fact that he's been dead for 18 years has slowed down his production, but he has managed to eak out a couple of novels, some short stories, and some teleplays.
This one was an outline that was discovered shortly after the death of his wife. It was 8 pages long, single spaced, in 10pt font with extra notes on assorted notecards. When the existence of this outline was mentioned at a Toronto sci-fi convention someone suggested that the guy who wrote the forward for another of Heinlein's post-mortem books, a sci-fi writer named Spider Robinson who is often compared to Heinlein, finish the book. So a couple of months later Spider received 7 of the 8 pages of notes.
He went to his office and started trying to figure out how to end the story. He put on iTunes and started going through his entire MP3 collection for inspiration. A few days later it hit an old interview with Heinlein and he told Spider what he wanted.

Variable Star starts with a boy and girl dancing at their high school graduation dance. They're very much in love. He wants to become a musician and she wants to get married. But they can't, for lack of funds. It'll take him years to become successful enough to afford to raise a kid. That's when she admits that instead of an orphan she's really the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy. They can get married right away, but marrying into this family means he has to give up music and become a businessman. So he runs. He runs to the only place he can escape that family's influence. He hops on a colony ship and leaves the Solar System completely.

Oh, how much to tell? ...

About 6 years out (ship time. 13 years Earth time.) the sun (Earth's sun) explodes killing everyone in that star system and sending a wave of radiation out that will probably kill everyone on the colony worlds. The ship is travelling so close to C (the speed of light) that they'll get to their new planet with 6 years to spare to bury themselves deep enough to survive. There's only time to warn one other colony.

Yeah, that's enough. I've spoiled all I'm prepared to.

The point is that it's a really great book. You know how George Lucas can tell a good story, but can't write or direct worth beans? ...Star Wars is made better when someone else writes the script and directs? Heinlein is great, but I think having his story written by Spider makes for a better book than if Heinlein had written it himself.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Comics! (part 3)

Today I'm going to point you to some syndicated stuff that you probably don't see in your newspaper.

My Comics Page -- New Page
The official page for the Andrews McMeel Universal syndicate. Create an account for free and then select what comics you like. It puts them all together on one page. It also has archives running back for years. One of the better put together comic sites I've seen. Home Page
The United Feature Syndicate page. Not as well organized as MyComics, but it doesn't require membership.

The King Features Syndicate page is really awful. You're lucky if they update 3 days late and navigation is by dropdown menu. Luckily some of the papers they sell to have better sites. I'll just give you a couple of examples and let you browse on your own.
Sherman's Lagoon Comic Strip
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Zits

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Comics! (part 2)

I'm just gonna start working my way down the list of other comics I read.

The Whiteboard, by Doc Nickel
A comic about a polar bear that runs a paintball shop.

Questionable Content: New comics every Monday through Friday
Despite the name it's pretty safe.

Rockwood: The first great online comic strip of the third millennium.
A comic about some guys living in a space station.

Something Positive - sixteen, clumsy and shy
Well, there's these people and they... just read it.

Penny Arcade
A comic about video games.

Real Life - The Online Comic ©1999-2004 Greg Dean
A comic about the author's life that has strayed a bit.

::Least I Could Do::
A good comic, but don't let your parents read it. They just wouldn't approve.
This one has had three different artists in it's time. As one becomes busy with his job and other projects they have to beg off and the writer has to find a new artist.

Nuklear Power - Home of 8-bit Theatre
This falls under the category of a "sprite" comic. It uses figure captured from old video games instead of requiring the artist to do much drawing. It uses long running stories instead of gag-a-day like the others I've posted so far.

Ctrl+Alt+Del - Tragically l337
Comic about video games.

PartiallyClips - Current Strip
Takes static images from other sources and gives them gags.

Two Lumps
Comic about 2 cats.

Comic about people who work in advertising. There are storylines, but they're shorter than most.

Rob and Elliot Comics
Comic about a couple of guys. It's developed in Illustrator instead of drawn by hand. There are several like this but I'm probably not going to point them all out.

The Robman Show

Theater Hopper
A comic about movies.

goats: the comic strip | by jonathan rosenberg | new comics every monday through thursday
Used to be good, but now I'm waiting for this insanely long and not really interesting storyline to end.

GU Comics by: Woody Hearn
A comic about video games.

A comic about some people who do some stuff.

Dndorks| Dungeons & Dorks WebComic
A comic about some Dungeons and Dragons players.

fragilegravity :: new strips mondays, wednesdays and fridays
Another comic

A comic about a woman who runs a TV station with her talking dogs.

Out There
A comic about a man and woman carpooling across the country. I have to assume this will change at some point.

Gamespy Gallery
Nodwick and Full Frontal Nerdity.
One is about a group of people you would expect to see as characters in a Dungeons and Dragons game. The other is about some guys playing Dungeons and Dragons type games.

An animated comic that updates every other week. Some profanity. I don't really notice it, but the boss's kid did.

The Pet Professional by Jason Salsbury and Matt Kaufenberg
A comic about a hired assassin who specializes in animals.

Ok, I'm gonna call that good for today. Tomorrow I'll do syndicated stuff available online.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Comics! (part 1)

By request I'm going to be talking about and posting some of the online comics I read regularly. Today I'm gonna be focusing on the best stuff. Stuff that's funny and almost certainly won't send parents into shock.

User Friendly (
This is a strip by a guy who works at an ISP about a bunch of guys who work at an ISP. He's making enough off this that he could quit his job and work on this full time, but he doesn't. O'Reilly Books, known for making programming books with animals on the cover, prints only one thing that isn't a programming book and that is the User Friendly collections. The art is nothing special, but the humor keeps the strip going.

Sluggy Freelance (
This strip has changed significantly over the years. It started with rather simple art and the standard gag-a-day strip. This is what is now known as the "Suicide Bikini Frisbee Days" for reasons that become obvious when you start working your way through the archives. Soon the stories became bigger and grander to become whole sagas. For one he even gave up being funny just to tell the story. Now it's all one saga running into the next while still managing to be funny most days.
He has managed to quit his day job and make this his full time business and the art reflects the extra time he can spend on it.

PVP Online (
This started as a gaming strip about a group of people working at a game magazine. While it's still technically about that the gaming side has slipped to allow broader appeal. This author has also quit his day job. He allows anyone to print his strip free of charge just as long as they also publish the source so readers come buy stuff from him.

Schlock Mercenary (
This is a science fiction comic about a team of mercenaries. The author has recently quit his day job. His second book has recently come out. I got mine yesterday. Alas, the first book started several years into the strip so you'll need to read the archives to get caught up.

Kevin & Kell (
Bill Holbrook is a comic producing machine. This is one of three strips that he does every single day. The other two are On The Fasttrack and Safe Havens.

Sheldon (
This guy started off with an online comic and achieved what many of the online cartoonists yearn for. He became syndicated. But despite the quality of his art and humor he wasn't widely accepted. Newspapers are dying off and most papers don't have room for new strips. They'd prefer to run strips whose creators are long dead. So he left the syndicate realizing that they were taking a huge bite of his profits and those profits would be bigger on his own. So a few weeks ago he went back on his own.

Nukees (
The art is simple but the comic is quality. This was originally a strip about the nuclear engineering department at a major California university. It still is, but they don't talk about it as much anymore. The author is one of the grandpappys of online comics. He helped get Keenspot up and running and makes guest appearances in many other strips.

And since I mentioned it...
Keenspot (
Not a comic so much as a place that hosts other cartoonists. Some are good, some are bad, some rely on cartoon nudity and profanity for readers. But going through the daily line up of more popular stuff in the Quickkeen lineup gives you a good idea of what's out there. Some update only on weekdays, some on M-W-F, some whenever they feel like it.

These are some of the better strips. Tomorrow I'll post some of the lesser stuff and then I'll get to some of the syndicated stuff online just to complete the roll.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Tis once again the Dougmas Season and I thought I'd remind you of what Dougmas is all about.

Dougmas is the time of year when we Dougintologists celebrate the birth of the Prophet Doug. Granted, Doug was born in May, but so was Jesus. May or June. Certainly not December. We're just jumping on the bandwagon of religions that have tried to make the ancient solstice celebrations their own. I'm just trying to help convert the heathen Jesus worshipers to the one true religion.

As Dougmas is new we're still getting a few traditions off the ground.
Here's a short list.

1) Instead of putting up trees in the house, either real or artificial, you should plant a Douglas Fir. Considering that the ground is likely frozen and hard to dig it is acceptable to wait until May 25, Towel Day, to plant your tree. The world needs all the trees it can get.

2) Doug preaches against giving money to religious charities. Most of the time religious charities require attending their church services as a prerequisite to being giving. Starting December 1st, put an empty jar near your front door (or wherever you empty your pockets). Instead of dumping your spare change into a Salvation Army bucket take it home and put it in the jar. On January 1st give the money, or a check for the equivalent amount, to a non-denominational charity or non-profit organization.

Doug's preferred charities include:
* Solar Electric Light Fund (
* Trees for the Future (

For Douglas Adams I include:
* Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation (
* Save the Rhino (

3) Dougmas is not tied to a particular day. It's more of a season that I alter from year to year until I can figure out a good fit. Last year I used December 20 through December 31. I still like those dates even though I'm saying the Dougmas Jar should go out on December 1st.
The reason I'm making it a season is because there are so many holidays with roots in the winter solstice (Dec. 22). There are many families of mixed faiths that will fight over which holiday they'll gather on. Many people have to try to rush to celebrations at the homes of multiple parents and grandparents or have to decide between relatives in different states.
The point of Dougmas is to spend time with family and friends. If your family is getting together for Christmas then be there for that. If your family gets together for Hanukkah then be there for that. Ditto for Kwanza, the Winter Solstice, New Years, Agnostica, or just Saturday night. Don't rush around in the cold and snow and try to choke down several big turkey dinners. Spend the time with the family.
Of course, if you can't stand your family you can still use the old excuses as an escape strategy.

4) Gift exchanges are so common with the other holidays that it can't be ignored. If you work somewhere that requires someone works on Christmas then go ahead and work that day and collect the extra holiday pay. Then celebrate Dougmas after the 25th so that you can pawn unwanted gifts on others or take advantage of the after Christmas sales. Thriftyness is next to Dougliness.

If the subject of religion comes up while visiting family just remember Dougintology bumpersticker number 1. "I'm wrong and so are you." This should help ensure merrier Dougmas.