I don't know what I'm doing.

Today's strip is a bit ... abstruse. If you play video games much at all, you most likely get what I was going for. If you don't care about video games, this strip makes no sense and never will. The fault is mine, not yours.

Why am I punchy, you ask? Well, I'm working on my book. I had thought that it would be a simple matter. I've already created the strips, haven't I? Surely all I need to do now is put them on pages in some semi-deliberate order and put some time into commentaries. Cake, ... right?

RIGHT!?

Well, it would be, if not for the fact that I am an idiot. When I started making Basic Instructions, I knew nothing about publishing, and as such I created some elements of the strip in the wrong color format. This means that I have to go through each strip looking for problem images and hand correcting them.

The good news is that there are only a few drawings that have this problem.

The bad news is that this drawing is one of them.

I am pretty busy these days.

(For the record, I am, in fact, the luckiest man on Earth. If my biggest problem is having to actually work to publish a book, I have no real problems.)

A couple of things ...

I contacted my ad company about that horrifying "You are a lucky winner" ad that's running on my site. I was told that the ad would be removed from my site's rotation. It's still popping up occasionally, though rarely now. Still, if you know of a good web-advertising companies, I'd be curious to hear about it.

On a more positive note, I've learned that if you combine a $12 glass skull you purchased from an Adventureland gift shop four years ago with an $8 light base from IKEA, the desk lamp you get is worth far more than the sum of its parts!

Sorry...

I'm sorry for the lack of updates to the news blog recently. I spent some time entertaining out-of-town guests, then I fell prey to some horrible, devil-virus. At one point I coughed and sneezed SIMULTANEOUSLY!!! I hadn't thought it possible. Wind blew out of every hole in my head.

A few notes. My strip is also now being translated for the citizens of Luxembourg. I can't explain it.

Also, I'm sorry for that stupid "You are the winner" ad that's running occasionally on my site. I find it unacceptable. We'll see if my ad company lives up to my expectations. If I still have ads on my site next Monday, assume they have.

Lastly, the strip about beer tasting is taken from a real event in which was one of the more frustrating experiences of my life. Sitting there for 30 minutes with 3 glasses of beer in front of me listening to some guy talk about hops (I'M FROM THE YAKIMA VALLEY!!! I KNOW ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOPS! [Note: to be fair, I did just have to look up how many P's there are in "hops"]) I learned what it's like to be the dog with a weenie balancing on it's nose. It's not a feeling I enjoyed.

Budapest, by Blimp

So, a really nice guy named Thomas Szajko has been translating Basic Instructions into Hungarian and posting it to his blog. He just posted his 100th translation.

Please go check it out. It is, as the kids say, a "hoot".

Art imitating life.

The "something on your shirt" strip was inspired by a guy I work with who points at my shirt ALMOST EVERY DAY, trying to get me to look. I've never looked. That's what drives him on. My shirt has become his white whale. All of the humor is drained out of it now, not that there was ever much humor in it to begin with. Every day he comes up, pokes me in the chest and says "you've got something on your shirt." I look him in the eye and say, "I respect you a little less every time you say that." Then we both laugh a slow, mirthless laugh. Sometimes, as he slinks away, he tells me my shoe-laces are untied. Jokes aren't supposed to make you sad.