September 18, 2008


Wow, been way too long since I’ve done this. Needless to say, I’ve been preoccupied.

I built a new computer. Got all sorts of awesome hardware for it. Quad core processor, 8 gigs of RAM, 2 500 gig hard drives, Blu Ray, and a fan that’s about as big as your head. So I put it together on Sunday, September 7th, thinking everything was going OK and that I’d be playing Spore till morning. What proceeded to happen over the week that followed was some of the most mind blowing insanity I’ve ever experienced. You can list all things that could potentially go wrong when putting together a new computer, pretty much all of them happened. As soon as one problem was addressed and fixed, something else cropped up and ruined everything all over again.

I’ll spare everyone the complete details, as it would just take too long to write everything. For the benefit of others who may wind up in my position, I’ll say this. The main culprit for my misery? WINDOWS VISTA. I can’t tell you how many Blue Screens of Death I’ve seen from this thing. Why did that happen so much? Who knows, but the only way I got it to install and run at all was first by pulling one of the hard drives (Vista couldn’t tell the difference between two blank drives, so it wouldn’t even install unless there was only one), then stripping the entire system to the bare minimum of hardware (one stick of ram), and then running Windows Update about a hundred times until there was nothing new left to install. Only then could I put all the hardware back in place and run it without any problems. This whole time I spent starring periodically at my Spore Galactic Edition box and lamenting “I just want to play this game! Why won’t anything work?”

And it did finally work fine, for a couple days. While playing Spore, it crashed. I reset the computer and when Vista restated it acted like this was the first time I had ever run it! Apparently my profile got corrupted. The only say to fix it was to delete it. In the process, I lost my Spore saved game. Damn.

Working with this new computer has been torture. I can not believe that so many things could go wrong, on after the other, in such a short period of time. I was an absolute nightmare. And so, that’s what I’m naming the machine as its local network identity: Nightmare.

The whole intention for this computer is to use it as my high powered art machine, and for video. I haven’t even attempted to do very much with it yet except play Spore. I’m worried about really getting into something, like a new piece of art, and feeling comfortable with it, only to then have some other problem appear and slap me in the face. Eventually I’ll have to more forward and try to work with this beast, but the threat will likely always be there. I’ll have to keep on my toes, because maybe the nightmare will never really end.


So at Fan Expo last weekend I finally met one of my heroes, Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman. He was totally cool to all the fans and it was the thrill of a lifetime to finally meet someone who was so influential to me. I had met Peter Laird at Fan Expo a few years earlier and I bought a reprint of the very first TMNT issue to have him sign. I brought it along with me this year to have Kevin sign, so now I have issue one signed by both guys. It’s like the 7th reprinting 20 years removed from its first release, and Kevin’s no longer involved with TMNT and the two of them don’t really talk anymore, but still, it’s a special thing.

Signed TMNT comic

Towards the end of the last day of the show, I happened to be wandering around and I saw Kevin at his Heavy Metal booth sitting by himself and drawing a picture of Wolverine. He recognized me from the day before and so we started to talk for a bit while no one else was around. It was a cool moment. I really should have gotten a picture but I didn’t even really think about that. But he said he had an awesome time it seems like he’ll probably be there again next year. Anyway, he promptly discarded the drawing of Wolverine because he didn’t like it and only drew it to prove that he couldn’t after drawing “36 thousand Ninja Turtles” that weekend.

I also bought his TMNT “Artobiography“, which is the closest thing to a full TMNT art book there is right now, and the Body Count Graphic Novel. Both worthwhile purchases.

Probably the coolest thing was that, while getting is autograph, the guy ahead of me in line turns out to be one of my top students who I haven’t seen in years. Neither of us recognized each other at first because both of us have much longer hair now, but we got to talking and we had a little reunion right there in front of Kevin Eastman. That’s a cool moment that can only happen at a convention.