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Taken with my phone and scrunched down for the web.

Judiciary Square Metro Station, just off the train, just queuing to get up to the street. XD
Judiciary Square Metro Station, Women's March 2017

Portapotty lines on the National Mall. XD John Kerry walked by to unending cheers while we were in line, but I didn't get my phone out in time to get a good picture.
National Mall crowds, Women's March 2017

National Mall displays. Women's rights were a major theme, as to be expected, but things like the emoluments clause of the Constitution and environmentalism were also common threads.
National Mall protest displays, Women's March 2017

Scaffold camping. My impression was that the scaffolding was left over from the previous day's inauguration ceremonies and these people just climbed up on it for visibility.
Protestors on a scaffold, National Mall, Women's March 2017

Waiting for the march to start. There were more than twice as many attendees as projected, so the march got a late start as police and organizers split it up into effectively two marches. So there was a lot of milling around while that happened. You can see the National Museum of the American Indian in the background.
National Mall crowds, Women's March 2017

Wonder Woman signs were a recurring motif. I heard there were Supergirl signs too, but other than one cape I didn't see them.
Wonder Woman and women's rights are a natural combination. National Mall, Women's March 2017

Beginning to march. Going north on 3rd St, facing the Mall here. We were a little confused, as the march was scheduled to go down Jefferson, but all became clear in just a few minutes.
National Mall, Women's March 2017

"Holy crap, we're marching down Pennsylvania Avenue!" You can't really make it out in this shot, but those stands that were so empty during the inauguration? Not empty on Saturday.
Pennsylvania Avenue, Women's March 2017

Here's a zoom-in on the last shot to give a better view of the stand. All along the route these were well-populated by march supporters.
Well-populated grandstands, Women's March 2017

Pennsylvania Avenue, facing the Capitol Building. The marchers just keep on coming.
Pennsylvania Avenue, Women's March 2017

7th and Penn, still marching.
7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, Women's March 2017

14th Street, the march stops because the Ellipse is full. Facing south between Penn and F.
14th Street, Women's March 2017

The march was theoretically supposed to go to the Ellipse (a large public area across the street from the White House), but Laurie's knee was giving out at this stage, and it was just too crowded to get any closer, so we decided it was time to start making our way home at this point. We ended up walking to the McPherson Square Metro Station because we couldn't get into Metro Center from above, and riding the Silver Line to reconnect with the Red Line home. Fortunately, WMATA was in excellent form, and we actually managed to get on the next train, despite Metro Center being packed to capacity.

I have many and varied thoughts about the march, but I am glad I went, and I'm grateful to all the organizers, the millions of other people who marched worldwide, and to Laurie for getting us involved in the first place.

-The Gneech
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Positively Positive: You Don't Get to be Happy and Confident by Hiding Your Light


I trusted nobody by the time I was eight. I wasn’t aware I didn’t trust anyone, but it governed everything about my life. The physical hiding very quickly become emotional hiding well before I became a teenager. As I went through my twenties and thirties I just kept re-enforcing it. The less I trusted the world not to hurt me, the more it did. And the more I hurt, the more I hid.

I was desperately lonely. I couldn’t make close friends because I was constantly thinking nobody cared about me. Of course, it was my own behaviour that kept everybody at bay. It was all my own doing, running on a subconscious loop of self-sabotage.

I thought I was desperate to be liked, but actually, I had a far greater need to be left alone. On the surface I was happy and cheerful, but deep down my subconscious was ensuring my need to be left alone was reflected in my hiding my light every chance I had.


In other news, will post my pics from the Women's March later today.

-TG
the_gneech: (Default)
It was awesome! Will post pics tomorrow. :)

-TG
the_gneech: (Default)
Not normally a sign guy, but geez

Will be downtown most of today. If all goes well, we will be home by four o'clock. I will post when we get back.

-The Gneech

TV Troops

Jan. 17th, 2017 03:14 pm
the_gneech: (Default)

Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.


There was a kerfluffle, back in the dim dark past, during which some self-important pedant at Wikipedia decided that webcomics were not “worthy of note” and systematically went through and deleted them all. What I said at the time, and it’s still true, was that I was actually a lot prouder and happier that Suburban Jungle had a TVTropes.org page, because as far as audience engagement in the modern world goes, that’s a lot more significant.


I haven’t looked at it in a while, but last night on a whim I decided to check it and was chuffed to discover that it’s still being updated, in particular making a note of a page in the current issue, posted in November, where Charity runs so fast she breaks the panel border. So, while Suburban Jungle‘s TV Tropes page isn’t the huge lots-of-subpages juggernaut that something like Firefly is, it is still current and alive.


Charity welcomes you with a pineapple!This makes me happy. XD And I want to build on it. As with the Community Welcome Thread, I want to create a “third place” for people within Suburban Jungle, where people can bring their own creativity and energy to bear rather than just passively reading the comic and then moving on to the next link in their bookmarks. We’ve been there before, thanks to the networking powerhouse that was Mammallamadevil, but also because the word was being spread by folks like Hikaru, the Dirt Den Inn crew, HBar98, TK, and dozens of others.


Rekindling the fandom is one of my big goals for 2017. The semi-regular streaming (generally Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday nights at 7:30 EST) is the first part of that. It’s up and running at full tilt, and either this week or next I’ll be adding a new camera so that I can record doing real media commissions as well. An even bigger piece is under construction right now with the help of several collaborators— but that probably won’t really take shape until March or April.


In the meantime, I’ll just have to keep on keeping on, and I hope you’ll do the same. Get interested, and get involved! If there are ways we can build the fandom, I’d love to hear about them. But I can’t do it alone!


-The Gneech

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  • Stealing From the Monster's Golden Hoard: Despite looking like a crab, narratively speaking, Tamatoa is actually a dragon. Discuss.


  • Vision vs. Perception: Tamatoa has a whole song about how what's on the outside is most important, and praises Maui for his tattoos (while simultaneously seeing right through to Maui's weakness)– but he also can't focus on Moana when she's right in front of him and is fooled by her fake Heart.


  • Emasculation: Maui tore off one of Tamatoa's legs. Tamatoa stole Maui's magic hook. Which injury was the more grievous one?


  • The Obvious: The "Land of Monsters" might as well have been guarded by a three-headed watchdog.


Essays by the end of class. Go.

-The Gneech
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Today: 301.8
down 17.7 lbs from my highest weight of 319.5 on November 25, 2016
down 17.2 lbs from my starting weight of 319 on July 1, 2014
average lost: 0.13 lbs/week
next milestone: 287 lbs (10% loss)

First milestone reached. :)

-TG
the_gneech: (Default)


How often do you get to see Jeremy Irons shuffle?

-The Gneech
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My insurance has been consistently screwed up over the past year; that's still a vast improvement over the non-ACA options I had, which is to say, "No insurance so don't get sick, sucker."

In a fit of optimism, I arranged for a checkup, only to have the doctor's office inform me that the insurance I thought I had, I didn't, and therefore the blood test would be out-of-pocket (but reasonably affordable) and the doctor would quietly slip giving me my results via Laurie's checkup instead, since her insurance was not screwed up. (Thanks, doc! ^.^)

The results of the blood test were overall very good, except for one random elevated potassium result. According to what I've found online, the most common cause of elevated potassium is red blood cells bursting on the test slide– i.e., a false reading. Correspondingly, the doc wants to do a followup test... next month, after my insurance is (hopefully) fixed. The cause of real elevated potassium is kidney failure... but as all my other numbers are fine, that seems extremely unlikely.

Unfortunately, this isn't something I can just ignore, as elevated potassium levels are associated with heart arrhythmia (ding ding ding), and unchecked can lead to cardiac arrest. Since heart issues run in my family, and I've already had ablation surgery, I'm going to keep an eye on this.

The I's Have It


I had a followup with my counselor yesterday about inositol, which I've been taking to help with anxiety. (Short version: I think it has been, but mainly in as much as it's given me the oomph to do all that better-diet-and-exercise-and-get-things-done stuff, which itself relieves anxiety.) During the discussion, I randomly mentioned when Kimmie said I had an indigo aura.

My counselor got very excited about that. XD She asked me if I knew what "being an indigo" meant, and I told her that what I'd looked up online basically said, "Lead by example." She replied that was kind of a watered down version of it. Indigos, she sayeth, don't just lead by example, but come into the world to clear away old systems and old ways of thinking that no longer serve humanity, and to point the world in new directions. Thus, indigos tend to be artists, "big thinkers," or spiritual leaders. In short, we are akin to spiritual bulldozers.

That's a lot to lay on a guy who just wants to draw his silly animal comics and get some D&D in from time to time. XD

Counselor added that "there are a lot of indigo children being born right now" because we're going through a period of massive change. Not sure if this is backed up by polling data or what, but okay. But the thing that amused me the most is that she told me that there are "Indigo aura support groups."

Well, I mean, sure, of course there are, and more power to 'em. But I just had visions of people sitting in a circle saying, "Hi, I'm John, and I'm an indigo..." or purple-blue bumper stickers that say "My aura is not a choice!" Such things tickle me. But it also led me to wonder about the logistics of it all. If there are enough people out there to gather in groups, how did they all become aware of their status as indigos? Are they self-assessed? Did they all have random encounters with psychics? If you don't see auras, how do you know what your aura is?

I'unno. But it's fun to play with.

-The Gneech
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THIS JUST IN:

  1. Otter had delicious tuna for lunch. :d

  2. Otter had delicious pineapple for snack. :d

  3. Otter is happy.

  4. Otter would be happier with 60º and sunshine, but otter will take what he can get.


That is all for now. Further bulletins as events warrant.

-The Gneech
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I have a lot to be grateful for today, and I want to make a note of it.

I am grateful...
  • ...for the opportunity to apply for a job at a company where a friend works and might be able to put in a good word for me.

  • ...for hearing back on a different job that is considering me for a position.

  • ...for unexpected money in the mail.

  • ...for all the help, love, and support I get from [personal profile] laurie_robey.

  • ...for all the help, love, and support I get from friends and fans.

  • ...to have friends I love, respect, and admire in return.

  • ...to have been alive and witnessed the Obama administration.

  • ...for new people coming to my stream, and returning people I haven't seen in years.

  • ...to have ideas, plans, energy, and the skill to carry out my new business ventures in 2017.

  • ...for being healthy, even as my insurance keeps being messed up.

  • ...to have had and enjoyed a rare treat (for me) for breakfast, and another for lunch, and still ended the day under points. ;)

  • ...for computers, a workspace, and art materials that enable me to create work that I and others enjoy.

  • ...for my adorable cats.


There's more, like lots more, but I'm getting sleepy and want to go to bed. I just... felt like I should acknowledge all this stuff. It's kinda like one of my "three things" posts, except as you can see, it's way more than three things.

Thanks, universe. <3 Good night, and have an awesome tomorrow.

-The Gneech
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With the recent decisions and actions taken by LiveJournal’s owners, many people are migrating their personal blogs to Dreamwidth, a “LiveJournal-like” blog that uses a very similar interface and can import existing LJ posts, comments, and settings to make the transition easier.


Unfortunately, Dreamwidth lacks some features of LiveJournal, including direct Twitter integration. But if you would like to have a script that will automatically post a tweet to your followers, there’s an easy workaround, thanks to a handy website called IFTTT (or, “If This, Then That”). IFTTT requires creating a free login, but is more than useful enough to be worth it.


The following steps assume you already have Dreamwidth, Twitter, and IFTTT accounts up and running.


Step One: Find Your Dreamwidth RSS Feed


Find your Dreamwidth RSS feed.A website’s RSS feed (short for “RDF Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”) is a tagged XML file of posts made to that website, designed to make it easy for other services to “consume” the page.


Every time you post to your Dreamwidth account, your RSS feed updates, and that will be the trigger for IFTTT to send a post to Twitter. Most Dreamwidth styles have a button labeled “RSS” somewhere on your blog posts page. You can either click through the button, or right-click (contextual click) to find and copy the feed URL. If you can’t find it, try simply appending “/data/rss” to the end of your Dreamwidth account’s URL.


 


Step Two: Create a New IFTTT Applet


On IFTTT, go to the user menu on the upper right and select the “New Applet” option. That will take you to the “Applet Maker” screen.

Start a new applet on IFTTT.


 


Step Three: Choose the RSS Feed Source


Click on the blue “+this” link to choose a source, and from there click on “Feed” to select the RSS feed option.

The IFTTT Applet Maker page.


Select the RSS feed option.


New feed item trigger selectionThat will take you to the “Choose Trigger” page. Select “New feed item” to have the service scan for new post entries, and when prompted, copy and paste the RSS feed link from your Dreamwidth account (found in Step One) into the Feed URL field.


 


Step Four: Choose the Twitter Posting Result


Submitting the feed URL should take you to the next step of the IFTTT applet builder, giving you a prompt that looks like this:

 

"If (feed) then +" button

 

Click on the blue “+that” link to select your output destination, and then select “Twitter” as your action service.

 

Choose the Twitter output destination.


"Post a Tweet" selection and options.

 

This will send you to a screen asking what action you want to perform on Twitter. Select “Post a Tweet,” which will take you to a screen showing your various posting options.


A simple entry of “EntryTitle EntryUrl” will tweet the title of your Dreamwidth post followed by a link to that post, but you have several other options as well, including a timestamp (“EntryPublished”) or free text of your choice.


For my own Dreamwidth account, I entered “Dreamwidth: EntryTitle EntryUrl”, which produces a result like this:

My auto-posted tweet!


 


Step Five: Finish!


Finish your applet!

Once you have your tweet format set up the way you want it, click on “Create action” and you’re done! You’ll be given the chance to review your applet and make any final edits you might want. Once you approve the applet, it will go into the “My Applets” library. Then all you have to do is add a new post to your Dreamwidth journal, and your Twitter followers will be notified.


This same method can be used to create a wide variety of “cross-posters,” which is handy for anyone who runs more than one blog or other content creation service. The results may vary from service to service— different blogs have different methods of consuming and posting RSS feeds— but it is very flexible tool.


-The Gneech

the_gneech: (Default)
Basic Instructions: How to Stay Young
On a related note, I think that seeing something really cool exists, and knowing that you could buy it, but choosing not to because the item serves no useful purpose in your life is one of the hallmarks of adulthood, and also is one of the reasons kids find adults insufferably boring.


-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)
Today: 304.6
down 14.9 lbs from my highest weight of 319.5 on November 25, 2016
down 14.4 lbs from my starting weight of 319 on July 1, 2014
average lost: 0.11 lbs/week
next milestone: 303 lbs (5% loss)

The good news is that I regained less than half a pound, but that's still utter nonsense. Good diet, consistent exercise, and no holiday splurgery this week, but it goes up. What's that about?

Oh well. Nothing to do but keep on keeping on. [personal profile] laurie_robey says I am visibly slimming down, so my best guess is that this is just a blip and hopefully next week will show more progress. I seem to recall last time I started getting into this pattern of "up, down, down," as well, so maybe this just means the initial spurt is done and now I'm in the long haul part.

-TG
the_gneech: (Default)
c/o Swiss-Miss...

The Aesthetics of Joy: 7 Ways to Reduce Anxiety in Your Home Through Design


One of the things I focus on most when trying to reduce the anxiety in my own home is something called 'tolerations'. Tolerations are things that need attention: shoes that need to be resoled, a drawer handle that is coming loose, a pile of bills that needs to be paid. Often what we do when things need attention is we leave them out to remind ourselves to take care of them. But the effect is that we surround ourselves with a silent to do list that is constantly distracting us. How can you relax when everywhere you look is something that needs fixing, replacing, donating, etc.?


-The Gneech
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There's a story floating around the zeitgeist, commonly attributed to a Cherokee storyteller (but I don't know the actual source), generally referred to as "two wolves," which goes something like:

A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, hatefulness, and lies. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humbleness, kindness, friendship, generosity, faith, and truth. This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too."

The children thought about it for a minute. Then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The Cherokee elder replied, "The one you feed."


Thing of it is, this is applicable to so much more than a simplistic "good vs. evil" parable. It can apply to anything! Like, say, social media. "Don't feed the trolls" is a mantra that's been around since the '80s at least. In more recent times, I've seen a pattern where some prominent person on Twitter (for example) gets pinged by an asshole and, instead of muting the asshole and moving on with their life, the person either retweets with what they feel is a smackdown, or otherwise engages.

Result? All the assholes start coming out of the woodwork, and suddenly prominent person is flooded with obnoxious messages, all of them looking for attention. The prominent person may feel like they were "shining a light in dark corners" or turning up a log to reveal all the bugs crawling around in the muck or whatever, but all they really did? Was feed the bad wolf. They now get to spend hours/days/the rest of their life wrestling in the digital mud with these idiots. It sucks, yes, but the prominent person invited them in.

This doesn't apply to people who are harassed by assholes merely for being themselves– "Internetting While Female" does not count as feeding the bad wolf, for instance. That's another discussion all together. But people like Wil Wheaton engaging in snark fights, and then having to spend the rest of the day far away from the internet because they effectively cast Summon Asshole? That counts.

This topic is fresh in my mind currently because this year is going to be about broadening my reach and impact in the world artistically and (for lack of a better term) commercially, and I'm already having to be very careful about what (and who) I respond to and where I engage, because I can clearly see the ripples of different types of energy trying to get in. Some are positive, and many are amazing... but more than a few are not.

One of the problems with the bad wolf is that, being bad, it often tries to disguise its true nature because it knows anyone with a modicum of awareness and self-esteem will reject it. What starts off as a seemingly fun and innocent or even benevolent interaction can sour quickly, and it's important to pay attention when that happens. What you thought was a pleasant chat with the good wolf can turn out to have been the bad wolf trying to finagle an invitation the whole time.

If you get fooled by this, it's not a failure on your part– it's the bad wolf being bad. The old saw should go: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again and stop it, you jerk." But when you realize that it's the bad wolf at work, you need to shut it down quickly and decisively. In my own case, that means even calling out or disengaging with people who are my own fans, if they try to turn my work into something dark or mean. You can be funny without being mean, and you can be smart without being snide or toxic.

What you invite into your life, you will get more of. That's just how the universe works. So make sure you're inviting the good stuff in. :)

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)

Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.


Skip a week for the holidays, and suddenly I have a billion things to talk about! Let’s jump right in!


The Gneech on a surfboard shape with the title Bringin' the Awesome


So you remember I wasn’t satisfied with the “Three Lions and an Otter” motif because it was too close to M.C.A. Hogarth’s “Three Jaguars?” Sure ya do, it’s like the next post down from here. Anyway! I happened to be looking at my LinkedIn page and noticed a little thing I had dropped into my bio: “I’m all about bringin’ the awesome.”


Well… yeah. 😀


So that’s gonna be my thing. Expect a lot more bringin’ the awesome in 2017! The three lions and an otter are still there– they’re how I organize my workflow and my thoughts– but they’ll probably fade into the background a bit.


Commission Price Reorganization


My last price list update was in the summer and was pretty vague and incomplete. Pricing your own art is always tough– it’s kinda like a magic trick, and knowing how it’s done makes you forget the work and practice that actually went into it. I was told by a few artists I respect that I was undercharging, and I think it may have actually been hurting my sales, if the table at Midwest Furfest is an indicator.


So this is a heads-up, my prices will be going up a bit later this month, but they’ll also be more clearly defined, so it’ll be easier to look at what I offer, compare it to your budget, and decide what’s right for you.


“Learn To Use Copics” Sale!


Also! Part of my holiday splurge was to pick up something I’ve wanted for a while now: I bought myself twenty shiny new Copic markers, and I’m itching to learn how to use them! So in a week or two I’m going to open up slots for full-color real-media commissions at a crazy discount price, with the proviso that your piece will be a guinea pig for Copic practice, so the colors might be a little all-over-the-map. XD


Streaming Is a Thing!


The Gneech Streaming on TigerdileSo I have settled on Tigerdile as my streaming service of choice, and they’ve been pretty great so far. They’ve been responsive and friendly, and the site has a lot of nice features, with more coming in the new year. I’ll be streaming pretty regularly on Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday nights, starting around 7:30 p.m. EST, working on commissions, the next comic page, or whatever else happens to be going on at any given time.


Phew! I think that’s everything for now? If not, I’ll let you know. 😉 Thanks for reading, and stay awesome!


-The Gneech


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the_gneech: (Default)
Today: 304.2
down 15.3 lbs from my highest weight of 319.5 on November 25, 2016
down 14.8 lbs from my starting weight of 319 on July 1, 2014
average lost: 0.11 lbs/week
next milestone: 303 lbs (5% loss)

Four pounds down this week, including a bit of splurginess on New Year's Eve. Only occasionally felt hungry or like I was using discipline to stick with it, and that was because I needed to get to the grocery store to pick up some proper snacks and there was nothing left in the house but junk.

I also switched to regular coffee with my breakfasts, instead of milk-and-chocolate syrup filled mochas. It took a bit of adjusting, as I've never really been a fan of drip coffee, but the Starbucks blonde roast with a bit of Splenda or Truvia is starting to grow on me.

So, yeah. 15 pounds since Thanksgiving. I'm pretty pleased with that. Next week's goal is 302 to count as a success, or 300 as the stretch. Either one will put me past my first milestone. :)

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)
Beef Jerky Time!


Happy New Year, You Sexy Bastards

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)
Attempting to create an applet on IFTTT.com that will crosspost my Dreamwidth postings to Twitter. This post is a test. Thanks for your patience. :)

-TG

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