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I aen't dead.

Cartoony
So it's been quite a while since I've posted here. So, what's going on with me?

Well, when I went back to college, I debated between doing environmental engineering or aerospace engineering. This is probably due to reading stuff like Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot as a wee nerdlet. But if the goal is to try and create a civilization worth the name, which means one that can survive and also get our asses into space, those are the two key issues, keeping our civilization running in a sustainable way here, and get into space in a real way.

So, with that in mind, I figured that there was more work to do fixing up our cities and world and it's more urgent. So, because of this, I figured it'd be easier to find a job that way. It wasn't entirely idealistic, yeah.

Then I went and graduated while all the engineering companies it turned out had gotten all invested in building cookie cutter subdivisions. Which meant they were laying people off, and all the few jobs there were were competing with people who already had experience. And ended up working retail again. Whoops.

And then my friend said the company he was working at was hiring. And so somehow I stumbled backwards into working at a company making rockets and cargo ships for the space station. Can't really fight that.

So hey there folks.

Hellboy II

Cartoony
Yeah, I know, I'm way behind on movies, what can I say? So I just finished watching Hellboy II, and it was pretty good. There was one major thing that bugged me though, the part where (spoilers) Hellboy rescues the baby and defeats the giant forest god thing, and... the cops and the lady whose baby he rescued turn against him because something something. I mean yeah, there was just this huge wrecking of that street, and they all witnessed something miraculous (in the sense of divine/supernatural intersecting the regular world) but I'm not sure why they turned against Hellboy.

There were some other bits kinda like that, where things just seemed a little sloppier than necessary. And I really with the princess had challenged her brother at the end, or done something a little more than she did. Or if they'd just made her into something more than Ms. Exposition and a girl for Abe to moon over. Maybe they're not really flaws, just places I would have done things a little differently.

Google+

Cartoony
Well, I got invited to Google+ and have an account now. Anybody want an invite?

(Comments screened)

It keeps happening

Cartoony
Somehow, I still manage to be surprised when Cracked.com has an article that's got pretty good science and pretty good advice in it, like What is the Monkeyspehere?.

Jobs!

Cartoony
So hey I just realized I totally forgot to mention this here. As of today, I am no longer working retail. I quit.

On Monday, I'm starting work inspecting parts of satellites and rockets as they're received. It's much more interesting and the pay is much better. It's not exactly where I intended to end up, but it's sort of related, at least to me. And it's a damn sight better than retail.

Huh?

Cartoony
So, I saw this bumper sticker promoting people buying products made in the USA. It was text, and a photo of the top of the Statue of Liberty. Which was made in France.

(The actual issues of trade balances, manufacturing, etc, are More Complicated Than That, and I'm not getting into them, I was just commenting on the disconnect between the message and the image. And yes, I know the Statue of Liberty is an iconic American monument. One that was built for the US by the government of France.)
Cartoony
Why does Cosmo, a magazine aimed at women, have its' cover stories all about how to please a man in bed, and positions men enjoy, instead of sex tips aimed at well, women, the nominal audience of the magazine?

And why didn't I think of this until somebody else mentioned it? Because that's what patriarchy is, it's not just a matter of evil stomping boots, it's making things invisible too.

So, nerd stores

Cartoony
Well, since our dear leaders have decided that interest rates (that are exceeding low), and "crowding out", and Very Serious Invisible Bond Traders, which all allegedly come from federal deficits, as opposed to say, the unemployment rate that's up around 9%, it's very hard to find a job. So that's led to thinking about ideas on what kind of job I can make. Now, while I'd much prefer a job saving the world, and doing the stuff I spent years going back to school for, that's not worked so far.

Well, what about starting an engineering company? Well, there's issues there with getting a license, which requires working with already licensed engineers for a length of time, plus getting contacts for jobs, and starting something without a reputation or experience. So for the moment, that's not really looking practical.

Computers? Well, I know them, but I'm not a hardware guy, and I haven't kept up at all with programming languages, network stuff, or anything like that. So I could learn it, but I don't have any of the credentials or experience there.

Working for somebody else in retail sucks, especially in a crappy economy, which is where I'm currently stuck.

So, what kind of retail could I do? Well, the most obvious is a nerd shop, probably comics and games. I worked at a game store for five years, I've been friends with people who ran comic shops, I know both those markets pretty well anyway. And it'd give the possibility of creating a place for people to come and meet and have fun and interact, and that'd be good.

Comic/Game shops are hard, though. They're operating in a relatively small market, comics are non-returnable for little guys, and costs four bucks and up each. That aside, there's also a lot of stereotypes about comic and game shops, like they're essentially some dude's basement. And there really are ones like that. Or just look at The Ferrett's column about his FLGS. There is a comic shop chain here in Savannah, but as their webpage shows, they have a bit of hoarder in them too. Plus there's nothing else to that site besides that page. But the pictures, with the T-Shirts hanging from the ceiling and the confusion, that's not so appealing. The hobby shop I worked in had some of that too. We kept it mostly clean, but it was piled with stuff, especially trains, almost to the ceiling on a lot of shelves. So, obviously, I wouldn't want to do something like that. Running somewhere clean, safe, and welcoming to everybody would be the goal. There's no point in turning away customers by having the store look bad.

The problem there, even in a city like Savannah, with SCAD having its art college with a sequential art series, the market for comics isn't always that big. and the comics don't always help with that. And that's a little scary when looking at opening a shop. Comic stores are always shoestring businesses, which is part of the reason so many end up messy. There's lots of other things out there, and there's lots of TPBs and the like that provide more value for the money, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to try and change all of that. Or if I'd make any money doing it, and not just end up owing even more money when it failed.
Cartoony
Going back to places (IRL or online) after being away from them a few years can be weird. It's the same place, but it's not. Which makes sense in terms of continuity of identity. For example, the dwarf's Grandfather's Axe, carried down through generations. The handle and the head have been replaced repeatedly, but it's still the same axe, due to the continuity of it. Now if you took the original axe, and then jumped straight to the "same" axe, after the replacements, it wouldn't seem (to you) to be the same axe. But instead of time travel, you leave for a few years.

The people in the community are the metaphorical axe handle and head, if I didn't make that clear.

This is probably one of those posts that seems insightful at midnight, but turns out to be crap when looked at in daylight.

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