Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank God For the Sacks of Money

Born Loser 03-31-09
What? I read the last panel several times and it still made my brain hurt. Why does Brutus look so stubby compared to Veeblefester and his desk? Is it to show how weak and cowardly Brutus is? And now I just noticed that the words are mixed up in the first panel. The bad first panel with the bad last panel plus the hot pink chair make this a very hard strip to read today.

Thank You All

Sometime during the course of Monday I reached over 5,000 views. I want to thank everyone who continuously read this blog, link to this blog and pass the link on to other people.

Please keep telling people about this blog and check out all of our advertisers who so graciously give me money so they can advertise (that's a simple way of putting it...)

Again, thank you. And a revised header will debut early morning on April 1st. And if I have the time maybe I'll do something for April Fool's Day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wilberforce, Rancid, Wastrel...What's Next?

Born Loser 03-29-09
It has been awhile since we've seen Mr. Gravesite (did not know his name was Wastrel). I thought this was going to be a legitimate riddle with a bad pun at the end but no, it's just a lesson to not trust homeless vagrants.

I am highly disappointed in today's strip but I'm highly disappointed by all the strips so what else is new. I guess I'm all for actually learning Gravesite's full name so I guess the strip isn't a total loss.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Seven #1.3

Seven stood over Tara while she was still lying in bed. He reached over and pinched her nose closed. Her brow furrowed and she began snorting. Finally her eyes burst open and her mouth opened in a loud gasp.

"What the hell?" she panted.

"You need to get up," Seven smiled at her. "We need to get ready to go."

"Why can't you just shake me like a normal person to wake me up?"

"Because torturing you to get up is more fun."

Tara had lived with the Kazachovs for the last three months since her parents died when their house burned down. Tara had no next of kin and no one wanted to see her sent to a state house with poor kids and orphans so Tzviel and Seven took her in and treated her like a member of the family.

Tzviel accomodated Tara as much as he could by installing a new locking door on her bed and even adding on a second bathroom just for her. His was the first house in Cassoday to have an addition. Tzviel enjoyed having Tara around the house and loved watching her and Seven get closer. It was a big adjustment for all of them but from watching them you would really think they were related.

Tara came down the stairs and sat at the table with Seven and Tzviel in the kitchen. Tzviel had made eggs and hash browns which was, Tara joked, his specialty. Seven was almost finished with his breakfast and Tara liked to take her time eating.

"So what's the plan today, kids?" Tzviel asked.

"We're gonna go to Noria," Seven replied.

"Noria? That old town southwest of town? The town that died after the railroad came through Cassoday?" Tzviel asked. He knew his area history, mainly from his son.

"Correct. We want to look at the houses and the buildings that are still standing," Seven said. "It's a good distance away so that's why I wanted to get an early start."

There was a knock on the door and Seven quickly got up to answer it. "I've barely started my breakfast!" Tara said with her mouth full.

"You sit and eat," Tzviel said. "There's no way he'd leave without you," he smiled at her as she continued eating and Seven returned to the kitchen with Nicholas.




"Cassius Traveler"
Noria stood windswept in a field of native grass. Very little was left of the town that once rivaled Cassoday. Only a few houses stood, the first one that the three approached was a worn wooden frame house with an attached shed area in the back. Nearly all the windows were broken out and the house was layered with dust and dirt. The three arrived at a level area of land that was once the Noria Main Street. A couple blocks down the road was the remainder of the downtown area. A couple of shops, boarded up and forgotten. On the other side of Main Street was an old schoolhouse.

The wooden school stood alone on the corner, it's front door stood open to the coat room and the door to the school was boarded shut. Seven, Nicholas and Tara looked around the school, trying to find a way in but finding only small broken windows and boarded up doors. Seven looked up at the bell tower and saw that the bell was still there. He wondered what would happen to the bell when the school was finally demolished.

The crown jewel of Noria and what Seven really came here to see was the old County Poor Farm. The Poor Farm was a three story brick building that housed poor and indignant people of the county. When Noria collapsed, the Poor Farm was still used by the county but soon getting to the Farm became more complicated and the Farm was moved to the county seat of Westmoreland. The old building now stood abandoned near the center of town.

The three approached the building and saw that the front door was opened and hanging off of one of the hinges. Seven carefully pushed the door open all the way and stepped into the entry room of the Poor Farm. Seven immediately noticed the once-elaborate markings of the entry room. The entry room took up the entire bottom floor and included a lobby, a sitting room, employee rooms and a kitchen. Everything in the kitchen had been stripped--probably by the county for the new Poor Farm--and everything was covered with two inches of dust.

"I'm going to go upstairs and look in the rooms," Seven said and began heading upstairs the rickety steps. "You two can stay downstairs if you want."

"I'm coming with you," Tara followed Seven upstairs while Nicholas stayed downstairs.

When they got upstairs, they look at how the second floor was set up. Rooms lined each side of the hallway and another stairway was at the other end of the hallway. A large window was also located at either end of the hallway. The second floor was in slightly better shape that the first floor but the wood floor seemed more rickety. Seven and Tara looked into each room and saw that some still had beds and other furniture while others were completely empty.

"Seven?" Tara asked as they entered one the rooms.

"Yes?" Seven replied as he looked around the room, completely avoiding Tara's gaze.

"What are we?"

Seven finished looking around the room and looked at Tara. "What do you mean?"

"We've been living together for the last few months and I just want to know if we were still friends or...what," she said, hesitating at the end of the sentence.

"Of course we're still friends. Why wouldn't we be?"

"I'm glad we're still friends but I..." Tara paused then walked up to Seven, leaned up and kissed Seven. Her eyes closed and Seven's eyes slowly closed in response. Tara moved her hand into Seven's hair. Seven wrapped his arm around Tara's body.

"Hey, guys, what's going on in...whoa!" Nicholas said as he walked into the room. "Sorry, I didn't mean to barge in. I was just wondering what you two were doing in here. You were taking a while."

"We were just...admiring the room," Seven covered up.

Seven, Tara and Nicholas exited the building and began walking back to Cassoday. All were silent as no one wondered what to say. As they were walking they were approached by a tall black man with white hair. He was staring straight ahead but stopped right in front of them.

"Are there three of you?" he asked.

Everyone looked at each other. "Yes," Seven answered.

"Then I have found you. I'm am Cassius Traveler and you are the Three Apostles."

Next Issue:
Cassius explains what's going on and Nicholas decides to take control of his life.

A Dollar? That's How Much I Get Paid for Doing This

Born Loser 03-28-09
A buck? Yep, having slaves...I mean, kids, is good. If we would've had them in the past then we wouldn't have had to fight that disruptive Civil War.

I wonder what Brutus is planting. Marijuana? Naw, that'd make the strip good although it would explain a lot.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Brutus Hates Wilberforce

Born Loser 03-27-09
Why wasn't Brutus at his son's baseball game? Too busy watching basketball? Also, if the other team had to forfeit, then wouldn't Wilberforce be home early? Why doesn't Brutus notice that? Obviously Brutus needs to get out of that hideously gauche chair and spend some time with his family.

I suggest a road trip to Lower Bumblescum, Tennessee where they can have all you can eat opossum.

#187: Mental Abortion

Okay, it's time for The I'm-A-Jerk Hour. I have this friend on one of my social websites who is pregnant. At least, she says she's pregnant. There's really no way you can tell because her pictures are from before she announced the pregnancy. I don't mind this girl and that's why she's one of my friends because I actually have friends on my social sites not just a bunch of random people trying to get the most friends but she's not a girl who should be getting pregnant. There's a lot of people in this world who should just not be getting pregnant but it happens and there's no way for you, me or President Obama to stop it. Anyway, there's a part of me that believes that she is not pregnant and I kind of feel terrible for thinking it. (Not real terrible, but slightly.) Most mothers-to-be post the pictures of their belly getting bigger, maybe the the sonograms, baby shower, etcetera but none of that here. It kind of baffles me.

When I knew her, she had said that she had a miscarriage (an old boyfriend got mad and pushed her down the stairs, which come to think of it, I had a girlfriend tell me that same story) so I understand her keeping it kind of hush-hush but still nothing!? But the part of me that doesn't believe it wonders why she would be lying. Attention? Hopeful thinking? Shits and giggles? I don't know but I also wonder how she'd get rid of it if she is lying. She obviously can't go into labor and go to a doctor, he'll just say "There's nothing in here" and send her on her way. I'm aiming more toward the middle-of-the-night-stomach-pains-turned-miscarriage story (I have a story on that, too) but I could be wrong.

Deep down I don't really want her to be lying and I'm 79% sure she's not but there's that other [insert remaining percentage here] that thinks she is. But that part of me is just an ass so I typically try not to listen to that side very often but unfortunately I think the jerk part of me is the rational part of me so I have to listen to it sometimes. I've heard of phantom pregnancies, maybe this is kind of like that. I don't know if she's been to the doctor. I think she posted a status about it one time but that's it. Someone asked her for a scan of the sonogram but whether that happened or if she sent it privately I don't know.

I'm not a fan of girls getting pregnant. Women have been becoming pregnant for millions of years so it's nothing new but once again, I'm a jerk. I work with a girl who's newly pregnant and the first question she asked in training was "do you have maternity leave?" It's kind of required by law to offer it in some capacity but you just started the job and you're asking about maternity leave? I swear, next time I'm gonna have a baby I'm going to take paternity leave.

I want more children, don't get me wrong. I want a nice, sweet blond-haired little girl but I don't want the angsty, sexual dark-haired teenager that will eventually come with it.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March Madness Madness

Born Loser 03-26-09
I don't do the whole bracket thing for basketball. I'm not very good at guessing who will win because I don't really pay attention to all the games (or any of the games, really). I do, however, think that Obama is wrong that North Carolina will win it all. Like at KU, Roy Williams will never win a championship with his own team.

Oh, Lord. I just talked about sports on my blog. I feel so unclean now......

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Late Night Post

Born Loser 03-25-09
Wasn't online all day today and from the look of today's strip, I didn't miss much.

How does a woman of Gladys' ample size fit into a chair that small?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brutus Clashes With That Chair

Born Loser 03-24-09
And that speech bubble just makes the ceiling lower.

So is Brutus watching the morning weather or the evening weather? It seems too warm for it to be the morning so it must be the evening. Also, is Brutus looking at the ceiling or the speech bubble which makes the ceiling lower. Why am I spending all this time wondering what's going on in this strip?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back To Basics

Ok, I've done some changes to the site (minimal, but they are there) and I am going to make more so stay with me. The Random Wikipedia Article is not going to move over here, in fact, since I started the poll I realized that no one read the Wikipedia Article anyway so I am putting it away. If you require Wikipedia goodness either go to Wikipedia itself or go to Things I Learned From Wikipedia.

Also, while I will also keep doing the Story Series but they won't be posted at any specific time anymore, just whenever I get them done. (Seven #1.3 hopefully coming soon). We have the remainder of Secret Identity and Seven plus new Series Space Dorks and Joe & Querty plus a summer Series Delaware Affections starting in probably July plus a whole new season starting in September. There will be a poll coming up in May or so deciding which Story Series to keep and which to dump.

Also, advertising is very cheap and effective, just go to Project Wonderful and see what there is to offer. Please click on any ads you find interesting and enjoy. Create your own ad and post it here and don't forget that we do have a Facebook Group that anyone can join (as long as they have a Facebook account).

And please tell your friends (and other comic snarking sites) about this blog. Any new blog I'm pointed to or discover I post it in the sidebar so I do my best to retaliate any blog loving.

Mffurgher-Fuhrrugger

It's been kind of hit-and-miss over the last week with the posting but hopefully I'll be posting everyday this week. And what a doozy we start out with.

Born Loser 03-23-09
I know what Veeblefester is doing to Brutus but that's too boring. In the sidebar is a new poll along with a picture of whatever Veeblefester is doing to Brutus. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why Is That Road Sign Talking? Oh, It's an Order Box

Born Loser 03-21-08
Not really.

Research has shown that McDonald's and Wal-Mart are the only businesses actually making money in these troubling economic times. Of course, by looking at the car, it does appear that the fries would not fit in the car.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nothing Much Has Changed

Big things happened over the last couple of days which is why I didn't get anything posted. I also won't be able to get Seven #1.3 posted at noon but it should be up this evening. I'll try to get Secret Identity #1.8 up at it's usual time on Sunday. Now, onto today's strip.

Born Loser 03-20-09
Well, it's good to know that it's Friday in the Born Loser Universe, too. (LoserVerse?) I've never worn a robe to work before but I have seen people do it. I have worn pajama pants before because I woke up late and didn't have time to mess around with putting on pants. But then again I never worked for a major tea cozy manufacturer either. I find it odd that Veeblefester has been wearing the same shirt, vest and jacket since the strips began running in color. The one time the strip has any continuity, it's for the clothes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Hate When the Characters Are Off-Panel

Born Loser 03-17-09
I was taught incorrectly that it was possum and my 26 years of bad teachings will never get me to an opossum "opossum" in casual conversation. However, while looking for the correct term for the opossum I came upon this:
Originally native to the eastern United States, the Virginia Opossum was intentionally introduced into the West during the Great Depression, probably as a source of food.

A source of food. That's something they don't teach you in school (and if they do, I didn't go to that school).

Oh and Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, too, Chip. And to all of my readers. Be safe.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Tie?

Really? A tie?

I've reposted the poll asking whether or not the Random Wikipedia Article, another blog that I do on an occasional basis, be merged into Watch This Space. And remember that when you vote, the Random Article was once a part of WTS for a few months.

And let's try not to end this in a tie. I find it hard to believe that only 4 people read this blog. I'm sure there are at least 7 of you.

Can You Hear Me Now? Good!

Born Loser 03-16-09
If Brutus is calling a client or something he should be talking from a work phone, not a cell phone. Secondly, what did Brutus do to deserve Veeblefester's insult? I've worked in customer service for over five years and what Brutus is doing is correct. I think Veeblefester's employees (Brutus, at least) should file a lawsuit against Veeblefester for creating a hostile work place.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

#186: House Rambling

I've been out taking pictures around where I live and I have this weird fascination with houses, especially of the older and abandoned variety. My first experience with an abandoned was when I lived in Baldwin City. There was this old house outside of town that had a grave of two young children on it so of course everyone figured it was haunted. I only went there a few times before new owners took over and really began locking it up. I've been a few times since, hopping over the fence and one time the gate was open so I drove in a took a look at it. I want to buy the house although it would cost too much to fix up so I would just want to build a new house and replace the doors and windows to keep people out. I'd also put up a new fence and gate and would maybe replace the graves because they've seen better days. People have no respect. I plan on using the house and the area for a novel I want to write because I have a really good story planned for it.

Another house in the Baldwin area was near the highway. This house actually still looked like someone lived there. It was kind of creepy being able to see all of this family's stuff and what pictures hung on their wall. When Baldwin built the new elementary school, the house was torn down which was a bummer but I have a few keepsakes from that place like a crayon picture done on piece of newspaper of the comic strip Mopsy and a couple of really old books from the late 19th Century. I saw in the paper one day an auction for all the stuff for the house but I wasn't able to go.

South of Big Springs I saw this really nice house as I drove by and I noticed that it was abandoned so I backed up and stopped to take a picture. It was a really nice house if you ignore the broken windows and the fact that it had been abandoned for a few years. It was near a quarry so I'm thinking the quarry bought the land from the people and just kept the house and the other buildings standing until they need to expand. Later, south of Lone Star, I came up to another that had obviously been abandoned for more than a couple of years. I stopped and took a picture of that too.

As I entered the southern tier of the county, I decided to stop and finally get a decent picture of the Simmon Stage Station which was an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The house fell into disrepair over the years especially when the AT&T microwave tower was constructed in the seventies. Someday it may be saved but it looks like time is running out for it.

The last house I went by on my trek wasn't abandoned or anything. It was the home of Ottawa University founder, Ottawa Indian representative and Tauy Creek namesake John Tecumseh "Tauy" Jones. This is another house that I would love to live in because it's just so amazing. Okay, I'm done rambling now.

I just often wonder why the house was abandoned. It's a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a mystery (a "rinigstery") and I just like wondering what happened. I feel the Miller House (pictured first) fell into the hands of someone who didn't really want the property; the Big Springs house (second) was bought by the nearby quarry; the Lone Star house (third) I'm not really sure, it's the more mysterious of the houses; Simmon's Point (fourth) was occupied until the microwave tower was constructed and is currently owned by someone who just uses the farmland surrounding the house.

The Tauy Jones house is the only house currently occupied so hopefully that house will remain standing for many years to come.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Friday Night I Crashed Your Party Like a Candle In a Wind

I've been try to get a lot done the last few days. I finally got the season finale of Landsman up along with chapter 2 of Seven. I had to postpone Chapter 8 of Secret Identity but I have at least started it. There's also something else I wanted to get done and posted but now I can't remember it. Oh well, onto today's strip.

Born Loser 03-15-09
Billy Joel and Elton John, huh? I like how they are only mentioned in the throwaway panels so newspapers who don't publish those won't know what concert they are going to.

I have to admit that this strip made me laugh. But what I find strange is that they arrived with just enough time to run up to see the opening song. Don't most people give themselves enough time to meander their way through the crowds and the line; maybe look at some of the concert souvenirs and maybe take a couple of hits off their bong? The last concert I went to (My Chemical Romance, March 2007, Topeka Expocentre) we had to stand in line forever to get in and then the concert took another hour to start so if I had forgotten the tickets, there would've been plenty of time to go back to Lawrence and get them. But now I'm just kvetching.

On a side note, I am going to see Dave Matthews Band in concert in September and like every other Dave Matthews fan, I will be wearing a suit exactly like Brutus'.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Seven #1.2

It had been ten years since Seven's mother had died. Seven grew up to be a handsome and intelligent young man. Tzviel and Seven did fine on their own. Seven became friends with a girl he met at school, Tara Goebbel and the two did everything together. Tara's grandfather, Dietrich, had founded Cassoday so her family was very prominent in the town. Dietrich was not a good person and ruled the town from his octagonal building in the center of town. Dietrich would shoot as his workers just to keep them on their toes and banish people from town if they did not agree with his beliefs.

Dietrich died eight years after the town was founded and was buried in the Old Cemetery and was the last burial in that cemetery. The octagonal building was abandoned and later caught on fire and burned to the ground. The building was replaced by new stores and a doctor's office. A year after Dietrich passed, a railroad came through the town bringing lots of new business and people. Among those people were the Christ family.

Abraham Christ moved to Cassoday on a whim after his wife of thirty years died. He moved with his three sons, Alexander, Gregory and Nicholas and got a job working with the railroad but after a few months Abraham lost his right arm and after a long rehabilitation and having to learn to use his left hand, he returned to the railroad part time and met and befriended Tzviel, who Abraham affectionately called "Viel."

Seven and Tara became close friends with Nicholas and the three spent their free time exploring Cassoday and the surrounding farmland.




The Old Cemetery
Seven, Tara and Nicholas walked out of town on the old School Road and past the railroad tracks. The Old Cemetery was located a good three miles north of town near the river valley. The Old Cemetery was abandoned because during heavy rains, the road leading to it would be washed out and the river would flood it leaving it inaccessible for days after. A new cemetery was established south of town on flat prairie.

A heavy rain a couple days ago had left the dirt road to the cemetery a long strip of mud and Nicholas was not thrilled about walking through it.

"I don't like mud. I don't like getting dirty," he said.

"It's just mud. It's not going to hurt you," Seven said, starting out with a chuckle.

"Nicholas doesn't like getting dirty, Seven. You know that," Tara said, trying to defend Nicholas.

"Sometimes you have to get dirty. That's the fun of life," Seven said and started down the mud road toward the grove of trees surrounding the cemetery. His second step was halted by his foot sinking into the mud, all the way up to his knee. He slowly pulled his leg out. It was covered with thick mud--caking his leg in oozy black.

Nicholas and Tara laughed as Seven tried to shake the mud off his right leg. "I bet that'll uncomfortable," Nicholas said.

"It's just mud. It'll be fine," Seven's face contorted into a look that showed his distaste for having the mud slide down his leg and into his boot.

"We should just walk through the field," Tara said and she and Nicholas began walking next to the road in the field.

They walked the half mile to the grove of trees and came to the Old Cemetery. The first burial in the cemetery was only eight months after the town was founded when Elizabeth Hillenburg, aged 67, died at her home. Her grave was almost dead center in the cemetery and was next to her husband's grave and one of her children.

The three branched out to explore different parts of the cemetery. Nicholas stayed toward the entrance and looked at some of the newer stones, placed before the cemetery was abandoned. Tara went looking for her grandfather's grave--she knew he was buried here but had never seen where. She found his stone in a far corner of the cemetery, under a tree. The stone had rounded beveled edges and was leaning just slightly as one of the corners had sunk into the ground. His was the only grave in the area that was marked which made her think that he was buried here purposely by the townspeople that he had abused during his life.

Seven found small tombstones in another corner. The six stones were all connected and were sinking into the ground. He looked closer at the stones and saw a name etched into the stones.

"Found my grandpa," Tara said to Nicholas as they walked over to where Seven was kneeling. "He's buried all by himself in the corner. I guess no one in town really liked him."

"What'd you find, Seven?" asked Nicholas.

"I found my brothers and sisters," he said softly.

"What?"

"My older siblings that died before they were born," Seven began. "My parents placed a stone for them."

"What? Are you sure?" Tara knelt down next to Seven and looked at the stone.

"If you look closely, Kazachov is etched in the stone," Seven pointed out.

The three of them were silent for a few seconds until Seven stood up and turned around. "Come on, let's go back," he said.




They had just passed the railroad tracks and had walked in complete silence since leaving the cemetery. Finally, Tara spoke up.

"Does that bother you, Seven?"

"Does what bother me?"

"That your parents placed that stone for your older siblings?"

Seven sighed. "Not really but I feel really bad for them. Why did they die when I was allowed to live? It doesn't really make sense. I feel bad that I was their last chance for having children and I've really done nothing with my life," Seven said.

"You're only seventeen, Seven. You have your whole in front of you to make your parents proud," Nicholas said.

"And your parents are proud of you anyway," Tara said. "I see the way your father looks at you and I hear the stories he tells about how your mother doted on you when she was alive."

"I know. I just...I don't know. It's stupid."

The three got back into the town and heard a commotion in the direction of Tara's house. A huge crowd was in front of the house which was engulfed in flames. The three friends rushed to the house and pushed through the crowd. The whole house was up in flames. A neighbor of Tara's grabbed and hugged her.

"Oh, thank the Lord you are okay, baby," she said as she held Tara close and tight. "We were afraid you were in there, too!"

"Where...What about my parents?" Tara began crying.

"I don't know, baby. They're not in the crowd. We just have to wait. Just wait and pray."

Next Week
The Kazachov household drastically changes; the friends explore an abandoned town and meet Cassius Traveler.

Flashback to 1890s America

Born Loser 03-14-09
As brought up on numerous occasions, who the hell really talks like that? "Finally, some temperate weather"? Why not "Finally, a warm day" or "'Bout fucking time, sun!"

We don't live in the Victorian era where men sit around in girly chair, sipping tea and coffee going "My, what temperate weather we're having." "I tried that new Dr. Pepper drink that's out on the market." "So have I, do you favor the drink?" "It was all right but not my cup of tea!" "Ha, ha! Ho ho! You are just awful. How are your horses doing?"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Landsman #1.5

Dylan Freeman had already arrived in New York City. He stood just under the Empire State Building. His phone rang and he quickly answered it. "Yeah?"

"Is he on his way?" asked a voice.

"Of course he is. I told him to avoid the toll roads and highways and give him the directions personally. He'll be here in about five hours. Small price to pay for this to off without a hitch," Dylan said.

"So at about 11 P.M., Landsman arrives in Times Square and at 11:07 P.M. it's all over and our secret is safe. Right?"

"Right," Dylan's lips curled into a smile. "And Landsman will be blamed for everything."




Brenda Landsman was in a dark room. She knew she was tied to a chair and a gag had been placed in her mouth. She was breathing heavily listening for any sound of someone in the room with her. Suddenly a door opened and someone walked in closed it again. She heard the footsteps walk across the concrete floor and a hand pulled a chain. A hanging light illuminated the dank room.

"Mrs. Landsman," the man said. The man was of Arab descent and gently removed the gag from her mouth. The man went behind her and untied her arms from the back of the chair. "I am sorry about the archaic way we're holding you here. But don't worry, we will make it up to you, I promise."

"Where are my kids?" Brenda said.

"They are fine, Mrs. Landsman. You will be reunited with them shortly," the man clasped his hands in front of him and sighed deeply. "Where is your husband going?"

"What are you talking about?" Brenda asked.

"Your husband went back to the courthouse while we were following you. The courthouse, among another building, are now gone. We know your husband wasn't involved in either act so we need to know where he is going."

"I don't know. He said he was going back to work and told me to take the kids out of the city," Brenda began crying.

"We need to find him, Mrs. Landsman. His life is in grave danger," the man sighed.




"Trust"
A massive round mahogany table was centered in the middle of a huge conference room. Suddenly a huge steel door slid open and in walked six people all in suits and ties except for the one woman who walked in.

They all sat down around the table and heaved a collective sigh. "So what do we do?"

"It all depends on where Landsman is right now. He's our tipping point. He's perfect for everything we need to do to set things right. We need to get to him before they do," a man said.

"We don't know where he is. The Empire Coalition sent him away from Philadelphia. That was over an hour ago so he could be anywhere by now," said another.

"Not true. He could anywhere within an hour radius of Philadelphia," joked one of the other people. "We have agents searching every road out of Philadelphia, which isn't easy because the city is under lockdown until Landsman is captured."

"What do we do when we get him?"

"We protect him. And we pray that he'll be perfect to make everything right again."




The Empire Coalition also went by the Round Earth Society. It was stationed in New York City and the main focus of it's goal was to reveal to the world that the Earth was flat and begin a civil war. The war has already been planned that left the United States in ruins and a new superpower standing tall among the losers. Dylan Freeman was the second-in-command of the EC and picked out Landsman himself to be the one to bring down the country.

The exact opposite of the Coalition was the Ptolemy Group. Ptolemy worked hard to shine light on the Earth and slowly reveal that the Earth but they worked to keep everything as calm as possible during the transition.

The Ptolemy Group was headed by Harold Kimner, the former governor of Ohio, who left office to found the Ptolemy Group. He found five other people who strongly believe in his idea and a whole host of people around the world who believe it in concept. They were 170,000 strong but that was only a drop in the bucket to the other six billion people in the world.

"Mr. Kimner," the lone woman in the group walked briskly up to the aging man.

"Yes, Jamie?" Kimner acknowledged but kept walking.

"One of our men found him," Jamie said, causing Kimner to stop where he stood.

"Really? You're sure?" Kimner was in a near panic.

"Our guy has been following him for over an hour. He's sure."

"Get all the information you can. We need Landsman...so does the world!" Kimner turned and quickly continued walking. Jamie turned and quickly got a cell phone up to her ear.




Brenda Landsman was reunited with her children who sitting, safe, in a small kitchen area.

"Oh, thank God!" she sobbed as she hugged them.

"I told you they were taken care of, Mrs. Landsman," the man reassured. "I do apologize for all the mystery and secrecy. We are kind of new to this but I assure you that we mean you know harm. Your husband is in danger and we need to know where he is."

"I told you I don't know. If he's not at the courthouse or at home then I don't know where he is," Brenda continued sobbing.

"Bring the cell phone. Mrs. Landsman, do you know your husband's cell phone number?"

"Y-yes, of course," she replied.

The man handed her a cell phone. "Could you please call him and ask him where he is?" Brenda took the phone from the man.

"Tell me who you are first!" she screamed. "Why am I doing this? Why are all these people after my husband?"

The man sighed. "Fair enough. Quickly, we are a private faction under the orders of the Ptolemy Group. The Ptolemy Group is a society of people who know that the Earth is flat."

"But the Earth is round," Brenda said.

"Is what they want you to believe," the man said. "I am Devon Jalali and my associates are Raymond Grummett and Adolph Huxley. Now, please, Mrs. Landsman, call your husband."

Brenda hesitated for a couple seconds but then began dialing.

Landsman's phone rang and he pulled it out of it's case that was hooked onto the visor. He looked at the screen and didn't recognize the number. He got worried then looked in his rear view mirror. The same van was following him. He hesitated for a few seconds and then the ringing stopped.

"He didn't answer," Brenda said quietly as she lowered the phone from her ear.

"He didn't recognize the number. Send a text message--anything to get him to acknowledge it's you!" Devon said.

Brenda began going through the menu and got to the text message section. She began typing then sent the message to Landsman. Landsman kept driving but grabbed his cell phone when the message came through. He read it: "Answer your phone. It's an emergency. Brenda."

Landsman was skeptical and reluctantly called the number that sent the message. The phone clicked on the other end and Brenda answered. "Matthew?"

"Brenda? What's going on? Where are you calling from?"

"I...I don't know..." she began crying again. "Where are you?"

"On some road in New Jersey. I'm heading to New York. Did you make it to Carmel?"

"No. We were pulled over and now we're..."

Devon grabbed the phone from Brenda. "Don't worry Mr. Landsman, your wife and children are perfectly safe. I am Devon Jalali and I must warn you that you are in grave danger!"

"Tell me something I don't know! This man tells me I'm in danger and that the world is flat and there's a van following me. I don't even care about any of this!"

"A van following you? I wonder if it's ours or theirs," Devon wondered out loud.

"Theirs? Whose theirs?" Landsman shrieked.

"The Empire Coalition. They want to start a war because of the Earth being flat," Devon explained.

"Dylan didn't mention anything like that," Landsman said.

"Dylan? Dylan Freeman?"

"Yeah, why?"

"He's against us Mr. Landsman. I am a member of the Ptolemy Group. I don't know what Freeman told you but we're the good guys! Where are you heading?"

"New York City. Dylan told me to meet him at the Empire State Building," Landsman explained.

Devon pulled away from the phone and spoke to Grummett and Huxley, "Get some people in New York around the Empire State Building. Landsman, do you know why you are going to Empire State?"

"No. Just to meet up with Dylan. I don't really know why I'm going to New York," Landsman tried to chuckle.

"Okay. Continue to go to New York and meet up with Freeman. We'll try to figure out what's going on around here," Devon said.

"Okay. Put Brenda back on," Landsman said.

"Hi, Matt," Brenda said.

"Are you okay? They aren't hurting you are they?"

"No, everything is fine. I miss you."

"I miss you, too. I love you, Brenda," Landsman said and kissed through the phone.

"I love you, too."




Brenda's voice squawked through the speaker on the massive computer. "Well, I guess we proceed as planned," said Freeman.

"It's not compromised?"

"No," Freeman began and starting walking off, "make sure the people get the tickets under the correct names. I'll get Landsman to Times Square."

To Be Continued...

Ad-Free Weekend

Just a reminder that the ads are coming down sometime this afternoon. They will be back up on Monday morning so enjoy the ad-free weekend even though the ads don't really hurt anyone.

Don't forget to vote on the poll over on the sidebar. You know you want to.

Update: (8:34 pm) I restored the ads so I guess it's not going to be an Ad-Free Weekend after all. At least the ads don't hurt you and you should go to some of those (if not all) of the sites and check them out. I do.

Is Brutus Bragging About His Tea Cozies?

Born Loser 03-13-09
I find it hard to believe that the Veeblefester Corporation makes tea cozies and that Veeblefester is that wealthy. Either Veeblefester doesn't spend any money on upgrading his business or he cheats on his taxes.

I would almost believe both. I had a landlord who was really cheap, come to find out he didn't give a rat's ass about the tenant or anything, he just wanted the money. He always used to complain about us having stuff on the porch.

Maybe the tea cozies are laced with cocaine or something.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Class Clown He Ain't

Born Loser 03-11-09
"But seriously, folks, a tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined, closed surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of less than 17 metres per second or 39 miles per hour. It has no eye and does not typically have the organization or the spiral shape of more powerful storms. However, it is already a low-pressure system, hence the name "depression". I'll be here all week!"

Wilberforce is then pantsed and dragged around the track after school.

Ad-Free Weekend

Starting on Friday the ads that you see on the side, top and bottom of the blog will be removed for the weekend while I edit and clean up some things. The ads will return Monday. Also, there's a new poll on the side. I currently do another blog, The Random Wikipedia Article, and was wondering if I should just move that over here. Let me know.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

#185: Stay Out of Johnson County

So I have been without a car since about late December. I have literally been trapped in my house because who wants to walk in the cold and the public transportation here is severely mismanaged that it takes forever to get from Point A to Point B. I've had to do all my job hunting from the computer and it really hasn't been easy. I just now got my car fixed. It needed new brakes and rotors so $550 later, I finally get my car and I'm able to start training at this place in Lenexa. I had just left Lawrence and was out on K-10 passing Eudora and DeSoto when I had to move over for an emergency vehicle (a sheriff had pulled someone over) and when I stepped on the brakes, a loud thumping echoed through the car. Wondering what the hell was going on, I exited and pulled over on Kill Creek Road.


View Larger Map
I was essentially trapped on the side of the road in DeSoto, which I really know nothing about. After about ten minutes of me trying to fix stuff myself, a sheriff pulled up behind me. I swear that the sheriff threatened me, basically telling me to get out of the county (Johnson County, that is). For a moment I even thought he was going to drag me out of my car and drive me to the county line and dump me there. So he told me to call a tow truck and/or a friend or something to get the car moved and get out of dodge. He was oh so helpful.

So I called a tow truck from Lawrence to come out to get my car and it took twenty or thirty minutes because DeSoto is about 14 miles from Lawrence. I tried reading some but only got halfway through a chapter because things kept distracting me. The tow truck arrived and we got my car back to Lawrence and to the place where I had the brakes done at and it turned out a bolt fell out.

A bolt. Fell out. So needless to say I lost the job because I was also originally supposed to start back in February but I didn't get my tax money in time to fix my car so I called and had them postpone my start date. I called them again and they decided not to postpone this time which I completely understand. So it's back to job hunting for me. Which is something I wouldn't have to do if blogging paid all my bills (hint).

The last time I had a run-in with a Johnson County Sheriff, he also treated me like crap so I guess the morale of my story is just stay out of Johnson County, Kansas. There's nothing to see there anyway because they paved everything over to build Overland Park.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Technical Difficulties

I've experienced some problems so the season finale of Landsman won't be up until later this evening plus there should be Point of Beginning #4 up later this afternoon. Sorry for any inconvenience.

But She Has a Chef's Hat

Born Loser 03-10-09
So is Gladys a good cook or a bad cook? She is seen in the kitchen numerous times cooking good meals including crab, chicken, roast, veal and steak but we have seen a few strips where Brutus makes fun of what she has cooked and something that's supposed to be soft and tender, crunches like a roof shingle.

Wanna make Veal Oscar? I was kind enough to provide the recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com:

VEAL OSCAR
* 1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed
* 1 pound king crab legs
* Water
* White wine
* Lemon slices
* 1/2 cup flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 6 veal cutlets, lightly pounded
* 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1 shallot, chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
* 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Blanch asparagus tips in simmering water, drain and set aside. Poach crab legs in water, white wine and lemon slices for 5 minutes, then shell with a crab cracker and reserve.

In a shallow dish combine flour, salt and pepper; coat pieces of veal. In a saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and fry cutlets 3 minutes each side until golden brown. Remove the veal to a warm platter. Using the same pan, melt remaining butter. Stir in shallots and tarragon. Add olive oil, asparagus and crab. Saute 2 minutes to warm.

To serve: place asparagus and crab on top of each cutlet. Drizzle each with Bearnaise Sauce, recipe follows. Serve hot.

VARIATION: May substitute chicken or turkey cutlets for veal.

* BEARNAISE SAUCE
* Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
* 1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
* 2 shallots, minced
* 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 3 egg yolks
* 1 stick butter, melted
* Salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, combine the tarragon, shallots, vinegar and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place a stainless steel bowl in a saucepan containing simmering water, or use a double boiler. Whisk the egg yolks until doubled in volume. Slowly add the melted butter, continue beating until sauce is thickened. Stir in reserved shallot reduction. Season with salt and pepper, set aside wrapped in a warm spot.

Serve with Veal Oscar. Yield: 1 cup

Monday, March 9, 2009

Does Veeblefester Have His Bus Driving License?

Well, I start my new job today. For at least the next month, there won't be any change in updates but after that I don't know.

Born Loser 03-09-09
So, whenever Brutus has an idea, Veeblefester immediately shoots him down? That's great management there. I'm giving Brutus the benefit of the doubt though when in reality he probably has really stupid ideas like closing down the website to save money and advertising on Showtime.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Secret Identity #1.7

Andy and Barney entered Independence, Kansas from the east on U.S. Highway 160 and slowed down to the recommended speed of 30 miles per hour. East Main Street was lined with contemporary houses until hitting 4th Street when a downtown district began. Andy was taking in the scenery of a town he hadn't been to since his one year playing high school basketball.

"We need to find 16th Street and then Laurel," Barney said. Andy didn't answer and the car remained silent for a couple more minutes. "You ever been here before?"

Andy turned his attention from the city to Barney. "Yeah, I came here to play basketball. I went to school in Mason City and Independence was one of our rivals."

"I hope we can get this guy," Barney said. Jess' sister Kimberly had been recently raped and murdered by an unknown assailant. Another kidnapping, down from Mason City along U.S. 160 in Independence, fit the same motive as Kimberly's and Andy was hoping he could save this girl from the same fate. The girl, Miranda Johnston, had went missing a couple days ago and the girls' parents have the police searching but the mother also hired Barney to go places that police may not be able to get into. "Why'd you want to come with me?"

"To make it up to Jess," Andy sighed.




The White Cloud Casino traversed the Missouri River between Camden, Missouri and Leavenworth, Kansas. The White Cloud was a massive steamboat that utilized the expansive 8 mile width of the Missouri to be a floating casino, stopping at selected cities to let people on or off. The steamboat also had a hotel on it for people unable to get off at one of the selected cities.

Mike and Alexis arrived at the boat at 4:30 in the afternoon in North Centropolis, Missouri--a separate entity of Centropolis proper but in the metro area. They checked in as Mr and Mrs. Bruce Kent and easily found their hotel room on the top floor of the steamboat. The White Cloud Casino prided itself on being completely honest and family friendly, something that had started to slip when Gene Hemingway purchased the Casino about eight months ago.

Mike and Alexis were there to investigation the shady dealings that supposedly went on there and try to uncover if Hemingway is behind it or just a pawn. Unbeknownst to them, their room was next to Jimmy Brock's room, another reporter for a different newspaper who's going to die soon.




"Murder On the White Cloud"
Kyle was in the corner of his studio room painting, as he usually was in the early afternoon hours. A soft knock came from the door and Kyle looked around the easel, "Come in," he said.

Jess slowly opened the door and stepping in. "Hey, Kyle," she said.

"Hey, Jess. How are you today?"

"I'm fine. You've been working hard on that painting," Jess said.

"It's for someone special and I want to get it done. It's almost there, just needs a bit more attention. What's up?"

"Nothing. No one's around. Andy went to see his parents, Mike and Alexis are on assignment and aside from you, there's no one to talk to."

"Aw, I'm sorry. You want to do anything? I can hang out with you for awhile," Kyle offered.

"Nah, I just want to talk. What are you painting?"

"Well, it's kind of private," Kyle said. "It's something I'm doing privately. For someone."

"Sweet, you had someone commission a painting from you?" Jess smiled.

"No. Well, kind of," Kyle said. I guess you can look at it if you want."

Kyle scooted him and his stool back and invited Jess to look at the painting. Jess saw the painting and gasped when she saw it. It was a painting of her and her sister Kimberly hugging in a porch swing. Clipped to the painting was a picture Kyle was copying. The picture looks like it was taken about ten years ago when Jess was 11 and Kimberly was 5. Jess began tearing up and Kyle put his arm around her.

"I asked your mom for the picture after the funeral. I figured if you didn't want it then your mom would," Kyle said.

"I love it. That was always my favorite picture of us. I can't believe you did this. Especially when you could've done something for money."

"This was more important," Kyle smiled as he stood and hugged Jess. "I can finish it up and you can hang it up tonight."

"Well, thank you, Kyle. I believe this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me," Jess said. "I want to thank you for being there for me through all of this. I don't think I could've made it without you."

"Don't mention it. Anyone could've done it," Kyle said, shrugging off the compliment.

"But not anyone did. You did. Even my best friend, Andy, didn't even do half of what you did. He spent the last week with Barney or Mariah and barely even spoke to me," Jess said.

"Has Andy been acting different lately? Have you noticed?" Kyle asked.

"I didn't think so originally but now I'm thinking that something is wrong with him. I've hardly seen him lately so I haven't been able to talk to him about it," Jess said.

"Ever since he met that Barney guy he seems different. What do we really know about Barney?"

"He's a private investigator. Life long Centropolian but that's pretty much it," Jess said. "Andy really hasn't formally introduced Barney to anyone."

"That really seems weird, especially for Andy. Do you think he could be on drugs and hiding it from us?" Kyle asked.

"I doubt it. If Andy was going to start doing drugs he would've started in high school."

"His life is going nowhere. Maybe facing that reality is hurting him and it's his way of crying out. To his friends. To help him."

Jess began laughing uproariously and touched Kyle's shoulder, "I really don't know how you kept a straight face during all that," she said. "I think he's just at a strange point in his life. He'll probably be fine quicker than we think."

"Where are you going to hang your painting?" Kyle asked.

"I don't know. I guess above my bed," Jess said. "Come look at my room and see if you think it'll look good there."

Kyle followed Jess to her bedroom and looked at the spot over her, currently held by a movie poster of "Sex and the City". "I think it'll look fine there," Kyle said. "Do you need help getting that poster down?"

"No, I got it," Jess said, "but you can help me anyway," she continued and kissed Kyle. Jess then reached over and closed the door, leading Kyle over to her bed.




On the White Cloud, Mike and Alexis were joining in the gambling fun. Alexis had placed herself in front of a slot machine while Mike headed over to a blackjack table and sat down. He scooted a pile of chips over to the betting square and was given two cards--one was a five of clubs and the other the eight of diamonds. The dealer gave the other four players their cards and two to himself, getting the five of spades.

Mike thought for a moment. "Hit," he said.

The dealer gave him another card--seven of hearts--then turned his attention to the other players before turning his card over and revealing the three of hearts. The dealer gave himself another card--five of diamonds. When this round was done, Mike had won with his 20, everyone else went bust except for a guy in a cowboy hat who stood at 17.

Mike continued playing, getting really involved in the game. Alexis had, by now, lost $20 in the slot machine and finally got up and stormed away from the machines. She went out to the deck to look at the passing city. After a couple minutes, Jimmy Brock came up and stood next to her and sighed loudly.

"Excuse me?" Alexis asked him.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to disturb you," Jimmy said.

"Then why did you stand so close to me?" Alexis asked, smiling.

"All right, you got me. I was wanting to talk to you," he smiled back. "I saw you getting upset at that slot machine over there and wanted to make sure you were all right."

"I'm fine. It's just a game. I'm a big girl, I can handled losing," Alexis looked up Jimmy and saw that his eyes were fixed on her cleavage. "Listen, mister, I think I'm a bit too young for you. Besides, I'm married."

"That's never stopped some women before," Jimmy licked his lips. "I'm Jimmy Brock, the premiere reporter for the North Centropolis Sentinel, and who are you?"

"Natalie Kent. Mrs. Natalie Kent," Alexis said, remembering her ruse as a married woman.

"Well, Mrs. Kent, if you change your mind or something, let me know. I am in room seven," Jimmy Brock started to walk away, "I will see you around, Mrs. Kent."

Alexis shuddered as he left. "Great, he's in the room next to ours," she said. "But something tells me he knows more about what's going on here."

Alexis went back into the casino and found Mike still at the blackjack table. "Hey, Alex--Natalie. What's going on?"

"Not much. We need to talk, can you cash out or something?" Alexis asked.

"Sure, just a moment," Mike grabbed his chips, nodded to the dealer and followed Alexis back out onto the deck. "What's up?"

"Our room is right next to Jimmy Brock's."

"Jimmy Brock. Mr. Centropolis himself?" Mike asked.

"Yeah. I bet he's here to report on the corruption, too."

"Possibly. We should stay close to him. Go back to the room and grab your camera. We're gonna start investigating what's going on around here," Mike said.

"Okay," Alexis sighed, "I'll be right back."

Alexis went back to the hotel portion of the steamboat and went back to her and Mike's room. She unlocked the door and walked into the room. She heard some sort of argument in Brock's room but ignored it and grabbed her camera off of the dresser. She then headed back down to the casino and met up with Mike.

"Welcome back."

"Yeah. Brock was really in a heated argument up there," Alexis said.

"Really? Could you hear what he was saying?"

"No, I didn't listen. I figured he was arguing with an editor or something."

"I think there's something more going on here," Mike said. "I just asked one of the employees about Hemingway and while he said that he's not supposed talk about the boss while on duty, he seemed really unnerved."

"So?" Alexis asked.

"He was all smiley and happy before I asked him about Hemingway. Something is going on around here. Let's go back to the room and figure out where to start on all this."

Mike and Alexis entered the hallway and saw a huge crowd of people huddled around the area where their door was. They pushed their way through the people and saw Jimmy Brock laying in the hallway with a knife twisted into his ribs.

"Oh my God! What happened?" Mike asked.

"This man was stabbed," a woman began, "and she did it!" she shrieked, pointing to Alexis.

"What? I was only up here for a couple minutes to get my camera. I heard arguing in Brock's room. I was downstairs in the casino when this happened," Alexis scoffed.

"I saw this man hit on you. You seemed very upset by it. He probably did it again when she came up here and she got mad," another woman said.

"What?" Alexis stood tall amidst the crowd of people. "You people don't even know who I am. And instead of prematurely sending me to the electric chair, you people should be getting a doctor or something up here to get this man out of the middle of the hallway."

Soon, the crowd had dispersed and Mike and Alexis were in their room thinking about what to do next.

"I wish we knew who Brock was fighting with," Mike said. "I don't even know where to begin."

"We can try to sneak into his room and look around. Maybe we can find some notes or something," Alexis suggested.

"But the casino has a guard standing outside his door. There's no way we'd be able to get over there."

"You're forgetting that our rooms are connected. There's a door that goes between our two rooms. We just have to make sure that we're really quiet when we're over there."

"I can't believe how sneaky you're being. Breaking and entering in a casino is serious, Alexis," Mike said. "Do you know how to pick a lock?"

It took Alexis ten minutes to get the door leading into Jimmy Brock's room. They quietly searched the room, through his dresser drawers, the nightstand drawer and the big closet between the bedroom and the bathroom. Mike sat down on the bed and picked up the phone. The phone buzzed twice and then someone answered.

"Switchboard. How can I help you Mr. Brock?"

"Uh," Mike paused then cleared his throat. "I've forgotten what the last number I called was," Mike said in a deeper voice.

"Just one moment, Mr. Brock," the switchboard operator did some typing then spoke again. "785-555-3954. Would you like me to place that call?"

"No thank you. What was the last number that called me?"

"Just another moment, Mr. Brock," the switchboard operator did more typing then spoke again. "816-555-7832. Would you like me to place that call?"

Mike chuckled, "No, thank you. That will be all."

Mike hung up the phone just as Alexis came out of the bathroom. "What's going on?"

"Let's get out of here," Mike grabbed Alexis' arm and dragged her back into their room. He shut both doors and locked theirs. "I got a couple of phone numbers. I wrote them down."

"Phone numbers? That's great! Were they on a piece of paper or something?"

"No, I asked the switchboard operator," Mike smiled.

"That's dangerous. They're gonna start looking into who called considering the one person who'd use Brock's phone is dead," Alexis said.

"We have to start somewhere," Mike began and picked up the phone receiver. "We can at least see who the last people he talked to were."

Mike dialed the 785 number and waited while it rang. It rang quite a few times until it clicked onto a voice mail recording from an editor at the North Centropolis Sentinel. Mike hung up, wrote down the editor's name and that he was from the Sentinel then dialed the 816 number.

It rang twice. "Gene Hemingway's office," answered a female voice. Mike quickly hung up and turned to Alexis.

"It was the phone number to Gene Hemingway's office. Why do you think Brock was talking to Hemingway?"

"When Brock came up and talk to me--well, my breasts, not really me--something made me think he knew what was going on around here. He acted like he was here for fun not for a story or anything," Alexis said.

"He and Hemingway are in cahoots?" Mike asked.

"If cahoots means 'working together' then yes," Alexis smiled. "Let's go see if we can find Mr. Hemingway."

The parted ways and began asking around to the employees about where Mr. Hemingway's office was. Mike finally got the information from an employee that was currently on break and smoking some pot.

"His office is on the lowest level of the boat. He's apparently planning to depart the boat, along with Brock's body when we reach Farley so we have to see him now," Mike explained. "Let's go."

Mike and Alexis took the elevator to the lowest level. They could hear the turbines of the steamboat churning on this level. When reaching to lowest level, they looked one way and nothing but turbines. The other way, the could see a massive door and a woman sitting at a desk. They cautiously made their way to the door and the woman.

"Can I help you?" the woman asked without even looking up.

This caught both of them off guard. "Hi, yeah. We're from the Centropolis Inquirer and we would like to talk to Mr. Hemingway about the reporter that was killed tonight," Mike said.

The woman looked up at them. "He's busy at the moment," the woman said.

"Then we'll wait for him to deboard in Farley," Alexis spoke up.

That caught the woman off guard. She paused for a minute or so then picked up a phone. "Sir? There are a couple reporters here to ask you questions about Jimmy Brock," she said. "The Inquirer. Uh-huh. I'll tell them."

She hung up the phone and looked directly at Mike and Alexis. "Mr. Hemingway is not seeing anyone about that matter right now."

"I know that we are just from the Inquirer, what's been dubbed a tabloid rag, but not answering any questions on this matter--even from tabloid reporters--is mighty suspicious. I'm pretty sure Mr. Hemingway wouldn't want anything else to hurt his business," Mike said.

The woman stared at Mike then the doorknob turned and Mr. Hemingway appeared. "How are you two this evening?" he said, extending his hand.

"Fine, Mr. Hemingway. I'm glad you decided to see us tonight," Mike said. "I'm Bruce Kent and this is Alexis Barrett. Can we please talk in your office?"

The three of them entered the office and Hemingway sat down at his desk. "Now what do you want to talk about?"

"Did you know Jimmy Brock?" Mike asked.

"I knew who he was and he was a boisterous gambler but other than that we weren't close at all," Hemingway said.

"Did you know you were being investigated for fraud?"

"I had an inkling," he sighed.

"Brock was the lead reporter on the investigation. Kind of strange that he would wind up dead," Mike said.

Alexis noted something in a cabinet. We walked over to it and got out her camera and took a couple of pictures. Mike and Hemingway continued to talk but Alexis ignored them.

"I don't really like what you are insinuating, Mr. Kent," Hemingway huffed. "Now if you must excuse me, I have to get ready to deboard in Farley."

Hemingway ushered Mike and Alexis out of his office and slammed the door. "Well, that was rude," Mike said.

"Look what I got," Alexis clicked to the picture she took of the glass cabinet. "Hemingway has a collection of fancy knives in his office."

"So?"

"One of them is missing. I bet if we can find out where they are stashing Brock's body then we can find the murder weapon and see if it matches. If it does, then we have a story."

"But we don't know where they took Brock's body," Mike said.

"Then we'll find the ship's doctor and ask him," Alexis said. She turned around and spoke to the woman guarding Hemingway's office. "Excuse me, where's the doctor located?"

"One floor up, to the right and the third door down."

Mike and Alexis arrived at the doctor's office and slowly opened the door. It pushed right open but no one was in the room. Jimmy Brock lay to the side covered in a sheet. Mike and Alexis looked under the sheet to make sure it was Brock and saw Brock pale, bloated face lying sullen.

"Let's find that knife," Alexis whispered.

Mike opened a couple drawers that were on the table Brock lied on and saw a knife. He gasped and poked Alexis. "Found it!"

Alexis smiled and began taking pictures. After a few minutes, they were back in their room and the boat was preparing for docking at Farley. "We did it! We know who killed Brock!"

"But we still don't know why."

"We work for a tabloid. We just guess and hope everything works out all right. Come on, let's get off this ship and get back to Centropolis," Alexis smiled and winked at Mike.




Barney and Andy were standing with a police officer from Independence. They were in the hallway of the local high school standing in front of Miranda Johnston's locker. "Have you went to the parents?" the officer asked.

"We went over to the house but no one was home. Thanks for letting us look in her locker," Barney said.

"No problem. We couldn't find anything but I think it's just a simple kidnapping. You know, like that girl in Mason," the officer said.

"That girl died," Andy said. "We want to find this girl before that happens. Just open the locker."

The officer opened Miranda's locker and Barney pulled out a composition notebook and opened it. "Just a bunch of drawing and journal entries."

"There's probably more to it. May we take this?"

"I guess. We looked through it and didn't find anything worth investigating," said the officer.

"Let's go back to the parent's house, Barn," Andy said. "We'll save her."

In 2 Weeks:
Andy and Barney go to see Miranda's parents; Jess begins her student teaching career and something is approaching Earth.

Suck It, Vet!

Born Loser 03-08-09
"Well, doc, it's my dog. If I want to give my dog leftover scraps that are on the plate then I will do so. What do you care? The more things that are wrong with the dog the more you get paid so if I'm going to pay thousands of dollars a year to keep my dog alive and healthy, I'm gonna do what I want with it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my dog to Applebee's!"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Something In Common With Wilberforce? Kill Me Now

Born Loser 03-07-09
I just had a weird dream--it wasn't a nightmare by far but it was still pretty strange. I had helped organize some kind of charity chocolate give-away at this school and I guess it became a pretty big hit and got the attention of the media and then celebrities.

I got to meet University of North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams, esteemed former news anchor Tom Brokaw and Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek, who came to me for relationship advice about him and his boyfriend (despite James being married to Heather McComb since 2003). I liked the dream except that giving away the chocolate was called "bundling up" because the more you gave away, the more stuff you earned (and the more the charity made).

Brutus, however, came home from the bar last night and fell asleep on the staircase. Or is that Andy Capp?

Friday, March 6, 2009

#184: Ten Things I Learned From My Girlfriends

I'll admit that I haven't had very many girlfriends (probably because I spend all my time working and caring for my son) but the few I've had just prove that most women cheat, lie and are basically crazy. (Yes, I know I'll get letters). I made a list of things I have learned from my girlfriends that I think should be a rule for most, if not all, men out there (and maybe even some lesbians but they are actually crazier than straight women). I have found the girl I want to spend my life with but that was once not the case. After the last girlfriend I devoted my time to more important things like keeping my toenails even and launching my own personal campaign to get Grey's Anatomy off the air. Here's my list, slightly updated and revised but still very true.

X. Avoid Girls With Injuries
I've never dated a girl in a wheelchair (although it was on my list) but I did date a girl who had a lower back injury. While that wasn't the main point of why I stopped seeing her, she used her injury as kind of a backdoor guilt trip. I'm sorry you had the accident but just be thankful you can walk--some people can't.

IX. If Divorced, Investigate
I dated this girl in 2002 who was a hot, older woman. She was divorced with three children but we worked well together. After we slept together, she disappeared. I called her but she never answered, she stopped showing up to work and I soon found out that she wasn't divorced. I was an innocent pawn in her little game so if your girlfriend says she's divorced, I'd make sure. Although I don't know how...

VIII. Don't Date Coworkers
I really needed to follow my own advice here because all of my girlfriends have been coworkers. Now don't get me wrong, coworkers are great for one-night stands and friends with benefits but not for long-term dating.

VII. If They Have More Issues Than the New York Times, Stay Away
The New York Times has been published every day since 1851 and I know people have problems but if every little thing causes them to break out into panic then something is wrong with them. I'm a good listener but if your life could fill the plotlines of Dawson's Creek, The O.C. and One Tree Hill then I would rather just watch those shows.

VI. Once a Slut, Always a Slut
Sure they can say that they changed and maybe some of them do but not in my reality. The girl is labeled a slut until such a time that I can have the label removed. So what qualifies someone to be a slut? Depends. Sleeping with nine guys and not remembering two of their names qualifies as does having three contenders for your baby's father. Just remember not to confuse "slut" with "whore". Whores do it for something in return. Sluts just do it.

V. Being On Jerry Springer Is Not a Goal
I dated a girl whose family had this exact goal. They were a marvelously screwed up family but since I'm somewhat normal, I don't really want to be a guest on a show like that. I wouldn't even really want to be in the audience.

IV. If They Say They Are Crazy, They Probably Are
I dated a girl who broke up with me because she said she was crazy. I've had two girlfriends break up with me because they said they were crazy and in retrospect they probably were. So I guess next time a girl is freaking out crying in the kitchen going "I'm crazy, you should get away from me" I probably will.

III. Be Weary If They Say 'I Love You'
I think this rule doesn't qualify to be on this list anymore because I have found love and I do believe her when she tells me that she loves me but before I've had three girls tells me they loved me. One I don't know her whereabouts, the second is married to someone else and the third left me and said she hates me. I think I have a different definition of love then they did. It actually got to the point where the girl would say "I love you" and I would say "Who's the 'you' in that sentence?" they would go "You, silly" and I would look over my shoulder, still confusing as to who they were really talking to.

II. Don't Date a Girl Who Already Has a Boyfriend
You'd think this would be common knowledge but I have no one to blame but myself. Someone had to get hurt and I'm happier that it was me. I learned a lot from that relationship but what a price to pay.

I. Don't Date a Girl Whose Best Friend Is Male
This one is essentially responsible for destroying my last relationship. I know it sounds kind of silly but it's true. To me it just seemed like they were too friendly and although I trusted her, it was him I had little trust for. And just to prove how platonic their friendship was, she moved out-of-state to be with him. By the way, they are now married and just had their first child.

I've had bad luck in the girlfriend department but all that is behind me now. I've been with my fiancee Audrey for over a year now so it makes all that heartache (and headache) bearable. They're all still crazy though.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Seven #1.1

During a summer shortly before the turn of the century, the Kazachovs were blessed with the birth of their first child, a son. For the entire length of their marriage the Kazachovs had wanted children. For years they tried, actually conceiving but always having it end in a miscarriage. Six in all. Doctors sure she would never be able to get pregnant again but she amazed them. Then the doctors were sure she would not carry the baby to full term but again, she amazed them. But something had changed in the family, no longer were they ecstatic about their upcoming arrival. Certain she was carrying this child for no reason other than another sacrifice to a less than loving god, she just went through the motions. Uncaring what happened.

Labor began in the middle of the night, she awoke her husband and within a couple of hours, a newborn baby was laying cradled in her arms, still breathing and looking up at his loving mother. Names were not chosen for this baby. The parents now did not know what to call their miracle. A glimmer appeared in her eye and she smiled at her husband.

“Lucky seven. Seven,” she said.

“You want to name our son after a number,” he smiled but could see she was not joking.

“Seven is a lucky number. God rested on the seventh day. Seven is prominent number throughout our faith. This is a sign. Seven,” she affirmed.

He smiled and cuddled up next to his wife and newborn son. “Seven,” he sighed.




"Kazachov Family History"
Tzviel Kazachov was born in Zayin, a shtetl located just outside of Kiev. He and his family lived within the cherta osedlosti, or the Pale of Settlement. The Pale was a region in Imperial Russia where Jews were allowed to permanently reside. Poverty and hardship ran rampant in the shtetl and because of the harsh conditions many Jews emigrated from the Pale in Russia to the United States. Tzviel’s family saved as much as they could and in 1882 was able to leave for America. Tzviel would be the only one who would survive the trip. He arrived in New York City in the early fall of 1883 and got by doing odd jobs for many established Jewish proprietors. He found himself moving again to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1889 where he became a teller in a bank.

Eliana, maiden name was Hamlimi, was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. In 1881, she and her family escaped being slaughtered due to fears that the Jews were using baby’s blood for ritualistic sacrifices. They arrived in New York City in spring of 1882. Eliana’s father worked hard to provide for his family but after several years of working for someone else, he decided to start his own business and moved his family to Cincinnati.

It was Cincinnati where Tzviel and Eliana met and got married. Tzviel fell in love with the olive skinned beauty. Eliana said that Tzviel had a childlike charm which she found adorable. They were the radicals of their faith, devout Jews but lax with some of the rituals bestowed on the followers. Their marriage was full of love and, oddly, adventure because within two years they packed up and joined twenty-four other Jewish families to Kansas where they settled along the fertile valley of the Kansas River amidst the prairies. The town the families emigrated to was called Cassoday. On the trek to Kansas, the families were denied first class rail accommodations despite buying first class tickets. Cassoday was already a well established town, being nestled amongst fertile hills and valleys and being almost exactly between two larger cities. Cassoday was a stop on the railroad and new businesses quickly sprang up as people settled.

Tzviel was able to secure a job with the railroad and Eliana became the schoolteacher for the Bet Sefer School, a place where the Jewish children could learn using their faith. Soon Eliana became pregnant. She and Tzviel began preparing for what would become the first newborn of Beersheba. But it was not meant to be. Seven months in. A miscarriage would happen five more times and doctors believed she would never be pregnant again so Tzviel and Eliana gave up and when she miraculously became pregnant for a seventh time, neither parent really cared and just waited for their God to take another one of their babies.




Seven was a happy baby. Though not the first baby in Cassoday has was considered by the entire community the town’s miracle baby. Seven was doted on for the first six years of his life then tragedy hit as Eliana died after a short illness. She was buried in the Jewish cemetery a couple miles south of the town. Tzviel and Seven both sat shiva as was the custom although Seven wasn’t sure why weren’t doing anything. He was bored and since it was established he couldn’t go to school, he wanted to go out and play. He couldn’t even do that.

“I want to go out and play,” Seven said, a little bit angry but in a childish, whining tone. “I don’t even know most of these people.”

Tzviel smiled at how his son was more grown-up than he ever thought. “I know but it’s a mitzvah that they are here. Please, just be polite. I will explain when they are gone.”

Tzviel and Seven sat on the floor, another custom said to be symbolic of being brought down by grief, and ate the meal of comforting, seudat havra'ah. Soon, the mourners were gone and it was only father and son. For the next ten years it would be just father and son.

Next Week
Years pass, we meet Seven's friends Tara and Nicholas and we learn more about Cassoday's history and tragedy strikes Tara.

Made In Germany--Beware of Imitators

Born Loser 03-06-09
One of the key ways you know that you are a loser is that you opt to watch infomercials when nothing is on TV. When you could just turn the TV off and read a book or make sweet love to your wife, you turn the TV on channel 93 where all the infomercials are and watch this, ad nauseum:



It's not a pretty picture. And what's worse is that yes, some infomercials do have commercials.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Laptop Or Folded Blanket?

I forgot to post today's strip. I've been busy this morning. But here it is:
Born Loser 03-05-09
It is one of my goals in life to get a job where I get a work laptop to take home and such. I don't know why, I just think it'd be really cool that you get a free computer and that your employer would trust you enough to give you one.

Brutus, however, doesn't deserve one.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sweating Or Crying--You Be the Judge

Now before we go on to today's strip, I must warn everyone that there may be a scene not suitable for all audiences. There may be the signs that there was some drug use going on, Brutus trying has hardest to flash us and I'm pretty sure that the woman in the shot has a paunch.

Now that I have warned you, here's today's strip.

Born Loser 03-04-09
I used to hate getting a shot too but I got a lot better as I got older. Then, I experienced a pain worse than anything I had ever felt before and now getting a shot doesn't feel as bad.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is: threaten Brutus with an STD test.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Landsman #1.4

Landsman closed the door and stared harshly at Dylan Freeman. Landsman cautiously circled the office to his desk and stood next to his chair. "Okay," Landsman began, "what the hell is going on?"

"They're trying to ruin your life," Dylan said. "Don't worry. They won't succeed. If you join us, we can help you bring them down."

"I don't want to be a part of it at all. I only went to Snow to see the scope of this conspiracy and that's all. I am done with it. Done with it all!" Landsman shouted.

"That's what we'd all like but they need to be brought down and that's why you have been chosen," Dylan revealed.

"Why me? What can I possibly do to stop this insanity?"

"We can protect you. We need you to go to New York. From there you will help reveal Earth's secret to the world."

"Why me?"

"Because they haven't killed you yet,"




"Dust To Dust"
Landsman had sat down in his chair. Dylan continued to stand and look at Landsman. Landsman was sweating which made him uncomfortable. Landsman loosened his tie and cleared his throat. "What do we do?"

"We go to New York, the Round Earth Society operates there--in secret of course. Once we gather them, we head to Washington and reveal this secret to the world," Dylan said.

"Easier said than done," Landsman stood up. "How do we get there? Everyone will be looking for me and from what I've heard they will stop at nothing to stop this secret from coming out."

"Don't worry. We're doing everything we can to make sure they don't get you. How do you think you got here?"

Landsman raised his eyebrow to Dylan.




An ambulance raced to an old brownstone apartment near the center of Philadelphia. It, along with one police car, pulled up in front of the building and racing upstairs. The door to the apartment they were going to was open. They came inside, a man was standing in the middle of the room. Another man was lying in the middle of the floor. The paramedics rushed to the man on the floor. "What happened?" one of them shouted.

"I don't know, he just collapsed. We were about to leave for work--we carpool," the man still standing said. Crying just a little.

A paramedic tore open the shirt of the man on the floor while another felt his carotid artery. "I'm not getting a pulse," he said. "He's already gone."

"Let's just make sure. Get the paddles," the other paramedic said tearing the rest of the shirt off and seeing the wires and dynamite wrapped around the man waist. "What--?" the man looked from the bomb to the man standing who pressed a button on a remote control.

The explosion rocked downtown Philadelphia. The brownstone was nearly destroyed and several surrounding buildings were on fire. The street below was flooded with police, fire and ambulances helping people who were injured by the explosion. Panic gripped the city.

A few blocks away, Landsman and Freeman had left the courthouse and were going separate ways to New York. Within minutes, the courthouse was engulfed in flames. The courthouse was unable to be saved as it took fire crews longer to get there because of the massive apartment fire nearby.

"What the hell went on in this town today?" asked Police Chief Harrison O'Malley.

"I don't know. We have arson crew going through the remains of the courthouse and we did some searching into the apartment that exploded. It was leased in the name of Matthew Landsman," FBI Special Agent Donald Clark said.

"Matthew Landsman? He's one of the assistant District Attorneys," Chief O'Malley revealed.

"That could explain the fire at the courthouse," Agent Clark sighed.

"He's also our prime suspect in the murder of former Press Secretary Thomas Snow."

"Hmm," Clark breathed. "Sounds like a very elaborate plan to possibly leave town."

"We went to his house. No sign of him or his family."

"Lock down every road out of Philly," Clark said. "Get an A.P.B. on Landsman and have an officer--police, sheriff, whatever--do a check on every single car that comes in and out of this city. Until further notice, Philadelphia is on lockdown."

Next Week:
Landsman arrives in New York and learns where his family is.

Old Before His Time

Born Loser 03-03-09
Veeblefester's birthday is coming up on July 6th. Why do Veeblefester's employees feel a need to get him a present? I've never had a boss that I've wanted to celebrate a birthday with and I've had some pretty cool bosses.

On a side note--and I'm sure Chip is probably very embarrassed about forgetting--it's technically Brutus' birthday if you look at last year. Here's last year's strip:
Born Loser 03-03-08

Maybe that's why Veeblefester is mentioning his birthday so no one will remember Brutus'.

#183: I Did It All Meself

I meant to have this post up and ready sometime during the weekend but I suck. So sue me.

I found out here, got confirmation here and saw proof here that the Paws Incorporated Conglomerate is creating another Garfield property. Life According to Garfield is a weekly panel dispensing humorous* anecdotes about life and such. When I saw that, the first thing I thought was "Yay, more Garfield!" but it was in a more sarcastic tone and I'm pretty sure I made a raspberry at the end of the exclamation.

What I don't like is that Jim Davis used to do Garfield by himself then Garfield became some huge property and was able to make millions of dollars so Davis started Paws, Inc. in order to produce both the strip and those day-to-day calendars. Why can't Jim Davis do his own damn comic strip? I understand not doing the calendars and air fresheners but you should do your own flippin' strip. I know he would just say that he's protecting the integrity of his character but there are people you can hire to do that for you and if they don't, you can fire them.

Remember U.S. Acres? That was another Paws Amalgamation that was condemned by Bill Watterson:
U.S. Acres I think is an abomination. ...Jim Davis has his factory in Indiana cranking out this strip about a pig on a farm. I find it an insult to the intelligence, though it's very successful. -from Honk magazine.

I liked U.S. Acres but when a cartoonist doesn't even do what he was hired for just pisses me off. Scott Adams started outsourcing a few years ago (1998 or something like that) but Jim Davis takes advantage of the situation. God bless Charles Schulz and Bill Watterson and any other cartoonist who does their own work.

I'm hoping the new comic fails because, seriously, what does Garfield know about life? He's a cat. All he does (or should do) is eat and sleep. As much as I would love to have someone do my work for me, there's a certain satisfaction with making your own work that millions of people enjoy. I hope the millions** of people who read my blog enjoy it and take solace in the fact that I have written all 421 posts by myself for you to read.

And just say 'no' to Paws Amalgamations.
~Brian