Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunburns and snow: summer in the mountains

I decided to be hip and trendy and start using the Helvetica font.  How ironic!  Well, not really, I've been using fonts other than Times New Roman since before they went mainstream.  Courier New was always my favorite because it looks like a typewriter's font.

I majored in English, how can I not be particular about my fonts?

Anyway, in homage to the hipsters, this post is done semi-un-ironically in Helvetica. ENJOY (or just stand in the corner, sipping PBR and puffing American Spirits while complaining about how you liked Radioactive Cheese before it had 2,000 hits.)

...I feel like we should celebrate, but I'm too busy punching lions in the face and wrestling grizzly bears in the back-country to make a celebratory comic.

ANYWAY!  Time for the real reason you are here!  Comics!

After months of drawing Georgie as a bug eyed puffball, she gets her revenge. There's nothing on earth quite like a Maltese getting revenge.  (Eez so cuuuuute and deadly!)

Georgie is snuggly cuddly soft and radiates sunshine and happiness...or something like that.  She also poops a lot. On the deck. Unapologetically. She also runs off sometimes and totally freaks Sam out since large birds have been reported to have picked up dogs and eat them.
Yes, everything out here can and will KILL YOU DEAD.  That may be why Wyoming is the least populated state (even Alaska has more people than us). It may also be why my county is the least populated one in Wyoming too.  (There is barely 10,000 people living in this county, and it is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island. Our population density is something like 2 people for every square mile.)

So what do I do with all this seclusion?  I take my shirt off!!!

There's 7,200ft less atmosphere up here to filter out the UV rays, and after 9 months of winter I lost my tan from the previous summer for the first time ever. I also got my first hardcore sunburn as well, one of the benefits of being 1/4 Native American...aside from the inability to handle alcohol and the insatiable urge to sleep outside.
I spent the next two weeks soaked in aloe gel with lidocain and not touching ANYTHING.

However, the weather here is bipolar. It was hot and sunny at the beginning of June, then it snowed on the 16th. (The day after my birthday, I was more annoyed that it didn't snow on my birthday than the by the fact it was snowing at all in June. I've always wanted to have a snowball fight on my birthday.)

 Sweater in the morning. Shorts in the afternoon. Coat after sundown. You must keep gear for all types of weather with you at all times. It's not uncommon to switch from heat to air conditioning and back again in one day when driving.  ...and when the nearest town is 100 miles away, there's a lot of driving.

One of the (many) positive aspects of living out here is the unique history. Mountain Men get a 4 day long festival in early July called Rendezvous.  Historical re-enactments, crazy delicious food and bands each night make it essentially the Mardi Gras of the the bars are open all night long for one of the nights.  I am still recovering.

Next year I will definitely be participating in the re-enactment. They take the historical accuracy very seriously, and I'm always looking for an excuse to grow out my beard and ride bareback while drinking whisky from a large jug.

The official state sport of Wyoming is Rodeo, so naturally there is a really big one held during Rendezvous.  I haven't got the cajones nor the funds to pay the medical bills afterwards to participate in it (yet), but my adrenaline addiction is leading me in that direction.

In the meantime, I will live vicariously through Sam's dog, Georgie, and the magic of static-cling!

I'm 155 pounds and 6ft tall.  Basically, a walking skeleton thanks to running.  If I were to take up the sport, I would inevitably be flung higher than anyone else, thankfully years of air-falling in Hapkido should have me prepared to get my ass kicked by a raging 2,000 pound bull.  

If the comics stop coming, assume I died in a bull riding accident.  I have adrenaline issues and need thrills.

I also need cookies.

As a hyperactive runner, I require 5,000 calories or more a day just to keep from falling over from hunger. Cookies are the food of the Gods, and I need them.  All the time. 

[I have no idea how to transition from this comic to the next, so deal with it.]

Much like myself, most of the staff for both newspapers out here is from the Midwest. My roommate is from southern Illinois, and Sam and another reporter are from Chicago.  Sometimes going home to visit is unavoidable...which leaves me essentially unsupervised.

If anyone is going to take over Chicago, it would be Sam and Georgie (in a viking helmet).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And now for something completely different! (Not really)

So, I got a job, moved to the mountains and totally started ignoring the blog-comic.  Big surprise and even bigger let down, eh holmes?

Well suck it up!  I'm still drawing new stuff, I just haven't been uploading lately because...well...I've been busy.

Really!  I have been!

Actually, that's a lie.  I've been working, running, and brooding over the insane student loan payments that are absolutely crushing me financially.  Fortunately, laughter is the best medicine.  Laughter, and donuts.

I really do not like this first comic, it was a busy week and I was in a pissy mood and it reflects in the lack of wit.  Scroll past this monstrosity and pretend it never happened.  Do it and I'll be your best friend!

Winter took forever to end around here, and not just because this place is way up in the mountains either.  This was an unusually long winter, even for here.  My complaints are valid.  Don't doubt me, and I'm not a wimp for getting cold easily!  (Fun side effect of being like 2% body fat?)

Up complete lack of consistency in character design!  Hooray!  Also, I love cadburry eggs and eating tons of Easter candy.  Tripping balls on sugary treats is exactly how Zombie Jesus would want us to celebrate.

It seems that the better my mood, the bigger the eyes...I don't really like these large egg shaped things, I think I will stick with the beady ones for everything other than extreme expressions.

Extreme expressions such as complete ecstasy over growing a mustache!  (I didn't actually grow a mustache, but imagine the shenanigans!  They would be the classiest, most soccer-dad-esque shenanigans ever.)

Mustaches make everything classy and awesome.  Actually, facial hair in general is the coolest.  If you have the means to do so, I highly recommend it, it is so choice.

Growing mustaches/beards is definitely the epitome of awesome, but sloshing around in a massive mud pit is a very close second.  Combine the two for an awesomeness combo that is guaranteed to attract the ladies!

I'm pretty sure Sam would kill me if I got Georgie covered in mud since she is her dog and I've yet to contribute to the keep-Georgie-snuggle-soft fund.

Note: Georgie gets an energy efficient and environmentally friendly idea because she is a trendy and progressive little pooch.  We should all be more like her (and bark at everything that moves too).

I don't typically condone violence of any kind...justice on the other hand, well that's a complicated thing for me.  I've also got a dark side that thinks a quick death was too good for him.  Personally, I would have paid good money to give Osama a swift kick in the groin.

And now for something completely different!

I often wonder what other people are doing when I'm not around.  I also sometimes day dream about the awesome things people (or dogs) could be doing when I'm not around.  90% of the time, assume that I'm thinking you are off having epic adventures while I'm at work or at home doing dishes.  If you freaking walk into Mordor while I'm stuck doing other things, then I something unpleasant!

It took until about May or so for it to get warm enough to go running with no shirt on.  Then it rained for about a week straight.  Fan-freaking-tastic timing to get rid of my gym membership.  I don't run in the rain, it's a good way to ruin my ipod and it is also a recipe for INFLUENZA.

I didn't grow up around Italian-Americans.  Iowa was mostly people of German, Mexican, Dutch, or Irish decent...or any combination of the four.  So, I was shocked to learn that Italians can be naturally blonde, and I still assume mob connections and a double life as a magician is the Italian-American way of life.  Also, bread sticks, lots and lots of bread sticks (thank you, Olive Garden, for forever skewing my views on Italian-Americans with your horrid commercials that make my mouth water).

Anyway, Luvisi sounds like a magician's name to me, and I'm so jelly that I could feed Africa with my jelly sammiches. 

The reason for this?  My last name is the butt of so many Mr. Roger's jokes (won't ya be my neighbor/naber) that it makes my head explode with rage.

Fun fact, my old last name from my biological father, "Truitt," is Gaelic for "direct hit" ....I think my new name that implies being the friendly guy next door is more fitting, but I am kind of jealous that my last name doesn't sounds like a freaking magician's one!

Update in a month or so?  I dunno...eventually, for sure!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ozone, funding disputes and a new truck

The county I moved to is loaded with money.  Pinedale's population is just barely 2,000 yet there is a 20 million dollar aquatic center and just about everywhere you go is extravagant.

Unfortunately, most of these awesome facilities are funding with oil money because there's tons of drilling going on in this area.  What makes this really suck is the ground level ozone that occurs in the late winter/early spring when it's sunny and warm but there's still a super reflective layer of snow on the ground which ultimately traps and bakes the chemicals in the air...or something like that.

Anyway, we have ozone advisory days that say young, old and sick people should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity.  I'm neither young, old or sick...but I am a notorious running addict, so I ignore this and go running anyway. 

Then my nose bleeds and I get light headed, which completely ruins my Nike+ running stats.  (Don't judge me, you try running with a face full of your own's not easy!)

Suffice it to say, I have conflicting feelings about the oil drilling.  I love what it does for the community, but hate what it does to the environment.

There are so many of these oil rigs on the horizon that at night it looks like an alien invasion.

Another unusual side effect of these oil companies drilling in the area is that Pinedale gets more funding than Big Piney, these are the two school districts in the county so it's a pretty big deal.

By national standards, neither school district is hurting...but national standards for school funding are a joke. 

Pinedale (SCSD#1) has some pretty amazing stuff for their kids, trips are funded, the new elementary school is the nicest I've ever seen, and the list goes on.  Big Piney (SCSD#9) isn't as well funded as Pinedale, but it's still a lot better than any school I saw in Iowa despite it's even smaller size than Pinedale. 

So what happens when one school district gets a bigger piece of the oil-pie due to district lines from the 1970's?  A feude worthy of a Clint Eastwood western movie ensues!  ...minus the gun-slinging.

Both are in better shape than the rest of the world, yet arguing still ensues.  SCSD#1 uses their excess funds for recreational purposes, not educational, so they are free to do as they please with it...and fortunately for me, this means having a multi-million dollar recreational center across the street from my house.  (Indoor waterslide and a rock climbing wall is the shit!)

These things are available for anyone, but it's a 40 mile drive for Big getting upset is kind of understandable.  However, taxes are higher in Pinedale to make up for this.

These have been the big things to report on lately, so I'm never in short supply of articles to write.  (And that means job security for me.)

One thing that was a threat to my job though was my piece of shit truck that Wolf Dodge sold to me a couple months ago.  Roughly $2,000 in repairs for a $7,000 truck in less than 6 weeks of owning it is bullcrap.  My extended warranty covered none of the repairs that were needed moose-crap!

I sent out e-mails to every car dealer in western Wyoming and eastern Idaho telling them what I wanted and asking them to find something that fit all my criteria.

First Choice Ford in Rock Springs found a 2007 Chevy Colorado within a week of this, and now Uma is no more.  (snaps for First Choice Ford)

I'm not the type to go cruising, but this is the first vehicle I've ever owned that is from the 21st century and isn't constantly threatening to kill me.  I haven't named her yet, but mudding is definitely going to happen...and at 24 mpg, why not?

The scooter that I drove in college got 110 mpg, but the yellow POS truck got 11 mpg, so I'm pretty stoked even though I sometimes kind of miss only using pocket change for gas money.
Sunday, March 13, 2011

I've Been A Bad Blogger

Over a month with no updates!?!  Blasphemy!  

I would say that I've been busy drawing fantastic cartoons for you all to enjoy, but that would be a dirty lieA very dirty lie!

But fear not, kids!  Captain Matt is green and not just because he is Irish and it is almost St. Patrick's Day either.  I'm going to recycle the comics I posted on Facebook as I made them for the newspaper, so if you read them already...well, you're just going to have to read them again.  (Along with my babbling.)

In retrospect, this comic is kind of crap.  Deal with it.

I freaking hate deer now.  I normally don't hold grudges, but ever since a deer destroyed my car I have wanted revenge.

Cold blooded revenge.

I was walking to the PAC (Pinedale Aquatic Center) to go running, and there was a group of deer just chilling out by the high school and I wanted nothing more than to roundhouse kick them in the face.  I was seriously debating whether or not to do it, I mean after all, they did try to kill me earlier this year.  I was going over what the fines would be for killing a deer without a hunting license and wondering whether or not hunting meant using a gun or bow.

Is it legal to kill a deer using martial arts?  Is it legal to do so on school grounds?

I didn't know for sure, and not wanting to get in trouble with the law, I let the deer live...for now.

I've never had any desire to go hunting, but recent events have lead me to want to do it very badly.  Besides, I deserve my revenge.

This next comic is more of an inside joke for those living in Pinedale, but if you are from a small town you will know what I'm talking about.

Traffic lights change things.

Roughly 7,000 vehicles pass through Pinedale and there is no traffic light.  Left hand turns are impossible and crossing the street would be deadly if the people here weren't nice enough to stop and let pedestrians cross.

As a runner and gas-saving-enthusiast, I appreciate this...but I still think a traffic light would benefit the town.  It would at least get people to stop and see what few shops and awesome restaurants are here anyway.

This next comic is an introduction of our new reporter, Sam. Unfortunately when drawn in my minimalistic style, Sam and Jacie look very similar.

As much as I love cats, I'm also a very big dog person as well.  Typically I don't count anything smaller than a beagle to be a "real dog," but Georgie is an exception.  She demands it.

Since Sam actually works at the same newspaper as me and I hang out with her fairly frequently, she will be in a lot of upcoming comic strips.

As an ex-fast food employee, I try to avoid those restaurants because I know they are dirty and their food is horrible for me.

As a junk food enthusiast and notorious sugar fiend, I ignore these facts.

There's no fast food in Pinedale.  The closest McDonald's is in Jackson, along with the closest anything.  There's no Wal-Mart either.  My inner economic-hippy is thrilled since I really enjoy the Main Street vibe and buying local...however, my Irish pride and forbidden love affair with bad food gets the better of me when it comes to Shamrock Shakes.

Eff fine dining, I want some soft serve ice cream blended with artificial green mint goo served in a paper cup by a greasy and angry teenager.  Aaaah yeeee!

My yellow truck (Uma) is a lemon and this is irony that I do not appreciate.

I spent $7,000 for this 1999 4x4 Dodge Ram 1500, $1300 for an extended warranty, $460 on tax/title/license, $380 on steering repairs and $680 on new gaskets (neither were covered by my extended warranty, those stingy jerks).  The cherry on top of my sundae of debt is that my new clothes dryer cost $380 and it didn't work nor would the store take it back or exchange it...luckily Whirlpool is providing free repairs.

The dealership I worked with on buying and repairing this truck twice admitted to knowing there were problems with it when the sold it to me.  I am one repair away from qualifying to file a lawsuit under the Lemon Law.  I was going to run this comic in the newspaper, but decided against it since my room-mate/friend does sales for the other paper and the sales rep for my paper has enough problems selling with them as it is and I didn't want to create any bad vibes for either of them.  Plus I may need to work with this dealership again anyway.

My ego was so shot by all of this that I went out and spent $120 on a new cowboy hat.  My old one smelled like campfires and was getting kind of everyone gives me beef for always wearing my Iowa baseball hat despite living in Wyoming and reporting on agricultural/environmental news.

Cultural adaptation happens.  (Fun side note, it's a total chick magnet...I hope [girlfriend] doesn't mind.  Everyone knows I'm taken anyway, it's just ego-boosting to be asked to dance by multiple girls in the same night.)

I'm a shallow person sometimes.

Suffice it to say, college food is back on the menu and my trips around the world to visit friends are postponed until further notice.  (That was why I bought such a cheap truck in the first place.)

This is the replacement comic that I made when paranoia sunk in and I decided to pull a Ghandi.  "An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind."  In my case, "The reporter who reports on being shafted by the car dealer gets no road-side assistance."

My only problem at work is my running addiction.  Actually, this is the only problem in my life.  I can't miss a day of running, otherwise I get irritable and easily distracted by everything.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I have ADHD and I refuse medication for it.  I don't believe that taking a pill to be "normal" is a natural thing to do.  I also don't believe that I am abnormally fast and easily distracted.  Instead I believe that everyone else is abnormally slow and that some things just aren't that interesting.

ADHD medication is an amphetamine, it releases chemicals into your brain that otherwise would be out of wack.  Running also releases chemicals, but does so naturally and while improving my overall health.  This is one of the many reasons I have to run every day, it keeps me sane.

Plus, given how insane life can be, a little sanity is necessary; and in my case that comes in the form of running shoes and an ipod.

About Me

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I got my English degree and mountain of student loan debt from the University of Iowa. I like boo berry cereal, martial arts, running and cats.
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