Tuesday, September 28, 2010

something awesome ha[d] happened

So, a little information here:  This is one of the posts I chose to save from my old blog, T Marks The Spot.  Another one was this bit about Jules Rivera, which I saved because I was especially proud of my argument against her.  And because I want her to read it and realize what a fool she is.

I saved this one because it’s probably one of the coolest internet-related things to happen to me.  Fun fact:  Joey Rintoul now follows me on Twitter, and reads my blog.  I’m not trying to brag, but it’s super cool.  I originally posted this on February 4, 2010, and am reposting it now to keep it alive.  Enjoy:




Something Awesome Has Happened – 2/4/10,
from  T Marks The Spot


So, a couple of weeks ago, I Stumbled Upon this webcomic, They All Bleed The Same, and I thought it was pretty great. The art is really well done, the storyline is the right amount of crazy, with the right amount of humor, etc. So, I started reading from the beginning (happy to find that there weren’t hundreds for me to catch up on), got to the end, and decided to link it in my list over there. (I realize this list is technically for you, the readers, but I halfway keep it as a centralized list of things I like to look at. I’m a selfish blogger.)

Anyway, I received this email today:

Hey man!
Joseph Rintoul here, creator of the web-comic "They All Bleed the Same". While checking out some site information I noticed that I've been getting a fair amount of referrals through your blog. So, showing it in the only way I know how, I say thank you with a drawing. Thanks again!
J. Rintoul
SD Studios

Pretty awesome, right? I like to think that people besides myself have been linking to this webcomic through my blog, but I have a sneaky suspicion it’s just been me. Either way, Joey Rintoul was a nice enough guy to send this incredible drawing to thank me:A-Thank-You

There are a few things outside of the exceptionally obvious that make this awesome:

    1. He dug around enough to realize my name is Tim, not Frim, as it is listed on this blog.
    2. He drew me in the outfit in the [old] blog banner.
    3. He drew the shoes from the outfit in the [old] blog banner, which are not included in the [old] blog banner. I think the only place where you can see the red chucks in the actual image is Facebook (or my hard drive). He’s either a really good guesser, or really thorough, and you should hire him as a private detective.
    4. The body language is similar to what’s in the [old] blog banner – almost the same, in fact.
    5. I actually look like me.

All right. I think that’s enough. If nothing else, go check out his comic. It’s pretty great. So, apparently, is he – I really have a hard time believing that many people would see referrals from this blog and deem them important enough for a response. I feel that, as far as things go on the internet, I’m pretty low on the totem pole, only being more interesting than things like Ron Oslund’s Home Page, or Havenworks.com. So thank you, Joey Rintoul. You’ve made my day. Probably even my week – until Saturday, when I go see the house I want to buy. That might top this. It’ll be a close one. It’s not like I’m moving in this weekend, or anything.


Another fun fact – I did not, in fact, get to look at the house we wanted to buy.  Nor did we even end up buying that house.  We instead ended up buying the house three doors down from that one.

Cream Cheese Oreo Pops

Poppity pops Recently there have been these cake pop things going around on the internet – and yes, they are delicious.  But you also have to make an entire cake before ruining it to make cake pops.  It’s more of a “hey, I have leftover cake, I should make cake pops” kind of thing.  So if you want a tasty, easy alternative – these are for you.  Total prep time for this recipe is about 2 hours, and it makes between 15 and 40 pops, depending on how large or small you want to make them.


  • 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 package Oreos (about 45 cookies)
  • 10 oz. baker’s chocolate – milk chocolate
  • 10 oz. baker’s chocolate – white chocolate
  • popsicle/craft sticks


  1. Grind up the entire package of Oreos into a large mixing bowl.  Using some kind of food chopper will save you a lot of smashing by hand.
  2. Mix the cream cheese into the Oreos.  Mary likes to use her hands for this part.

    Crunch 'Em up Mix 'em in DO IT FASTER
  3. Now, form the mixture into balls – you pick the size.  I like to make them around the size of a large peach pit – big enough to require two bites.

  4. Next, put them in the freezer for at least an hour.  More is better – they colder they are, the less likely they are to break apart in the next step.

    Look at those frozen berries.
  5. Before you take them out of the freezer, you have to melt down your chocolate.  If you choose to make half white and half milk chocolate, I suggest that you melt down the white chocolate first – that way, if you use the same bowl to melt them in, the darker milk chocolate will not contaminate your white chocolate.  I just said chocolate so many times in one sentence.  It’s crazy.  Anyway, use a double boiler to melt the chocolate (or, I use a glass bowl sitting above barely boiling water).  Now, stick each ball with a popsicle stick, dip it in the chocolate, and set it on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.

    Ugh takes so long. Glup glup
  6. When you have them all dipped, put them in the fridge.  Leave them there overnight so the chocolate has a chance to really set.  Makes 20-30 pops, depending on what size you make them.  I would recommend doubling the recipe (people usually come back for more).


These are really good when they are cold right out of the fridge.  They are also really good if they’ve been out for a while, and have gotten soft.  They are basically always really good.  Take them to work and you will have lots of friends.

Lots of friends.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

White Turkey Chili

YUMMYChili is one of my favorite things to cook.  It’s thick, hot, filling, healthy, and delicious (not to mention really easy to make).  This is an easy recipe that I’ve sort of adapted from a few chili recipes I’ve found here and there – Better Homes and Gardens, Betty Crocker, the Internet, my dad...  Hope you like it.


  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper (about 1 large)
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapeƱo
  • 1.5 lbs ground white turkey
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (~15 oz size for the rest of these)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • chili powder
  • assorted spices (specific in-recipe)


  1. In a large saucepan (I call this a pot), heat up your onions, green peppers, and jalapeƱos.  Cook these until  they are soft and smelling wonderful.  It might be a good idea to add some spices at this point.  I added some oregano and some “Bite Me” powder, which unfortunately can not be bought in stores, as my dad made it to torture his family with.  

    Sizzle sizzle Gound turkey looks so weird.
  2. When your gleesome threesome are all soft and ready, scoot them out to the sides and drop in your ground  turkey.  Now, I know what you’re thinking – no ground beef?  Well, I’ve started using turkey because it’s healthier, and there is no grease to worry about draining out.  So one less step!  

    Wait for it... Done!
  3. Stir this around a bit to break up the turkey, and then cover it.  Let it cook for about five or ten minutes – and when you come back, the meat will probably be all cooked.  Presto change-o!
    Just keep in mind – white turkey doesn’t brown.  It whites.  I had to get used to this.  
  4. Next, add the tomatoes, the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and beans. 

    All these cans... go in here.
    As you are adding these ingredients, you might be thinking “Oh no!  My chili looks so soupy and watery!   What will I do?!”  Have no fears.  Once you give it a few stirs, it should look better. 
    ALTHOUGH – make sure that you drain the liquid from the beans, and a little bit (not all!) of the liquid from the tomatoes, because this stuff will make it waaayy too watery.  Let the tomato sauce add some liquid factor.  If you use chili beans that come in a chili sauce, it might be good to use a little bit (again, not all!) of that, too.  

    All these spices... go in here!
  5. Add all of your favorite spices.  Don’t be shy.  I add more than I think I should of everything, and it all turns out fine.  Here’s what I use:
    • chili powder (lots)
    • oregano
    • basil
    • bay leaves
    • crushed dill (weird I know, but I like the way it smells)
    • more “Bite Me” powder
    • garlic salt
    • ground black pepper
    • normal salt
  6. Mix it in, cover it up, and let it all cook for about fifteen or twenty minutes on medium-low.  Don’t let it burn!  Go stir it every once in a while. keep it company.  Enjoy a nice beer while you wait.  Tell your wife it will be ready soon.  She’ll be happy, because it’s already seven o’clock!  
  7. Eat it.  Add some crackers and cheese, although this will make it much less healthy.  But you can do that, because you’re a man.  If you want to really blow it, add some sour cream.  Mmmm.  Who needs a diet when you’ve got chili?  In a hat no less?

 So glorious.

Be triumphant.  Hold your hat bowl of chili high, because you’re eating well and not burning your fingers.

24 Hour Comic Book Day: the current one this time…

We had another 24-hour comic book day last Saturday.  We might have another one soon, I’m not sure.

Well, I finished with half an hour left before time ran out.  I did not, though, get through 24 full pages.  What I did do was 10 half-pages!

So here they are.  A little weird, but I had fun with it. 

(click for full size)



page3  page4







Aaaaand that’s it for that.  Weird right?  We also did a joint comic between the five of us (Mike, Matt, Eli, Joe, and me), but that’s not quite finished yet.  Maybe you’ll see some of that in the future, though.

Back in Time - 24 Hour Comic Book Day the 1st

So… remember this?

I finally finished!  Last weekend, Mike, Matt, Eli, Joe, and I decided to have another 24 hour comic book day.  I thought I should take some of that time to finish my comic from March – so I did.  Here it is, in full-color glory.  I got a bit lazy with some parts, but I think overall they turned out pretty great.

Let me know what you think!

(click for full-size)


strip2  strip3 strip4

strip5 strip6 strip7 strip8

Stay tuned for comics from today!  Hopefully I won’t take this long to finish them. 

I feel like it’s a pretty big accomplishment, and I don’t really know why.  I’m glad Mike Dodaro got me into comics, and I’m glad Shauvon McGill and Joey Rintoul inadvertently taught me how to draw.  Most of all I’m glad Mary always tells me things look really good.

Thanks guys!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Has anyone heard of Jules Rivera?

All right.  My hackles are raised.  I feel that I must respond.

In a blog titled “Naked Came the Webcomic”, and in a post (that you can find here) titled “Art, ‘Art’, and Almost ‘Art’, What Qualifies as ‘art’ in webcomics?”, Jules Rivera makes some claims.  I will tell you about them.

Now, her (I’m assuming here, that Jules is a girl, because I can find no evidence otherwise) post starts out well enough, talking about the many different options available to webcomics, and webcomic artists (webcomedians didn’t seem the right word).  This is true – there are many mediums out there.  But then she takes a nasty turn towards condescension  by saying “There are many different ways creators use to circumvent the “art” creation in comics.  Some methods are more acceptable than others, but some are just downright awful.  What options are available and which of these options will have me calling you a lazy, talentless hack and an insult to the sequential art world at large?”

Now, I’m sorry.  Maybe I missed the ferry to crazy-town.  Maybe I’m reading things wrong (I’m inclined to think otherwise), but let’s not be too hasty here.  I don’t know how one can circumvent art in any way by having any form of webcomic.  Is one form of art better than another?  Is working with sculpture better than oil paint?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I have to hold back.

Let’s move on to where she says that she will have to be calling people lazy, talentless hacks.  I would love to talk about that part.

She divides the ways to “circumvent art” into four different groups – Stick Figure Comics, Photo Comics, Poser Comics, and “Hire an Artist”.  Now the fun begins.

In her spiel about Stick Figure Comics, she gives the concession that the artist is at least “making an effort to draw out his or her comic”, but still goes on to call them lazy.  Oh wait – I forgot the caps lock.  LAZY.  She calls them LAZY.  She ventures that these comic creators are making no effort to improve on their art, and are instead haphazardly drawing crap and posting it to the internet.  The examples of such crap she gives are XKCD, Cyanide and Happiness, and Order of the Stick.  And I quote:  “XKCD, however, is unabashed laziness, never even having established a regular cast, let alone a diverse one.  Cyanide and Happiness is even worse because it’s far stupider than XKCD.”

Wawawawawait.  Let me, for one second, say some words in defense of XKCD, which (incidentally) is one of my favorite comics – (not to mention) many of my friends’ favorite comics, and (furthermore), almost everyone I’ve ever spoken to’s favorite comic.  I almost feel stupid myself telling this woman, who has obviously never read more than one or two XKCD’s, that there is in fact a regular cast, and that yes, he uses stick figures, but the art in some of his comics is, at times, downright beautifulSome of it is so intricately thought-up and detailed that it overwhelms me in its complexity.

I won’t spend as much time defending Cyanide and Happiness.  She had one thing right – it IS stupider than XKCD.  But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that it’s hilarious, and every time I stumble on it I read several more.

But let’s move on, because up next are Photo Comics.  Photo comics are a strange fig, which I also think is an ingenious fig.  Basically, instead of drawing the frames, you take pictures, and throw up some dialogue.  These – like ALL forms of webcomics – can be very successful, or very unsuccessful.  The examples she gives are Irregular Webcomic, Union of Heroes, and Surviving the World.  The first two, I have no experience with.  They look okay.  But Surviving the World is really just a dude drawing witticisms and everyday common sense things on a chalkboard while wearing a white coat.  It’s novel, it makes me chuckle, and it’s been linked on the left-hand side of my blog for a few months now. 

She says, in this section, “The best photo-based comics I’ve seen were actually paint-overs of existing photographs, where I wasn’t entirely sure if what I was looking at was a comic or an elaborate painting.”  She goes on to say that “Titanium Rain (the link she provides is broken), while not a webcomic, is an example of how to do a photocomic right.”

I beg to differ.  Please, let me differ.  Titanium Rain (I Googled it) looks to be a very nice graphic novel.  But once you “intricately paint over” and “add special effects to” the photographs, they’re not really photographs anymore.

This is really splitting hairs.  I just don’t see how she can honestly bash something that A Softer World is an example of.  Has she even read A Softer World?  Probably not, since she didn’t include it in her list of examples.  (This whole blog of hers is full of broken links, by the way.)  A Softer World is a good example of what I would love to do with pictures, if I could take good enough pictures or come up with the jokes.  They’re not even always jokes.  Some of the three-panel picture captions have an incredible amount of wisdom and sadness in them.  Others go for quick laughs and off-color observations that make me feel bad for laughing at, but I can’t help it because it’s true, and it feels so good to laugh again…

Her second-to-last section is about something she calls “Poser Comics”.  These are comics that are made, as far as I can tell, with a software package called “Poser” that provides CG models from which to draw correctly.  Some comics just use the models.  I guess.  I don’t know.  As far as I’m concerned, if the dialogue is good enough, you can use whatever you want.

Just look at Dinosaur Comics.  That’s one of the most-linked, well-known comics on the internet, and the only thing that changes is the dialogue.  I’m not really a huge fan, but I can appreciate that almost everyone else is.

The last thing is “hire an artist”.  Here, she lists “Least I Could Do” as an example (another popular webcomic).  Now, I don’t know about this.  “Commissioning An Artist” and “Finding Someone Who Can Draw To Do A Webcomic With” seem to be very fine lines to me.  Now, while I don’t think hiring an artist is necessarily “circumventing the art”, I don’t really see why she loves this method more than the other two (read the paragraph she wrote about it.  She loves it more than the other two).  Isn’t drawing something on your own better than paying someone else to do it, even though they’re better?

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s not.  What do I know?

Okay.  So maybe I’m being a little hard on her for being a little hard on almost every webcomic I love.  Maybe she has more credentials than I do for this.  Let’s look at her webcomic, Marsh Rocket.  It’s very… detailed, yes.  Very involved.  Artistic, to be sure – but not unique artistic.  To me, it’s like she took every comic book she’s ever read, and drew that.  The story line is about World War Something or Other.  Nuclear bombs.  Fighting.  Wartime.  Awesome explosions.  Whatever.  I’m sure there’s a market for that.

And that’s the point I was looking for.  There’s a market for everything.  Who cares what the art looks like?  That’s not what art’s about.  Art is all about feelings, anyway.  It doesn’t matter how detailed or simple or creative or boring a piece of art is – things are successful because people like them, and things are unsuccessful because nobody pays any attention.  Quality has no bearing on what people notice – people notice unique things that pique their interest (not things like another nuclear holocaust told from the perspective of another tired Marine).

Also, some other things people don’t like?  Bitter webcomic creators who would take time out of their day to bash another comic for not being artistic enough.  That’s like me writing a post about how awful Neil Gaiman’s blog is.  (Actually, Neil, I think your blog is excellent, and if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry about your cat – she was beautiful.)

So that’s my point.  Art is art.  No need to be a hater just because Randall Munroe became more famous than you by drawing stick figures and making nerdy jokes about math.





Also – just call it a comic.  No need to throw around big words like “sequential art” like you’re Sage Francis or something.

Turtle Cheesecake with Oreo Crust


What’s better than cheesecake?  Cheesecake plus caramel plus chocolate plus Oreos plus roasted almonds – turtle cheesecake.  And you know what?  Surprisingly easy to make.  So let’s get right to it:


  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped/crumbled Oreos
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 14 oz caramel
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • 24 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 350.

    Mmmm.  Toasty. 
  2. Spread pecans out on a cookie sheet; bake at 350 for about 6 minutes.   They will burn very quickly after 6 minutes.  Take them out; set them aside.
  3. (Keep the oven on)

    Butter is the best. Milk's Favorite Cookie. 
  4. Melt butter in a smallish saucepan; mix together with the Oreo crumbs.  (I used a hand chopper to crunch them up.)

    pat pat pat This part smells awesome.  You don't even know.  Well, maybe you do now. 
  5. Press Oreo/butter mix into the bottom of a BUTTERED spring form pan.  (you could use Crisco instead, I guess.)  Put the pan on a cookie sheet; bake for about 10 minutes in your already hot 350 degree oven.  Take out; let cool.

    TAKES SO LONG Almost done!
  6. Now you have to melt the caramel.  I used a bag of those individually wrapped caramels – such a pain to unwrap all of them (which is why I asked Mary to do it…).  Anyway, you have to melt them in some kind of double boiler – I like to use a glass bowl sitting inside a saucepan above boiling water.
  7. Melt the caramels together with the evaporated milk.  This takes about half an hour, and you will probably burn your hands on the steam.  Have fun!
  8. Pour about 3/4 of the SMOOTH melted caramel on top of the cooled Oreo crust.  Sprinkle about 1/2 of the pecans on top of the caramel.

    Red mixer + Red bowl
  9. In a mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese and sugar – use an electric mixer and beat until smooth.  Add the vanilla.  Mix it up.
  10. Now, add the eggs, and again – mix until smooth.
  11. Use a different double boiler to melt the chocolate (I find that it helps to add some butter to the chocolate – keeps it smooth.  If you get any water in the chocolate, it gets all grainy), and add about 3/4 of the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture.  Mix it in as well as you like – a marble texture might look nice here.  I went ahead and fully mixed it in.
  12. Pour your cheesecake batter on top of the crust in the spring form pan.

    Before. After!
  13. Put the pan (still on top of the cookie sheet) in the (already hot!) 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  I’d check it at 35.  Keep in mind that cheesecake is weird – it will not look like normal cake.  It should be a little jiggly, and seem like it’s barely set.  If you keep it in too long, the top will start to crack.  If you see cracks – take it out!  You’ve cooked it too long, but it will probably be ok. 
    If you see cracks AND black, crusty cheesecake batter – take it out!  You’ve ruined it.
    If you see cracks AND black, crusty cheesecake batter AND fire spewing up through the cracks – leave it in!  You’ve opened a portal to the nether dimensions and you should probably sell your house.
  14. Take out your glorious creation.  Admire it.  Now, sprinkle the rest of the roasted pecans on top.  Add the rest of the caramel (you might need to re-melt it) and chocolate (again with the re-melting).  Look how pretty it is. 
  15. Now put it in the fridge.  You need to chill this bad boy overnight before you even think about cutting into it.  It will goo everywhere if you don’t.  Leave it on the cookie sheet also.  Spring form pans tend to leak a bit – you might end up with melted butter from the crust on the bottom of your fridge.
  16. (the next day) Take your cheesecake to your function of choice and bask in the warm glow of a cake well-cooked.  Enjoy the praise from your friends and family.  Be prepared to be in charge of dessert from here on out.

Straight to my thighs. I want a piece right now.  So bad.

*A side note – it is a little hard to get the sides of the spring form pan off due to the caramel and chocolate being so sticky.  A way around this might be to add them after you cook and chill the entire cheesecake – take the pan sides off, and then add your caramel, etc. 



Here is another one I made – this time, with less chocolate on the top.  A little nicer-looking, maybe.