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[535] Goodbye and thank you for reading!
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10.18.2017 - Terrence Marks:
We got a house, as I mentioned a little while ago. Let me tell you about our yard. The best things I can say about it is that it's a pretty good size and that it was in this shape when we got it so it's not our fault.

After we moved in, I noticed a mound of dirt in the front yard that wasn't there before. We were going to the hardware store anyhow so we got kitted up to handle fire ants. Before I dropped the ant poison, I poked the mound a few times and no ants came out. So that wasn't it.

I figured that maybe one of our neighbors poured a bucketful of dirt on our yard. If that was the case, then asking questions about it wouldn't lead anywhere useful. Isabel mentioned that the water department came out the previous morning and that made a lot more sense.

Then we saw another dirt mound a few days later. And it's looking like we've got moles. So off to the hardware store again to get kitted up to handle moles. We've got options. I don't know how to use traps. I don't want to get poison; we'd hate it if one of the local cats or dogs got in to it. So we got mole repellent.

First one we saw, active ingredient was putrescent egg solids. That was when I decided I'd rather have a mole problem than a putrescent egg solid problem. Second one, active ingredient was dried blood, and maybe I'm being superstitious but "We spread blood over our front yard" is the kind of thing you see at the beginning of a problem rather than at the end of one. So we've been putting castor oil granules down and so far it's moderately successful, I guess.

We had wanted to start a garden, but we can't do much until this is taken care of. But homeownership involves having a lot of things filed as plans for later on. Isabel is tending some potted plants and the cactuses are doing alright. Prickly, but generally alright. The others, we'll have to figure out a bit more about what we're doing.
10.17.2017 - Terrence Marks:
A while back I mentioned my Magikarp Used Splash ribbons at Anime LA. Why didn't we make Nicole and Derek ribbons? Becuase this was our first time doing it and we wanted to get a feel for it. I wasn't sure people would be interested in them. Turns out you can give out ribbons for anything. I've got a few I don't know what they're about, but I'm glad to have them. I could've made ribbons that said "Mike's Dry Cleaning" and if I were giving them out for free, maybe five people out of a hundred would've asked what it was about. There's people there with ribbon chains forty feet long. Ribbons are two inches tall. You don't get to forty feet of them by being choosy.

One of the things I've learned over the years, though, is that a reference is fun when it's shared. Unlike Minerva was me just throwing out whatever amused me at the time, whether it was a forty-year-old Li'l Abner storyline or a song by a band that nobody else ever heard of. It didn't always make much sense because of that. There are one or two references in there that I don't understand any more, and I wrote them. Mystery Science Theater 3000 taught me to put a joke in because the right people would get it. And that's better advice when you're throwing five jokes a minute for two hours than it is when you've got three to six panels a day.

So, my point is that when I hand a ribbon out, I want the reaction to be "Oh, cool! I like that thing too", rather than "I have no idea what Los Shakers is, but I'm glad I have another ribbon". And while I think that Uruguay's answer to The Beatles is one of the best bands ever, I don't expect the anime con crowd to share my enthusiasm for them. I don't expect anyone else to share my enthusiasm for them. So as much as I like The Loud Family, or Cross Game, or Clerks: The Animated Series, I'm not sure how well-recognized they'd be by the youth of today.

That was one of the reasons why I decided to go with "Magikarp used Splash!". Pokemon has brand cachet. It's been around a while. Kids these days recognize it.

Isabel keeps having to shoot down my ideas for next year's badges or make them more accessible because of that. Like while Isabel and I repeat phrases from Clerks: The Animated Series to each other, it originally only ran for two episodes, so a Bear Who Drive Car reference might go over peoples' heads. Or not doing a WarioWare ribbon since there hasn't been a real WarioWare game in eight years and the first one is older than some of the attendees; we try not to think too hard about exactly how old our old favorite series are.

So we were walking down a hallway at the con. I was talking about how I shouldn't do The World Ends With You ribbons, since nobody remembers that game anymore. And two separate passersby mentioned that they loved TWEWY and would totally want ribbons of it. Funny how things go.

We'll almost certainly do it again next year. Need to think about what kind of ribbons we'll make and how we'll give them out.

Spare Parts is © Terrence Marks and Isabel Marks, 2003-2008.