Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The smell of death

Hi, everyone! Been continuing to listen to new podcasts and things thanks to all your suggestions! My life feels somehow fuller now. More satisfying. In between breaks of long bouts of electronica I skim through the list of new podcasts and, if I'm in a daring enough mood, I go for it. Being in a brave soul sort of a mood I gave "Welcome to Night Vale" a try yesterday. I wasn't even sure what to think of it initially but I find myself mulling it over nearly a day later and that's a good sign in my book. It's like beat poetry in a Twilight Zone format.

I've arbitrarily decided to step up my game if I'm going to continue to write blog posts. Inspired by all the incredible podcasts and free form writing out there I need to make better use of this space! So be prepared to read a bunch of bumbling true life, off the top of my head, rambly posts beyond the usual "Hey I've got a new shirt or cartoon out!" entries I've done in the past. 

 I'll be honest though, I'm much more comfortable doodling than I am trusting words to get across my point. If I even have a point. So the ride may get a little bumpy.  Hang on.

Okay, so here's a random entry to kick things off with.

Sometimes I work out. And lately, since my schedule has returned to a normal pace, I've been going to the gym for my lunch hour. It's a way to somewhat keep in shape so that I may continue my illustrious career as an old-man-beer-league-ice-hockey player. I don't have a ton of ambition in my life other than to try and create the most animation and comics I can and play the most hockey I can play before I'm done and out. And as I get older I suspect that if I didn't do these little workouts every week my body would just calcify into an unmoving mass, never to skate again. So I do my best to keep up steady visits to the gym. It is what it is. A predictable and mostly mundane necessity.

Mostly mundane.

Until the other week.

I was in the process of doing stretches and getting ready to pedal a brisk 5 minutes on the exercise bike when I suddenly heard a loud thud and a moan of "ooooooohhhh". I immediately scanned the first floor. The gym has two levels, the second floor has all the cardio machines and is an open space that looks down onto the first floor. Every now and again there are some rather loud muscle head types who squat huge weights on the first floor. Whether it's voluntary or just necessary, they almost always are grunting or yelling audibly throughout the gym as they lift and then loudly drop weights with a thud onto the floor. I assumed that's what had occurred as I glanced down to confirm it. But I didn't see anyone that looked like a candidate to emit the noise I'd heard. Mildly confused, I shrugged it off and got on my bike when I suddenly heard a second lower groan. I looked behind me towards the line of treadmills and saw:

As I approached, a very Brian DePalma-like pool of blood beginning to spread from his head onto the carpet. By this point other folks had also noticed that something had gone horribly wrong at the treadmills. A co-worker was already in action mode, calling 9-1-1 on her phone and telling me and everyone else to "alert the front desk!"A bunch of us hustled downstairs to spread the word.

Luckily for the poor guy on the floor there was an experienced ER (emergency room) person who happened to be doing a lunchtime workout. He immediately took control of the situation, much to everyone else's relief! He flipped the guy over and got folks to fetch wet paper towels that were used to stem the bleeding. The guy had a nasty cut on his forehead and had been knocked loopy. As far as we could tell he must have half fainted while jogging on the treadmill and smacked his head as he stumbled and fell off. As we waited for the fire department to arrive the guy began to become coherent again. The ER fellow calmly talked him through what had happened and after a few minutes got him to his feet.

Soon he had the guy sitting in a comfy chair in the men's locker room and acting pretty normal. The fire department brought in a big first aid kit and tended to the gash on his head. The gym had a wave of 'situation normal' sweep over it and everyone went back to doing their lunchtime workouts. I returned to my previously planned routine but decided to cut my bike ride a bit short as my heart rate was already going pretty good.

Later, as I finished working out I noticed the fire department packing up their stuff and the treadmill guy was getting his gym bag together. I saw that the ER fellow was still there and talking a lot to the guy. I overheard him encouraging him to get a physical as soon as possible and to maybe drastically think about changing his diet. The guy nodded politely and proceeded to walk out.

Back at work, I chatted with a co-worker who had also witnessed the whole thing. He had made a point of thanking the ER guy for all his expertise. And as they got into conversation the ER guy had said that he could tell by the smell of the man that something terribly wrong was going on inside him. He could smell the whiff of death on him, a smell he'd become attuned to after many years of ER experience. He said there was an odor of major organ failure on the guy. Major organ failure. Jeez! I'd never really thought about the fact that death had a smell like that but it made sense. What an incredibly creepy skill to possess. Sort of like a Grim Reaper super hero or something.

When I told my wife about it that evening she reminded me of a news story a while ago about the 'death' cat at an old folks home.

Oscar the cat always knew who was going next and would stay with that person before they went.  Even before the medical staff was able to determine anything wrong Oscar would just know. I think he'd done like over 50 times and been right every time. A comforting but horrible cat to have around I suspect.

The smell of death.

 I really hope that guy went to his doctor and they're able to clear up that odor for him. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer time means shirt time!

Okay, so a decent number of people have been asking about past Grickle shirts and how to get them. This got me poking around on teespring and I realized that you could now make a whole storefront on the site! So all my past designs are currently consolidated HERE:


And I specifically relaunched a campaign for the The Grickle Channel shirt. I need 20 orders by July 9th to make it happen. So if you missed out last time, head over there! The yellow version of the shirt is on a slightly more golden stock this time around (they no longer carry the shirt stock it was originally printed on). I think I might even like the new golden version better to be honest.

I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who sent podcast recommendations last week! It's been great to have a whole new pool of of stuff to sift through. I listened to a few of the Lore Project ones and man so good! It was making me feel a bit disturbed and sick inside but I couldn't stop listening.

I gave Dan Carlin's Hardcore History a try as well. I listened to the "Prophets of Doom" episode. Epic! It was about 4 hours long! 4 hours! And I ended up listening to every single minute of it. The story was fascinating and Dan's enthusiasm in telling it is infectious! He's like the best history teacher you never had. Really impressed. And I almost feel smarter for having listened to it.

I also re-discovered a past indulgence of mine on Youtube. "X minus One" was an amazing sci-fi radio show back in the late fifties. People like Issace Asimov and Phillip K Dick had stories on it. I would LOVE to hear if anyone has recommendations on anything else out there that is even remotely close to the quality and tone of these shows.

Okay, that's all I've got for today! Hope folks are having a decent enough day out there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's that time again!

Hello, everyone!

Yes, it's that time again. That time of the year when I write a brand new blog post to say "Wow! It's sure been a long time since I last posted here!" And then I usually follow that up with something like "I am FINALLY going to get back on track and try and post more regularly!"

Well, guess what? I'm NEVER going to be back on track as far as I can tell. And so I'm not going to make any promises that I'll continue to update this blog regularly. Who even blogs regularly anymore anyway, right? There certainly doesn't seem to be much peer pressure out there to keep this thing up.

So, no promises. But all that said, I honestly may come back and try and update again. Or I may not.

Here's a doodle.
Dog and a hat. With a cane.

Not my best work but it's all I got right now.

It's been over half a year since the Boxtrolls came out and I feel like my brain is just beginning to normalize. Been listening to a lot of podcasts again and loving it.  Mostly catching up on various Mark Maron and discovered the world of Harmontown. Which has me curious to maybe watch Community? I know, I'm about 5 years behind the curve. But I've always been.

What else? Witnessed the BlackHawks win their 3rd Stanley Cup in 6 years. I'd have much preferred to watch the Habs skating around with the Cup but it was still satisfying to watch Chicago get it again. Such a stellar team. It's almost unfair.

In Grickle news, which I suppose is the main purpose of this blog, I'm working on a lot of behind the curtain stuff that hopefully I'll be able to talk about in the upcoming year. Pretty excited about it. That will definitely constitute more blog posts if I have legitimate news to toot my horn about! Bare minimum I'll be tweeting stuff for sure.

Hey, I have no idea if anybody still checks this blog. But if you do I'd love to hear any recommendations folks have on other good podcasts to listen to! My brain is starving for new material!

And with that I bid you adieu! For now. :)