4/14/2014
We typically release a new comic each Monday.
How to Joke the System

April 7, 2014

We're on vacation and I'm driving, so my kids decide to tell jokes to pass the time. My oldest two deliver some good ones – "What do you call a pig that knows karate? A pork chop!" and "Knock, knock. Who's there? Interrupting cow. Interrupting c...MOO!!!"

Then my 5-year-old, excited, decides to try, "Daddy! Knock, knock! Who's there? Cow! Cow who? MOO!" And she laughs and I laugh, but the older kids were silent and my wife just smiled and we drove on and told jokes and some were funny.

And it got me thinking, if there is a system for telling jokes, as my 5-year-old daughter clearly understood, couldn't you make an algorithm that defines it? Then you could create an app, name it JOSHUA (Joke Output Simulating HilarioUs Automaton), and sell it for millions to large entities that need it most, like corporate networks whose writers go on strike (or don't), foreign regimes that shoot people with a sense of humor (like Canada), or Conan O'Brien?

I think you could.

Which got me thinking even more about systems, how they're everywhere, like:

  • Computers – operating systems, database systems, security systems, gaming systems, Christmas lights
  • Biology – pulmonary systems, nervous systems, endocrine systems, reproductive systems, bad breath
  • Weather – global winds, air masses, fronts, jet streams (all systems of air that create larger systems), Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Obama
  • Government – dictators, democracies, republics, communism, socialism, theocracies, galactic empires, the IRS
  • Businesses – stock markets, production models, HR, executive training, retirement, vacation, forced vacation, cannoli, offers you can’t refuse
  • Religion – Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jewish, Vegetarians, Environmentalists, Bronies

So I start asking myself, since they're everywhere, how easy is it to let systems take over? Some you have to respect, like the weather, or your body, but you don't let them run your life, right? But how often have I let systems determine the places I end up in life? Like getting caught in an ocean current or a roundabout – once you're in, there's no telling where you'll get out.

I didn't like the answer. So now I ask you.

How much of your life is determined by the country you live in? The education you had? The religion you grew up with? The values you were taught? The technology available to you? The jobs you've had? The job you have? The amount of money your family had? The amount of money you have? The people who raised you? The people you grew up with? Your leaders? The people in "charge"?

Like I said, I didn't like the answer.

I'm not implying you should "fight the system" or go off the grid, or wear an aluminum hat, or pee in a jar. My point isn't to say systems are bad or good. They can be either. I just mean that honest answers to those questions will tell you that too often we let the "system," the way things are or the way things are done, take over for us.

And sometimes, I think the "system" prefers it that way.

My young daughter told a bad joke, according to the joke system. But according to a different system, I laughed at it and all her other jokes, and she was happy and so was I.

And Conan O'Brien is way overpaid.

Thanks for reading.
Luis

Kidratic Equation

February 5, 2014

I'm four kids deep; basketball, soccer, ballet, school every single day and it just keeps piling on. My wife and I went out for a date the other night...without the kids. We didn't know what to talk about. We had to find our "groove" again. That place where you're comfortable being you without all the little yous running around.

But shouldn't "you" be you regardless of where you are or who you are with? I know, different people, different needs, "you" use different voices. But somewhere, shouldn't there always be a "you" you? How does raising kids, giving everything you got to them, turn into losing the "you" you thought you were?

Maybe you never really knew "you" as well as you thought you did.

(And by "you" I mean me. But you can be "me" if it helps.)

I do believe that hardship reveals character (that's why I try to avoid it). And stories, really great stories, are FULL of hardship. But it's easier to read or watch hardship than to live it, cause that's them, not "you"..."me"...me?

···

I know this: my high school calculus teacher, in response to complaints and whining from us about homework and quizzes and all the things you complain about when you're a stupid, selfish bundle of teenage potential train wreck, used to sing as he wrote equations on the board:

If you don't know me by now,
you will never, never, never know me."

And since I am both "you" and "me."

···

Man! He was teaching us on so! many! levels!

Maybe I should just solve for "x."

Thanks for reading.
Hug a teacher.
Luis

The "I" in Ego

July 15, 2013

It&s been a while.

And I can't apologize, because I didn't do anything wrong.

Between CI meetings, websites, meeting about the CI meeting, updates, business goals meetings, e-blasts, lunches (both business and nom-nom), I've had neither the time nor energy to deal with you.

I got bigger fish to fry.

And I'm sorry if that’s hurtful, but I'm not here to make friends. This is a business and I've got to make priorities. I've got data to provide, results to engineer, prides to soothe, and a condo I'm trying to buy (for the kids).

So just calm the heck down, take a chill pill, trust me, and put a sock in your righteous indignation.

I mean, yes, I did promise you I would write once a month. And yes, that does qualify as a "commitment," but you have to understand, these things happen.

You'll understand some day.

As they say in the big leagues, "It's cut time, and you didn't make it."

...

At least, that's what my ego, on days when it's large and crushing, says to say. And the more I succeed, the larger and crushinger it gets.

Luckily for you, success isn't a habit for me, so I apologize for not updating the blog. It's a fun part of the web comic experience and I enjoy doing it.

Ego.

It's a thing.

And While You’re Thinking About That

I wasn't kidding, I have been REALLY busy. Here are some links of stuff I've worked on:

Office Furniture Group

This was a work of blood and tears. I love it for so many reason…but…still not happy with it.

Ultimate Hybrid
Our Comfort Core unit (we're calling it our "hybrid" unit) is something we're really proud of. We did a video last year and fleshed out the website with more content this year

Cycle Man
Similar to The Virgin Mattress (the series this comic was based on), Cycle Man was developed to be a fun look at our 300EZ chair recliner mechanism.

Sand Men
If you read this comic regularly, and haven't watched this…I haz sad. This, also, was an effort of love, and has a degree of entertainment that I'm rather proud of. And I did, literally, bug my bosses with this. A lot of this is exactly what happened. And a lot is close to exactly what happened.

Now keep in mind, the target audience for most of these efforts are other businesses. But even so, they should be easily understood or provide entertainment to anyone who happens to view them.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on any or all of these.

Thanks for reading.
Luis

Previous Blogs

Comic Archive

  1. Sleep Over
  2. The Leap
  3. The Leap 2
  4. The Leap 3
  5. Passing the Torch
  6. Step It Up
  7. Monkeys on the Bed
  8. What Dreams May Become
  9. Inception Exception
  10. The World According to LARP
  11. Larger Than LARP
  12. Nightmare On My Street
  13. Take Your Pick
  14. Baby On Board
  15. The "Bedding" Technique
  16. Cut To...
  17. Memories
  18. 'Jammies
  19. Modern Technologies
  20. If You Build It
  21. File Under
  22. If It Ain't Broke
  23. Old Sayings
  24. Ambiance Chaser
  25. Heart of a Man
  26. Smell of Victory
  27. Time Off For...
  28. LARPing along
  29. New Shop on the Block
  30. The Muffin Man
  31. Jurassic Muffin
  32. Feathers Down
  33. Bored: The Linen Rebellion
  34. Bored: Boss Gettin'
  35. Bikers Soft
  36. Night Court
  37. Adjustable Georgia O
  38. The Set-Up: Incomplete Transmission
  39. The Delivery: Unknown Threat
  40. The Break
  41. The Fallout: Anime Style
  42. Ambrosia
  43. The Truth, She Hurts
  44. Poor Fluffy
  45. Old School
  46. The Summons
  47. Court in Session
  48. Keep Your Eye...
  49. Nature's Beauty
  50. Princess Elite
  51. Recycling Gary
  52. Head in the Clouds
  53. Too Much Labor
  54. Assuming the Positions
  55. Hybridity
  56. A.B=E.L.
  57. Returning Cast
  58. Bored Again - Olympics
  59. Sleeping Beauty Secret
  60. Aggressive Problem Solving
  61. Gamer's Delight
  62. Thanksgiving Turkey Nest
  63. Thanksgiving II - Family Sized Bucket
  64. Christmas - It's good for business
  65. Christmas - The sound of "cookies"
  66. Christmas - Explained
  67. New Year's Treat
  68. Resolution's Resolution
  69. A.B.U.
  70. Driving Miss Crazy - Part 1
  71. Driving Miss Crazy - Part 2
  72. Driving Miss Crazy - Part 3
  73. Driving Miss Crazy - Epilogue
  74. Welcome Home Party
  75. Occupy Your Sheets
  76. Crucial Conversation
  77. This is What is Wrong with Society Today
  78. The Perrrrrfect Bed
  79. Settling Down
  80. Yeah, But He'd Never Come Out
  81. Break
  82. Unplugging
  83. Bored Again - Amazing Graces
  84. Bored Again - Dizzying!
  85. Bored Again - No Contest
  86. Growing Pains
  87. Jammies Take 2
  88. The Lunch Games
  89. What's the mark up on...
  90. Sleep Science
  91. War Masks
  92. The Times, They Are a Chang'n...Clothes
  93. Exiting...With Style
  94. A Good Old Flashback
  95. It Was Destiny...Dressed Up Like Fate...Playing the Role of the Universe!
  96. The Real Thing?
  97. While You Were Waiting...I Got On With My Life
  98. I Flashback in 3D!
  99. One Thing Leads to Another
  100. The Once and Future Movie
  101. Dream BIG
  102. BAAH! HUMBUG ACTIVATE!
  103. WARNING! Santa Has Been Sighted Heading East...
  104. Men of Action
  105. YO! YO! YO! DEL!
  106. Why Pay More?
  107. What a Feeling!
  108. It Doesn't Matter - Harmony
  109. It Doesn't Matter - Hammer Time
  110. Look Where Logic Gets Ya!
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