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In the before times…

Next comic should be up Saturday. Long story short, and not being too specific (cause I don't want to burden you with my burdens) uh... my kids spend half their summer with, let's call them, FAMILY X. Algebra time. After Family X gets them, they drop them off with great grandparents for a week (we'll call them Family Y) Family X and Y, are related, and X does not like Y. Family Y is a perfectly normal family and there's no reason for any animosity. I called Family Y on Monday. Kids weren't dropped off. Called family X, family X said "oh okay." Called family Y again last night. Kids still weren't dropped off. Family Y, who's supposed to have said children, were going to drive them back to me this Sunday, and are apparently not getting said children for scheduled time. So that's not happening. Now Father Omega (me) is sick of the BS and picking up his children. I don't know the whole story, and I'm tired of the three hour phone conversations, so I'm just leaving to go get them and putting an end to the horsesh*t. Just got a warning text this morning my 6 year old son may have an injured leg, because he attempted to prank scare a grown adult member of Family X, and was promptly kicked, by said grown adult. KICKED... Sunday and Monday I was sick to my stomach. Right now, I'm sick to my brain. Worst case scenario, comic will be up Monday. I wish to God I didn't have this constant drama, and I only share about 0.0000001% of it on my site (cause, duh obviously...) but I gotta insure the welfare of my children at this moment. Bare with me. My head is about to burst into flames. Update: While I was out driving today I did stop by the post office. So for any of you still waiting on a Patreon drawing you should have it by Monday. :)

141 thoughts on “In the before times…

        1. NARS? Not Another Rotund Squirrel? Does that mean some kind of environmentalist cult formed specifically to stop Ellie?! Will they be in time to save Quinn?!?

        2. Oh, it’s a fan name thing? Sorry. I was away a lot during that SS/SSSS mixer.

      1. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
        I had it on my mp3 player in middle school… -_-‘

      2. Heh, I think it’s been devoured by the void-hole. But there was once a group video of me and a bunch of Breeden’s Men in Kilts doing an impromptu rendition of “Dragostea din tei” at DragonCon about a decade ago.

        1. Speaking of Dragon Con…

          The Patreon $1200 goal involved going to conventions. Atlanta isn’t /that/ far from Atlanta. Just a hop, skip, and a jump up I-75.

          *cough*

        2. Lakeland is a past residence. Rusche was farther west last I heard (still Southern and east of Mississippi River, but farther west than Florida).

      1. I immediately thought of Hamster Dance, but in retrospect I think that predates NumaNuma.
        Perhaps Hamster Dance should be put more in the categories of pre-Newgrounds or pre-Nyancat.

        1. Hamster dance definitely predates Numa Numa. I’m not sure where it would fit in to the web these days, probably a YTMND.

  1. Darn Candaiens. Why you no bitter?

    …wait…

    I KNOW WHY!!! IT’S BECAUSE THEY HANG ALL-DRESSED POTATO CHIPS OVER US LIKE BIG BROTHERS WHO WON’T SHARE!! ToT

  2. I can totally see why he’s unbitter, what with YouTube selling to google for the mere pittance it did a few years back.

    The real question: did his site have “All Your Base”? That’s the freaking theme song to the Internet from the before-times.

    Final, only remotely related thought: I recall having to go to various sites for my flash videos, and spending hours watching some really random stuff with such low production quality…but it was free videos, so they were impossible to resist! One I recall in particular was about 45 minutes long (but before YouTube, so no progress bar, just “play”) really simple stick figure animations, and the only clear connection from scene to scene was that 2 other figures were watching the whole thing, perplexed by how unconnected everything was (except that every time someone said “the ziggy word” they exploded. I can’t recall the name, but those were some amazing/dark times for the Internet.

    1. Well, either All Your Base or Hamsterdance would be the soundtrack… but even mentioning the latter has put it back in my head. The pain. The pain is great.

      1. Robin Hood and Little John,
        runnin’ through the forest.
        Jumpin’ fences, dodgin’ trees
        tryin’ to get away…

    2. That good sir is The Demented Cartoon Movie. “Zeeky Boogy Doog” = rocket-powered “Fooby the Kamikaze Watermelon” flying in. “Wesnagzit” = world blows up.

  3. Well, if I had a site that did everything YouTube did, long before YouTube did it, and then watch a handful of putzes make a couple billion selling out to Google, I think I’d have something of a disdain for humanity myself.

      1. Hmmmm… that’s a difficult one. :/

        Maybe watching Danny flail from flop to flop is a way of soothing the not-bitter? No, really: not bitter. ;P

    1. Disdain for humanity is a bit far. Pissed off someone else got that lucky instead of you for the rest of your days, sure. Carrying it to all humanity as opposed to not as good of luck as hoped for seems a bit much, though.

      I think the disdain is just a natural attribute for Caleb.

      1. And I was around in the really before times, back before the Internet. Before PCs. Before your parents. You know the US Flag, how many stars are on it? They added two after I was born.
        So…. old….

        Oh and get off my lawn.

        1. Actually they added both Hawaii and Alaska to the USA after my dad was born so… yeah…

    1. Yep, you’ll be sitting around drinking tea with your friends at 40, saying things like “Remember PLANKING? And One Direction?”

    2. And when the day comes that you have nostalgia bits like this, they’ll be just as minor, useless, and dumb as ours. Go watch an episode of the Muppet Show and you’ll have more of the goodness from longer ago.

        1. Maybe I’m watching the Disney muppet show… that might be what’s haunting me…

  4. “ProxyMorons”… cute!

    Is this the first time we have heard the name of his site?

    Is that the only one..?

    1. I have a hazy recollection that it came up somewhere before, but not in a way that indicated it was the site name. I think I thought it was a weird negative description of Danny or Caleb.

  5. I remember… like Peppridge Farms kinda remember… in the dark days… BEFORE the internet… when we had to watch things happen… in real time, in real space…

    In…..

    Meatspace…

    I was there, before the enlightenment… before the mp3, before the GIF, before the JPEG, before HTML…

    It was terribad. If you wished to keep an image, you had to stand rather still… endure the flash, and go somewhere to have it “developed” on a machine the size of a smart car. If you wanted moving pictures? There were these rectangular chunks of plastic…

    I will say this… I was there, when MTV launched… *hangs head* it was a different time…

    1. In the first year of MTV, it was such a novelty that my elementary school played it on TVs in the cafeteria during lunch.

        1. And when it still was free tv.

          Let’s make a list of MTVs company policy nowadays: They stopped broadcasting anything I wanted to watch, filled the hole with a very few good, some halfway decent shows and a vast majority of things that are stupid as feck. Then they told me that from now on I had to pay to watch those shows.
          Yeah… Not really missing MTV in my tvs channel list. Missing the old MTV, yeah. But not the new one.

    2. I remember people having midi collections before mp3s were popular (and playable on computers of the time). I remember looking forward to FAT32 so I could make partitions larger than, I think, 2 GB (or for my use case partitions larger than a smaller size with an also smaller cluster size).

      1. Oh man… I still have a midi collection somewhere, in my traveling collection of files from past computers.

        1. My love for the game Master of Magic (which I seem to recall getting on three 3.5″ floppies originally) is what brought me to first go and buy something from gog.com. The fact that the game download was smaller than the download of wallpapers they’d made for it made me feel good.

        2. (my parents had a Macquarium-model Mac when DOS was in the 5.25″ floppy with no hard drive days, so I only used those a lot on other people’s system)

        3. Eh? Macs never had 5.25″ drives; the original Mac came with a 3.5″ drive.

          I don’t remember what kind of drive its predecessor, the Lisa, had. Never had one, nor worked on one.

        4. I cut my teeth on a Ti-95 4/A.
          Well, no. I had all my milk teeth by then. But I think my younger brother might have gnawed on one a bit.

          the Ti Speech Synthesizer was fun to play with.
          I still remember, fondly, the sound of playing a program back into the computer from an audio cassette.

        5. If you count the number of votes on gog.com, 1085 people remember Wing Commander 1 & 2, but only 136 remember Magic Carpet 2.

        6. Right, the mac had 3.5″ drive, it was the MS-DOS computers at my dad’s shop or a friend’s house or two that was MS-DOS with two 5.25″ drives because I don’t think it had a hard drive. Just slurred my statement to make parsing it a pain.

  6. Update on Ash.

    I managed to catch a ride with my da to see her myself before my shift today and carried over printouts of the comments and all of the pages from both comics (SSSS and SS) from my color printer at home rather than the sorry job the store’s b/w laser printer has been making of them. She asked I pass back along her thanks for the well wishes and told me that while the tests hadn’t gotten any better, they hadn’t gotten much worse either.

    The plan is still for her to be induced this evening unless the lad decides to come before that. She had to explain to the Boss and I that induction isn’t necessarily a quick process so the lad might show anywhere between tonight and Friday… I think the Boss was thinking a C-section from the relief on his face when she stressed they weren’t looking at surgery, while I just thought the meds worked faster than they apparently do.

    If the lad comes before Friday, Bri or I should be able to get the announcement up within an hour of his birth. If he lingers where he’s at until Friday it might not be until Saturday morning before we can get the message posted up here, just from how shorthanded we are running in the store.

    We’ll do our best to keep you all posted.

    1. And plates of Squirrel Cookies and North American Round Squirrel Shortbreads with flagrons of fresh Honey Mead from Mead Moose as well as alcoholic root beer. (I saw a 4 pack for that at my store.)

    2. It’s good to hear that surgery isn’t likely to be needed. We’ll be looking forward to the happy news of another webcomic fan being born.

    3. Sorry to everyone for how long it has taken to post this update. There were internet problems at the store atop of everything else that wanted to go wrong this weekend and there were points where I was solo at the store with Bri and Ed sick with some summer flu.

      Ash’s doctors did start induction late on Wednesday (really from what the Boss said, more early Thursday) but by evening Friday they decided that the lad wasn’t fairing well under the strain. William Anthony Blackwell was born by c-section very early Saturday morning, and Ash and young Tony hopefully will be coming home in the next day or two.

      The lad’s not as small as the ultrasounds made him seem. They were expecting a babe that was maybe 6lb 5oz and he was 7lbs 7oz, and there were some troubles with his birth that the Boss couldn’t explain very clearly, including some type of hole at the small of his back over his spine but he and his mother look to be doing far better now. Tony’s got full use of his legs, so whatever it was Ash was scared he had when they first told her (and they admitted they were worried for as well) isn’t a problem.

      She should be back to talk for herself in the next couple of days.

      1. I’m starting to think there’s something to the Boss’s paranoia about not saying something (like naming the lad “aloud”) until the babe is safely where we want him. He was against me saying anything about when they would be coming home and while Ash was technically released a wee bit ago today, little Tony has jaundice and has to stay, so she’s not really leaving the hospital yet. I’m waiting one more day to make sure I haven’t caught the bug going ’round, then I’ll nag my da into giving me a ride to the hospital and bring your comments to her again.

        1. Thanks for the update. Sincerely hope everything turns out well.

          Though that the small guy was bigger than originally thought seems like a good sign.

      1. Perhaps Caleb laments that he never got to build a solid gold walled, heated swimming pool in the shape of a maple leaf… with blackjack and hookers.

  7. Oooo, I remember those days. Businesspeople used to GROSSLY overvalue the internet as a marketing tool. You may look around, see the ads, and say, “Gravatarless, you foolish fool, advertizing is even bigger than ever!” That’s not what I mean.
    Back in the day, when the internet was just taking off, everyone thought it wasn’t merely the Next big Thing, but it’d be One Thing To Rule Them All And Bind Them In Darkness. The result was two-fold:

    1) If your site was [blank]-but-on-the-internet, investors would bury you in money, especially when they saw you had so much investment money you were spending the “surplus” on cars and Next Gen Office Buildings

    2) If your site was getting a lot of views (this applies to our Bitter Canadian), advertisers would bury you in money, even if it never paid off, because it would obviously pay off, because if it never paid off why would all the other advertisers be burying people with money?

    Incidentally, the Dot Com Crash came when investors and advertisers had roughly the same epiphany at the same time, only 8 years after the tech side of the industry had already figured it out.

    1. Yea… I graduated with a CompSci degree months after the dot com bubble finally burst. My college went from “guaranteed job placement post graduation” to shoulder shrugs and awkward silences. I not only missed my window to get any of the dot com gold, I also had to fight for entry level tech jobs against guys with the same degree as me plus years of job experience. Long story short I made any use of my degree whatsoever and the entire experience just ended up just being a painfully long boondoggle.

      1. Sounds like you’re right around my age. I recall people a year or two ahead of me getting ridiculous signing bonuses and all sorts of crap and I graduate and it’s was definitely the, “Oh, we’ve calmed down now” job market for CompSci (I was still lucky and got a good opportunity which just so happened to teach me something I didn’t want to do).

        On the other hand, a girl I dated that was a year older and had gotten in on the tail end of that really got screwed. She had a year or so of crazy salary & perks and everything, then the no-plan startup died and all she turned out to have was a very short work history with a salary that made HR people convinced she’d never work for anything reasonable. She was generally unemployed for a few years and just scraping by on odd jobs and probably assistance from parents & friends.

        So that helped me get over wanting to have gotten out a year earlier. Didn’t stop me wanting to have gotten out about ten years earlier so I could’ve retired by the time it burst, though…

  8. That’s right unbitter is totally a word that exists to describe someone who is not bitter.

    Waitaminute – not it’s not, who are you trying to scam?

    1. McFatFat. He’s trying to scam McFatFat.

      When removing cameras and fixing the iCloud, Caleb secretly left a device to attempt to train McFatFat to due his bidding and start using Canadian words.

      That or I just felt like adding a silly conspiracy theory.

    1. If you’re raking in massive amounts of cash at 15, how useful/helpful is public school (which wouldn’t have had anything computer-related he didn’t learn) going to seem?

      There’s also a disproportionate number of very successful computer people who dropped out of college, so there is a bit of a stereotype there.

      1. He was 17 when YouTube hit. So if he started his site at fifteen, and YouTube has been around for ten years, his company would have floundered at 17.

        If he was smart about paying attention to the doubling of computer power, then he would have stayed in school while leveraging his bets. Bill Gates got stupidly lucky when IBM only rented DOS instead of buying it off of him.

        1. I know Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college too, and I have a hazy recollection that one of Apple’s founders did (but I hate Apple so don’t recall that much about them). I think others too.

          Moore’s Law isn’t really relevant, the question is more position/opportunity/timing. Stopping what he’s doing with the site wouldn’t make everyone else pause, it’d make someone else jump in to fill the niche. So in a few years when he graduates high school he’d have to start over somewhere else. Not sure how high school works in Canada, but in the US being able to drop out at 16 and keep with the >$20k/week job and grab a GED later seems like a much wiser financial decision for me (not necessarily wiser socially).

          Think of it as similar to the tradeoff question for professional sports (say something less destructive to the brain than American football with all the microconcussions, though). You have X years that you will be young and fit enough for sports, but while it’s harder you can go back and get a college degree any time, while waiting will reduce your high earning sports career. Like that, but a question of the world moving on as opposed to aging.

        2. And you wouldn’t kill to do the Billy Madison thing in high school without having to go back to school? Jeff Dunham stayed in school to the best of my recollection. The best bet would be to get whatever degree while able to get the money at the same time.

        3. Getting everything you possibly can while giving up as little as you possibly can is always best. Different people find that balance in different places. That’s all. Some are right, others are wrong.

          The problem is balancing the human tendency to look for excuses to rationalize what we want to do.

          However, $20k/week comes out to over a million a year. If I made that for a month at 15 and it looked like things were rosy to continue, I’d look up GED classes and put 2-3x that amount in an account not to touch then I’d drop out and see if putting more time into it could increase my return or not. If I could coordinate it with a summer break to make the decision after a few months dedicated, I’d possibly try that first. It’d be the solid economic choice. If he’d saved better, it could’ve been the solid choice even if it only worked for two years.

  9. Wow. family x sounds kinda terrible. Hope you don’t have to commit any,… parricide: killing a close relative. Huh. Learned a new word.

    1. It does kinda sound like Family X needs the new input of Court System Metal Pylon Inserted Directly into the Rectum, yes.

      1. My .02, never bring the Court System into a dispute if you can possibly avoid it. Its like calling Judge Dread over a parking lot quarrel. It feels good initially, but from then on you are the mercy of an entity which you can’t reason with.

        1. True that.

          But certainly that family has not exactly proven itself suitable for future visits by the kids.

  10. Sorry about the family drama you are going through now, hopefully things will straighten out soon. God knows I know the headache that is Family X. I would say more, but it would absolutely turn into a rant and you guys don’t need that. Needless to say, I feel your pain. To put it simply, some families are just toxic like that. It stinks when the best thing you can do for the kids is to suck it up and do your best to give them the love and stability they need.

  11. Much sympathy for the family drama. The world can be divided into grown ups and screw ups, and woe to the person whose circle includes a majority of the latter.

  12. OH wow…..that…..is some drama there. I’d probably do some unspeakable things to the adult who kicked the child myself…..take your time dealing with it all, don’t worry about us, we will understand. .

  13. Hey Chris take your time family comes first, the comic second, cause if your stressed out your art suffers and nobody wants that (well some people do but they’re evil), I mean heck we have sat through dry spells before and we can afford to wait.

  14. Just a heads-up: If all of us were to *bare* with you, the state might decide to take your kids away. :P

    Bearing with you though? That we can do! :D

  15. Your role as father obviously trumps your role as webcomic artist/author. Kids come first.

    Wish I had helpful ideas for Family X. Not sure there really are any, though. I would think that if there’s any pre-existing family court involvement, you might want to mention the adult kicking incident from a documentation, not requesting action, stance. Documenting that stuff as things happen may help when and if your kids get to the point that they decide they’ve had enough of Family X (I assume the car accident from a year or two ago is already documented). If they never get to that point, it’s a bit of extra paper but doesn’t have to hurt anything or modify what makes them happy. If there isn’t pre-existing court involvement to be adding history to, then I think I’d consider Walter’s statement about potential problems later by involving said court (human mental bias suggests that frequency that we personally see something = frequency it exists in general, so the number of deadbeat fathers out there has been known to leave a certain degree of bias against the guy in family court situations).

    Other than that the only thing that comes to mind is that you should wear all the hats that you don’t like so that if your head does burst into flames, you have the bonus of creatively getting rid of a bad hat.

    1. Documentation of everything is certainly a good idea.

      Should there ever be an instance that demands court action (heaven forbid), it would come in useful.

      And if not, at the very least it gives you something you can pull a copy out and fingerdrum on it with an annoyed gesture when discussing with the family in question as to why exactly you’re not happy with them right now.

  16. Your life comes first Rusche. Take care of your family first then come back and make more references that I can’t understand. That’s how your priorities should line up.

  17. My sketches arrived, and I must say that next to Vu, Caleb is nothing but sunshine rainbows & puppys. It’s kinda amazing.

    All the other sketches are neat too, and all on big, full drawing sheets, so that’s extra neat (also Tarra’s reaction to wheelchair ninja…epic)

    Plus, bonus sketch of McFatfat on post office supplies :-D

    It’s been a good day for me & the post office, I also got my lootcrate, and my kickstarter book from sorcery 101 (which I had no idea when it was coming in)

    Now to play video games for the rest of the day to properly decompress before the work week (huzzah having my week shifted a day over from everyone else)

  18. Unless my memory is playing tricks on me, isn’t this the second time one of your kids has been injured by relatives that you mentioned? Is this the same group of relatives? I swear this came up at one point during the 2014 Christmas season.

        1. The comments section where he publicly discussed an injury to one of his children is not the appropriate place to discuss another injury to one of his children that he’d previously brought up in the same place? I’m not airing anything that wasn’t brought up out in the open. I do have a shred of social awareness.
          .
          I do apologize, Mr Blue, if I gave you the wrong impression about the source. Rusche and I have never spoken outside of the comments section, so anything I bring up about him is stuff he brought up to everyone.

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