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The Final Con Part IV

Thursdays and Friday's comics will be posted late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Spent most of yesterday and today on the road seeing doctors. Completely killed my days.  I'll get back on schedule if it kills me.   There's been a few of you unsure of the location of the Patreon comics after pledging. You'll find them all under the "Creations" link towards the top of the main page. And just to clarify further, they are visible at the $2.00 and up donation range. Just wanted to make that clear since I'm sure many of you may have missed the explanation, and I only really covered it once. Patreon Comics GPS Tracking

159 thoughts on “The Final Con Part IV

      1. I don’t know. However, I ask referencing the stereotypical Canadian pastry preference. Maybe beaver tails instead of bear claws would be the appropriate second choice. But I am unsure as to when those are generally consumed so I wouldn’t be able to make the correct unscientifically appropriate comedic reference.


  1. This is going to end one of two ways. Either Danny is going to do something amazing that actually makes it up to Ellie, or he is going to do something so incredibly stupid that it breaks the reality of the comic and shunts him into his own story arc, quantum leap style.

    1. Look at the title and recall that Rusche means con in multiple senses. Laptop with a backdoor. Ellie would be very appreciative to have a computer and be able to get around and do things, and Danny can remotely turn on the webcam…

        1. Recall she is also fond of selfies. I think she’d want to use a webcam, and paranoia isn’t terribly strong in her personality.

          (note, I do keep a bandaid over the built-in webcams for all the laptops that I own that have them, bandaid for the unexpected event I want to use it and not having sticky stuff on the camera lens)

        2. When I took my laptop in to be repaired I tried explaining that the duct-tape over the camera lense didn’t mean it was broken, and he said that that sort of thing isn’t unusual.

          So despite common sense telling me that “hackers” aren’t going to take over my computer from the internet Hollywood style, apparently lots of us don’t feel comfortable with a camera constantly pointed at us, even one that we supposedly have full control over.

        3. Well, it’s not a “like in the movies” thing, but malware has moved past bored teenagers using a computer for their vandalism impulses like in the early days on to criminals and spies. Sure, sometimes a specific person will be targeted, but other times it’ll be, “Oh, this is vulnerable and I can use it to go infect a bunch of random people, may as well do that while the door’s open.” Then they look who they’ve got and next actions depend on what they want (i.e. criminals start look at banking, spies look at if you’re a target or appear to be a close enough associate of a target that they can use you to infect them, etc). If nothing else, they can still use the bot as part of a distributed attack or as an additional hop to hide their tracks.

          Spying on someone with their webcam wouldn’t seem that likely unless it was specifically targeted (which is unlikely for the vast majority of us), primarily because computer vision/image recognition isn’t sufficiently advanced to allow it to be used low effort. It may change. Just like encryption used to take a long time and use a lot of resources in an obvious way, and still somewhat intensive but much more efficient nowadays, and TADA you have things like CryptoLocker. Trying to blackmail people about publishing pictures of them naked or in some other embarrassing scenario may become cost effective once computer vision allows quick searches of lots of pics/video.

        1. Well, when you wear what appears to be either the same wife-beater or a succession of shockingly similar wife-beaters over the course of several weeks, it’s pretty easy to forget things like “sleeves” and…um…those…those pointy things. Near your neck. Oh, right. COLLARS.

        2. …but there was a SALE! It’s efficient! He doesn’t have to worry about what to wear the next day. It all matches equally well (or poorly, depending on how you look at it).

        3. I don’t know. If Danny were telling a sales clerk, “I’m looking for those pointy things. Yeah, the ones that end up near your neck a lot,” I’d suspect he’s looking for kitchen knives.

        4. Finding and installing free monitoring software isn’t that difficult. But he wouldn’t have to be able to do it himself, just promise a friend that does know how, who’d also have access to it, to give it to a hot chick.

          Also, if this con is involved in making money for his business, the Canadians could’ve walked him through it. At least one of them must have sufficient skill with computers for that sort of thing to be running a web site.

        5. Not intending to mock any particular nation in the grandparent post. No promises about other posts, though.

  2. Breaking the forth wall again. Still, fir a person always tight on money I think you should not be Patronizing anyone at this point ( even if the Parton it totally worth it)

        1. pasta. Que Pasta. Get it right man. Or woman, whichever the case may be.

          However, I tend to make crazy statements anyway.

          I can’t believe that I’m watching the People’s Choice Awards.

        2. Sorry, I was having fun with a (nice) couple of your typos.

          Dolly Parton… Ellie Buckingham… in-double-deed? (Helps if you say it out loud.)

          I… I’ll go back to my corner now.

        3. Psha, any seamstress (or tailor) worthy of the title can do the same *and* discern one’s measurements as a free action. Simple pervs need to spend 3 rounds studying their target, and I’m pretty sure they lose their dexterity bonus to AC while doing so.

        1. On closer thought, I’m pretty sure that Missy of Misfile once uttered these words when imagining about what she could do if she had Ash’s assets.

        2. I could easily see lots of non-porn places for that joke. It’s just that thinking of some woman repetitively chanting a short phrase over and over with the expectation of someone else being impacted made me think of Charmed, and that phrase seemed more like from a porn parody than the actual show.

    1. As a male it takes training and much willpower to NOT look at the assets of the candidate for procreation, looking is very much hardwired into men. Looks healthy , check, wide hips for easy carrying of and easy birthing of children, check, sufficient milk producing assets for feeding children, check, nearly everything else is two or three steps down the list. One of the female posters please reply with the female checklist, I would think that “has enough assets to support me and the raising of my children” is pretty high on the check list, higher if fact than physical appearance.

      1. You say hardwired.

        It’s not my fault that mom and dad had sex, and that I’m well over 200 centimeters tall. It’s hard for me to appear to be looking at the person’s eyes.

        I look at their lips for the most part to see what they are saying. It’s no fun having to live with the results of trying to go 80s boom box in the sticks while playing your heavy metal.

      2. I think “hardwired” is a somewhat misleading term. I’d say “bred into”.

        You’d expect the larger number of children to be fathered by men who impregnated women more likely to have healthy children, with that population choice happening each generation. In more recent times, advances in agriculture and medicine are allowing that to diversify a bit, but we all still have thousands of years of ancestry where that wasn’t the case.

        So I think it’s more directly a case of “self-selective breeding” than being “hardwired.” The thing with “hardwired” is it suggests less choice than exists. The choice is there, it just takes effort, and there are times that effort just doesn’t seem worth it and we don’t bother. Granted, the amount of effort needed and line for how much effort is worth it obviously varies from man to man; and Danny doesn’t seem to be at the more polite end of that scale. However it’s still there and we have seen him look her in the eyes at times (first intro at first con he was doing so).

        1. I think they’re using “hardwired” to mean automatic. There are a number of involuntary movements that can be suppressed with willpower, like blinking or, in this case, maintaining eye contact when subconscious parts of your brain are requesting a full scan.

        2. I’m not saying it’s absolutely wrong, I’m saying it has slightly the wrong implication. I guess I was just trying to take “hardwired” and remove the “reflexive” and in its place add “predisposed”.

        3. As long as we’re all sort of on the same page now, it’s all good. I actually pride myself on my eye-related willpower. Amish Driver ain’t got $#!7 on me.

      3. I hope you aren’t serious. Cause that’s disgusting. Not the objectification (seriously that doesn’t bother me), but the blatent desire to procreate. Barf~

        You want a female list*?

        -man who doesn’t ever want children (not even adoption)
        -man who can support himself and not expect to support me (I prefer to pay my own bills)
        -Emotionally and mentally stable
        *child free and happy female list.

        1. I was curious about “the female list” when I was younger, but the more I searched the more I found women seem to vary more than men. Not that men are all identical, we’ve just got a smaller standard deviation in what we’re looking for in a woman (from a physical stance, anyway).

          The procreative origin of attractiveness tendencies does make sense when you look at it, not from the stance of if you want to breed yourself, but imagining humanity from the standpoint of a giant experiment in selective breeding. The humans attracted to traits that increase the chance of offspring being born and surviving pass those traits on much more strongly than the others. I read somewhere that men’s attraction to cleavage dates back to the days before we were fully walking upright and was actually first for butt crack cleavage. When you consider that would’ve been a time where ability to find food was the big challenge for the human race and men were trying to spot “mates” (maybe not for more than the moment) from far away, the fullness or scrawniness of the backside would’ve been a good method of guessing at 50 paces. Not sure how true it is, but it sounds feasible to me. As a guy who does find cleavage and breasts fascinating, I have absolutely no rational idea why and can’t come up with anything other than “biological compulsion.” That’s as good of a line of reasoning as I’ve heard for where it originally came from. Similar lines of reasoning are all that make much sense to me for a lot of other facets of why men are attracted to _____ too.

      4. Everyone always goes the “breeding” aspect when talking about instincts, but there are other behaviors to consider as well. I tend to look EVERYONE up and down when I first meet them, to try and determine if they pose a threat to me. But no one ever complains if I’m staring at some dude’s pecs trying to determine if I can take him in a fist-fight.

        1. ITS NOT MY FAULT:

          I wonder if James might want to chime in… but I think that he’d say that while he could look down on people (realistically, not figuratively) he could not only choose to look into his wife’s eyes lovingly, but also be able to see how beautiful she is (and conversely how lucky he is (and while I can only make this assumption based on that one Harley Quinn picture, I’d say that he’s lucky (because he’d be able to look at her in entirety, her as in assets (Danny style), her face and then smile then eyes.) ) )

          (I dunno. *sigh*)

        2. Well, I’m not a very tall guy at an about average 178cm. But I’ve met some women that were way shorter than me, so I can relate to some degree. It’s somewhere between very hard and nigh to impossible (depending on the height difference) to look at their faces and not appear to look at their breasts when standing in typical conversation distance to each other.
          Fortunately for me, short girls are usually used to that and give you the benefit of doubt at the least. Women of average height against a really tall guy however aren’t and probably take that the wrong way rather often.

        3. Well, sex and violence are treated in very different ways by society.

          If someone punches someone else until they do what you want, that’s criminal behavior. We have relatively particular rules as to when violence is acceptable and when it isn’t, and when it’s likely (dark alley with no one around) versus when it isn’t (broad daylight in a crowded public place). Violence is also considered something acceptable, and even appropriate, to flee from and/or actively resist.

          If someone teases and seduces someone else into doing what they want, fair game and the victim’s fault for not resisting. Rules in terms of what’s acceptable in terms of sexuality tend to be more fluid and more likely for people to look the other way. If you run from someone for fear they’ll seduce you, or because they’re interested in you and you aren’t interested in them, you’re told to suck it up and deal with it. Additionally, with the poor communication between the sexes sometimes people are expecting all “I’m interested” communication to come in the form of subtle actions that can be denied/refuted if you don’t reciprocate. That leads to a lot of deciding someone else is interested when they really aren’t. I’ve known a relatively large number of women who have either been burned or have close friends who’ve been burned by that, so as a consequence I’ve known a relatively large number of women who start asking themselves if they need to be afraid/take precautions if some guy shows a bit more interest than they’re used to. Running into that royally pisses me off to have to deal with the fallout from what some other jackass did, but I can’t blame them on the risk assessment part or that they don’t magically know me well enough to trust me more fully.

        4. I think that having to stick it up depends upon the mental health of the pursuer vs. the liberality of the judge that grants a restraining order as well as making the pursuer sign up on the sexual offenders list.

        5. Getting worked up over being worried about a guy doesn’t actually HAVE to be worried that he’ll rape her. If a woman has problems with anxiety, then social worry about him making things uncomfortable can be plenty. Granted, the worry of him becoming a social problem will likely trigger some degree of anxiety for her as well at that point. On average, girls (in the US anyway) tend to be raised as more social creatures than boys, so even without anxiety thrown in, there’s a certain degree that the social discomfort may hit harder than it would for the average guy.

        6. Where did the rape come from. Stalking should be enough in our modern anything goes society. At least that’s what it seems like when society tips the scales in favor of everyone else.

        7. I guess I interpreted your statement as farther than you meant. When I was talking about a woman being afraid of a man, though, I was stating fear of an assault (sexual or not). A woman considering a man a massive pest wasn’t what I was talking about. I’ve never met a woman afraid of being annoyed, but I’ve met a lot who’re afraid that some man they’re around will end up being one of the crazy ones who takes something the wrong way and either physically or sexually assaults them as a consequence. It’s the same fallacy about falsely inflating likelihood of a risk based on the frequency it’s heard about with a risk that has severe consequences that makes parents worry/believe that child predators are much more common then they actually are (see the Availability Heuristic in http://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2008/01/the_psychology_of_se2.html for a better write-up of that, and if you’ve got time go back to part one and read the whole article as it’s very interesting).

          I don’t think stalking can get you on the sex offenders list. Restraining order and maybe even a misdemeanor conviction that might even occasionally include a little jail time I can see, but sex offender registry seems a bit far for stalking. You can get on it for, even inadvertent, indecent exposure, though (definitely if a kid sees, not sure if inadvertent exposure will do it for an adult).

        8. Reply includes a web link and is waiting moderation. WordPress wasn’t fooled that time by removing the first portion and re-added it (added the wrong one, but it still redirects to ssl, so still works, which is also how I’m certain I didn’t forget to remove it).

        9. I added a second reply to your post as opposed to replying to the “waiting for moderation” post visible in my browser. Had I replied to my “waiting for moderation” post then it would’ve appeared at the bottom in the borked fashion.

    2. By now, Ellie doesn’t really expect it, so why start? It’s the way that I rarely remember birthdays outside my immediate family, and when I do I find myself thinking, “If I wish them happy birthday this year, they’ll expect I should remember in the future. Hmmm… I could just keep my mouth shut.”

      I could absolutely see that sort of reasoning if I were Danny. Especially since it’s what he wants to do anyway.

        1. She’s likely looking at whatever he has under his arm that you can see the top of in panel 2 (the thing I’m guessing is a laptop).

        2. I think this is the first time I’ve ever caught something subtle before someone else pointed it out, actually. I guess it was my turn.

        3. Sorry to miss that. I am a fan of loaded word selection. It’s the reason I was happy to run with the name “pants” for a server at work when a co-worker suggested it. Phrasing those just right was a lot of fun, as was watching the tech lead occasionally catch himself making a double statement he didn’t mean to.

      1. Less stalking and more unconventional timing really.

        As you said, no surprise he knows by now where she lives. Be it by picking her up and/or dropping her of. Or that he was curious about where the woman he was interested in and has known for a few weeks now was living. And no, just trying to find that out is not stalking yet by far! It’s not as if he was constantly following or monitoring her.

        1. I’d ask how he knew she was awake, but my first three guesses are Facebook. 1 AM is still a weird time to show up unannounced…

        2. That is if he knew at all. He might have just appeared on the off chance that she is, saw the light still on and thus knocked.

    1. Fully agree. And I’m glad my browser usually asks me whether I want to be directed to the mobile version. Which I always decline. And my CAT has a way smaller screen than Ellie’s Cloud.

      1. I do not want to know how you hook your CAT up to the CAT5 Internet connection for your browsing.

        Don’t you have to have a Veterinarian’s license for that?

    2. Nice to know it’s not just me. I have crucial websites bookmarked with the mobile disabled. I don’t see why the mobile sites are always more clunky. Can’t they just make a less pretty version of the full site?

    3. There’s a growing level of incompetence in web programming that’s been worrying me for quite a while. You can expect sites to continue to get worse before they get better if they get better. Every time a site I use has a sudden style upgrade I know there’s a good chance part of it will have stopped working.

      1. Product cycle thinking. The “we have to have something new, people won’t pay otherwise” belief. Happens in a lot of places with computers. Personally I think it’s the convergence of three factors.

        First you have consumers being fickle (so hard to gauge what’s going to take off) and less likely to do a lot of research (so benefit for quality is for perception of quality versus actual quality).

        Second you have marketing people looking at the difference between Windows XP versus World of Warcraft (people won’t pay for improved stability and security and it’s all done on your own dime, people will pay and keep paying for more content) and taking that lesson a bit too far.

        Finally, you have developers, some of whom are curious and like to play with new technologies, others appreciate the resume-building potential of dealing with new technologies, so they’re more likely to go along with a change that allows them to experiment with the “hot new tech” or even find an excuse why it needs to be included with the thing that was just supposed to be a visual overhaul.

        Combine all that, and that’s where you’ll get what you’re seeing.

        1. I agree with what you said, but there’s an addendum. Most of what I’ve observed is with web developers. They’re coming out of college almost devoid of an interest in learning how things work. That is a terrible attitude for a programmer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to restrain myself from strangling junior programmers for using the phrase “Don’t reinvent the wheel” as an excuse to use third party solutions for everything. What makes it worse is all of the third party libraries they want to use (e.g. jQuery, AngularJS, etc) are reinvented wheels that never would have been made if their creators listened to that idiotic saying.

          So instead of doing things that involve a small amount of learning and results in a solution with less overhead, they aim for getting to the output they want as soon as possible and decide they’re done. They also choose to be willfully ignorant of even the most basic of security steps, which so many of the sites the build externally link JS files they need to function, under the excuse that it’ll keep everything up to date. (Not Shotgun Shuffle though! I checked; the jQuery includes are local to the domain. The only external include was Google Analytics, which has to be that way. Good job, Jessica! :D )

          I wouldn’t have a problem with them coming out of college full of bad ideas if they defended those ideas with something substantial. Dismissal via platitude is a fantastic way to remain a detriment to anyone who hires them.

        2. To be honest if I hear someone’s a web developer I view them more as a graphic designer than a programmer until interaction has proven otherwise.

          As for some of the rest, I see that as different people do well in different places. I know a guy who changes probably half the files in his code base every day for no reason, rewrites standard libraries in ways that aren’t actually compliant with the standard (XML parser was the one I heard specifically), and has a relatively decent likelihood of being autism spectrum (more than average developer). On the other hand, you give him his own sandbox no one else has to play in for code you won’t have to work with again, and you’ll get something fantastic out and he doesn’t mind when the PM wants to make massive changes from one day to another. Next guy carefully gathers his requirements, architects the whole system with consideration to the unknowns and expected areas of change, mentors younger members and keeps the code base clean. Put him on a small R&D project where there are a lot of unknowns and direction changes and the fireworks are spectacular.

          So from the stance of there being a place for everyone and that sort of web developer, well that place is due to a combination between demand outstripping supply (by a small amount) and demand not wanting to pay what a good programmer would accept (by a large amount). Low skilled people who can half-assed do the job fill that gap. You get the same thing for places like Geek Squad. People want their computer fixed by others WAY too much to pay enough to have someone who makes a respectable salary fix it, and with that low salary you only get transient good people (part time job in high school or college) and if they care enough maybe a supervisory “expert” or something.

        3. Yep. It’d be nice if we could all settle on some specific names for the jobs, too. I’ve seen “web developer” used to mean “web designer”, “graphic designer”, and “back-end programmer”. I specifically meant someone who programs in web scripting languages (front-end and back-end). It’s my own fault for using an ambiguous term.

          Cost’s definitely a factor in how these guys get hired, and rush-to-market is a factor in how they get their stuff in production instead of being beaten into doing it right, but it’s still worrisome that so many of them are being churned out and hired. Even them starting as worse-than-untrained programmers would be fine if senior programmers were allowed to enforce standards, even when it means business deadlines get missed. Why would you want to launch a faulty product? (I actually know exactly why, I’m just mentally shouting it at the the imaginary corpse of a business manager out of frustration.) I think the internet tricks them. They can see things much faster than those things can be made ready to function, so since they have no understanding of the invisible parts, they assume everything is taking too long.

          The worst part (besides potentially enabling identity theft and credit fraud) is employing bad programmers doesn’t even produce more jobs for competent programmers down the line. The people hiring these guys have no idea that they’re awful at their jobs, and often just assume “broken is just how technology is” because they see it everywhere.

        4. Last paragraph: “is employing bad programmers” should be “is employing bad programmers and not forcing them to produce good code

        5. Maybe I’ve seen too many incompetent people working on the back-end, but that was what I meant too.

          My favorite was when I was working with a group in another regional office. On the big project (50+ “web developers”), I remember the one developer whose time every task PM wanted seemed decently good and I think he was a real developer. As for the rest, they all seemed to get distracted by “shiny” technology too easily. Though they all were capable of rational thought at least. Someone I helped in a one-off project in that role is still my gold standard for programmer incompetence. He wanted to do something that sounded strange, I talked to him about it, and found it was definitely a bad idea and the absolute opposite of the right way to go, he wouldn’t accept that, and I then spent another fifteen minutes attempting to explain to him the concept of renaming a file to include a datestamp when uploading it as something he should do to fix it without breaking other things and utterly failed to impart this concept to him. I called his PM and it took him less than two minutes to fully understand the whole thing and agree to try to get someone to set him straight. It made me very sad to see that guy employed ~9 months later “working” for a different project, especially as I’d know some at least passable people who’d been laid off in that time.

          I actually try to find out if the places I’m applying to job-wise are places where management doesn’t recognize the difference between good and bad technical people and I don’t work places that can’t figure that out. Interviews go both ways, and a lot of people forget that (actually my first job out of college pointed that out to me, and I’ve never forgotten the lesson). Makes life much easier for me.

        6. I only brought up what I meant by “web developer” was to make it clear I wasn’t talking about graphic artists. I don’t hold them to any level of programming standard (unless they claim to program) and I don’t expect them to hold me to any level of artistry. Lousy programmers don’t program better just because they’re screwing up on the back-end; I’m definitely not contradicting that.
          Regarding your experience with programmers, I am sorry to say it is becoming more common. The thing you were talking to this guy about… was he planning to let users upload files to a web-accessible directory without them being renamed and without limiting them by an extension whitelist? Because any of those things should have gotten him flayed. If it was all of those things, he should have been flayed while on fire.
          Regarding an interview being a two-way thing, I definitely agree. I tend to view a restrictive dress code, shaving requirement, and not recognizing work experience as college equivalence as warning signs they have their priorities mixed up. I also judge an employer by their job listing. If I see a job ad that was clearly written by a non-technical person I rarely apply to the job. You can usually tell, because they’ll do a search on “programming” and “database” and dump the results blindly into the Requirements list… or the experience requirements are absurd.
          I don’t know if your end of the industry is prone to this, but it’s become notorious in my end. Case-in-point: www. youtube. com/watch?v=x1TsOHyJPpw

        7. I picked “graphic designer” as opposed to artist because that type of “programmer” seems to spend more time on how things look than how things work. Which is fine as long as there are other competent developers since they won’t break things as badly. They may or may not have any artistic talent either. I’m more prone to including the word “artist” if a person is displaying/using artistic ability.

          I very purposefully didn’t want to look at his code, so I’m not sure what restrictions were on upload. I assumed it had some form of input checking and authentication and was considered for trusted users only because I didn’t want to try to assume that far. What I do know is he had an upload function in the web front end, and then a separate application that was going to process the uploads at scheduled times (i.e. not triggered by web front end), and the thing I couldn’t convince him was that the processing app should delete the files when it was done, not have the website delete the files (it was a Windows server so add file and delete file permissions separate). I mainly just viewed him as someone who appeared to have sufficiently low brainpower that I was shocked he was capable of keeping his heart and lungs going. And to be fair on the layoff thing, he was in the other half of the company ~8 hour drive away from the people I knew who’d gotten laid off so possibly just more openings there.

        8. Ah, I guessed the wrong glaring security oversight, but I am glad I guessed correctly that it was a security issue with limiting how much damage could be done through the web service.
          We’ll have to continue our curmudgeonly contempt for bad technology people and the damned kids who need to stay off our respective lawns on another page. Good griping with you. :D

    1. I’m guessing West Palm Beach, Florida. I don’t recall if there was a mention of where Danny lives in the past, but I’m assuming that’s it.

        1. I’d wager Danny is used to a lot of different euphemisms for finding himself the involuntarily helping to produce the sound of one hand clapping. So I can see that interpretation.

        2. Sadly, I couldn’t find a good video of Glove Slap in The Simpsons to go with this comment chain.

  3. Oooh, Ellie’s gonna get into a bind soon. Common sense would be just to close and lock the door now, but obviously this is going somewhere and Ellie is gonna get conned. Hopefully it’s nothing too bad.

  4. I think Danny has a real job opportunity lined up for her that day so had to tell her at one in the morning. That’s my guess. :)

    1. Well, from here beyond the 4th wall we know that he’s got something lined up that justifies his business partners being on the cast page.

  5. Why wouldn’t anyone be awake at one in the morning.
    So 316 seems to be Ellie’s apartment number thing, whatever you call em. Also I think the site where Ellie is could be some kind of youtube. Btw if she’s really in her apartment that mean Quinn!!! Hopefully she’ll show her face, cause it’s been forever.

      1. If temperatures and mail functioning heat pumps mean anything, then the purple dress should also follow. But i dont know anyone living in Hell, MI to corroborate this premise.

        1. We’re about a half hour from there, and believe me, if it’s not frozen, it’s well on its way. Last month, not so much.

        2. But you aren’t the one to whom the question was posited. Besides, plus or minus ten miles an hour is outside of my statistical norm and deviation.

        3. Besides, the question is valid, because I could cross the money saving bridge at be at a great car dealership in fifteen minutes at 120 miles per hour.

      2. Well, you might remember the vote for Danny versus Quinn’s brother back before the Black Friday storyline (the vote turned out to be Ellie’s boobs versus what looked like Indiana Jones when Gump Wars was still strongly in peoples’ minds). I believe both of those are in “first major story arc” as he’s on the first cast page. So I’m guessing that part is going to start popping up, which will mean Quinn.

        As to Quinn showing up here, could go either way. She’s a college student and it’s 1 AM. Depends on her class schedule and philosophies of sleep necessity.

    1. I’m actually still awake at 1am rather often. But then, I don’t have to get up very early, so I’m still getting six hours of sleep even if I am.

      1. Knowing she’s 19 and unemployed it’s not that unexpected. On the other hand, it also may mean that he not only knows how to find the door behind which she lives, it may also mean he’s familiar with the window. On the third hand (what you don’t have three hands?), it could also be the poor social skills coming out for it not occurring to him that he might wake her or her roommate up.

        1. And now that she pointed the super shaggy sideburns I can’t unsee them. Especially in the last panel.

        2. To be fair, she tried to give her sisters the best advice possible in Small Town Saturday Night (06 Sept 2013): If confronted with the board game Monopoly, escape at all costs. It’s not her fault they didn’t listen.

        1. As Drinky Birds go, I’d expect Juniper to be the one you can’t get started and just stays with its head in the water.

    1. He’s been paying her for nothing but looking hot, taking her out on attempts at fun activities, and buying her booze if she wants it. While I suspect your advice is the right thing for Ellie, it could also be viewed as an attempt at being self-serving on your part to try to free him up…

      1. That would be funny if that were what she was up to. Her concerns seem to be very superficial rather than behavior based though.

  6. Bad Rusche! Schedule now is not more important than you keeping your health and having better ability to continue schedule in the long run. Doing the right thing is frequently just enlightened self-interest if you think about it the right way.

    Being more serious, the thing I generally do when I get sick is stay home when I’m feverish/contagious or feel to awful (second one is rare). Once I don’t think I’m going to infect anyone else, I’ll go in late and do 6 hour days for up to a week, and so far from there I’ve been better.

    I think you should go for similar. If sick, announce a reduced schedule to account for reduced productive hours in your week and make sure to schedule getting more sleep into it.

    1. He knows, he knows. The man has an enviable work ethic that you wish lousy programmers had.

      But if you keep swatting him on the nose with the rolled up newspaper, how will he ever trust print media enough to get his book out?

      1. Gravatarless and I weren’t complaining about lazy programmers. We were complaining about incompetent programmers. Incompetent programmers would actually be easier to deal with if they were lazy as they’d screw up fewer things and laziness is easier to point at as justification for getting them canned than incompetence (easier to prove, non-technical managers can easily see/understand it, etc).

        I’m not advocating laziness, I’m advocating optimizing over the long haul instead of focusing on short term deadlines.

        My first job out of college (researchy type job with some degree of software development) I had a recycled system for a while and it got around to being my turn for an upgrade and the sysadmin told me the specs of the systems he’d order that I could choose which of the two types I wanted (I picked more RAM instead of nicer GPU). I said something to my manager later that it was a nicer computer than I actually needed. He just looked at me and told me that if I spent an extra 5 minutes waiting each day with a worse computer then the man hour cost for that would be more than the whole cost of the computer I was getting anyway. I just kinda’ said, “Oh. I didn’t think of that.”

        It’s the same thing. Push yourself too hard while you’re sick and you stay stay sick longer and burn yourself out more. So instead of a week at deliberate one to three quarter time worked at slightly less productive than normal and then back to normal, you get several weeks of full time or more worked at significantly less productive than normal with a slow return to normal. The majority of the time you come out ahead in the long run with the first method not the second method.

        1. It’s a good point. A boss I had, he kept computers until they were falling apart, and then when there was no other option, he turned to me to help him get new ones in. He IMMEDIATELY went to the best they had, planning to get one and keep it until it too fell apart.

          I told him that was great that he was willing to invest like that, but I told him it was a bad idea for two reasons. One, the best in PC was way more PC than we needed, and two, it was probably a better idea to buy simpler stuff and replace it a little more often, so we’d always have something close to our needs and didn’t have to go through the part where it was falling apart. Ultimately, he got the idea.

        2. I can get bosses to get the general idea, just not any who’re willing to put that idea into practice with the budget. I haven’t had any that were TOO horrible, though. Just no further ones who looked at computer price difference vs man hours wasted.

        3. No. The phone actually typed my intended phrase.

          Lousy. To include those incompetent at decent programming as well as those who were slow and/or pig headed about their direction.

        4. I got “lazy” from “work ethic” as opposed to “lousy”. Some of the incompetent people I’ve known in various roles had tremendous work ethics, they just didn’t know what to do and did lots of things wrong as a consequence. Actually, too many of the incompetent people I’ve known have had above average work ethics. Maybe those are just easier to notice though and it wasn’t actually more than average.

  7. Well since Rusche is currently playing chess with Death, I’d recommend anyone looking for their fix click on the Supplemental link at the top. I think it’s currently up to 5 comments, so I don’t think it’s gotten much attention. There are a lot of good one-shot joke comics in there.

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