SandySandfort on February 02, 2009, 09:19:47 am
Byzantine?  Ach, you cut me to the quick, sir.   ;D

Geez, I thought "Byzantine" sounded better than "rococo."

But seriously, I write science fiction stories as well, and a some of my stuff deals with over-powerful corporations and/or twisted government departments, that pull all kinds of crazy stunts with multiple layers of deceit and intrigue.  That being said, with reference to my twisted plot lines... sorry.  Force of habit.

That's why there are horse races.

And as for today's episode... I can't believe Guy actually submitted to $80B request.  He knows this will trash his career!  Unless during the trip back he decided to go back to Ceres and take King Reggie's job offer, in which case he doesn't care how his superiors react.

Oops.  Sorry.  I did it again.   :D

He didn't submit an 80 billion request. He submitted the Treaty of Mutual Indifference as an alternative to the 80 billion due Ceres. He is hoping that saving the UW 80 billion will save his job. ( = Continental)

Rocketman on February 02, 2009, 10:12:49 am
Sandy!!! Please no more teal.  Just reading the little bit that you wrote in that previous post gave me a headache.  I'm not crazy about the red, green or yellow either but I can live with lime green, navy, moroon or pink.  :(

SandySandfort on February 02, 2009, 11:15:29 am
Sandy!!! Please no more teal.  Just reading the little bit that you wrote in that previous post gave me a headache.  I'm not crazy about the red, green or yellow either but I can live with lime green, navy, moroon or pink.  :(

Okay, let's try lime green for a while.

cyberbard on February 02, 2009, 01:33:03 pm
He didn't submit an 80 billion request. He submitted the Treaty of Mutual Indifference as an alternative to the 80 billion due Ceres. He is hoping that saving the UW 80 billion will save his job. ( = Continental)

Well, he might avoid getting fired, but I suspect he'll be shunted aside in terms of career advancement.  He was sent to Ceres to collect a check, not a bill.  I doubt he'll be given any more interesting assignments for quite some time.  Just more speculation, based on what I've witnessed IRL.

Why did Guy bring his souvenir pennant to a meeting with the brass?  I don't see what purpose that will serve... unless he's required by some arcane regulation to present it, simply because it was a gift from a government official.
 ???

SandySandfort on February 02, 2009, 02:33:59 pm
Well, he might avoid getting fired, but I suspect he'll be shunted aside in terms of career advancement.  He was sent to Ceres to collect a check, not a bill.  I doubt he'll be given any more interesting assignments for quite some time.  Just more speculation, based on what I've witnessed IRL.

Why did Guy bring his souvenir pennant to a meeting with the brass?  I don't see what purpose that will serve... unless he's required by some arcane regulation to present it, simply because it was a gift from a government official.
 ???

Guy hates all "ball & stick" games. So he didn't get the joke Reggie played on him. He showed it because he thought it was an honor. Now you have to ask yourself, why Reggie played such a mean trick on Guy...

Scott on February 02, 2009, 10:02:52 pm
Rocketman: We are not going to be expanding our number of in-production series in the foreseeable future.  ESCAPE FROM TERRA will be a continuing series, and when ODYSSUES ends we'll have another serialized graphic novel taking its place. After that, we may go to doing just two continuing series (the dynamics of webcomics seems to favor that approach), but we won't have to make a decision on that until 2011.


Leviathan on February 03, 2009, 01:21:05 am
Orange is readable on the normal background, but when we put it in the quote tags, the background is lighter and the contrast is almost nonexistent.  Red is readable on both normal and quote, lime is also probably okay for both.  I just was apologizing for changing your text color, mang.  Normally it's readable.  I just have to select it to read it when somebody quotes it.  Teal is illegible due to contrast issues normally, though.  Assuming you use the same theme, you can see what it'll look like using preview  :P

Which is a trick for everybody else here if somebody ever posts something without sufficient contrast to make it legible.  Select it, and it "strips" the color variation. 

Anyway, my math says 609,140,736km travelled at 0.38g.  Which is just about both Terra's and Cere's aphelions added together.  Okay, that's not quite opposition accounting for curvature even under constant acceleration.  But still pretty close to far side.  The longer the trip, the more all the overhead expenses for the ship taking them there (and back, three weeks isn't enough time for much movement).  Which means they're paying at a guess 2-3x short trip burner rates.  Another question is whether life support and salaries are more expensive for slow-moving ships than the unimaginable amount of energy expended on running a rocket 24/7 for more than a week with something that weighs that much.  Right now that kind of energy is afaik comparable to lighting a small city.  Of course, if the same technology in the engines runs power plants on the ground...  Who knows.  My point is it seems they went the expensive way about sending someone out rather than waiting probably six to eight months for a closer approach to ship them out-belt completely on the cheap.  It's not like it would be an emergency, shipping them out-belt.  So since you all haven't thought about this, I assume it can be just chalked up to government showing how its best and brightest can be as efficient as possible  ;D

Oh, and Guy's career wasn't salvagable from the moment he was sent on the mission.  Someone decided in the chain of command that Ceres would be taxed.  Ceres isn't amenable to taxation.  He's always going to be the second-most convenient scapegoat.  Fiorella Stellina was the most convenient one, being lowest-ranking and having deserted.  But Guy somehow manages not to be scummy enough to pass the buck to her.

Sandy,
Please, no teal, no teal, for the love of humanity and the eyes of everyone...  Lime green.  Red.  Orange even is readable when you type it.  I didn't mean to start the color wars when I apologized for stripping your preferred color in the one circumstance it wasn't legible!  Gaaaaa!  Forgive me oh great comic artist!

But...  I think I get a couple puns.  The biggest one is pitching one straight over "homeplate".  Only, with extinction level events rather than baseballs.  The other, "you just struck out!"  A third, "we return your pitch with a bunt!"  No, no no!  I'm getting FLCL flashbacks!  The mindfuck is breaching containment and beginning to consume my sene of reality!  I've got music from The Pillows running through my head!  It's chaos!

Anyway.  One thing that has left me gasping over some of the previous fantastic projects is that I reach the end and go, "NOOO!  It can't be over!  I want more!  More more more!  And I'll get more as soon as the next comic starts, but it'll be different too!  And I can't afford amazon (yet) to start snagging used books to read the original and its sequels if it was even based on something prior!"  On the other hand, I know there's unlikely to be a true series climax anytime soon so there's a *tad* less anticipation beyond wearing the refresh button out when it edges towards midnight CST  :-[

KBCraig on February 03, 2009, 02:50:35 am
Sandy!!! Please no more teal.  Just reading the little bit that you wrote in that previous post gave me a headache.  I'm not crazy about the red, green or yellow either but I can live with lime green, navy, moroon or pink.  :(

Okay, let's try lime green for a while.

Let's try none of the above, and just stick with standard nested quotes. Leave the color tag alone, please!


cyberbard on February 03, 2009, 08:41:19 am
Guy hates all "ball & stick" games. So he didn't get the joke Reggie played on him. He showed it because he thought it was an honor. Now you have to ask yourself, why Reggie played such a mean trick on Guy...

Hmmm.  I came up with two theories, though I'm sure I could come up with others.

Theory #1 assumes that Reggie actually likes and/or respects Guy.  Perhaps he sees Guy as ultimately being a decent man who, if extracted from the regimented life he's currently trapped in, would be a genuine asset to Ceres.  So, Reggie offered Guy an alternative path (in the form of a government job offer), and gave him the pennant as a physical reminder of that offer.  Every time Guy looks at the pennant, he will be reminded of "what could be." The choice is his.

Theory #2 assumes that while Reggie may feel that Guy is a decent man, he's ultimately a total putz.  He's too caught up in his ideology to ever break free of it.  The job offer is ultimately just words (though it's well within Reggie's power to make it a reality).  The Pennant is a practical joke.  Reggie knows that Guy will take it seriously, but that everyone else will see it as an insult.  Ergo, he set Guy up to become the laughing stock of the UWRS.  As soon as Guy's shuttle left, he and the rest of the party laughed their asses off.

Personally I'm hoping for Theory #1, because I think it would be a more interesting story.  Guy is starting to grow and see things differently, and I think it would be fun to see that continue.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I'm growing to like the man, even if he is an idealistic fool.  He's not beyond redemption.

But since you're the primary writer, and you referred to the pennant as a "mean trick," I'm guessing that theory #2 is closer to the mark.
 :(

But then... theory #2a.  Reggie is hoping that the humiliation of being the office laughing stock will cause Guy to re-evaluate things, and perhaps choose a different path.  Weather Guy goes back to Ceres, or finds a new life for himself somewhere else in the sol system, is totally up to Guy.  But either way, Reggie wins, because Guy would be turning his back on Terra.

After today's episode, it doesn't look like Guy's day is starting out at all well.


And I for one hate the color tags, will never use them, and will edit them out of any reply I make.

SandySandfort on February 03, 2009, 08:57:37 am
Orange is readable on the normal background, but when we put it in the quote tags, the background is lighter and the contrast is almost nonexistent.  Red is readable on both normal and quote, lime is also probably okay for both...

Lime green for now, then.

Which is a trick for everybody else here if somebody ever posts something without sufficient contrast to make it legible.  Select it, and it "strips" the color variation. 

Yup, that works.

Anyway, my math says 609,140,736km travelled at 0.38g. 

To be more precise, commercial burners usually run at 3.6 m/s, which slightly less than Mars' equatorial surface gravity of 3.69 m/s.

Which is just about both Terra's and Cere's aphelions added together. 

Of course the burners don't fly through the sun, so add a few kilometers to swing around it.

Okay, that's not quite opposition accounting for curvature even under constant acceleration.  But still pretty close to far side.  The longer the trip, the more all the overhead expenses for the ship taking them there (and back, three weeks isn't enough time for much movement).  Which means they're paying at a guess 2-3x short trip burner rates.  Another question is whether life support and salaries are more expensive for slow-moving ships than the unimaginable amount of energy expended on running a rocket 24/7 for more than a week with something that weighs that much.  

People paid a lot more to take the Concorde than a jumbo jet. So?

Right now that kind of energy is afaik comparable to lighting a small city.  Of course, if the same technology in the engines runs power plants on the ground...  Who knows.  My point is it seems they went the expensive way about sending someone out rather than waiting probably six to eight months for a closer approach to ship them out-belt completely on the cheap.  It's not like it would be an emergency, shipping them out-belt.  So since you all haven't thought about this, I assume it can be just chalked up to government showing how its best and brightest can be as efficient as possible  ;D

The government doesn't give a flip about cost.

But...  I think I get a couple puns.  The biggest one is pitching one straight over "homeplate".  Only, with extinction level events rather than baseballs.  The other, "you just struck out!"  A third, "we return your pitch with a bunt!"  No, no no!  I'm getting FLCL flashbacks!  The mindfuck is breaching containment and beginning to consume my sene of reality!  I've got music from The Pillows running through my head!  It's chaos!

Anyway.  One thing that has left me gasping over some of the previous fantastic projects is that I reach the end and go, "NOOO!  It can't be over!  I want more!  More more more!  And I'll get more as soon as the next comic starts, but it'll be different too!  And I can't afford amazon (yet) to start snagging used books to read the original and its sequels if it was even based on something prior!"  On the other hand, I know there's unlikely to be a true series climax anytime soon so there's a *tad* less anticipation beyond wearing the refresh button out when it edges towards midnight CST  :-[

Put down the mouse and back away from the keyboard. Keep your hands where we can see them. Now go in the kitchen, throw out your regular coffee and switch to decaf.  :P

SandySandfort on February 03, 2009, 09:05:13 am
Guy hates all "ball & stick" games. So he didn't get the joke Reggie played on him. He showed it because he thought it was an honor. Now you have to ask yourself, why Reggie played such a mean trick on Guy...

Hmmm.  I came up with two theories, though I'm sure I could come up with others.

Theory #1 assumes that Reggie actually likes and/or respects Guy.  Perhaps he sees Guy as ultimately being a decent man who, if extracted from the regimented life he's currently trapped in, would be a genuine asset to Ceres.  So, Reggie offered Guy an alternative path (in the form of a government job offer), and gave him the pennant as a physical reminder of that offer.  Every time Guy looks at the pennant, he will be reminded of "what could be." The choice is his.

Theory #2 assumes that while Reggie may feel that Guy is a decent man, he's ultimately a total putz.  He's too caught up in his ideology to ever break free of it.  The job offer is ultimately just words (though it's well within Reggie's power to make it a reality).  The Pennant is a practical joke.  Reggie knows that Guy will take it seriously, but that everyone else will see it as an insult.  Ergo, he set Guy up to become the laughing stock of the UWRS.  As soon as Guy's shuttle left, he and the rest of the party laughed their asses off.

Personally I'm hoping for Theory #1, because I think it would be a more interesting story.  Guy is starting to grow and see things differently, and I think it would be fun to see that continue.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I'm growing to like the man, even if he is an idealistic fool.  He's not beyond redemption.

But since you're the primary writer, and you referred to the pennant as a "mean trick," I'm guessing that theory #2 is closer to the mark.
 :(

But then... theory #2a.  Reggie is hoping that the humiliation of being the office laughing stock will cause Guy to re-evaluate things, and perhaps choose a different path.  Weather Guy goes back to Ceres, or finds a new life for himself somewhere else in the sol system, is totally up to Guy.  But either way, Reggie wins, because Guy would be turning his back on Terra.

After today's episode, it doesn't look like Guy's day is starting out at all well.

Great analysis, but you will have to wait to see how much you got right and how much you got wrong. (Okay, screw it, no more color. Sheesh!)

KBCraig on February 04, 2009, 02:14:48 am
Theory #1 assumes that Reggie actually likes and/or respects Guy.  Perhaps he sees Guy as ultimately being a decent man who, if extracted from the regimented life he's currently trapped in, would be a genuine asset to Ceres.

You read ahead to 2/4, didn't you?  ;D


Leviathan on February 04, 2009, 04:50:37 am
The government doesn't give a flip about cost.

Which is precisely the point.  It's a nonsense way to think one's being efficient when one is really just being extravagant and not giving a shit.  "Let's get this done, people!" "Uhh, but wouldn't it be cheaper to wait half a year, it's not like we're gonna collect any more if we send someone now." "Shh.  Our budget for this year needs some padding so next year's budget's bigger!"  Stupidity in government.  Total lack of concern for real efficiency (a worker who isn't sweating on the verge of passing out is a more productive one, honest!), combined with extravagance when it comes to looking like it's being efficient.

Put down the mouse and back away from the keyboard. Keep your hands where we can see them. Now go in the kitchen, throw out your regular coffee and switch to decaf.  :P

You can have my caffeine when you pry it from my cold, dead, still twitching from being so heavily caffeinated fingers!

cyberbard on February 04, 2009, 08:10:03 am
You read ahead to 2/4, didn't you?  ;D

No! I didn't, really! I'm innocent, I tell you!  I am not a number, I am a free man!  :)

I'm glad to see that Reggie actually likes/respects Guy.  It sounds like Reggie sees Guy as a "diamond in the rough."  I don't know if the rest of the gang on Ceres has the same opinion of Guy, though.  I suspect that some of them would still prefer to send him through an airlock without a pressure suit.  But then again, Guy did surprise everyone with his quick thinking in the transit tube, so who knows.

When Guy discovers that Reggie is a fraud, he'll probably be very upset.  But if he's able to return to Ceres, he'll eventually let that go (thinks I).  Ultimately, I suspect he'll shrug, say "Beaucoup du merde" (what a load of sh*t), and then chuckle.  Then he and Fia can open a business as CPA's for off-world traders, or something of the sort.

And while Guy should ultimately "get the joke," I doubt his superiors will!  An even if they do, they won't be amused. This could get ugly.

SandySandfort on February 04, 2009, 08:12:42 am
"Shh.  Our budget for this year needs some padding so next year's budget's bigger!"

Yes, it's "use it or lose it" with department budgets. If you commit the sin of actually spending less than your budget and saving the taxpayer some money, you are punished with a lower budget next year.

You can have my caffeine when you pry it from my cold, dead, still twitching from being so heavily caffeinated fingers!

Okay everyone, back away slowly and keep smiling. He has a coffee mug and he knows how to use it.

 

anything