Author Archive for Nick

Carbon Pen hack

(yes, I just used the term “hack”)

carbon pen cap post hack

What is that roll of green tape doing on the end of my pen?

I really like the Platinum Carbon Pen for sketching, but it has two drawbacks. First, it really isn’t a traveling pen. Changes in pressure cause the ink to leak. So not so good on planes or trips to Yosemite. Still, I carry a little rag with me anyway, so I can mop up leaks. The other problem is the cap doesn’t post. It’s not a huge issue, but when I’m sketching outside I don’t want to have to worry about the cap. It’s just an added nuisance.

So enter my ugly–but useful–solution.

That roll of tape is just wide enough to keep the cap snug on the end of the pen. Sure, it hurts the aesthetics of the pen, but that’s not a big deal to me. What would be a big deal is if the added weight affected the balance. Well, the tape and the cap are both so light that I don’t notice much difference. If anything, it gives the pen a bit more heft, which I actually like. So now I can sketch and not have to worry about the cap rolling off somewhere.

The Visitor (1979)

I just watched this movie last night.

So imagine The Omen, but within a frame narrative of an intergalactic Jesus who tracks down the genetic decedents of a Satan stand-in, one of whom is an eight-year-old girl on Earth who has the ability to make basketballs explode and has a pet falcon who likes to fly in people’s faces. She has a mother whom she seems intent on torturing, but whom this sinister cabal of white men needs to impregnate in order to get another descendant of the Satan stand-in, though this time a boy descendant. So the intergalactic Jesus commission sends their representative down to Earth to ostensibly stop this, yet mostly what he does is watch a bald improv dance troop and play hide-and-seek with the eight-year-old girl. This ends with the mother being slowly tortured on a wheelchair lift while the Jesus representative starts a laser light show which unleashes an unholy amount of pigeons which fly to save the mother. And then the eight-year-old girl is bald and with the intergalactic Jesus. Oh, and it stars John Huston, Shelley Winters, Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, and a young Lance Henriksen.

The story is too non-sensical to be good, but too earnest to be bad. The cinematography is too inspired to be bad, but the effects are too fake to be good. The actors are too experienced to be bad, but not given enough character to be good.

But one of the best things about the DVD is the addition of the interviews. First Lance Henriksen just laughs about how crazy and stupid the movie is. Then one of the screenwriters tells his horror story of being given the unenviable task of trying to create a narrative out of the irrational concepts the director kept throwing at him. The punchline: the director fired him.

Watch the trailer here.



Yes, I did a comic about playing video games.

This is based on when I first played Marathon (1994 or 1995), specifically the level The Rose. I remember running through long dark hallways, desperate to keep the crew members alive, first seeing the hulks, running out of ammo, not being able to find a shield recharge, and then– I switched to map view and saw that the whole level was shaped like a rose.

I’m pretty sure I played the game on a Mac Performa.