Magpie's Gold

In more personal news, I’m almost caught up and back on schedule! For the next month and a half or so I should have a manageable workload once again. I’ve also gained some energy back that I didn’t realize I’d lost. I finally got my official diagnosis for why I was whistling like a tea kettle, and it’s now on the record that I have asthma. Now that I’m on a good medication for it, I can breathe a lot easier and better and does that ever make a difference. I’m aliiiiive again! :)

More art! Soon! SOON.

A quick PSA: I discovered while I was trying not to go insane during three insanely busy weeks at work that if you’re not watching the Twitters of astronauts on the ISS, you’re missing out. Astronauts are awesome.

As you can see above, they are ridiculous on film in space!

They are also

 …silly and adorable in space!

And they take gorgeous photos in space!

And then, especially if you’re Alexander Gerst, you also make tons of jokes about catching dragons thanks to the Dragon supply ship that had to be caught with a robotic arm.

They just got three new crewmates up there, so that’ll be exciting to hear about. I love reading about these guys and seeing what they’re doing while they whirl past in the sky over my head.

Astronaut twitters! Fun and science in microgravity, with a great big dash of wonder thrown in!


Currently up there and tweeting:

astro_reid - Reid Wiseman, NASA (all in English)

astro_alex - Alexander Gerst, ESA (half in English, half in German)

Msuraev - Maksim Surayev, Roscosmos (all in Russian)

The three new crewmembers don’t have Twitters as far as I know. Maybe in the future they will. If not, they’re still in photos and news. :)

Harvests and Holidays and Rocketry

I survived last week! I am still here! It’s wonderful. Between the regular chaos at the beginning of September and a few surprise absences from my co-workers, I had about three times as much to handle as I usually do at my day job. I was the entire department, all by myself, for about a week. Whew! Brutal. But I handled it and came out the other side still sane.

I earned a mini holiday, so I’ve been spending this weekend at my parents’ farm in the country, and I think I’ve been outside pretty much all day since I woke up. Went for several walks around the yard and through the woods, went to town and back, pulled up potatoes and carrots to take back to the city, and gathered a whole bucket of (very, very sour) crabapples for…. something or other. I dunno. They were falling off the branches, so I thought why not. Nature provides, and I left plenty for the squirrels.

We also finally junked the two old dead PCs I’d had stored in my room. I’ll see what I can rescue off the hard drives, but at least the rest of the machines are gone now.

I’m trying to watch the live SpaceX rocket launch this weekend. I was raised in a family of science fiction nuts and yet my mom tells me the last time I watched a launch that wasn’t pre-recorded was when Challenger disintegrated and I don’t know how much I was paying attention at that age. Alas, the launch was scrubbed last night due to bad weather. We’ll see if SpaceX’s Dragon goes up into the night sky tonight. 

It’s been a good day! And next week I can get back to my regularly scheduled stuff and things, which is good and a relief. I have a bunch of things on the To Do list that fell to the back burner during the last few weeks. I’m eager to get back to being creative.

New page of Prophecy of the Circle! Reluctant to lead and maybe just the tiniest bit unhappy with how his fellow Orosians are conducting themselves, Balta finally gives his retort to the crowd…. It remains to be seen how wise his words were, however, or if they’ll just land him in deeper trouble.Mirrored
DeviantArt | Tapastic

New page of Prophecy of the Circle! Reluctant to lead and maybe just the tiniest bit unhappy with how his fellow Orosians are conducting themselves, Balta finally gives his retort to the crowd…. It remains to be seen how wise his words were, however, or if they’ll just land him in deeper trouble.

Mirrored

DeviantArt | Tapastic

Story and rambling time.I picked up Grigori Medvedev’s The Truth About Chernobyl a little while ago and because I’ve been really stressed out lately and that particular topic is always engaging enough to my brain to distract me from my anxieties, it was time to look at it. Weird but true. Stuff about Chernobyl just gets me asking so many questions and needing the answers and so I dig and dig and dig and dig and… Oddly, I start feeling better in the process.  So I finally started reading said book after having it sit on my shelf for months.And then I promptly ate my way through it.And now here I am again with my imagination running around nearly 30 years into the past on the other side of the world. This piece of history is just like a black hole that sucks me in sometimes. It’s fascinating, and horrible, and amazing, and the drama and the heroics and the magnitude of it all… God. There’s just so much to know and see and find. And it’s important and even relevant to the modern day and augh.So I ended up drawing some of these guys again: Valery Khodemchuk, Volodymyr Shashenok, and Leonid Toptunov this time. It was helpful. I’ve been itching for months to draw from photographs, but I have a discipline problem in that my attention span for drawing something is either 0 or 100 and nothing in between. If I’m not already engaged in a subject, I get distracted by everything around me instead of what I’m supposed to be drawing. A scrap of tinfoil on the ground will suddenly be more intriguing if I’m not feeling it when I start and then the pencils get abandoned for two weeks.But fortunately, I’m a really visual person (which surprises absolutely no one) so I’ve ended up accumulating a ton of photos, diagrams, and blueprints on my hard drive to help me picture who is where and doing what while I’m reading the books I pick up. I think by now you could probably teleport me just about anywhere in Unit 3 (not 4; I’m not that brave) and I could find my way to the exit without a map or a guide. Maybe. I don’t want to test it, but it sure feels like it.So I just picked through a couple of those photos and used them for practice. My attention span was actually at 100 on something I had photos for. Huzzah!And on a nearly final note in all this rambling, if anyone out there is curious, that was a neat book and I do recommend it. It was similar to Ablaze by Piers Paul Read, which I read a few years ago, in that it covered the history of nuclear power, then the accident, then the clean-up and the future… but it was all from a slightly different perspective. Piers Paul Read was a novelist from outside the Soviet Union who came in to study the accident. Grigori Medvedev, however, is a nuclear engineer from the Soviet Union who worked at Chernobyl and personally knew a bunch of the people involved. Really interesting, although it’s got a lot of technical talk, which taught me a ton about RBMK reactors, certainly, but I had Google at my fingertips a lot to keep up with it all. The author also does have a bias about certain people and certain events, so take it with a grain of salt.
Then again, take all of it with a grain of salt. No account is perfect. This is why I keep asking questions, after all. Some stuff I’ll never know for sure, I think, unless I get my hands on a TARDIS. Don’t ever let me have one.All right, and so I am a terrible little nerd, and if you read through all of that blather you probably deserve a cookie and my thanks.To end off, with the final final note: I feel terrible that I’ve had almost no energy for art outside the comic for weeks, and then I wind up coming back and doing this instead… So I want to mention that I do still have the color scheme challenge requests in my inbox and if all goes well I can get on to those again soon. I haven’t forgotten. I just really needed to get this out of my system first. Whims of the muse and all. O_< Those requests are beginning to weigh on me, so SOON. Soon.I hope I was making sense here. I’ve been pretty tired and dumb.Blah blah thppth.

Story and rambling time.

I picked up Grigori Medvedev’s The Truth About Chernobyl a little while ago and because I’ve been really stressed out lately and that particular topic is always engaging enough to my brain to distract me from my anxieties, it was time to look at it. Weird but true. Stuff about Chernobyl just gets me asking so many questions and needing the answers and so I dig and dig and dig and dig and… Oddly, I start feeling better in the process.  So I finally started reading said book after having it sit on my shelf for months.

And then I promptly ate my way through it.

And now here I am again with my imagination running around nearly 30 years into the past on the other side of the world. This piece of history is just like a black hole that sucks me in sometimes. It’s fascinating, and horrible, and amazing, and the drama and the heroics and the magnitude of it all… God. There’s just so much to know and see and find. And it’s important and even relevant to the modern day and augh.

So I ended up drawing some of these guys again: Valery Khodemchuk, Volodymyr Shashenok, and Leonid Toptunov this time. It was helpful. I’ve been itching for months to draw from photographs, but I have a discipline problem in that my attention span for drawing something is either 0 or 100 and nothing in between. If I’m not already engaged in a subject, I get distracted by everything around me instead of what I’m supposed to be drawing. A scrap of tinfoil on the ground will suddenly be more intriguing if I’m not feeling it when I start and then the pencils get abandoned for two weeks.

But fortunately, I’m a really visual person (which surprises absolutely no one) so I’ve ended up accumulating a ton of photos, diagrams, and blueprints on my hard drive to help me picture who is where and doing what while I’m reading the books I pick up. I think by now you could probably teleport me just about anywhere in Unit 3 (not 4; I’m not that brave) and I could find my way to the exit without a map or a guide. Maybe. I don’t want to test it, but it sure feels like it.

So I just picked through a couple of those photos and used them for practice. My attention span was actually at 100 on something I had photos for. Huzzah!

And on a nearly final note in all this rambling, if anyone out there is curious, that was a neat book and I do recommend it. It was similar to Ablaze by Piers Paul Read, which I read a few years ago, in that it covered the history of nuclear power, then the accident, then the clean-up and the future… but it was all from a slightly different perspective. Piers Paul Read was a novelist from outside the Soviet Union who came in to study the accident. Grigori Medvedev, however, is a nuclear engineer from the Soviet Union who worked at Chernobyl and personally knew a bunch of the people involved. Really interesting, although it’s got a lot of technical talk, which taught me a ton about RBMK reactors, certainly, but I had Google at my fingertips a lot to keep up with it all. The author also does have a bias about certain people and certain events, so take it with a grain of salt.

Then again, take all of it with a grain of salt. No account is perfect. This is why I keep asking questions, after all. Some stuff I’ll never know for sure, I think, unless I get my hands on a TARDIS. Don’t ever let me have one.

All right, and so I am a terrible little nerd, and if you read through all of that blather you probably deserve a cookie and my thanks.

To end off, with the final final note: I feel terrible that I’ve had almost no energy for art outside the comic for weeks, and then I wind up coming back and doing this instead… So I want to mention that I do still have the color scheme challenge requests in my inbox and if all goes well I can get on to those again soon. I haven’t forgotten. I just really needed to get this out of my system first. Whims of the muse and all. O_< 

Those requests are beginning to weigh on me, so SOON. Soon.

I hope I was making sense here. I’ve been pretty tired and dumb.

Blah blah thppth.