Monday mostly-the-rest-of-OTPober works roundup

But I’m A Cat Person
But I’m A Calendar Person (calendar | just about the whole ensemble | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Three for joy (art | Leif/Thorn/Kale, Niamh, Tiernan | worksafe)
Cool Autumn Nights (art | Stanczia/Imri | worksafe)
Soul Masquerade (art | Cedar/Vine | worksafe)
Eclipse and Sunshine Boy (art | Kale/Leif | worksafe)
Five Starstruck Years (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Valley View (art | Imri/Stanczia | worksafe)
Leif in Wonderland (art | Leif/Thorn, Del | worksafe)
Heartsword Lineup (wallpaper | Violet, Birch, Rowan, Pascentia, Juniper, Quince, Thorn | worksafe)
Draw this again – Embassy Raking (comic panels | Leif | worksafe)

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Economically-disadvantaged people talk about the state of their health insurance during a virus outbreak. Peak fantasy comedy right here.

Dispatches from our mid-pandemic stupid coup

More than 130 Secret Service officers who help protect the White House and the president when he travels have recently been ordered to isolate or quarantine because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had close contact with infected co-workers, according to three people familiar with agency staffing.”

“A lot of times before they’re intubated — which means put on a ventilator because they can’t breathe on their own — when they’re still struggling to breathe, and they’re saying, ‘Well, I didn’t know COVID was real, and I wish I’d worn a mask.’ And then it’s already too late,” she tells NPR’s All Things Considered. “You can see the regret, as they’re struggling to breathe and it’s finally hitting them that this is real.”

“…about five people have attempted to get inside [Utah Valley Hospital] because they question whether the ICU is as full as some say. […] So far, it seems no one has been successful getting in. However, Hansen said what the conspiracy theorists did has forced the hospital to take extra precautions when it comes to visitors and people being admitted.”

“Roughly 80 percent of Texas county jail inmates who have died after contracting COVID-19 were in pre-trial detention and had not been convicted of any crimes.”

…his administration has refused to launch the formal transition, depriving President-elect Joe Biden’s team of access to national security information. […]The staffers recognize that Biden will be the next president, but they are ‘not allowed to act like that will happen,’ said the former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because his current job did not permit him to speak publicly. Meantime, national security actions and requests for briefings from the president are drying up.” (So, basically…US national security briefings are going to nobody right now.)

“Since 2000, I have participated in three presidential transitions from the vantage points of both the departing and the incoming administration. […] In the week since Joe Biden’s victory became clear, President Trump and his administration have taken no steps toward starting the process of transition. The risks to our national security are mounting.” Susan Rice gives a summary of the broader problem going on here.

Senate Republicans are racing ahead with post-election judicial confirmations, breaking a 123-year tradition against voting on judicial nominees of an outgoing president of the defeated party during a lame duck session.” This is my shocked face.

One bit of good news: “Postal workers doing final sweeps of their systems have found just a few ballots — in most cases, they number in the double digits — that were lost or left behind. […] What made the difference, experts say, was enormous public pressure, multiple lawsuits, scrutiny from the courts, urgent efforts to urge voters to mail their ballots as early as possible, and extraordinary measures taken by the agency itself and its legions of dedicated postal workers.”

Back to the bad, a warning to us from Sri Lanka: “The coup was a farce at the time but how soon it turned to tragedy. They called it a constitutional crisis, but how soon it became a real one. Right now, the same thing is happening to you. I’m trying to warn you America. It seems stupid now, but the consequences are not.”

If he can’t stay, he’s damn well gonna try to burn it all down before he goes

Welp, it’s been a week since the election was called, and Trump’s been wildly flinging himself from “if I don’t concede that means I don’t have to leave right??” to “file 100 lawsuits against whoever’s handy, hope some evidence shows up later” to “flood my mailing list with begging emails, admit in the fine print that their $$$ will actually just be paying off my debts.”

Also, blocking Biden’s transition team from the access they need to handle things smoothly, and firing a bunch of his military leaders, apparently because they’re trying to stop him from releasing intel about Russia that would harm national security. On top of the classified intel he’s already blabbed with no regard for national security.

(But something something Hillary’s emails, amirite)

Anyway, here’s another pile of links I’ve been sitting on for too long, about gun control & police brutality. (The really old ones I just discovered recently, and am gonna link anyway because they’re Still Relevant.)

2010: “Finally, he spoke to a departmental therapist, confessing all his concerns about the alleged stat fixing and about his declining health. The therapist’s report had a result he didn’t expect: He was stripped of his gun and badge and put on desk duty.” (What happens to the “good cops” who try to call out the “bad apples.”)

August 2015 (NYT): “In the protests that have followed police shootings, demonstrators have often asked why officers are so rarely punished for shootings that seem unwarranted. Dr. Lewinski is part of the answer.

December 2017: “Philip Mitchell Brailsford, 28, is now retired from the force with a tax-free pension worth $31,000 a year for life — and his attorney confirmed Friday that the settlement was a result of him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the shooting involving Daniel Shaver of Texas. Shaver was seen on police bodycam video crawling on the floor of a Mesa hotel and sobbing for his life before he was shot — a case that drew national scrutiny over the use of deadly force.” Justice for Daniel Shaver.

February 2018: “An elite Baltimore police task force spent years plundering the city and its residents for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, drugs, and jewelry. […] The police officers in the unit set people up for baseless searches. They robbed people. They carried toy guns to plant as fake evidence in case they killed an unarmed person. They clocked overtime when they weren’t working at all.”

Baltimore City funds, by agency. The police department dwarfs everything else put together.

June 1: “The officer seemed annoyed as he said, “Is that a Poodle?” I said yes and put Merlin back in the van. The officer seemed mad as he explained the impeding traffic law, like I tricked him somehow and was wasting his time.” White woman figures out why she keeps getting pulled over while driving with a large curly-haired dog.

June 6: “This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a time that I acted as a violent agent of capitalism and white supremacy. Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer… so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.

June 25: “Three staff members of a Michigan youth center have been charged in the death of a Black teenager who died while being restrained after throwing a sandwich.” Justice for Cornelius Fredericks.

July 19: “[Navy veteran Christopher] David stood as solidly as a rock while federal officers pepper sprayed him twice and struck him at least five times with a baton during a rally outside the Hatfield Courthouse.”

July 22: “State and local leaders have repeatedly called for federal agents to leave the city, arguing that their presence has made an already-tense environment worse.”

July 24: “This is the kid’s big moment, the 20-year-olds’ big moment. When they ask for our help, it’s our job to come and be supportive and to help them do what they need to do.” The stories behind Portland’s Wall of Moms.

WE DID IT (what’s next?)

We did it!

That viral “top 100 reasons to vote FOR Biden” list is now “top 100 reasons you’re allowed to be happy about this, not just settle for it.”

Republican lawsuits against counting legitimate votes keep getting thrown out. Although Mitch McConnell sounds like he’s planning to try and Benghazi this — where they just keep launching new hearings no matter how many times they find zero evidence of wrongdoing, so the average person will think “there must be something to it, or why would they be holding all these hearings?”

But yeah, the whole thing is just one more scam. As usual, the only cases of attempted voter fraud have been from the tiny sliver of Trump supporters who believe his claims that it’s totally easy to get away with, and then, surprise surprise, do not get away with it.

Anyway, back to Reasons To Be Happy, all the memes have been a delight, but this is the art that hit me right in the feels:

View this post on Instagram

What a wonderful, wonderful morning. This country chose (albeit not as unanimously as we'd hoped) to elect a team of individuals who are dedicated to compassion and equality. And …. I also woke up to, uh, way too many notifications. Turns out the Kamala design of mine and @goodtrubble's has gone … viral? Which makes me so happy for Gordon, owner of WTF America (Good Trubble). He deserved this. And I cannot stress enough what a wonderful human and business partner he is. Just to clear up some misinformation (because that should be expected, and it's totally okay) … the design was by myself and @goodtrubble. Not Kara Walker – although I can see how it's reminiscent of her, for sure! And I love her work. I designed it in Photoshop myself☺ We have the legal rights to it, and – yes – tagging and mentioning us is so so so appreciated. Spread the word where you can. Most importantly, if you want a shirt with this design on it, head over to wtfamerica2017.com (link in @goodtrubble's bio) and support a fantastic black-owned business in Sacramento. And if you want a print – lots of people have been asking. We're working on it!! Follow @goodtrubble and stay tuned. We'll announce it when or if we do! I'll get to responding to all of your wonderful messages and follows and comments soon. But for now I'm tackling @goodtrubble's page, and enjoying THE FANTASTIC NEWS. Here's to the future.

A post shared by Bria Goeller (@briagoeller) on

We just got our first mixed-race Black + Indian + Jamaican woman elected to the White House. Nnnnnice. (One with a startlingly good record on trans rights, and a prosecutorial record that seems to be light on grand headline-grabbing progressive gestures, but heavy on slow concrete detail-oriented progress.)

Finally got it straightened out that her name is pronounced differently from Kamala Khan’s, so now instead of pronouncing one of them wrong 100% of the time, I’ll get both of them wrong about 50% of the time.

Also! It’s not just candidates — a whole bunch of progressive causes got voted into law last week. Some of my favorites:

And Puerto Rico cast their third non-binding referendum in favor of statehood. Which a Republican-controlled Senate will be happy to keep ignoring forever…but, thanks to Georgia…

No man can flip me - I am no man

…we might have a shot at getting back the Senate??

One person retired at an awkward time, so both GA senate seats are up for re-election this year. And both of them went into runoffs, to be held January 5, with one Democrat in the running for each.

Some of the groups that flipped the GA presidential race, who could use your support over the next 2 months:

And while I’m at it, some groups that have been making those differences outside Georgia:

  • Lancaster Stands Up – mobilizing voters and supporting progressive candidates in PA
  • Southerners On New Ground – building community and supporting intersectional issues centered on LGBTQ people in the South
  • Four Directions – registering and supporting Native people, including in NV and AZ
  • Rural Organizing Project – LGBTQ rights, anti-racism, justice for immigrants, and more in OR
  • Arena – supporting the infrastructure and talent needed to run progressive candidates across the US
  • WisDems – the Democratic Party in Wisconsin

Gonna spend the rest of 2020 contributing to as many of these as possible. Got recommendations for other swing-state groups to support? Drop some links in the comments.

Two and a half weeks in

New Computer was delivered on the 12th, and by this week I’ve finally got enough transferred/installed to do most of my work on it.

Old Computer never actually got a real name (Windows called it ERIN-PC by default, 9 years later and I didn’t change it), so it seemed like a good opportunity to name both of them together.

…the bigger, sturdier, older solid-black computer is Gideon, and the skinnier, more-powerful, younger solid-black computer that’s been busily absorbing Gideon’s settings/data is Harrow.

(Apparently not enough people in my internet circles have read the Gideon the Ninth series, but (a) you should do that, it’s great and (b) this is very funny on multiple levels that you will appreciate after reading.)

Had a brief scare with Paint Shop Pro not functioning — it installed, and seemed like it was running, but once I started trying to work on comics it became clear that a bunch of the tools weren’t working. Like…the brush. And the eraser. And the text creator.

Did a general uninstall/reinstall. It didn’t help. Did an uninstall, then a Google-assisted hunt through the registry to find all the places where Jasc would’ve put keys and delete them, then a reboot, then a reinstall. That worked!

Comparative screenshots:

(Gideon’s screen is physically larger, but Harrow’s is more pixel-dense, so it comes out to the same width and a tiny bit taller.)

There’s some minor display differences — e.g. the narrower bezels around the frame of each open file — and function differences — you can see the disappearing “expand/contract” button next to the “close” button on the Layer and Tool Options menus. (Haven’t actually used that for years, so no big loss…) And there are changes in “this window/option won’t be active unless the mouse cursor is Right Here” that are gonna take some getting used to.

But it works! I can brush and/or erase things again! The only remaining hangup was that it wasn’t registering “drag a file into the program window means open it” — and that comes back when it’s run on compatibility settings for Windows 7.

Really wish I could find the details of the specific coders who put together this release of Paint Shop Pro. You folks wrote a program so clear and solid that a machine from 20 years in the future, multiple generations of operating systems later, still understands how to pick it up and get it running. That deserves a shoutout by name.

Other little updates:

  • Having to switch every device between 1 USB port is annoying as expected — definitely gonna get some new converters — but in the meantime, it’s manageable
  • The power cord is USB-C, which means it can plug into any of the 4 existing ports; turns out it was easy to make my Executive Assistant lose interest, I just had to move it away from His Side
  • Forgot that World Community Grid doesn’t install with default limits; the poor fans on this machine went nuts a few times before I tracked down the problem and told it that no, it is not allowed to use 99% of the CPU when it has the chance
  • Used to be stuck in a 7-day trial window to give different filetypes more aesthetically-pleasing icons, but this time I did it with the freeware FileTypesManager
  • I have switched to making art over here, and ohhhh yeah, Harrow is noticeably faster
  • Photoshop opens in seconds, instead of minutes. Batch actions now get whipped through in the blink of an eye. PSP only took a couple seconds to save a file anyway, but now it’s half a second.
  • I am so looking forward to the most resource-intensive task in Harrow’s immediate future: Exporting A 192-Page PDF From InDesign