Sunday, May 22, 2011

Well, we all still seem to be here...

What a surprise. Another doomsday has come and gone and we are all still here.
Look, if you want to try and predict doomsday, that's fine. It's especially fine because it really seems to have no consequences. Just once I'd love to see the followers of these doomsday prophets stop and say, "You know... my glorious spiritual leader has been wrong about this stuff time and time again. Perhaps he is full of hot air."
But no.
I was wondering, though... would the time of the apocalypse have been on Eastern Standard Time? Mountain? Hawaii? Here in Japan we're 13 hours ahead. What about us? If it happened at 2:00 pm EST. then it's 3:00 am the next day here. Seeing as how the earth is divided into 24 time zones, it's kind of hard to pin an event on a single day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New post surgery update regarding my Father...

It looks like this may be one of the last updates regarding my Father's surgery and recovery for awhile.

Firstly, he's doing really well overall. The bad news, if you want to call it that (really it's not), is I had to put my Father in extended care, on the 19th, directly after his discharge from the Hospital. Unfortunately he unknowingly picked at (and picked out a few) his incision staples a couple of times, while in the hospital, thus making the healing of the wound a little more complicated and delicate. So really it's only bad news in the fact they he would have been home otherwise. Amusingly ironic is the comment the doctor that performed the surgery dropped on me that in his 20 years of doing surgery my Farther is the ONLY patient that picked at his incision like that... just what I wanted to hear 9_9

 As grave as this might sound the incision is healing well with no problems of infection, and he's doing well overall, however he needs a more professional hospital environment for extended recovery than being at home. The incision is wrapped in a binder now so he can't get at it (though I don't see why they didn't do that immediately after the fist time he picked... apparently not). There's also the issue of extensive post surgery water retention swelling that has extremely impaired his mobility. I had hoped they would have gotten that swelling down at the hospital but he still has a little ways to go. So he's also in extended care for physical therapy, which is actually rather common for post surgery of this magnitude.  All said, he's doing great and I expect him to recover fully. What this means for Vulne Pro is, finally, I have some breathing room and time to get things rolling again. I have had no problem, what so ever, with helping my Father through all this at all but, now, I really do need to get things back on track. The studio is a business after all and we really need to get back to work. Expect activity from Vulne Pro to gradually ramp up once again. My deepest thanks for the support from everyone through all of this.


Friday, May 20, 2011

It's About That Time

Hatrax here. Time to get back on the blogging horse again. I'm still living in Japan, in a town so small and remote that it's an hour to the nearest large grocery store and 20 minutes to the nearest convenience store (and in Japan, where you normally can't swing a raw squid without hitting one, that's the most amazing stat of all).
I haven't been avoiding blogging. I've just been really busy with all of my own projects, plus holding down my day job as educator of Japan's next generation. School is back in swing and my students (I teach everyone in this town... EVERYONE... between the ages of 3 and 15, preschool to the end of junior high) are as fun as ever. I've also been writing hundreds of pages of fiction.
Since I'm writing this, you can all guess I survived the earthquake and tsunami. The leaky nuke plant is 200 miles away, so while I'm not as far as I want to be it's far enough. Life goes on.
I'm working on a project with Pam Bliss right now, which can best be described as a traveler's notebook for a very strange place. Some of the interior art will be by Mike. More details later. It'll be on sale at Wizard World in Chicago, which is where I'll be in August. Yes, after three and a half years abroad, I'll finally be coming home for a visit. I can't wait to eat real pizza again.
More to come.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Father's surgery went well...

UPDATE 5/11/2011 My Father's surgery apparently went really well with no problems to speak of :) To say that was a relief is an after statement but, oddly, I seemed pretty calm today. I just had a good feeling about it going well. he's in ICU under observation but that's expected to go smoothly as well. Just taking it as it comes. Thank you, sincerely, everyone again. I really appreciate the kind words and support. Now... I shall crash (time fer sleep).


Saturday, May 07, 2011

My Father's continuing medical adventures

I have kept posting about the situation with my Father's medical issues to a minimum because it would be draining to do so in any frequency matching the continuous weekly developments.  I also imagine it wouldn't be much fun to read on a daily basis as tweets, blog posts, etc. Sure I have noted it in various posts as a factor in delaying or slowing work on some of our projects but details I've tried to keep to a minimum. Naturally it's more fun writing about the work we're doing and sharing it with all of you than posting about endless doctor visit tedium. That said, of course what's been going on is deeply personal and of obvious concern to me so I felt another, more substantial, update was in order.

It's been a Magical Doctor's Fun Club roller coaster ride since my Father fell and broke his arm Thanksgiving eve (which has healed up just fine). That unfortunate event led to future doctor visits discovering an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) which, in turn, led to his admittance into the hospital for just short of a week. All considered the news from the parade of various doctors, during his time in I.C., was continually rather good. Having come through that relatively well the doctor visits continued, along with a truckload of medications including the happy fun-time drug coumadin (blood thinner). Ahh the joys of coumadin with its exciting weekly INR blood tests as part of the package. Blood thinners... making simple cuts potentially more problematic or a fall even more serious than the potential injuries you may incur, 'cause blood takes longer to coagulate being... well, thinn-erd and all.

As these doctor visits continued an ultrasound was scheduled to check my Father's kidneys for possible renal failure. This was scheduled because his blood pressure had dropped to unsafe lows (due to being put on, apparently 3 blood pressure medications which were dropped immediately thankfully). Instead of any problems with his kidneys they discovered an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This led to more exams and a CAT scan. Unfortunately it became apparent surgery was the recommendation so he's scheduled to go under the knife, next week, May 11th. Since the date was set there have been further appointments, exams, and tests including a cardiac stress test in order for him to be cleared for the surgery to occur. The good news is he passed all those exams and tests with flying colors. Prognosis, low risk for surgery so I'm hoping it all goes well.

So it's been a veritable circus of modern medicine excitement (I won't even go into the absurd bills and costs thus far or pending. I imagine anyone familiar with our super awesome health care system knows all too well). The whole thing has been rather exhausting and time consuming for me just simply playing the part of chauffeur and, more or less, care-giver (which is getting off easy as my Father has to endure all the medical issues not me). Now am I complaining? No. I'm glad I'm here to help out my Pop and he's doing better than he would otherwise for it. Sure a situation like this can be disruptive and time consuming but I'd rather my Father be doing well than worry about how much art/freelance I'm getting done. At the end of the day we're just drawing toons and robuts and cool sci stuffs while hoping to spin a good yarn around them and that can wait until time permits. Real life is far less exciting than the fictions we can create but far more important to gracefully face during situations like this.

This blog's focus is the work, ideas, and observations of this little indy studio Vulne Pro, a studio that had, and has, a lot of plans for 2011. At the moment, more important things have been commanding my time but I, and we, do not plan to quit working away on what we love to do, nor will we stop sharing the work with you. We had started some pretty cool stuff last year and much of it has been delayed or slowed due to the events laid out above. It's been difficult, though not impossible, to take on contract work because of the rather unpredictable schedule at the moment and posts have been sporadic from me personally (or more sporadic than was planned) as I can only work on stuff during moments of calm throughout this storm. I know you folks out there are more than understanding so I'm not worried, none the less I wanted to address this. There's a lot of cool stuff on the way, just sit tight. I expect things to hit a more even keel at some point in the future and work will continue to trickle out until then.

As to my Father's pending surgery, I've noted before that any positive vibes, prayers, well wishes, kind words, etc, I imagine can't hurt so if you wish to extend any, by all means please feel free. I appreciate all the support. As much as it sounds like, "holy crap dude that's a lot to deal with!" I'm pretty sure he'll come through this just fine. My outlook has been pretty positive through all this as well (save the disgust at some of the absurdity in medical costs, especially prescription drugs) as I see little point in not doing so. As overwhelming as all this may seem my Father's been coming through all of this remarkably well so my hope is the surgery, though serious, will follow suit.

My thanks for reading.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Odd Google Chrome malware warning for

Just about 45 minutes, or so ago, I got a malware warning for the Vulne Pro site. I checked the FTP and did see something that might have been recent activity last month (I haven't uploaded in some time) but it didn't look suspicious. Of course I called my host and they checked over the site as well, apparently finding nothing there. The site isn't showing the warning now so it was likely just a false positive.

This incident allows me to note that we'll soon be deleting the site anyway and migrating the domain name to this blog. So, eventually, this will be