January 30, 2013
Beep Beep, It’s the Domesticated Road Runner!
Welcome to Windows 8?
So, it’s been a while since I’ve actually updated the site (almost 4 months to be precise). It’s a long list of delays and neglect which I’ll talk about a bit at the end of the article. The subtitle above is a bit of a hint.
Anyway, here’s a (belated) welcome to 2013 for all. I hope the holidays treated you well. It’s a great time to get together with your friends and family and just reconnect and reminisce (or at least I think it is since I was working this holiday). It’s also a great time to just unwind a bit and do some of the things you enjoy, like sitting back, shutting off your brain and watching cartoons. Or in my case, reading comic books based on cartoons – which brings us to today’s entry taken from Bugs Bunny’s Vacation Funnies #8 (1958) from DELL. In particular it brings us to one story in particular…
Note Wile E Coyote spitting on his cactus pie. Remember the custom next time you’re offered cactus pie.
Ah, the Road Runner and Wile E Coyote, two of my (and many people’s) favorite Warner Brothers cartoon characters. The coyote is forever trying to catch the road runner and is always messing it up. There’s a universal appeal to these cartoons, much like Tom and Jerry, because of the lack of dialog and almost pantomime type action. Notice I said lack of dialog – yet there’s the coyote clearly spit-speaking all over his cactus pie. Still, we’ve seen the coyote speak on at least one occasion as he briefly went after Bugs Bunny in a cartoon, so I’m not surprised to see our boy talking to himself here.
Naturally he’ll be heading out and looking for a better meal…
One interesting thing that I never knew is that the road runner actually has a name – and it is “Beep Beep”. No kidding…
…see, so every time the road runner is saying “Beep Beep” he’s actually just saying his name over and over again…
…like some sort of narcissistic douche into extreme self-promotion…
…and to further the surrealism he talks … in rhyme...
The bird says nothing for 40 plus cartoons, but in his first comic book appearance (did I mention that this is the first appearance of the road runner?), he talks. I understand that comics are different from movies and having a whole story without text, while a lazy child’s dream, is rather hard for a book to do. But does he have to rhyme every time he talks? And why, oh why couldn’t they just use thought bubbles instead? Having the road runner talk in rhyme just gives the comic some sort of bizarre vibe, like it’s a relic from the Twilight Zone or something. Speaking of which…
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Why does the comic book road runner have a different color scheme from the movie road runner? Even the coyote can’t believe his eyes in the above panel – nice of the road runner to bring an apology bouquet though.
Well, freaky rhyme speak and color bleaching aside, at least the story progresses like you’d expect, with the coyote promptly preparing an ingenious method of catching the road runner…
There’s no way this can possibly go wrong.
Oops, guess I was wrong on that one. I don’t really get why the coyote’s tail went white in the above left panel either. If anyone has a theory, let me know.
So the coyote, having messed up again, manages to find a bird’s nest just a few yards from his cave. Naturally he takes the eggs, intent on eating them. And naturally this has repercussions…
Whoa, whoa, whoa – hold on just a second here. When did the road runner settle down and start a family? This is his first appearance and he’s already got a wife and soon to hatch kids?
Interesting side note, you’ll notice I keep referring to the road runner as a ‘him’. Well, here’s the lowdown if you ever need to distinguish male and female road runners in the wild…
Ah, that clarifies things. Who says comics aren’t educational?
Also note that boy road runners have periodic bouts of spastic blue snot explosion.
You know the road runner always comes off as the smarter one in his battle of wits with the coyote, but you really have to question his parental skills here WHEN HE BUILDS HIS NEST WITHIN SPITTING DISTANCE OF THE COYOTE’S CAVE!!! His wife (at least I think she’s his wife, I don’t see a wedding band) sure doesn’t seem bothered by her beau’s ineptitude on that one. Naturally she’s too upset to think straight, and her natural parental instinct during this crisis situation is to… stand right there and watch while Beep Beep tries to get their kids back. So, yeah, parents of the year? I don’t think so.
Beep Beep concocts a brilliant plan to get his egg enshrouded kids…
This can’t possibly go wrong.
And remarkably the plan goes without a hitch.
Even the baby eggs have sprouted legs to aid in the escape – though how the eggs can see where they’re going is anybody’s guess…
Not at all perturbed by his failure, our intrepid coyote hatches (see what I did there?) another plan…
He’s going to try and feed magnetized birdseed that’ll cause the birds to get stuck to the metal feeding tray, making them easy to catch. He’s going to feed magnetized birdseed to a group of baby birds THAT ARE STILL IN THEIR EGGS! How are they even supposed to eat the (insert expletive here) birdseed???
Okay, the coyote must be psychic or something to predict that happening.
Pop quiz – what sex are the baby road runner heads?
The answer is boys of course – just like Snap, Crackle and Pop are boys. Eerie how the cracking of eggs sounds just like Rice Krispies.
So the road runner’s speed has saved his kids and the bird seed. But that’s alright, you see, he already has a back up plan in motion – oh yes…
Yeah, you can see where this is heading…
Incredibly this bus is on time (what was that about the Twilight Zone?)
Sigh, it’s incredible how fast kids grow up. Seriously, one page later and the baby road runners have gone from 3 small egg hatchlings to precocious grade school attendees. Nature can certainly be amazing in it’s own way. Another couple of pages and they’ll be collecting old age security.
And there you have the very first (somewhat bizarre) appearance of the road runner (and family apparently) in comic books. I seriously hope the kids aren’t named Beep, Beep and Beep respectively as the final panel suggests. That’s just confusing.
WELCOME TO WINDOWS 8
So, 4 months between updates. Yeah, as anyone whose ever stumbled across this site can guess, I am not what you’d call ‘tech savvy’. You see the fancy blue background and poorly cropped images and automatically think ‘Damn, was this site put together by a bunch of preschoolers?’ And I’d feel sorry for the preschoolers because, honestly, they can do good work when they put their minds to it – they’ve been getting a bad rap lately.
Anyway, aside from work eating up a lot of my time, I also noticed that my archaic PCs, running the soon to be obsolete Windows XP, needed some TLC. So I took the plunge a while back and bought a couple of upgrades to Windows 8. And being a nutty guy, I went and tried to upgrade them on my own.
Attempt #1 – A 2009 Acer Aspire One ZG5 Net-book (AOA150) running 1 GB RAM and 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor
Remarkably this upgrade went rather smoothly. Everything went well, windows found all the necessary drivers and I was up and running in an hour – except for the WIFI. The WIFI now seems to time out after random intervals. It could be 2 hours or it could be 2 minutes. So, scouring the web I’ve tried a bevy of ideas, including disabling the IPv6 setting (whatever that is); using a different driver; running the driver in compatibility mode and others with limited success. I’ve even bought a WIFI dongle and disabled the onboard Qualcomm WIFI adapter, but it still times out. It’s frustrating but at this stage I’ve learned to live with it. Usually I can get a good couple of hours before the WIFI times out. To be fair, other than that Windows 8 works quite smoothly on my ancient hardware and I’m slowly getting used to it. Speaking of ancient hardware…
Attempt #2 – A 2006 Compaq Presario SR1734X desktop with 4 GB RAM and 2.2 GHZ AMD 64 x2 4200 dual core processor
Buoyed by the (semi) success of the underpowered net-book, I next tried upgrading the workhorse, my desktop Compaq. And let me tell you this was extremely frustrating. Sure, everything went fine with the install and then windows would try its initial boot and would get to the start-up screen (black background with teal windows logo and a circle of dots constantly spinning and spinning and spinning – I swear I still see them in my nightmares) and that’s it. It would just stay on this screen forever. Again I scoured the internet for answers and tried most everything including updating the bios (although how is going from a 2006 bios to a slightly newer 2006 bios considered an update?); removing expansion cards; removing ram; adding ram. I swear I had to restore the computer to factory settings and update the XP OS so many times I can do it blindfolded. In my final, desperate moment I even chatted online with Microsoft tech support – and they were very helpful – until my net-book’s WIFI timed out.
Yeah, that was the bottom, right there.
In desperation I then tried something ridiculously stupid. I went in the bios and just randomly switched something off, then tried a restart; if it failed I went back into the bios and switched something different off, and so on. Sure, I could completely screw up my PC but at this point so what? It was screwed up anyway.
Incredibly this worked. Turns out the SATA adapter had to be turned off in order for Windows 8 to boot up. That’s it. Every time it booted up it was looking for a SATA drive that didn’t exist – makes sense. And now Windows 8 works fine – but I feel so much older…
And so welcome to the Windows 8 Comic Book Tid Bits website. Yeah, it looks exactly the same as the XP website, but after the crap I’ve been through getting to this point, that’s good enough for me.