654 – White Smoke Mountain • 23


Yay! Back in the saddle!

Okay, I had a couple of choices as to how to handle this, but I didn’t want to mess up my numbering by making a page without a comic, and I also didn’t want t erase everything everyone had written below… so I’m just adding this strip on top of everything else we already have. That does mean we’re putting off Dear Reverend DM for a week, but it also means that come Wednesday, we should be back on track. (It also means that the comic is going up 5 or 6 hours early, but that seems like an appropriate sin.)

BTW, Lena wanted me to tell you guys thanks for all the sweet words directed her way, and also for me to say that I’m a stupid dumbass for getting myself hurt in the first place.


Today marks my triumphant return to the drawing table. There is still pain, but it is so much better than it was it’s almost like having gotten a new back. Plus, I’ve discovered that a pair of pillows in a straight-backed chair will extend my ability to sit up by hours… which is just enough to make a new strip.

I want to thank all of you guys for waiting it out, and being there for me when I needed you. Your comments mean the world to me.

And we should all of us thank Lena, who has been incredibly kind and nursemaided me through this without complaintwith little complaintwith only an occasional complaint… without violence, and has ensured that I did not continue to injure myself further with any of the hundred or so stupid things I tried to do while I could barely walk.

Upside; I got a walking stick yesterday! In part because I thought I needed it, but mostly because I finally had an excuse to get one. I’ve always wanted a reason to carry a stick around everywhere I went… yay me! It’s kinda plain though. I’ll have to check Amazon and see if they have any sword canes…

So first thing is to do a sketch for T-ShirtBordello, and then I’ll be working on Monday’s comic. Thanks again for sticking around, and I’ll see everybody Monday!


Progress has been steady… after seeing the doctor and getting some medication, I have been able to walk without pain, though I still cannot sit in a regular chair to work for more than about 20 minutes or so without pain. Last night seriously blew though. I absolutely could not get comfortable and felt way friggin’ worse by the time I woke up. Now that I’m up and about I’m feeling much better about things… I might even try for some (extremely) light housework today. As long as my recovery keeps pace, I fully expect to have comics again next Monday. (Of some sort!)


Yesterday (Saturday) Lena and I were at Costco, and as I was putting the groceries into the trunk, I simultaneously leaned, lifted, twisted, and shoved… after which I did not actually pass out, but only just. I crawled to the car, and crab walked into the house once we got home. Ever since I have been unable to even sit up straight without a carefully arranged pile of pillows. Now, about 30 hours or so later, I think I can tell that it’s starting to get a little bit better. ( I can now get to the bathroom in just under five minutes instead of just over ten.)

In any case, I am totally unable to sit at a drawing table and am not certain how long it will take me to get back. My guess is that we’ll likely be off a week. I am VERY sorry, but probably less sorry than I feel for myself.

I’ll see you soon guys. Just as soon as I can.

125 Responses to 654 – White Smoke Mountain • 23

  1. Ouch!

    Do NOT feel sorry. This is serious. Maybe you should see a doctor, just in case. Anyway, take care of yourself. Your health and wellfare is more important than anything you could put here. Don’t hurry, take the time to feel better. We can wait.

    And if you REALLY feel sorry? Have Lena do the interim 😉

    • I’m loving the idea of getting Lena to do some interim strips. She’s already doing a LOT right now, taking over my chores in addition to her normal work, but maybe I can find a way to make it easy for her.

    • I’m afraid that “going” anywhere is kinda out of the picture right now. Everything I do pretty much needs to come to me. Thankfully I had the iPad so I could write this. Good side is that my range of motion is coming back steadily, even if the pain (when it hits) is just as bad. I can’t walk yet, but I can sort of stand for a few seconds.

      • Second on the Osteopath. Definitely the school of manipulation that sounds most likely to sort this out. I’d do it as soon as you can, aside from the fact that these things shouldn’t be left to fester, you may find that they can make huge changes in one hit. I was in serious pain at one point when I managed to pop a rib (not that I knew that’s what I had done) and left the surgery pretty much pain free after having it sorted out…

          • Oh yeah. Very painful too.

            On the stick thing, I’ve not read all the way down so sorry if this is mentioned elsewhere, you’ll really do yourself more favours by getting your back seen to. Walking with a stick can train your muscles to walk with a stick and the way you hurt yourself doesn’t sound like it should be a permanent thing. It’d be a shame to make it such just for sartorial elegance 🙂 . Oh, and if sword canes aren’t legal there, you can get an excellent hollow cane which carries a small bottle of spirits and a couple of shot glasses…

        • Probably will not see a doctor unless it stops getting better by itself. I’ve been moving around as much as I can, and can now sort of walk. I am not a big fan of doctors in general, and I can’t imagine what one would do for me other than prescribe medicine I don’t really want to take.

          The upside is, as I mentioned above, that it is getting better. I can’t sit up straight enough to draw yet, (or even play WoW… grrr) but it’s getting there.

  2. Ouch. I feel for you, and hope you get better, because not being able to move sucks. 🙁 I once got massive backpain when I was visiting a friend in Munich, and could only lie on my back, couldn’t get up without help, and was in major pain when he lifted me so that I could go to the toilet.

    I had lots of lumbago troubles in younger years, especially during my student years (oddly, not much lately). Strangely, my mother had a bad back, too, all of her life, despite having been very active in sports as a girl and young woman… it only got better once she picked up gymnasics and muscle-strengthening training when she was in retirement, to combat her osteoporosis.

    In my case, it doesn’t have anything to do with bad spinal disks, no those are perfectly fine, despite the fact that I read or sit at the computer a lot. The muscles of my back, however, often react to a wrong move or to sitting around in a cold draughty place by suddenly going rigid and iron-hard and locking up. Then only a lot of heat (i.e. an electric heating pad) and gymnastics will help. Or, in extreme cases, hot fango mud packs followed by a professional physiotherapeutical massage to get all the knots out of the muscles. Pain medication will help prevent your body locking up in a pain-avoidance posture which will only make things worse in the long run, because you have to work on regaining mobility. I know that in extreme cases of back pain some physicians give injections directly into the back muscles, but I never had that done so I cannot comment on that.

    Make sure you don’t end up in the hands of an osteopath or similar quack. Yes, sorry for all those I am about to offend, osteopathy is a worthless medical cult, invented by a medical illiterate named Andrew Taylor Stillin 1874, but it is apparently still going strong in the USA. *sigh*

    I remmber, once I got a massive backpain only one week before I was supposed to fly to Namibia, and the doctor sent my to a massage therapist who gave me fango and massage every day (usually you’re supposed to only get one every other day to give the muscles time to recuperate from the kneading, but in my case they didn’t have that luxury of time). Hurt like heck at first (but then I had foolishly declined pain medication), but worked wonders. That and the fact that I forced myself to bicycle across town to get there in the first place and bicycle home afterwards, wearing an elastic kidney belt (one of those things you can wear under your shirt to keep the lower back warm). The actual bicycling wasn’t so bad but getting on and off was horror.

    • I haven’t been to any doctors, but have hit a lot of medical sites. My pain seems to be muscle spasm with accompanying tension from the surrounding muscles. At first I couldn’t even lie still without extreme pain, but just a few minutes ago I was able to walk a bit… as long as I don’t rely too much on my left leg.

      Everything I’ve read says to keep pushing yourself and to do as much as you can, in order to get the muscles loosened and working again. So far I have been pleased with my progress. As for drugs, I’ve tried several, and ended up with ibuprofen as my favorite. (Better than the prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers a friend “loaned” me.) I’ve got a heating pad behind me right now and the pain is fairly minimal. I’m just thankful that I’ve already started loosing weight. Bad as it is now, it would have been even worse 45 pounds ago.

    • I found osteopathy to be very helpful.

      Worst were the Chiropratic quacks, who actually do damage more often than not.

      Didn’t have much luck with the physio folks either. Great for strength building and ongoing care but absolute bloody shite for repair/acute work (eg torn muscles, localised cramps, slightly or worse alignment). In all but one case their exercises built up muscles in a way that locked in the pain-avoidance/cramp position.

      It does depend on the osteopath. A few are grabby weirdoes with delusion of fix everything. What you’re looking for is someone who can ease muscle tension, and check/sort minor adjustments. As with anyone with claims of unbelieveable successes should be critically re-considered. Could be that the US ones are quacks, gods knows many many other rip-off artists are over there panhandling what would be otherwise respectable professions.

      I also recommend avoiding -any- medical professional (or anyone) who cashes in on the 3F’s. Fear, Faith, Forever. It’s the medical (and others) slush-fund ride. They convince you to fear something (eg pain), tell you to trust them to take it away (cool) and keep it away (hmmm) with regular ongoing payments…I mean… treatments. (???!!!!!)

      Crawl into a taxi if you have to. The longer you leave it, the more the muscles build into the habit of being in the poor posture. The harder and longer it takes to undo.

      Unless you had -any- sort of impact at the time. Which is automatic Xray time. Absolutely zero manipulation, if you had any impact.

      And yes cortisone injections are great. But while they do help free up the muscle/movement, reduce the cramp effect, and really cut back spasm pain, they don’t fix that much. And so many folks push themselves to hard during the “honeymoon” period when there’s no pain.

      • There was no impact at all, I was leaning over in the trunk (boot) of my car and pulling on a box filled with groceries. I was also twisted sideways because the shopping cart was next to me.

        Have no fear, I will be taking it easy. For a loooong time.

  3. Take care of yourself first. Whenever you make it back to us, we’ll be waiting.

    • Thanks. I’m gonna try to get something in there, even if it’s stupid and not part of the regular continuity. Who knows though. I may need Lena to help and I am VERY hesitant to add anything to her plate.

  4. Been there. Thanks for this great strip. Take care of yourself and do see a doctor if it doesn’t resolve within a few days.

  5. I feel your pain… literally. Same thing happened to me in January. It took me about 2 weeks before I could sit up without pain, but I did manage to get better. Just take it easy and do not push it or it’ll only get worse. The chiropractor really helped me a great deal as well, so I’d recommend any gentle chiropractor out there. Mine actually flared up again last week, so you’ll have to take it easy for a good long while more than likely. Praying for you!

    • Sorry to hear that! I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on an ad exec for Philip Morris. I did have this happen once before, a loooong time ago. Seems like that time the worst of it was done in a few days, but I had to be kind of ginger for the next several weeks. That kind of seems like paradise right now.

  6. I can stand pain, lot of pain really. Back pain is not pain at all….it is a ferocious demon with a pitchfork digging into every nerve he can all at the same time while setting fire to them with napalm. I don’t know why its so different but I feel for ya. I’m kind of a redneck so my favourite thing to help my back was heat a 2 litre plastic coke bottle full of water in microwave (about 6 minutes in 1 kilowatt oven but check so you don’t overdo it) and lay down on it. The heat and curve of the bottle helped a lot. Get well soon and don’t overdo anything so you’re at least ready for your LoTR drink party! 🙂

  7. All you whimpy namby pamby ‘get feeling better’ types… sheesh! What do you think this is? We depend on Kevin for high quality TIMELY (free) entertainment; and that’s what I expect Damnit! So down some advil, chase it with a couple red bull’s and clench the pencil in your teeth. Don’t expect us to wait on you forever. You think we can just let Atlas shrug? I mean who is John Gualt? Next thing you know Kevin will expect Obama-care to cover the chiropracter. Damnit now my tea has gone cold!

    Sarchasm (n) the gulf between the person being sarcastic, and the person who doesn’t get it.

    Hope you feel better soon Kevin.

    • LOL! That would be sad if everyone went somewhere else for their free entertainment. Hah!

      But you know, that isn’t strictly true. In return for what I do you guys are happy to give me feedback, conversation, friendship, and beyond all else, a reason to keep doing a thing that I really love to do. In truth I would be greatly saddened if folks went somewhere else and stopped visiting here. All of you really do mean a great deal to me.

  8. I’m a certified physiotherapist so hopefully I’ll be able to come with some help:

    When clients come to me with lumbago/similar problems I check 3 things first and foremost

    1) Has the patient been to the toilet after the incident. If no and a reasonable amount of time has passed since the accident – hospital directly, don’t pass go, do not collect your money.
    2) Perform Lasegues test. This test is to define the area of your back where it hurts. If there is a severe failure to perform the test – hospital.
    3) Reflexes at the knees and achilles tendon, if there is a significant difference between left and right side – hospital.

    These relatively simple methods are to determin if there is a (potential) hernia in between the disks of your spine.

    For the time being:

    Find a comfortable position to rest in – do not sit for long moments. After 2-3 days, avoid lying in bed for as much as possible. You can also apply something warm to the area of your back that hurts, and after a couple of minutes, put something ice cold. Alternate a few times, it’s always nice if someone can do it for you since it’s hard to reach. MOST of the times, the most restful position is sideways foetal position. Anyways, pillows help a lot to find that perfect spot.

    • Let’s see… The pain is in the lower back, left side. There is no tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness anywhere else, though the surrounding muscles have tightened up. There really was no comfortable position to rest in, so I was constantly shifting around, switching chairs, and moving about anyway. Curled over does feel pretty good though.

      I haven’t had any trouble in the bathroom, other than the inconvenience of getting there.

      [two hours later]

      Okay, did the test you suggested, and failed. There is doctor I like quite a bit in the building next to my house so I went and he saw me right away. He felt it was either a spasm or a herniated disk, but said that the initial treatment was the same either way. So I am now officially being treated. Anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers. No painkillers, which is what I wanted.

      Thank you, Alrek. I honestly would not have gone without you.

      • Try the ice cold/very warm treatment, If you have an ice-pack/gel and a special pillow you heat in the microwave for example, you are set. A warm towel also works, though it’s more difficult to keep it at a high temperature for a prolonged time. Just apply one to the affected area and when it becomes TOO comfortable (^^) swap rapidly to the other. This is to trick the nuscle to react to stimuli. The muscle(s) and the brain are locked in a struggle becuase the brain says “Alright, situation is over – relax” but the muscle is in an ongoing state of strain. What you do with the ice is that you manage to tense the muscle juuust a little bit more andwhen you apply the hot, it relaxes a tiny bit, as you repeat the procedure, it helps the muscle to remember what it is SUPPOSED to do. Hopefully, at the end of the treatment, you will have regained a wee bit of movement.

  9. We can always spend the extra time during your recovery discussing completely irrelevant topics, like why the Transporter seems to be forgotten in order to make a plot more complicated, or why Peter Petrelli conveniently “forgets” Sylar’s ability to understand the workings of things when he needs to open a safe to just telekinetically work the locks and instead nearly gives himself an aneurism ripping the door open by brute force…

  10. I am always surprised by American’s hesitancy to visit a doctor.

    I guess I ‘know’ that it’s financially demanding, but I can’t empathize with it.

    In any case, good luck with your recovery. Don’t feel guilty about the comic – these things happen, and we’d all rather you took it easy and attempted to recuperate rather than permanently debilitate yourself for the sake of the masses.

    • Well in this particular case, he can be fairly certain that it’s not life threatening, since he knows exactly what caused it

      Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do this!

      Doctor: Then don’t do that.

      • That is, sadly, why I don’t go to doctors. People tell me to go to a doctor when I get sick and I ask them why I need a medical professional’s opinion that I have a cold when I can just look at the green crap I coughed up and tell myself the same thing. If it ain’t bleeding, or it ain’t broken then I don’t need a doctor. Although I have pulled a muscle in my back and yes I went to the urgent care. They gave me vicodin and told me to take it easy. Glad I didn’t have to pay for that useless information.

        • Pfft, why go to a doctor and be told you have a cold when you know you have a cold?

          You asked rhetorically. I asked seriously, because I don’t know the answer to that one either. But when it comes to horrible crippling shooting acute pains, that’s the kind of stuff that screams “COULD BECOME MUCH WORSE WITHOUT PROPER TREATMENT.” That is the gist of what I was saying, really. My doctor always said “ok, don’t do this this or this and start doing this” when I did something dumb like that, so maybe I was just spoiled.

          My hesitancy to go to a doctor involves the time involved. I mean, I’m just as dumb as the people I’m raising an eyebrow at here, but that’s for different reasons. I’m invincible (comes with being an early 20s guy) and have always had a rather impressive pain tolerance. I always figure that it’s just something not important, because it’s not bothering me enough to make me think “I should see a doctor.” Yep, even the shattered thumb had this response (I thought I had sprained it). Took me three days to figure out “wait, this isn’t a sprain…”

          But something like that? Pretty sure I’d head to the doctor’s right away. Then again, it doesn’t cost me a month’s worth of groceries to pop down there. Man, living in the USA must suck.

          • I don’t mind it so much. Living in the U.S. that is. The trick here to is fool someone else into paying for it. When I hurt my back (which seems to be something everyone on here has in common) it was at work so I called up HR and she told me go see the doc at the clinic. Then I told them it was work related so they had me call HR again and get the information they needed to bill the company I work for. So I only had to pay for the vicodin prescription which was like ten bucks. I thought it worked out okay, except for the part where I couldn’t really stand up straight. Back pain sucks.

        • Of course, yes, most of the time it is indeed “just a cold”, and most Germans do not go to the doctor just for a seasonal cold or stomach pain either, but sometimes it’s not just a cold, but pneumonia. We Germans have a weird antipathy against taking pills and medical drugs, so technically we like the idea of just “toughing it out, it’ll go away by itself with some rest”, but we’re mighty glad we have our socialized or private health insurance if we do need expensive pills or treatments and don’t need to mortgage ourselves to get them. *shrug* But being Germans, we like to moan and bitch about how the damn insurance corporations raised costs and don’t cover as much stuff as they used to and how hospital staff don’t get paid enough and how come there’s not one doctor for every single patient. Okay, kidding.

          But if something doesn’t progress the normal way and gets worse, or if you’re already on some medication that inhibits your immuno system (like me, to combat autoimmune disease), or your family has a history of things like cancer or heart attacks, then you’re glad if you can pop down to the doctor for a check-up and to hear, “No, it’s ok, no need to worry.”

          And sometimes you have to go on a voyage from doctor to doctor because the physicians specialized in usually non-life-threatening stuff (like i.e. orthopaedists and otorhinolaryngologists) look at the symptoms and say, “It’s probably just a sprained ankle.” and 2 years later you finally get your ass to a rheumatologist who takes one look at your symptoms, checks a few things, asks a few question that at first seem to bear no relation to where your pain is located, nods grimly and asks you, “A textbook case. Why the heck didn’t you turn up sooner, when the illness hadn’t progresses that much yet?” and “Why didn’t your dermatologist tell you that having psoriasis increases the risk of also developing arthritis?” d’oh.

          If it’s something immediately threatening, like a potential heart attack, which happened to my mother-in-law (and she already had had several heart attacks before), the ambulance took her straight to the hospital and she was in the operating theater to get a stent before we had even managed to park our own car at the hospital. And she was up and walking a day later (because the doctors told her, “Up up up, you need to walk around, no lying around and getting bed sores here!”)

          Of course at first my mother in law didnt want an ambulance called, until we phoned her daughter, who is a physician herself, and she barked at her mother, “They’re going to call an ambulance now, and don’t you dare object!”

    • If you consider
      the usual waiting time (several hours)
      the immense cost (don’t expect to get away with paying under $200, and not uncommon $500, with a “come back if it gets worse” diagnosis)
      and the likelihood you’ll get either slightly stronger versions of across the counter painkillers and/or a referral to a more expensive specialist.

    • What can I say, it’s a culture of fear and paranoia. We’re raised not to trust. And mist’s point is well made. You might spend a month’s grocery cash and be given a prescription for the Tylenol you were already taking. And that’s IF you’re insured.

      Trust is… hard.

      • The doctors in my country are still a little better (just) but what made me realise just how narrow-minded they were (apart from my little brother being a medical consultant (ie experienced doctor)) was being told that I couldn’t just take 4 paracedamol tablets (at 500mg active ingredient), I had to take the doctors 2 tablets of 1000mg of the same active ingredient. And then have the pharmacist say they didn’t have any of those in stock and ask -me- if it was ok to substitute 4 tablets of a lower dose! I told them to phone the doc, who said yes that was fine.
        It’s not like these people are poor or uneducated in their jobs…. but WTF??

      • At least half the time doctors are people that take all your money, barely look at you then hand you a bottle you saw on TV. I call practices like that overcomplicated theft for the sake of deniability. In countries with “free” health care it’s government enforced theft through taxes. But it’s not always like that, and if things don’t get better you should at least have them take a look in case it’s something they actually can and need to fix.



    um, I mean get well soon! 😉

  12. Get well soon. Your comics are worth waiting for. Just don’t disappear like so many other artists have done.

    • I know, right? That’s what I’m the most afraid of, is that folks will think I’m bailing, which I so am not! I’ve also got two t-shirt designs for T-ShirtBordello that are waiting. I’m kinda going crazy from not being able to do anything.

  13. Ouch, sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you get well soon, venerable H.U.L.K., and will pray to you on hasty recovery.

    And getting injurd loading groceries? I feel I could say something here regarding your age and state of health … but I won’t.

    Fat old lazy bastard.

  14. Was it Corwin who said “When I said I want to die of old age, I meant that at the age of 150, I want to be stepped on by an elephant while making love.”

      • Whups…I looked it up and I had it a bit wrong.

        It should be: “When I said I wanted to die in bed, I meant that in my extreme old age, I want to be stepped on by an elephant while making love”

        My bad.

    • Why would he want to make love to an elephant’s foot at age 150 (admittedly it’s one of the few pictures not available on the internet). Eyesight failure perhaps?

  15. Been there, done that! A good chiropractor can help if you know one. Meanwhile it is astounding what a challenge shoelaces can be! Good luck!

  16. The Black Knight is not amused… it is not even a flesh wound!

    I wish you a speedy recovery!

  17. You really ought to have that looked at. It may seem to be getting better, but anything that is preventing you from sitting up at any point could still be very serious and have a recurrence later. Hope its nothing to worry about, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful

  18. I don’t know if this will help you, but it helped me when I did something fairly similar to my back (and once I was able to actually stand up at all again): a tall, straight-backed rocking chair. Just sitting in there on the front porch rocking gently, the first few days with a purring cat in the small of my back. Don’t know if it helped loosen the muscles up or what, but rocking felt good.

    So did Bengay, used sparingly. Otherwise, my back was on FIRE with minty goop.

  19. Here’s a timewaster we could do: Pick one TV show, anime, or other fairly well known source, and try to figure out what alignment the various characters would be in dungeons and dragons.

    For example, Using Rumiko Takahashi’s “Inuyasha” as an example:

    LG: Shippo, Sango, Kikyo
    NG: Kagome
    CG: Inuyasha
    NN: (Forget the name, but that mountain-demon who just wanted to lie around as a mountain and not bother anyone)
    CN: Sessumaru, Koga
    LE: Kanna
    CE: Naraku, Kagura (Starts CE, Later tends towards CN)

  20. Get well soon, Kevin.

    Also, don’t you too find it somewhat unnerving that doctors call what they do “Practice”.
    I sort of understand the paranoia and mistrust that can breed. 😐

  21. Dear Rev. DM (yea, I know it’s not the right day of the week, but maybe it’ll help):

    I hope you get well soon. Back injuries are pretty serious, and I’m glad that you’ve been talking about recovery. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times sofar, but take your time.

    In the meanwhile, see if Lena can grab the “special” d20 and tell her to roll a crit success on the heal check!


  22. You have a cane now? Cool! Now all you need to do is get one with a fancy dragon head for the handle with a sword inside…

      • I wish it wasn’t a crime to buy, own or carry a sword cane here in Germany.
        Oddly enough you are allowed to own and display one in a display case if it’s not inside the cane-sheath, (assuming you inherited one from your grandpa or someone in the first place), because then it’s no longer considered a hidden weapon. Sheesh. So no Cthulhu LARPing with genuine sword-canes over here. Unless the police never finds out about it. Or you are on a stage, it’s part of your costume and the blade is blunted or whatever. But since you cannot import them from other countries, anyway… technically I could have bought one cheap once, it was the perfect size for me (I’m only 1,61m tall), but the cane was ugly metal instead of wood, so I didn’t.

        I mean I don’t know how to fence, so why buy a genuine fencing weapon when I just want something decorative?

  23. sorry to hear about your injury kevin. hope it heals soon. as for sword canes the bud-k catalogue has several different colors available.

  24. It’s good to hear you’re making progress — are you doing any kind of physical therapy? I hope so, because in my experience that’s what brings the most relief and the most long-term relief.

  25. hey kevin look at this! remeber all that crap that happened in Arizona lately? this movie is about that exact shit and it was made before it even happened


    also check out this awsome cast

    Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Robert DeNiro, Jeff Fahey, and Cheryl Chin.

    steven fucking seagal HELL yes

    • that is fucking awesome! Though not being in America means I don’t have knowledge of the incident you’re referring to, i don’t give a fuck, it’s still fucking awesome!

      • Cheech Marin as a shotgun toting priest? A minigun on a motorcycle?

        Pardon me while I pop on over to Netflix….

        But I don’t seem to recall any assassinations in Arizona recently.

  26. Hang in there, Kevin! And welcome to middle age. Your best consolation is that it beats the alternative.

    But seriously, please do your physical therapy exercises faithfully, like I did after injuring myself for the 14th time in ways I will not enumerate. After that, I realized I had to do something general or I would continue to become a mass of injuries.

    Yoga saved my life! When you are in good enough shape, again, I strongly recommend it. Not just for healing the injuries, and preventing new ones….yoga makes you comfortable. Loosens up the joints and all. And you get to be in a room full of healthy women bending themselves all over…

    • I had a older friend that after motorbike accidents had most of his lower vertebrae stiffen up considerably. He also rode horses but found he couldn’t do that much because the movement aggravated his back. He was also becoming less and less mobile as the limitations grew and the stiffness and pain increased (if he took pain killers he invariably overreached himself).
      He took up some basic yoga because a friend did it. The stretch, relax and breathing did wonders for his general health. The exercise did wonders for appetite, sleep habits and weight. The improved appetite and clarity from more relaxation/less stress, better sleep meant he didn’t continually want sugar/junk pickme ups (which help with everything else). The reduction in stress, pain and frustration made him easier to get on with and a lot more pleasant to talk to. The reduction in stress and better diet improved his memory. And the gentle working of back muscles regained his mobility.

      Sadly his teacher moved on to a different town and being a small town there wasn’t a replacement. And while the yoga did wonders, it didn’t fix his self-discipline. So he’s back to being a ornery bstard. But the yoga, it worked _wonders_.

        • One surefire way to be the sexist guy in the room is to be the only guy in the room! Or nearly so, in all the yoga classes I’ve been to. Too bad I’m gay….

          • You were probably the guy all the girls were ogling then Goshen. Gay men have that way of attracting hetero women, whereas we heteros only seem to attract gay men. At least in my case. Meh.

  27. I was away over the weekend, but I’m glad to hear you and Lena are both well and everything worked out fine with your back.

  28. re: the comic

    I can’t shake the feeling the group has a communication problem. 🙄
    Why is Morty so grumpy?

    • Morty doesn’t like Zobbie. Since he disliked her from the moment she set foot in the comic, it’s likely something that happened in their past.

      (#527, 571)

      • Ah OK, thanks. That clears that up.

        Still, for someone who is so into roleplaying his character like Morty’s player, he should work at leaving his dislike of Zobbie’s (female) player at the door.

        Or maybe that’s precisely the problem, he is annoyed that Zobbie was speaking out-of-character all the time in the beginning, only to overshoot the other way and become even more annoying now with her Ye Olde English RenFair-speak.

  29. Why is Morty putting his boots on? He presumably was wearing them the last time we saw him, (talking to Enkidu trying to get to know him better… no that can’t be the reason he needs to get re-dressed *washes mind out with soap*)

  30. Do druids even have any effective fire spells? None really come to mind from my old AD&D (1st Ed) days…

    I would think Enkidu would be jumping at the chance to fight a monster where Scorching Ray is a really effective weapon.

    • According to my AD&D 2nd ed. rulebook they have major access to the spell spheres: All, animal, elemental, healing, plant, and weather, with minor access to divination. The elemental sphere gives lots of fire-type spells so he should be set.

    • Druids have access to Produce Flame (Dr1), Flame Blade (Dr2), Flaming Sphere (Dr2), Flame Strike (Dr 4), Wall of Fire (Dr5), Fire Seeds (Dr6), and that’s from just the Core spell list… oh wait, those are Edition 3.5 druid spells. I don’t know about their spells in 4E.

      Seriously, if you’re a cleric or druid and able to cast Flame Strike, there is no excuse not to have prepared that awesome spell. And once he can cast 7th level spells, he gets Fire Storm… in 3.5 that is.

      The 3.5 Spell Companion added a lot of ice and lightning to the druid spell list, too.

        • So they got rid of the whole “X number of spells per day period and then your mage is just a guy with a stick who doesn’t fight well at all” bit?

          Hey, does Martin still have that Animate Dead spell he traded the “Flying at will” ability for?

          • All characters now get powers, some of which are usable at will, some per encounter, and some daily. Fighting types get fighty powers, arcane types get spell powers, healer types get healing powers and so on. The wizard still blows in melee combat, but he NEVER runs out of magic missiles.

  31. Kevin Lives!


    *injects his mental H*O*L*E- dosage.*

    Going cold turkey is bad, mes amies!
    My heartfelt thanks to Lena for nursing my pusher back to health. (Where the hell is the flowers & chocolate e-con??)