Well, I guess I asked for it – I was recently roundly lampooned on a couple of Russian blogs for my terrible misuse of their language in Chapter 1, which was, from what I pieced together through a Russian-speaking friend of mine, not only in all cases ridiculously wrong, but on more than one occasion, was terribly embarrassing.  But then, any publicity is good publicity!  His interpretations of the various posts gave be a wonderful laugh (I knew it was bad, but I never knew it was quite THAT bad!) and of course, gave me the final impetus I needed to update Chapter 1 with much-improved translations to the Russian donated to 6-Commando by Pavel Zhdanov some weeks back.  So I shifted my dying computer into gear, and with much lagging and some great difficulty, I managed to get it to dish out some text revisions – and it only crashed twice!

So Pavel, for saving me from further ridicule, however much I may have deserved it, thank you!  And to all my Russian readers out there, both you who follow for the fun of it and you who are only momentarily interested in another North American making a fool of himself, I hope that the new versions are an improvement!  Believe me, in the United States and Canada, we make fun of poor English and French just about every day of the week, so turnabout is fair play!  To be honest, I owe you all a debt for keeping me on my toes, so thanks, and, lesson learned, I’ll now seek out my translations beforehand, and from a Russian-speaker.  I burned that damned phrasebook I was using.  Nowhere to go but up!

UPDATE – 08.17.2010

Well I’m back online, apparently, but not because of anything I did.  Frankly, I probably messed this thing up far worse than it was by tinkering with it.  It seems to be able to run some simple programs, like my web browser and antivirus, but for now at least, this machine’s days of running Photoshop are at an end.  It can do the basics like scan and letter, but multilayer color files are simply not an option at this point, and are repeatedly crashing the system.  I didn’t realize that what I was doing was as complex as all that, but apparently it’s just coming to the end of this machine’s useful days.

So what that means, for the time being, is black and white, and shopping for a new computer.  I’d hoped to hold off on the latter until the new year, but then, that was what I said about my car just before it broke down for the last time.  I’m the kind of guy who hates to admit defeat when it comes to mechanization.  But on the plus side, with all the overtime I’ve been working I have a little extra cash to play with, so maybe I can manage to put something decent together for myself before too long.  In the immediate, next week will probably be in black and white again, as I’ll most likely be working a very long week again and will simply not have any time to think about it until at least next tuesday.  But I will continue to plan around color pages, and in contrast to last year’s “two-week cycle,” I’m just going to keep going ahead on the weekly schedule, whether with color or without.  No sense in leaving poor Milo and Sarah stranded because of a malfunctioning machine.

Oh, right.

In any case, many thanks to all the visitors who’ve offered me notes of encouragement – it does me a lot of good to know that people will so willingly read this story whether it’s in color or not!

Original Post: 08.16.10: I was almost done coloring this when my computer decided to go ka-ka-koo-koo.  It was at the end of three really long and intense weeks, so I suppose that this extra thing getting layered on top was inevitable.  And so, being a practical man, I’m posting this as a black-and-white on the off chance that I can’t get things at my studio back on the line by this afternoon.  Basically, the thing is that I have a computer that I have really beat the crap out of with my various art projects over the last three years, and it may finally have just given out on me.  I’m going to try to track down the problems and get it on top of things again, but at this point I’m really running out of alternatives.  So if you see this post above in black and white, it means that I wasn’t able to do that in time.

This is such a dramatic scene that it really irks me to be posting just a line drawing, but I figured I should give you guys something, at least, computer crash or not.  How perfect – just when the numbers are starting to trend in my favor we get a stupid thing like this.  Oh, well – nothing to be done but ride it out I suppose.  And in the worst case, I’ll post black and white pages from my office until I can get a new computer for myself.  These really are meant to be in color (the shadow and such really adds the depth that the line drawings lack), but at least it would keep from just having things come to a total halt because of some damned computer problem, which’d be downright stupid.

In any case, I’m going to crack the thing open and start tinkering, and see if I can’t get this problem sorted out.  Wish me luck, folks, and if I don’t resurface in time, see you next week! 

And anyone who wants to take up a collection for a new computer for me, well, at this point, I wouldn’t say no!