Saturday, February 12, 2011

XR #79

If you're looking for the latest PDF version of my print zine, you'll have to go to my new Website: . You have the option of viewing the issue online or downloading it to read later.

Why a new site? Simple. It's easier to use than the other one I had; I don't have to use Sea Monkey Composer and play around with HTML just to upload and archive issues. Older issues of the Ray X X-Rayer are still available at . At some point I might combine both sites into one, using the URL to re-direct to the new site.

Saving time by using a Google site means more time to research and create new articles.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


That sound? Me slamming my fist down on my desk while trying to print out the last issue of my print zine.

With the Rube Goldberg interface of computers and the Web, you would think publishing online would be a bigger chore than printing out a few paper copies. Wrong.

Thanks, Hewlett Packard.

Before purchasing a HP inkjet printer I had other three other such printers, an Epson and a couple of Applewriters. I had some problems with those units but nothing like this HP.

The last issue of my print zine had a number of images. I tried to render them with decent quality but failed -- actually, the printer failed. There's nothing I enjoy more than grayscale images coming out with streaks, especially color streaks. Like a little light pink with that B&W photo?

Double-sided printing is supposed to save paper, i.e., each side of a sheet is used. 8 pages are printed with 4 sheets. But you won't save paper if the printer keeps getting hung up, printing out of sequence.

So next time draft mode, one-sided printing. If that's not good enough, go to my site where PDF files of my zine are stored and print your own.

And don't mention getting a laser printer. I don't have the money and I've used a HP one which also sucked. A HP printer trying to properly communicate with a computer is worse than a computer interfacing with the Internet.

I could go back to trekking to the print shop and doing my issues there but I prefer at-home DIY to save time.

A while ago a subscriber summed it up this way in regards to my efforts to publish a good quality zine:

"I don't care what it looks like as long as I can read it."

So why should I bother?


That sound? Another nail being pounded into the coffin for my print zine. I haven't given up, but with HP ripping me off with overpriced ink cartridges and a printer that uses ink like shit through a goose, don't be surprised if my print zine ceases publication.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

17 Years Later: Dead In Winter

I know the correct phrase is "dead of winter" -- meaning the midpoint of the season when the greatest misery is suffered -- but today dead in winter is a more apt term.

Today is February 2, Groundhog Day. Of course a major storm has hit this area, the northeastern corner of New York State, AKA the tundra. Most places are closed; nowhere to go. If it's not massive amounts of snow, the deep freeze temps confine one to his warm den.

Back in February 1994 I started my zine, Ray X X-Rayer, to have something to do during the long bitterly-cold nights. I don't have the eXact date when I conceived the first issue so I've decided to celebrate the birthday of RX XR on Groundhog Day. And why not? It's a goofy day that uses myth to predict the future, the great unknown, in this case how long winter will last.

I already know the answer. This is indeed the middle of winter. Some of the worse snowstorms hit in March. April can see more snow and even May on some occasions isn't spared from the dreaded white stuff. Six months of winter, anyone?

So at this point I am dead in winter -- well, let's day half-alive. I'm not quite dead yet. I do have my moments of activity, creative bursts, but as a solar-powered being who tolerates too many overcast days, my energy is limited. Usually I respond to comments on my blog and also comment at the blogs I follow, but not lately. Just not enough energy.

But today I'm working on the latest issue of my zine and writing this post so I'm doing more than being dead asleep all the time.

The calendar on my wall: twelve months of tropical beach scenes. Why do I need snow scenes when I'm surrounded by that crap for about half of each year?

(Corrections made: 2/9/11.)