Category Archives: Site Business

Casual Notice 2015

Okay, let’s be honest. If you’re here, and you’re not a spambot, then you’re either (a) some poor sap making scut wages as a human spambot to get around filters, or (b) you followed the link in my last Facebook post because you can’t go without some Brett-y goodness. If it’s (a), you have my sympathy, but not my support. If it’s (b), welcome! Comments are limited to approved users and moderated, but only to keep the site more or less spam-free. You can expedite user validation by sending an e-mail to my address: bhainley(at-sign)casualnotice(tiny-circle)com.

I have a Facebook problem. I have a Facebook problem in the sense that some people have a heroin problem, except Facebook doesn’t cost me any money (but it may, eventually, cost me friends and family if I don’t deal with it). I spend too much time registering an opinion on almost everything. I spend way too much time correcting people when they have the facts wrong. I apparently never learned when things weren’t any of my business.

Worse, I would camp comments, wasting entire days checking and rechecking my news feed for something that “demanded” my input. This is a bad thing. If I spend an entire day staring at a blank page on MS Word, it’s not wasted because my brain is still working through whatever has me blocked. If I spend that same day clicking over to Facebook to see how people reacted to one of my snide, cat-based graphics, my brain is focused on defending the theory that my cat, Coleridge, finds partisan political ranting tedious, and that day is wasted. I track the word-count on my current projects on a whiteboard in my office. Those counts haven’t changed in over a month.

So I came back here. I’ve had A website since 1996, and Casual Notice has been the home of my ramblings since 2004. I don’t check it compulsively for opinions, and the blog format tends to give me an impetus to think through the commentary that is posted here. More importantly, this is my home. I own the server, and I own the website and everything on it.

Facebook is like a front yard. Yeah, the space is yours (sort of), but everyone passing by can see what’s there. They can bitch about your opinion because it’s right THERE assaulting their eyes like a concrete flamingo. The thing about Casual Notice is that you have to come here to see my opinion. If you come to my home and you don’t like the ratty green sofa in my office, you’re very free to fuck off. This is my space, and you’re a guest here.

Anyway, big changes coming for CN (again), including a probable migration at the beginning of the year. Again, if you want to expedite user validation, send an e-mail to bhainley(spiral-ay)casualnotice(point)com.

Casual Friday–The Horror

This is just awful.  I can safely say that this is among my worst comics—possibly the worst, in terms of the artwork.  The hell of it is that panels 1 and 2 would be okay if I hadn’t done such a horrible job drawing Penny’s face.  And man, did I do a bad job.  She looks like she’s wearing some sort of horrifying spirit mask.

So, yeah, I said I was going to fix the really bad ones, but it turns out that those two panels are so integrated that the only way to fix them is to completely redraw them from scratch.  I’m working on it, but I wanted to keep to my every-Friday-update schedule, and I ran out of time.  I will eventually replace that one with the update, but not right now.  Right now, all I can say is that women, children and those with weak hearts (or stomachs) should feel free to scroll down without looking.


Added a simple CAPTCHA that uses text/number mixing and first grade math to determine the humanity of posters/registrants.  I believe it has enabled me to go back to open comments, as I have it set up so anyone can post as long as they answer the CAPTCHA.  If you get tired of doing that, feel free to register, and you won’t see it any more.

Spambots Die Now

Every “user” whose name is something that was output by a random character generator is getting deleted at noon (central daylight) today if I don’t get an e-mail asking me not to.

UPDATE:  All users that I couldn’t identify have been deleted.  If you are a real human and I deleted you in error, please leave a comment on this post and I’ll make sure you don’t get caught in the next spambot sweep.

Casual Fridays

Starting today, Fridays here will be known as Casual Friday. I’ll be reposting the old Casual Notice comics, one per Friday, with commentary. Depending on my mood, I may redraw one or two of the more horrifying ones, and I may even fill in some of the gaps where I went on unexplained hiatus (the explanation is I’m lazy).

Click here for full size.

So, above, you see the very first Casual Notice comic. A lot of people (who mostly exist in my head and nowhere else) ask me how I came up with Casual Notice as a title. I started using CN as a handle on forums and chat boxes (remember when websites had chat boxes?) back when Avalon High went on its long hiatus. People were bitching on the chat box there about the author’s disappearance, and I registered as CasualNotice to remark that unless they had specific information that his life was hunky-dory they didn’t know that he wasn’t facing some sort of crisis. I kind of liked the idea of being a person who just remarked on things I’ve noted in passing, so I kept the handle and used it for other forums.

As far as the comic goes, the concept expanded from there.  I knew I couldn’t maintain a comic that had a point, so I decided from the getgo, that it would be a slice of life comic, and any commentary would be merely in passing.  Originally, the comic was to be about Scot living with Schmookie (in human form) and not discovering that she was a dragon until much later in the comic.  The bestiality aspect of that gave me issues, so, instead, I had a small family that I’d created for a series of unpublished short stories, and decided to start with the family’s daughter (Penelope) as Scots roommate/love interest.

This first comic, of course, came from the Houston Chronicle’s decision to rename its Houston section with a graphic of a star.  The idea of the Print media trying to compete with electronic media has always been hilarious to me.  What print media used to do very well, better than any instantaneous medium ever could, was edit, vet and fact-check their stories.  If they’d stuck with that and highlighted it’s value, newspapers and magazines wouldn’t be in the crisis that they are.  Of course, they decided they needed to compete with electronic media in an arena where they couldn’t hope to even show up for the fight (hipness), and you have the situation you have now.

To be fair, the Chronicle did finally add the word “Star” to the banner of its “Star” section, so this joke is a little dated.  The cat and the bird will not appear again until Hurricane Ike blows through town.