First thing's first: today's strip is up late because of me. The blame is currently laying at my feet, occasionally looking up at me and wishing I would go play fetch with it.

That's not a tortured metaphor for saying that I've recently acquired a dog; I haven't. But I liked they way it sounded so I let it run its course. What really happened is that I went to see some friends of mine before I embark on my great push Westward, and I forgot to tell Paul. That's less interesting than the dog thing, but I didn't want to keep you guessing.

Moving on.

Because we've increased strip production by a full one-third, I don't feel as bad when we don't have an entirely new set of circumstances into which we can toss our merry creations. Piggy-backing off of a previous strip, or even enduring a full-blown "continuity," doesn't bother me as much since we're going to be making a new strip in less than 48 hours no matter what. It's a good feeling. It tastes like freedom.

I've started my ritual consumption of "Lost." Most of the TV shows I watch are on DVD or Netflix, which affords me to ability to watch the shows in immediate succession. While this, too, tastes like freedom, it is not. It is bondage wrapped in freedom, keeping me rooted firmly in my chair while the rest of the world waits for me to say and do things.

I've made it through the first season. I went to see how long the show has been running (I honestly didn't know) and was surprised to learn that the writers have kept them on that goddamned island for FIVE YEARS. I bet the actors that signed up for the pilot didn't realize that they would essentially be playing "Survivor" for half a decade. But hey, there's good money in syndication.