Happy Times

On November 15, 2012, Shadow Man sat down once again to share.

Shadow Man jots down his thoughts at one of the DETC workshops.

The following is a small window in to his journey towards a better life:

One year ago, nearly to the date, Rose began her 3-month stay in a physical rehabilitation facility. Her absence from home, especially during the holidays, quickly sent Shadow Man spiraling into a deep depression.

However, edging in on Rose’s 2nd month away, just in time for Christmas, Shadow Man suddenly realized that maybe- just maybe- instead of gaining a sense of self from others’ needs, he needed to focus on his own needs and take care of himself.

Cleaning the house was overwhelming and he needed help completing tasks; he recognized that. However, there were things he could do on his own, be it cleaning or making himself smile. He seized those warm fuzzy thoughts and feelings, enabling himself to figure out the steps he needed to take to better care for his emotional, spiritual, and physical selves. Wait, who am I kidding, that was the first time he could remember even taking time to identify his needs in those areas.

He spoke with his doctor about improving his physical health, and made an appointment to speak with a nutritionist. Walking and exercising became a regular part of his daily schedule. Not to ignore his emotional and spiritual needs, he began meeting with a pastoral coordinator once a week. 

There weren’t unicorns in the end, but Shadow Man did see his world brighter. As his thoughts decided to play nice and get in line, he found himself surrounded by silver linings.



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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things!

On our heroes’ twenty-fifth mission, they learn to make asparagus soup and put 13-tentacled, purple grainy skinned, red-eyed Squidpi in time out.

While returning home from their last mission, our heroes get a mayday call! The Planet Harvesters are not very happy with the havoc the Squidpi babies are causing. Without a care, they are zooming around in space looking for things to blow up! Just staring then blinking their big red eyes and BOOM! Asteroid confetti.

Asteroid collision
Image credit goes to: Onlyhdwallpapers.com

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Prunings and Insatiable Plantimals? Only on Planet Nom!

After taking a month vacation, the Squad reunites at HQ! No sooner do they settle in than a spokesperson for the Crittermen of Planet Nom calls, speaking very rapidly and tripping over her tongue as she tells about the Nomians taking over the planet. They are eating everything, including the Crittermen!

Can our heroes help get these plants under control before they devour the entire planet?!?

The Squad promises to give it their best effort, and load up their ship with gear. As Zetaman gets behind the helm, Break crosses her fingers remembering how things went last time she flew with him.

Upon reaching Nom’s orbit, Zetaman makes a few rounds for the Squad to assess the situation from the skies. The planet is quickly becoming a light shade of purple! No greens, no pinks or yellows, just light purple.

Shadow Man: Holy Creepers!

Break: Hey, that’s the same color as my toenail polish!

Our heroes begin brainstorming ways to combat this issue with minimal casualties of Nomians. They decide that they need more information of the Nomians before a plan can be made. However, no one is in favor of landing.

Nurse Awesome draws the short straw of actually taking a sample from a live Nomian.
Break and Shadow Man get to work in the quarantine room, ensuring it is secure enough to contain the Nomian specimen and prevent Nurse Awesome from losing a limb.

Bundled up in protective gear, Nurse Awesome slowly enters the Q. Shadow Man offers moral support as the three foot Nomian snaps at her knees and looks a bit disappointed when it can’t penetrate her gear- well, as much as you can imagine a plant looking disappointed, you know, a bit wilty and such.
Taking a cue from Lion tamers, Nurse Awesome bravely swabs the inside of the Nomian’s “mouth.” Then she quickly drops the capsule top, securing the creature for transport back to the planet’s surface, before high tailing it out of the room. As she flees, she notes the “attack” was very similar to that of an Earth dog.

Nurse Awesome quickly gets to work in the lab. After adding a secret chemical cocktail to the swab, she examines it under a microscope and observes an enzyme that’s created after the Nomian eats. This particular enzyme allows the Nomians to reproduce when it is sprayed from their leaflimbs. She also describes the cells as making basic intelligent decisions regarding how they responded to chemicals during the testing.

Since Nurse Awesome concludes that the Nomians have some intelligence, the Squad decides it’s about time they learn about safe planting to prevent future over-reproduction. Though, with such a low sentience level, can they learn safe planting? Nope… pruning it is then.

Nurse Awesome carefully studies Nomian anatomy and determines various techniques of pruning. She teaches these to the Crittermen can co-exist with Nomians as their caretakers…. Once they’re no longer afraid of becoming dinner.

Luckily, Nurse Awesome thought to leave behind her protective gear for the Crittermen to reverse engineer in order to safely perform the prunings.

Wishing the Crittermen much luck, our heroes beam back to their ship and happily fly back to their planet where plants are plants and dogs are dogs.

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Planet Sweet Tooth’s Temporary Cavity

Last week, our heroes put away their colored pencils and rulers to don the spandex and answer the blue flashing phone call of a distressed being! The account of their mission was logged as follows:

Captain Wonderful, Zetaman, and Break were hanging out at HQ when the governor of Planet SweetTooth called. His planet’s usually soft and fluffy ground has hardened trapping the citizens where they stood!

After accepting the mission, Break researches the standard records for the planet’s surface, climate, and special conditions. Since she’s busy tending to her research, Zetaman gets a chance to use his student pilot license and flies them the three billion light years to Planet SweetTooth. All the way, Captain Wonderful firmly grips the emergency break… just in case.

As they approach the planet, Zetaman pilots the ship into the orbit around it. This allows him to look for a good landing spot and gives Break a chance to gather data regarding the planet’s current conditions. She compares the conditions to her notes and determines that only a great decrease in temperature could be the cause.

Zetaman find the perfect landing spot and skids about 10 kilometers away from it, landing the craft on a crystallized plateau.

Break rubs the spot on her forehead where it kissed the computer as a result of Zetaman’s top notch flying skills. Captain Wonderful begins picking himself up from where he was slammed to the floor. Zetaman just wipes his brow thankful that they didn’t explode upon impact.

Upon opening the hatch, our heroes find the temperature to be a bit nippy. After checking the actual temperature and reviewing her notes, Break reported that the weather was 23 degrees below the expected temperature range.

Noticing that the rate of energy necessary to freeze the planet, the heroes deduce that the drop in temperature is not a natural phenomenon.

Captain Wonderful further concludes that the change could not be the work of the snow cone kids because the method of freezing is vastly different. So, who could the villain be, they wondered.

Using his x-ray vision, Captain Wonderful tries to figure out if the surface will allow the Squad for Good to traverse its terrain. Due to the concrete-like composition of the planet, the surface has razor-sharp protrusions capable of shredding through the Squad’s clothing and worse!

Seeing a boulder nearby, Captain Wonderful uses his super speed racing over the spikes before they have a change to do their damage. Though, possibly not fast enough since afterward he feels something uncomfortable had worked its way into his boot, and he didn’t have time to unlace it and get it out. He mounts the boulder and uses it to bulldoze a path safe for his team.

Referring to Break’s notes (‘cause they’re awesomely useful), our Squad determine the shortest and possibly least frozen route to the Governor, who lives just one city over, and head out to meet her.

Zetaman speaks with the Governor, whose feet are inconveniently frozen where she stands. While discussing the effects of the planet wide freeze, the Governor exclaims: It’s the work of the evil wizard Hogglesloth!” You see, apparently there’s this cave dwelling, greedy paladin-thief, who is also a glutton for cotton candy, shiny jewels, and the power to rule them all.

Zetaman inquires further to gather more details about Hogglesloth. According to the Governor, Hogglesloth plans to take over the planet, reap all of the cotton candy from the planet’s surface preventing anyone else from accessing this major export crop, and make all of the natives do his dirty work for him.

Since the universe has a sweet tooth only satiated by cotton candy, Hogglesloth’s monopoly will lead him to pocket all of the space gold and jewels that he hasn’t already lifted from the Planetary Cavity!

The Governor directs the Squad to a cave on the edge of town where Hogglesloth was last reported to be. Captain Wonderful and the Squad boulder their way to the cave, and stop a mile from the cave’s entrance. Captain Wonderful bowls boulders toward the entrance, checking for booby traps. Good thing to. They triggered magical landmines with spring cages that caught each of the boulders! What a sneaky way to capture more “workers,” thinks Break.

The heroes use the cages as a catwalk and cross safely to the cave’s entrance, where they find a fire filled cauldron and scorch marks that could only be unlucky, unwelcome souls seeking an audience with the wizard.

Break cautiously inches towards the cauldron, when she gets within five feet; a bright purple ball of fire leaps out at her. She dodges it, but barely, then scampers back rejoining the others.

Referring to her research notes on all things magical and woo-woo, Break finds that a fire of green base and bright purple flame can only be extinguished by copsli crystal exposure. The unique bond pattern within the crystal absorbs the element necessary for the fire to burn.

As the heroes discuss where they could possibly find such crystal, what exactly they need to do to “expose” the fire to the crystal when they can’t get that close to it. Realizing that he finally has the time, Captain Wonderful unlaces his boot and shakes out that annoying… COPSLI CRYSTAL!

He hands it over to Break, who stifles a gag response to the smell of Captain Wonderful’s dirty socks. She uses her Rube Goldberg talents to ricochet the crystal off the cave walls and into the cauldron.

Tip-toeing past the cauldron, they sneak up behind the wizard, who is staring intensely through a gap in the cave wall that allows him to see the entirety of the cotton candy packaging plant. His hands moving like a conductor’s, orchestrate the movements of dozens of unfortunate native Sweet Toothians.

Captain Wonderful realizes that in all the excitement, he never put his boot back on! He motions to Zetaman, who takes the boot and heaves it in the Wizard’s direction and whispers: Well, the boot will knock him out if the smell doesn’t!




The scary Hogglesloth lies somewhere buried under one of those stereotypical, overly ornate, Halloween costumes they call a robe- complete with pointy hat and shoes. No sooner did the tyrant hit the floor than the Sweet Toothians’ land and body movements returned to their fluffy and bouncy natural states with feet free to dance!

Captain Wonderful quickly grabs the tassels from the hat, finding a now unconscious wizard underneath, and decides to use the hat as a gag. That ought to keep him quiet if he wakes up. Captain Wonderful then binds the wizard’s hands with the tacky salmon- colored tassels before enjoying the now bouncingly amusing trek to Nimrod where he loads, a now slightly awake and very confused, Hogglesloth in to a cryogenic chamber.

The Governor and Sweet Toothians are so grateful that they gather 3 crates of their top shelf cotton candy for our heroes, who promptly return home eagerly pursuing the best sugar high EVER.

……bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy…….


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Comics Continue and a Mission is Completed!

On July 3rd, 2012, our heroes continued depicting their stories with artistic flare! This task began just after we last spoke, and looks to continue for a while longer.

Sidewalk Surfer drew wings of gold and strength which he believes everyone possesses. Prior to rolling away, he shared that this gathering taught him a lot, such as how hydrogen combines with oxygen for water.

Shadow Man continued detailing his origin story, dividing written statements among the pre-made comic blocks. After weighing in on his approach with Break, he intends to complete the boxes with images of his journey.

Leo the Lopper Venus Man assembled a collage about Cat. When asked to provide more detail, Leo responded that she is: independent, self-reliant, and sneaky, very, very sneaky- in a passive way though. You see, all the cat does is get the mouse when the mouse is looking the other way for food. The purpose of the Cat is for survival.

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Not content with simply sitting and telling their tales, Leo and Shadow Man decide to answer the Squad’s blinking blue phone and tackle a mission!

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Mission 21: Zarcon Goo Snow Cones

The heroes’ team of scientists, floating on Zarcon’s surface, monitors the temperature of the fragile planet’s core. Any changes in the temperature can have extreme consequences to the strong yet fragile bond between the amphibious Zarconians and their environment. Suddenly, the surface levels are getting drastically low! The Climate Station’s Chief Director on Zarcon contacts our heroes, informing them that there’s been a drastic change in Zarcon’s environment!

Captain Wonderful wonders, “How has a planet and its inhabitants lasted so long yet be so fragile?” Not wanting anything to happen to their hero spa that is planet Zarcon’s surface, our heroes are quick to act.

They jump in to the spaceship and head out. En route, Captain Wonderful uses his telepathy and speaks with several leading members of their society. He is able to gather enough clues that indicate someone is drilling a hole in to the core with a laser, which is causing the goo levels to plummet. When the goo leaks in to the core it is causes the core to cool. Since the core heats the surface goo, the liquid surface of the planet freezes. This causes rotation of the planet to slow.

Our heroes track the laser to its source to find that an alien race developed a laser capable of penetrating the goo. They aren’t too surprised since this is something space trolls are known to do.

Since ice is infinitely easier for them to ship the 5 light years to the wormhole then through the wormhole and a few light years to their planet than water, the goo-through laser just makes sense. Why all the ice? To help satisfy their never-ending craving for snow cones, of course!

Thinking fast, our heroes remove the ship’s mirrors and deflect the laser, preventing any further damage to the planet. After deflecting the laser, Captain Wonderful uses his super strength and speed to fill the core’s hole with whatever he can find- minerals, plants, rocks, old sprockets and such.

Afterward, the squad travel through the wormhole. With Captain Wonderful behind the helm, his super fast reflexes successfully dodge the laser that’s now targeting them! Upon their arrival on the other side of the worm hole, our heroes find a warship made of a heated sand-like substance being piloted by 726 Ruffians and Scallywags from planet Noodle. Darn those meddling kids!

Our heroes spot the laser’s source under the ship, which looks like a tank doing a headstand. Captain Wonderful draws their fire as a decoy, while Zetaman and Break take the side car and head over to the laser’s base. In a matter of minutes, they dismantle it. Without their laser, the Noodle-ites find themselves defenseless. They throw a tantrum and mourn the loss of any possible future enjoying snow cones since this was the last mission the Scruffians would let them take. All involved, including the Scruffians, who allowed the building of the laser and the mission to proceed, received heavy fines and were banned from possessing snow cones according to the Galactic Council. Furthermore, the Council forbade the kids from using or making lasers for 10-cycles.

With the Galactic Council as their escort, our heroes return to Zarconia. Shortly after leaving the wormhole, the Galactic Council orders an increase in wormhole security on both sides. Shortly after touching down one of the floating landing pads, the Galactic Council presents the heroes with certificates of praise.

The heroes return home, and celebrate by enjoying a few snow cones.

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Awesome Dude’s Story

I went to public school where I learned English, not grammar. I graduated high school in Clackamas, but didn’t learn anything other than hunter safety when the school changed to pass/fail instead of grades in the 70’s I discovered that I needed more structure.

I went on to community college when I was 18 with the help of BEOG state grants and work study programs. I started by studying drafting, but thought to myself: What am I doing in drafting? That’s for smart people. So, I went to the skill center and tried out a few other things, but nothing worked out. Eventually I started going to therapy, taking medication, and went in to landscaping. While working in landscaping, I learned turf management, pesticides, and plant identification.

When I was 20-30 years old, I found that working at temp agencies would be the most fun because of the camaraderie, but also thought it to be very dangerous because of large machinery just as the “widow maker.”

From the time I was 30-40 years old, I was still working, going to therapy, and taking medication. At some point, I lost my temper and started tearing apart the ground with a pick axe at work, a short while later, I found myself in the Oregon State Hospital’s psychiatric unit. During my stay there, I was able to recharge my batteries and start taking a therapeutic kind and dose of medications.

At the age of 45, I started collecting social security benefits and have been partying ever since. I live the life a cut above a schizophrenic and enjoy taking walks and observe the world around me, especially the landscapes.

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