I Can Haz a Facebook Fan Page!

I’ve created a fan page for the website and blog on Facebook. Why? So that the people who follow this blog who aren’t friends with me on Facebook can find out when I post new web comics and lolz. And I’ve seen the Google Analytics maps. There are people from Canada, England, India and other places who check in.

So, to become a fan on Facebook, look up “Patrick Garvin’s site/blog.”

See? I posted a web comic in a web comic. That way, you could LOL while you LOL.

And, as I posted yesterday, I’ve added to my portfolio on the website, specifically in these categories:

So, enjoy the new portfolio pieces, and for all you people from Canada, India, Salina, Dagobah, Endor, etc., I look forward to your “likes.”

How much federal funding does NPR receive?

In the days since Juan Williams’ firing, people have begun calling for a “de-funding” of NPR. But how much federal money actually goes to NPR? Andrew Phelps of WBUR posted on Hubbub a chart of NPR’s funding sources:

Click for a larger view.

Phelps writes:

I said it before, but I’ll say it again: NPR receives no direct funding from the federal government for operations…

The largest share of NPR funding comes from its member stations (including WBUR).

The local stations receive some funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a taxpayer-funded, nonprofit, private corporation, created by Congress in 1967. (Think of it like the Red Cross.)

NPR does receive grants from CPB for special projects, but that funding is not included as part of the network’s operations budget.

So while federal dollars do flow to NPR, the connection is indirect. It may be a fine point, but it’s an important distinction. The federal government can’t “defund” NPR. What Congress can do is cut CPB funding — which has diminished over the years and has, at times, been threatened.

For more Hubbub, go here. For Andrew Phelps’ personal page, go here.

In Case You Missed It: Updated portfolio pieces

Just a heads up, friends, that I’ve updated some of the portfolio pages on this website:

  • Illustrations: I’ve added a few new illustrations and Jack covers, but you’ll have to scroll down past the Elton John and Jimmy Buffett pieces. Those are two of my favorites, so I’m keeping them at the top.
  • Interactives: There are a bunch of new ones on there:
    Blond Ambition: Look at these blurry pictures and use the clues to identify country blondes.
    Pipeline of Pain: A map of pill mills between Broward County and Kentucky, focusing on the role Jacksonville played in that pipeline.
    Action Movie One-Liner Quiz: In time for “The Expendables,” an action movie starring the “who’s who” of ’80s action flicks, I compiled some of the best action movie one-liners.
    Was it the 1980s, 2010s or both?: So many 1980s staples of pop culture have re-emerged, so I scoured entertainment news for items of new wave bands or 1980s franchises offering new releases to create this quiz.
  • Miscellaneous: I’ve added some new ones to the top and rearranged the order of the existing ones. Take a look to see what got shifted around.


Web Comic: Thanks, Roger Ebert!

So, on Monday of this week, I got a Facebook message that one Roger Ebert posted one of my web comics on his Facebook page. It was the one where I took Jill Geisler’s 10 Reasons to Hire a Journalist and added some of my own personality.

I’ve gotten lots of feedback on that comic, and have been so humbled by it. But to get a living legend such as Roger Ebert to even see it, let alone re-post it, was pretty satisfying.

I still can’t tell if he liked it — all he wrote was, “This is not a joke. A trained newspaperman thinks a great many other people are not…real…sharp.” But hey, he posted it. So, thanks, Roger!

Special thanks to my friends Katie and Josh for tipping me off. If you’re looking for freelancers in New Orleans (or elsewhere), look up Katie Ide and Josh Crank. SEO, copy editing, writing, saving the world… they can do it all.

And, of course, Jill Geisler continues to be awesome. And really sweet and nice.

Web Comic: Facebook is Leaking Our Info? OMG!

By now you’ve heard about the Facebook privacy breach in which certain apps had been transmitting user IDs to advertising and Internet-tracking companies. And by now you’ve probably heard that the cochairmen of the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus have some questions for Facebook about said privacy breach.

In essence, though, for those of you who missed it:

…the 10 most popular applications on Facebook transmitted users’ IDs to outside companies. Advertisers and other companies could then use such information to build databases on the users and target advertisements to them or sell that information to a third party.

Even careful Facebook users who restricted access to their accounts were affected if they used these apps. It is unclear how long the problem has existed.

Got it? Good.

7 Foursquare Badges We’ll Never See

I recently earned my 10th mayorship on Foursquare, thus earning me the Super Mayor badge. I admit, earning badges and mayorships has driven me to check in as often as I do. I don’t have my Foursquare linked to my Twitter or Facebook feeds, though, so the only people who will see are those on Foursquare, too.

I started examining my behaviors on Foursquare, and started seeing some trends. There are a few badges we will never see, though some of us which we could.







Reading Rainbows, an LGBT-themed book club in Jacksonville, Fla.

As we are in the same week as Coming Out Day, I figured it would be great timing to mention that my friend Jimmy and I have formed an LGBT-themed book club for Jacksonville. We are… The Reading Rainbows! Credit for the name goes to Jimmy and Nash. Look up “Reading Rainbows” on Facebook.

I have been thinking about an LGBT-themed book club for a while. A few years ago, I went through a bout of apathy and thought I could be happier anywhere but Jacksonville. I started looking at cities on my bucket list, and found that one of the things they all had in common was a variety of opportunities for the LGBT community. There are certain things that will be tougher to change, but I could feasibly bring some of the aspects of those other cities to Jacksonville. And one of the things I liked in those cities were that they had several options for LGBT-identified people who didn’t like going to bars or clubs. They had gay coffee shops, bookstores, community centers and… LGBT-themed reading groups.

As Jacksonville’s gay community has grown, many of those things are starting here, too. Inspired by the efforts of others here, I thought the time was right to suggest the book club and see if there would be any interest. There has been, and I’m hoping to generate more. If you know of anyone in Jacksonville who might be interested in something like this, let them know and have them contact me. The more the merrier. This is an open group. Look up “Reading Rainbows” on Facebook.

Our first book is Alan Downs’ “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World.” On an episode of Oprah after the book came out, Downs defined velvet rage as “the anger that develops inside when you have something inside yourself that you have to hide: a core secret.”

From the beginning of the book:

“…We have among the highest rates of depression and suicide, not to mention sexually transmitted diseases. As a group, we tend to be more emotionally expressive than other men, and yet our relationships are far shorter on average than those of straight men. We have more expendable income, more expensive houses, more fashionable cars, clothes, furniture than just about any other cultural group. But are we truly happier?”

This is a book that was recommended by other gay book clubs. We’ll be discussing this Saturday, Nov. 6. For more information, look us up on Facebook, send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Web Comic: The Stages of Coming Out

Today, Oct. 11th, is National Coming Out Day in the U.S. (It’s tomorrow, the 12th, in the United Kingdom). Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary, who began National Coming Out Day in 1988, encouraged all people, of all sexual orientations, to “take your next step” in living openly and powerfully.

A lot has happened since that first Coming Out Day. Many college campuses have pride groups that have made it a huge event. They offer support to people in all stages of coming out, and encourage those still in the beginning of the process by telling them that they are not alone.

In researching creating this web comic, I found several sources, some of which overlapped:

I stuck primarily with the top link, but did branch out a few times. I take no political stance with this, and any views you’ll find elsewhere on those sites are not mine.

So, without further ado, enjoy!

I discovered through research (and personal experience) that these stages can be experienced in this general order, but can be experienced multiple times and in different orders. Thus, I did not put them in a numbered order.


The comic is in jest, but this stage can be painful. From EmptyClosets:

At the beginning of every person’s coming out process is a period where that person begins to question his or hers heterosexual identity. This typically happens when a person realizes that he/she is attracted to members of the same sex. They begin to ask themselves the question, “Am I really straight?” It takes some people years to answer that question, where others take less time. Most people are shocked and scared to think that they are not be straight and, therefore, many people deny that they might be lesbian, gay or bisexual. Some people never move on from this stage and live their lives as heterosexuals.


Most of the resources agreed that this stage is marked by loneliness. More questions come: “Am I really gay? What would that mean? What does being gay look/feel like?”


The individual begins to come to terms with who he or she is, but might not fully identify with a label, if at all.


From Psychpage.com:

This stage entails feeling good about oneself, seeking out positive relationships with other gays or lesbians, and feeling satisfied and fulfilled.


This. Is. Terrifying. But hopefully, it will be only because of your fears and not because of how people react. The reactions can span the spectrum from anger and disbelief to total acceptance. You might be surprised as to who is accepting and who is shocked.

From EmptyClosets:

If you feel that you are currently in this stage, do not feel obligated to come out to everyone yet. Take your time and think before you tell. Throughout your coming out process some people will take the news well and some will take it harshly. During the first few stages of coming out harsh reactions to your news will hurt worse than if you waited until later. Again, this site is just a set of general guidelines. It is important that you listen to your intuition and only do what feels comfortable to you. Play it safe, but be sure to find support somehow.


With the sense of shame gone, the individual will approach what makes him or her different with a sense of pride. Some will be taken aback by this new sense of confidence in the individual and accuse him or her of being “militant.”

From EmptyClosets:

You will most likely be less shy about your sexuality… You will begin to feel more comfortable talking about your sexuality and will most likely come out to more of your friends. In this stage you will also begin to meet and become friends with other lesbians, gays and bisexuals. You will most likely begin to explore gay and lesbian culture by visiting bars, clubs and other hangouts.

In most of these later stages, the resources mention the continued importance of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people seeking comfort in others like them.


From Psychology Today:

At this stage of integration, the “them and us” concept breaks down. Gays and lesbians begin to understand that not all heterosexuals are homophobes.

Although, that understanding can from in earlier stages.

After a while, you’ll think of yourself as being more than just LGBT. From About.com:

You might have a more holistic view of yourself and feel equally comfortable in straight and GLBT environments. Your identity is integrated with all aspects of yourself.

The process won’t completely end, as your life’s cast of characters is never static. From EmptyClosets:

In this stage, being lesbian, gay or bisexual becomes just another part of who you are. There will always be new people in your life that you will have to come out to, so in a sense the process of coming out never really ends. However, in this final stage coming out becomes less of an issue and more of a part of life.

These steps only scratch at some of the emotions and situations experienced when coming out. Each person does it differently, and in different orders. Most of these resources all say that there’s no “right way” to do it. So, if you’re beginning your process or further along in your “coming out” journey, these are just fluid guidelines.

Oct. 10: In Case You Missed It

You probably didn’t miss much of this stuff, as it received lots of play, retweets, reposts and the like. But check it out anyway.


At Sam Zell’s Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture [New York Times]

Yes, this is THAT Sam Zell article, detailing the environment at the Tribune Company in the nearly three years since Sam Zell took over.

Some of the more salacious stuff:

Mr. Michaels, a former radio executive and disc jockey, had been handpicked by Sam Zell, a billionaire who was the new controlling shareholder, to run much of the media company’s vast collection of properties, including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, WGN America and The Chicago Cubs.

After Mr. Michaels arrived, according to two people at the bar that night, he sat down and said, “watch this,” and offered the waitress $100 to show him her breasts. The group sat dumbfounded.

“Here was this guy, who was responsible for all these people, getting drunk in front of senior people and saying this to a waitress who many of us knew,” said one of the Tribune executives present, who declined to be identified because he had left the company and did not want to be quoted criticizing a former employer. “I have never seen anything like it.”

On the deal used to buy the Tribune Company:

“I’ve said repeatedly that no matter what happens in this transaction, my lifestyle won’t change,” he wrote to his combination employees/shareholders. “Yours, on the other hand, could change dramatically if we get this right.”

On the changes in work environment:

One of their first priorities was rewriting the employee handbook.

“Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use,” the new handbook warned. “You might experience an attitude you don’t share. You might hear a joke that you don’t consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process.” It then added, “This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.”

On certain leadership appointments:

Mr. Abrams, who describes himself as an “economic dunce,” was made Tribune’s chief innovation officer in March 2008. In his new role, he peppered the staff with stream-of-consciousness memos, some of which went on for 5,000 typo-ridden, idiosyncratic words that left some amused and many bewildered.

“Rock n Roll musically is behind us. NEWS & INFORMATION IS THE NEW ROCK N ROLL,” he wrote in one memo, sent in 2008. He expressed surprise that The Los Angeles Times reporters covering the war in Iraq were actually there.

And, on the direction the company is headed now:

And management still is confident that the new thinking has Tribune on the right track. The company recently announced the creation of a new local news format in which there would be no on-air anchors and few live reports. The newscasts will rely on narration over a stream of clips, a Web-centric approach that has the added benefit of requiring fewer bodies to produce.

“The TV revolution is upon us — and the new Tribune Company is leading the resistance,” the announcement read. And judging from the job posting for “anti-establishment producer/editors,” the company has some very strong ideas about who those revolutionaries should be: “Don’t sell us on your solid newsroom experience. We don’t care. Or your exclusive, breaking news coverage. We’ll pass.”


Mark Woods: The last shall be first in what matters most [Jacksonville.com]

Mark Woods’ column about a cross-country runner with several obstacles. Grab your Kleenex and call your mom.


10-10-10! [mentalfloss.com]

In honor of today being the 10th day of the 10th month in 2010, Mental Floss has several top 10 lists. My favorites:

Web Comic: Why I Don’t Have Pets (Yet)

Happy St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day!

Who’s he, you ask? Well, he’s the patron saint of animals, of course! Every year on October 4 (or the weekend closest to it), many churches offer ceremonies to bless animals. At my parish growing up, people mainly brought dogs, but I’ve heard that other churches have people bringing cats, birds, iguanas, fish, turtles, frogs, wookiees and more. Perhaps a sarlacc or a rancor, even.

Anywho, in honor of those of you who have pets, I brushed off my very first web comic that I created in January but never posted. Until now, of course.

Additionally, I don’t have animals/aminals because:

  • My building doesn’t allow animals.
  • I’ve realized I’m allergic to things that shed.
  • I work weird hours and can’t always count on when I’ll be home.

When I settle down with someone, I imagine we’ll get a dog or something so our kids won’t hate us later. Until then, I’m without a pet.