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Tri-State Gazette, Issue 135

PF News March 25, 2015 User blog:PF News

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Tri-State Gazette                
The Official Phineas and Ferb Wiki Newsletter, Issue 135: April 8, 2015
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Contents
1 Boredom got you? Good!
2 Crat Corner
3 The Numbers Game Looks Back: Counting Stars (and Marcos)
4 The day Phineas was wrong
5 This is not an apology

Boredom got you? Good!

Our lives should be a rollercoaster!

Phineas may not like boredom, but sometimes you should. Read on to find out why.

Current forum discussions

Crat Corner

KinHikari's avatar
by KinHikari

"Spring has sprung" and flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and baseball season has begun (Go Mariners!). People in the Inland Northwest are enjoying the sunshine, as well as, dreading the occasional rain showers. Of course, there is the annual spring cleaning. Speaking of spring cleaning... There's two areas in this wiki that have been on my mind for quite awhile which needs some "sprrucing" up.

First is the Merchandise Portal. I occasionally update a few of them: T-shirts, hats, other clothing, action figures/dolls, and toys. Other than the aforementioned, the other pages in the Merchandise Portal haven't been updated in quite awhile. So, if there is any merchandise that isn't currently in the various pages, feel free to add them.

Second, there's the Candidates for renaming category. As of this short article, 371 images and 1 page are listed. Needless to say, a majority of the images doesn't have the Rename template. The ones that do have the Rename template in the About tab has the lack of a possible new image name, which sometimes makes it a little harder for some of the administrators to rename the images.

Odds 'n' Ends

The Numbers Game Looks Back: Counting Stars (and Marcos)

Ryan Stoppable's avatar
by Ryan Stoppable
Can't take it anymore

The last thing his rover ever saw. Too bad he didn't.

Welcome to The Numbers Game! This is the newsletter column that's gonna get a little weird, gonna get a little wild, but is always gonna have a good time as we break down the numbers of our favorite show. With Phineas and Ferb taking a well-deserved break following the emotional rollercoaster of "Act Your Age", we will take this issue and next to look at a pair of new shows continuing the rich tradition of Disney TV Animation that the Boys of Summer Vacation have upheld so well.

We begin with Emoticon's newest animated Star - Butterfly, to be exact - and her show, Star vs. the Forces of Evil! It features the aforementioned princess, an energetic, excitable teenage girl with a somewhat tenuous grasp on reality, and her calmer, saner "bestie" as they bust both the ordinary problems of their not-so-ordinary life, and a villain intent on taking over the multiverse. Fresh off the highest-rated animated series premiere in Emoticon history, they await their next adventures on Monday, April 13 at 8:00PM Eastern (7:00 Central). And while they do that, we look back at an episode where Candace hit the high points of Star's backstory in reverse!

Uhhhmmmm

Perry would rather be anywhere else.

Namely, stepping through a portal onto another planet and then becoming royalty there, which she did in "Unfair Science Fair / Unfair Science Fair Redux (Another Story)". The final episode of Season 1 aired first during Emoticon's very first week on Wednesday, Ferb-ruary 18, 2009; its ratings were lost to a baking soda volcano, but the initial Disney Channel airing on March 20 checked in with 3.056 million viewers. That figure was not good enough to make a Cable Top 20 that incredibly saw two shows (SpongeBob SquarePants and NCIS) make up 3/4 of the chart by themselves!

I was unable to find age group Top 10s for that week, but it's unlikely Phineas and Ferb would have made any of them due to the variety of kid-targeted programming that finished ahead of it in total viewership: the eight episodes of SpongeBob mentioned above, their fellow Top 20 dwellers Hannah Montana and iCarly, lead-in The Suite Life on Deck, Sonny With a Chance, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Back at the Barnyard (using its SpongeBob lead-in to full effect) and even The Mighty B!. Phineas and Ferb did outpace some of its fellow shows, though, with Wizards of Waverly Place being the most notable to fail to crack the 3 million barrier.

While we await new episodes of Phineas and Ferb, sports nuts like myself have plenty to turn our attention to, with baseball season in full swing now and the pro basketball and hockey playoffs about to begin. If you don't, or even if you do, why not give Emoticon's rookie shows a chance? As for The Numbers Game we'll be heading back into the archives next issue as we turn the spotlight on the delightful Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero. Until then, leave your thoughts down below, go Brewers!, and remember...that the numbers never lie.

The day Phineas was wrong

RRabbit42
by RRabbit42

Seven years ago, the world was introduced to a triangle-headed boy with a high-strung sister, a quiet step-brother and a non-typical pet with more going beyond than his seemingly-dull eyes let on. We met them early in their summer vacation, where Phineas was realizing that they needed to do things each day so they would be proud to tell their friends at school what they did on their vacation. As you know, they really have done a lot of amazing and fun things during a summer that doesn't seem to end.

It was on that day that he made a definitive statement: "boredom is something of up with which I will not put!" When he said it, he was right. But on that day, he was also wrong.

For many kids, summer vacation starts off as a celebration of being freed from school. Then it turns into a case of having too much freedom that they don't know what to do with themselves. Their parent suggest ideas or even have to push them into doing something.

Parents have the opposite problem. There are more demands on their time and responsibilities. A kid might not think beyond a day or week at a time. Adults are thinking about whether they'll have enough money to retire 30 years from now.

Their jobs are more demanding. Many companies have the expectation that their employees will be available 24 hours a day, regardless of if they're sick or on vacation.

And then there's what we do to ourselves, adults and kids alike.

We have a lot of technology we can carry with us and access to a lot of information and entertainment at any time. We fill in the tiny little gaps in between what we're doing so that our attention is almost always occupied.

This is where Phineas was right and yet wrong. Sometimes you should put up with being bored. In fact, you need to let yourself be bored so you have a chance to be creative.

Road Trip title card

I learned this first-hand a couple of weeks ago when I had to take a long trip one day. The radio in my truck broke a long time ago and I only got around to replacing it a few years ago. A few months later, that one got stolen and I haven't replaced it yet.

It was just me and the sound of the wind trying to get in through a seal that's wearing out on the door. It's not always there, but then it was for most of the trip. Four hours of driving and listening to that sound.

Most of the time, I don't mind. A radio helps on a trip but isn't necessary for me. On that day, I was thankful I didn't have one.

It was a beautiful day right around the official start of spring. I had to drive to a city on the coast. It gave me time to think.

I had let a co-worker read the Sunset story I wrote back in February and she pointed out two problems with it. One was minor whee it wasn't very clear what was happening at a specific point. The other was bigger, in that if you didn't read the couple of sentences in the preface, you had no idea where the story took place.

That trip, which could have been boring or drowned out by music became a chance to work out how to fix the story. Most of it was done in my mind, but occasionally I'd write down a short note for me to explore later. Just a few words as a reminder. I'll say right now that even though I was very careful, it was stupid to have done this. If you're driving a car, you need to be driving a car, not anything else. If the wind hadn't been so noisy, I could have used a voice recorder instead. Talking out loud is less of a distraction if you're driving.

Over the next week, I took a notepad with me to lunch and worked on the story. I'd get to a point where I'd think it was done and I'd force myself to put it aside. Give it a chance to see if anything new presented itself. I'm glad I did and kept it on paper instead of locking it in place in the computer because I found about two more things to add that really helped.

The world of my story is filled out a lot more now. It's almost version 2.0 of the story. It's much better and I'm happier with it. I like showing people this story. Before, I was pleased. Now I'm proud and happy with it.

All of what I just described is what others are calling "the Power of Boredom". It's allowing yourself time to think and not trying to fill every second of your day. You can't run a car at full throttle all the time. Running so many things on a computer that the processor is pegged at 100% means nothing else has a chance to run.

Phineas is right that it's good to keep occupied, but don't go overboard and prevent yourself from being bored. Occasionally you need it. When you exercise, you give yourself time to rest afterwards. You need to do that with your mind.

I see now that I do also, and I'm taking a good long look at whether I ever will put in a new radio. If it gets me results like this, I can do without one.

Tips to become bored
  • Put down the smartphone or get off the computer. Use that time to allow yourself to be bored.
  • Consider using smartphone and computers the same as eating junk food: good once in a while, but not constantly.
  • Want to get really creative? Deliberately do something boring first like reading the phone book.
  • Realize that it's okay to take a day off. You may then find you're able to think of great things to do.
Getting out of being bored
  • If you're bored and you really can't think of anything to do, go exploring around town and see what landmarks, parks and other points of interest are there that you never knew.
  • Parents: if your kids say, "I'm bored", don't always hand them the Windex and a cleaning rag. Do that too many times and it may become "If I say I'm bored, I'll be punished with chores". Consider taking a break yourself and go do something with your kids.
  • If you find yourself being bored frequently, you might want to see your doctor. It could be a little bit of depression hiding as boredom.
  • Watching TV and movies when you're bored doesn't help as much as you think. Exercise is better and better for you.
Websites on the Power of Boredom

This is not an apology

by RRabbit42

We skipped another publication date and like last time, I'm the reason why. Any time there has been a problem with the newsletter I caused, I have apologized for it.

Writing something for the newsletter, or simply piecing it together if enough people have articles ready, is an obligation I set for myself. It's a promise I made to the wiki on my own.

This time, I'm not apologizing because I did something very important for myself. Working on the improvements to Sunset was part of it. Further work on the original story that Sunset came from is another part.

I have something in there right now that I look at and think, "Wow, that's really good. It's powerful. I'd love to put that into a different story that I could publish. In short, it's a scene where one person lays down the law, and by the time they're done, everyone is backing away slowly because they can see the person means it.

I have been writing in one form or another for about 30 years now. A lot of it is informal for clubs or groups like this wiki. But it's been just in these past few months that I am seeing my writing really start to mature.

That original story is something I probably won't ever publish, but I am coming to appreciate it more and more due to how useful it has been in letting me explore ideas that I can use elsewhere. Even if that idea is to day, "No, that's completely not working. Get rid of it and go on."

Wil Wheaton covered this in his blog recently. He had a situation where he scrapped a lot of the work he did the day before, but it wasn't wasted effort. Writing something he discarded allowed him to get where he needed to be. Allowed him to get past that point and write what he really needed to write.

I am finding that I really like writing. I don't know if I'll ever become a professional at it, but maybe I can use that renewed interest to help the wiki. Do what others do and get articles ready ahead of time so they can simply be dropped into the newsletter and click "Save".

I think I'd also like to get involved in the monthly voting again. In order to do that, I will have to reinstall Windows so I can get iTunes back down to version 11 again, with a matching version for QuickTime.

Coming in two weeks:
  • Hands On With The New Merchandise
  • Recent Reviews
  • Other articles to be determined (submissions wanted - send to RRabbit42 or use the Newsletter submissions page)


Got a question or comment about this issue? Leave them below.


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