Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made this “Fighting Time Lords” shirt for you! No, really. Specifically FOR YOU.

Gallifrey University Fighting Time Lords Shirt - Doctor Who parody, geeky tees, funny t-shirts,  nerdy shirts

[Since I was unable to make comics during Austin Comic Con, I am backdating a few lofi’s in the archive as not to interfere with the coming week’s comics. Please to enjoy.]

The spritely youth, full of vim, vigor and wide-eyed optimism is former HijiNKS ENSUE summer intern and current Austin Comic Con booth babe James. The above exchange happened nearly word for word as we arrived at the Austin Convention Center for setup and day one of the con. It is safe to say that I don’t get much exercise. Thus, when presented with the occasional physical exertion (which apparently includes walking a few blocks from the parking lot while pulling a hand cart), my body responds with cardiac arrest, renal failure, sudden onset juvenile diabetes and spontaneous human oldness disorder. These maladies were exacerbated by the fact that my back pain is at a sort of all-time high right now, which has also prompted me to use a cane while walking to and through the convention. I am merely 60 Vicodin and a few misdiagnosed cases of Lupus away from House territory.

It’s very strange realizing that your body is slowly but steadily betraying you. I don’t plan to use the cane permanently, or even that often, but it seems to help relieve some of the strain typically caused during a convention (typically brought on by bad chairs, lots of sitting, lots of lifting, lots of carrying, etc). I am extremely aware of the fact that I am using it. I am not able to just take a leisurely stroll without being constantly aware of trying to line up my new “magic leg” with the other two shitty ones. It’s like dancing with a one-legged robot.

More convention shenaniganery with James tomorrow!

COMMENTERS: Assuming you are not 14 or a mandroid, when did you first realize you were aging/getting older? Basically, tell us what you used to be able to do that you can’t do any more, preferably with some embarrassing story of personal injury or dismemberment.

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  1. I was playing football with one of my buddies, and he threw his back out walking off the field. He didn't get hit. He wasn't blocking. He was just walking to the sidelines.

    I guess I've noticed that every major joint in my arms pop in sequence when I'm doing pull-ups.

  2. As I near 40, I'm finding my memory to be … somewhat "looser" than it used to be. I remember what I was doing, but only after walking into the wrong room.

  3. When I was 21, I started having my hip randomly quit on me. That was new, but I'd been in constant pain from my knees and ankles since I was 14. These days, I find myself measuring time by how long it's been since I last had to take Vicodin, and I quite often use a cane. As of right now, I'm at four days since the last Vicodin, which is pretty good for as bad as things have been (note: if you ever need a hip x-ray, take all the painkillers. Every one of them.). It's not lupus, by the way. It's never lupus.

    If being me at 31 sucks this hard, what's it gonna be like when I hit 60?

  4. I'm 26, and my left knee is not as co-operative as I would like. I've never injured it, but I went to a physio who said I put too much weight on that side of my body when I walk – so now the knee makes noise at all times when it is moving. You have to be quite close to hear the grunching sounds though, for which I am very grateful. Occasionally the kneecap decides it doesn't want to be in the right spot, which can make for a painful few days.

    I'm just surprised at having a chronic-type body-wrongness at such a young age!

  5. When I was 26 my foot went into a hole in the ground, and while my leg below the knee turned about 30 degrees, the rest did not. My knee didn't like it then, and still resents the incident to this day, nearly 20 years later.

  6. I've survived three different car accidents without a scratch, fallen down only god knows how many stairs while drunk in my 20's. And yet the day after I turned 35 while stepping off the curb onto the street my right knee just said "F*ck this sh*t!" and gave out for no reason.

  7. At the ripe old age of 20 I started having issues getting up and down from kneeling and bending positions. Don't even get me started on the memory problems. And now I'm finding my speech centers seem to be failing as well, I tend to stammer and have to work very hard to get some words out of my mouth at all. Now at 28 I feel 70 and I'm fairly certain I should be getting tested for something, though I don't really know what that something should be…

  8. i first realized i was getting old when a sports medicine orthopedist took a look at a scan of my leg and said, damn, well that's been gone for at least 5 years (he was talking about my ACL) and said i was gonna have arthritis when i hit 40 whether i wanted it or not

    i was 17 at the time

  9. Try a Venom energy drink, from Bane Enterprises. If that's not enough, try a Venom patch, or "slappers" as the cool kids call them these days.

    • I really can't tell if this is SPAM despite it being flagged as such. I will approve this comment with a cautious scowl and a raised eyebrow.

        • I see. The problem with your reference is there actually is a Venom energy drink. So you comment just looked like any other SPAM trying to link to some product. www[dot]venomenergy[dot]com.

  10. When I was 21 I went sledding with my friends one night. It being dark at night I failed to see a small jump some impish children had set up during the day. I went over said jump on one of those "plastic saucer" style sleds and landed on my ass on a quite solid piece of ice after flying through the air. As a child I would have laughed this off and went running up the hill to go again but as it was my back made a fairly startling crunch sound and I think I shrunk like 4 cm from the spinal compression and limped up the hill moaning like a zombie. That was about the time I realized I couldn't do dumb shit anymore and not pay for it.

  11. At 27 I have had 3 traumatic brain injuries, currently have a bone spur in my ankle from breaking my heel in two places, just finished up another bout of physical therapy for the three tendons I tore in the same ankle over a year ago, and am waiting to see if I will have surgery #3 this year or next. I've already been told I will never run again and I walk with a limp and am in pain at all times.

  12. Sometime after the fog of producing my 3d child wore off…around his second birthday. Around the age of 40, I guess, my body began to rebel and descend into entropy. We have been at war ever since. The body is winning, but I will not go down without a fight! Yesterday was my 43d birthday.

  13. I started balding at like 22. Nothing like being 25 years old and not being carded in bars (and people your age treating you like a creepy old guy).
    I'm 28 now, and in most other respects I'm probably better than I was then. I had been obese all my life. About a year and a half ago, I thought about all the things that sucked about my life, and decided my weight was the easiest thing to change. I lost 90 lbs, and then in April of this year I started running. I can without a doubt say that I can run faster and farther now than I could in high school when we had to run in phys ed.
    The downside is I got gall stones (they say rapid weight loss can cause that) and had to have my gall bladder removed. So that kind of sucked.

  14. The day I bent over in the shower to wash my feet and threw my back out was rather memorable. It has never been right since. Being obese doesn't help either, but until I turned 30 (four years ago) it had never bothered me this much. I've always been huffing and puffing when walking uphill or up stairs, but now it's getting troublesome.

  15. When I was in my early 30's I broke a rib… SNEEZING! I'm 45 now and my back flips out every now and then for no apparent reason…..getting older sucks, but it beats the alternative.

  16. I realized I was getting old when I had to get an old person's pill case for all the vitamins and medicine my doctor prescribed. I'm only 33!

    However, I am having fun exercising, even with bad knees – those weren't from old age, I'm just a freak of nature. Now if only I felt willing to do more than walk to the bar and back home…

  17. I tore my calf while bowling. Not doing anything crazy, just bowling normally. I was on crutches and then a cane for two weeks. My 93 year old grandmother gets around just fine (if a little slow) and I was on a cane.

    I just finished up with the physical therapy for my tragic bowling injury.

  18. I have a pinched sciatic nerve that acts up now and again – probably similar to yours, Joel – and by "act up" I mean flashes of blinding, debilitating agony. I was at work (mall record store) and completely threw my back out of whack lifting a piece of merchandise off the floor. That extremely heavy, cumbersome item that caused me to fall on my ass and scream like a little girl? A fucking Macy Gray CD. I should have filled out a worker's comp claim.

    More recently… I lived 28 years in a house with approximately eight thousand stairs. Then two years in a refreshingly flat apartment. Now I'm back in a house with stairs. (Only about two thousand this time.) Yet I seem to have forgotten how to climb them without getting winded. I'm thinking of building a permant base camp on the landing, stocking it with ice cold water and ibuprofen. Maybe some books.

  19. I went bowling the other day and they were playing music videos. Every single one of them featured some douche kid dressed up in 80's garb but was not alive during the 80's. I promptly started yelling at the screen for them to get off my lawn.

  20. A couple years ago I got heartburn while drinking a screwdriver at the bar and that was when I knew there was no more denying I was IN my 30's . Also around this time, teenagers and things aimed at teenagers started becoming unbearable. Now that I am 35 and ancient I can no longer stand the look on the faces of even people in their early 20's when I say something crazy like "Push button telephone" or "dial-up internet" or "record store." Goddamnit I was cool when I was your age! Don't look at me like I have dementia!

    Watch out for Youngs who say they're huge Buffy & X-Files fans. You will soon suss out that they watch both series in reruns and on dvd because they were 2 when those shows were on.

    • I'm 22, and watch both series over and over again on rerun and DVD. And, as they're no longer airing regularly, so do you. Because the alternative is not to watch them at all, and that world would be too sad to live in.

      I may have been young when they first came out, but my mother saw to creating a sci-fi loving freak of nature out of me as soon as I was old enough to focus my eyes on things. I had a childhood full of Buffy and Angel, the X-files, Farscape, and more Star Trek than you can shake a stick at.

      Also, I have been in the process of destroying every joint from my hips down since I was 16. Every time it gets cold my knees make the most terrible screeching noises, as though they had been replaced with rusty hinges in my sleep.

      • Uhhh I didn't mean it was bad people watched them. I was relaying an example of things that made me feel old: that I was in high school when these shows aired and now they're old enough to be cult status and in dvd collections. LIke when I tell people older than me how much I love finally seeing whatever movie because its on special edition dvd and they wince because they saw it in the theater in high school before I was born. That's all.

      • You are actually already disqualified from being young after using the phrase "than you can shake a stick at." Hehehe. 🙂

  21. I always had painful joints as a child, until I became less fat, and then they came back. I think I'm actually getting old now, though, because things hurt even when I don't fall down stairs or play violent soccer. And the pain lasts longer. And proper lifting posture is actually necessary. I'm unfortunately only 22. I keep holding out hope that some day I'll get in better shape and my body will stop trying to kill me, though.

  22. skateboarding ruined my body. broke both ankles at the same time, fractured wrists, over extended knees, i crack and pop and make all sorts of noises when I walk. yet i still skate. ahh, ignorance. I'll probably slap myself when I hit 40. (i'm 27 by the way).

  23. I 'm about to turn 40 and there's absolutely nothing wrong with me. I don't think I've aged since I turned 27, when I was stolen and replaced with an exact android duplicate of myself for purposes unknown.

    • Despite my few odd injuries and not being able to remember what I had for breakfast, people still think I'm in my 20's not 30's. But this has really only succeeded in making me obsessively check for crow's feet/lines and new wrinkles every day because I'm pretty sure when I start visibly aging it will be crazy quick like that guy who chose unwisely in The Last Crusade.

  24. Since I was born with cerebral palsy, you get interesting questions now and again. When I was a kid the old ladies who monitored us during recess always used to ask if my body/joints/legs etc bothered me more during bad weather. I used to shrug them off with a happy "No," and jog off to join my friends.

    Today on my 26th birthday, this question had made me realize that once I hit 17, ten years after the major surgeries, my body has become more finicky. A few tune up surgeries, a bit more discomfort during season change, but I'm a bit of an exception.

  25. There's almost too much to go into (I'm not yet 30, but I'm finding silver hairs, I've ended up having to walk with a cane more than once in the past few years, etc) but my main story would just be realizing that the same genetic traits which help me are also working against me in the long run, and that really helped me understand how my body will some day suddenly but inevitably betray me. A little while ago in a discussion on io9 about Alphas (in response to someone claiming that evolution wouldn't provide someone with a mutation that could kill them) I wrote the following:

    • I have an AWESOME set of traits for running; I'm tall, I find it nearly impossible to put on weight, and my lungs are huge for how skinny I am. Sounds pretty pro of evolution, eh? Well, not so fast.
      You see, very often people have little growths on their lungs, the medical term hilariously being "blebs". It's kindof like the lung's version of a mole, doesn't tend to matter, 99% of people who have them will go through life and it'll never, ever matter. But say that evolution has led to a set of genes that enhance relative lung size. Now you have something stretching the blebs . . . uh oh. And thus why I woke up one night a couple of years ago to find it incredibly painful and difficult to breathe: my left lung had spontaneously burst, filling my chest cavity with air. Not cool evolution, not cool.
      Long story short, I now have titanium staples making sure that lung stays together, and I'm back to racing nearby trains. In fact, it's actually quite common for males between about 16 and 30 years old to suffer a spontaneous pneumothorax (ie. collapsed lung) for precisely this reason. And if you think about it, it's no surprise that a mutation like mine would come about; it'd be a hell of an advantage in nature.
      "But wait," you say, "why the hell would it be common if, in nature, it'd also likely have killed you?" Well, that's quite simple: evolution doesn't give a fuck. (Sidenote: that should be a slogan, or at least a t-shirt.) Or actually, that's all evolution gives anything about, so to speak. Conferring a big advantage for long enough that each individual reproduces is all it takes for a mutation to prosper. So for uncountable millennia my ancestors won the hearts of fair cave-maidens and/or got the fuck away from bears or tigers or whatever (at least, faster than their less lanky and big-lunged compatriots . . . "Poor Grogg, but I didn't have to outrun that Lion, I just had to outrun him"), and so in the proud tradition of evolution passed on their genes before suddenly dropping dead from unseen chest wounds. ("I bet it was those Neanderthal blokes the next cave over sending evil spirits our way! They're into that spirituality stuff, and they were probably jealous of Umm-Rann's tall lankyness; lets go beat them up, there's more of us than there are of them!")
      So you see, there's perfect precedent for evolution conferring advantages that are gonna kill ya in the long term. I'm not going to even remotely claim that this is the rationale behind Alphas, but that's one of the *least* hilariously unscientific parts about the premise. But they aren't even really trying to be scientific; this is SyFy, not sci-fi. (That should also be a t-shirt.)

  26. I'm 44 and this year I broke my arm. Skiing? Surfing? Skydiving? No. WALKING! Yup. Tripped on a curb and broke it. So I guess walking is out as a means of exercise…..

    This might be the first time I've commented on this site. Maybe the second.

  27. Been doing stage combat at Medieval Faires for a few years basically throwing myself and others at the ground for fun,..I took just over a year off to focus on acting and vendor work at the Faires. Recently at a show I was watching the early morning warmups/practice/walkthrough for the fight show and afterwards saw an old friend who was fighting in the show and he comes over and we have the Medieval bro-hug,..clasp the wrist and bring each other in for the half hug with back slap,….. and we BOTH throw out our handshake shoulders. We step back trying to look a bit tough and not look to be in pain,..we both realize the other has thrown out their shoulder as well and bust out laughing.

  28. I've discovered recently that my body doesn't actually "heal" from injuries. It just harbors and nurtures them until it can use them against me. Like physical resentment.
    Also I have started to refer to parts of my body as the "bad" part. Oh, I cannot go on that hike if it consists of hills, because of my bad knee. Or, I'm sorry I dropped that whole coffee on you…bad thumb…..
    And none of the bads appear to have reasonable cause. They just appear to have tired of working every day with no holidays or benefits and so decided to unionize and walk the eff out.
    Also, now I'm using unions and unfair wages in a metaphor…so….I guess that's a sign too.

    • I can relate to that. I broke my foot playing basketball like 14 years ago, and it never really healed. I've since re-broken it twice just walking on it. I've also got an injured knee, thumb and back that simply refuse to get better.

      The worst part is, once you've broken something (or seriously injured it in some way), it's never quite the same and thus affects you forever. I used to be really active but after breaking my foot the third time, and the dozenth time my knee popped out of joint, it becomes almost impossible to be healthy anymore. It's hard to do the aerobic exercise I need to lose weight when I can barely move without wincing…

  29. When I was 28 I decided I would become a total bad @$$, and registered for martial arts class. All was going well…for the first four lessons. Then my back went completely out. I went to the doctor, had my back x-rayed and was diagnosed with having minor, late onset scoliosis. The curvature in my spine meant that I would most likely be in pain for the rest of my life, and that I would never be able to really do any kind of vigorous activity like Kung Fu again. I did yoga four times a week, went to physical therapy once a month, and stretched twice a day everyday. It helped a bit, but mostly just kind of held the pain at bay….

  30. …Two years later my wife started seeing a chiropractor, and recommended that I go in and see him. Eventually I overcame my fears and did so. The first thing he did was x-ray my hips. I remember thinking this was odd, since my back was the problem. Turns out that the doctor’s diagnosis was completely wrong. I didn’t have scoliosis at all. I had one leg that was 6 millimeters shorter than the other. As a result, my body had adapted by my muscles in my back forcing my spine into a curve – a condition I could (and have) actually reverse. Getting a shoe insert that balanced out my leg lengths helped a lot, but so have all of the other things I do. I still go to physical therapy, but see a more effective physical therapist. I switched from yoga to Stott Pilates several times a week, which I can’t recommend highly enough if you have back issues (or any body issues for that matter). {For those unfamiliar, Stott Pilates is an adaptation of Pilates more geared towards physical therapy}….

  31. …I see a chiropractor and massage therapist once a month. I now have a really high quality ergonomic chair, keyboard, and desk set up. I still do fairly extensive stretches twice a day everyday. It’s a ridiculous amount of work, and it can be fairly costly (although fortunately my insurance picks up much of the cost), but for a life where I’m not in pain the vast majority of the time, it’s completely worth it. If it means I can continue to hike, bicycle, and spend a month abroad every couple years where I’m on my feet for much of the time (and not get so worn down that I miss out on something like the Roman Forum), it’s worth it….

  32. …Your body is like everything else in this world – it wears down with age and use. And if you want it to keep working for you, you have to put more and more effort into maintaining it. It sucks, and it’s really time consuming, but after a point you have to chose how you want your body to act for the rest of your life. And if you want it to function well, you have to put in the work.

    Okay, on that note I should wrap this up. Sorry for the ridiculously long post. This is just an issue I feel very strongly about.

  33. Yeah, HV, I never stop being flabbergasted at the amount of time and effort it takes to stay healthy. And I don't even have anything particular wrong with me. Just cooking 3 meals a day, walking every day, and going to the gym 3x a week eats up a massive chunk of my time. If I had kids, I don't know how I could manage it. I think cooked meals would be the first thing to go, and it would all be downhill from there. I think that, when the world got too expensive for single-income families to function anymore, our national ability to stay healthy took a major hit.

  34. At 23, between one year and the next, I went from being able to walk around barefoot in winter to wearing thick socks and slippers around the house.

  35. In my last year of college, I was 26, and noticed that I couldn't recover from an all-nighter in a single good night's sleep anymore. Now I'm 32, just did another one a week ago, and still don't feel so great.

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