Keep in mind, some of my icons are for very specific things, so don't be surprised if I talk about that here. Here we go:
Woody Can't Take It -- This is a relatively recent addition to my userpics. I had been doing some cleaning out of icons that seemed redundant or unnecessary, and trying to find ones that fit my posts better (notice all the Krystal from StarFox pics are gone). Several of my posts concern the stupidity of the modern world. But there were times when things like Rat's pronouncement of "It's a pity you're so stupid" just didn't go far enough. I stumbled across this image from a Woody Woodpecker cartoon and just loved it. Everything about it screamed, "Fuck this shit, I'm checking out!" It was perfect for those posts where something offends me and I realize nothing can change it, like a force of nature if you will. As Raff pointed out in Stress Puppy, the difference between a depressive and a misanthrope is, "A depressive wishes he was dead. A misanthrope wishes everybody else was dead." For misanthropy, there's the "Kill it with fire" icon. For depression, there's this.
Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy -- As I started writing more entries, I realized I was not only writing about trips to various conventions, but also I wanted to do some more traveling and expanding my horizons a little bit instead of being stuck in a rut. I wanted an icon for these travel posts. As a dedicated Douglas Adams fan, a Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy image was perfect. Unfortunately, all the ones I found of the classic image, the green planet making a face at the viewer, just lost something when reduced in size. I wanted something that looked a little more prominent, more eye-catching. This is the insignia for the Guide from the movie a few years ago (which I rather liked. Despite the changes, it was very much a valentine to us Adams fans, and I loved them for keeping us in mind). If I could do opening animations on my laptop as the OS starts, I would do the boot screens from the Guide (they are at the start of the DVD when you first play it). So this is mostly for casual, on the go stuff, not counting places I'm making personal appearances at.
Strawman -- This is one that appears when I have a specific point to make. One of the most common logical fallacies is the "strawman argument". In it, the person creates an argument only tangentially related to the discussion at hand. The idea is to bait opponents into arguing something beside the point. For example, a law board I hang out on started discussing the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage. The discussion soon went to whether or not gay marriage was okay/a sin/the fall of Western civilization/whatever. None of this had anything to do with constitutionality, just personal opinion about gay marriage (it's one of the few times the board bombed the entire thread and started kicking users). So, when I see an argument that is going off the rails and has nothing to do with whatever the real question is and I'm going to write about it, I trot this out to flag the post.
Get Down, America! -- Everyone has comic book influences. Mine is Steve Gerber, who got screwed royal by Marvel over Howard The Duck. Before that happened, though, Howard was Gerber's microscope to examine the world and mouthpiece to rail against is. Early in the run, Howard was recruited to run for President on the All Night Party's ticket. There were actual campaign buttons made for the comic fans, which you see here. This and the Ben Stein For President icons are for when I'm not just commenting on something political, but when I'm hoping to make points that will shape the political discussion, when I'm trying to motivate instead of just react. It's a rally 'round the flag thing, and typically sees the most use around some sort of election. This is for before an election. "Don't Blame Me -- I Voted For Bill And Opus" is for after. ;-)
Rat Typing -- Another one of my little tips of the hat to my favorite current cartoonist, Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine. I recognized early on in this blog's days that I would be writing about the craft of writing at least once in a while, and I wanted an icon to specifically reflect that. So here's Rat writing one of his Angry Bob stories (that's the strip I got the image from). Rat likes to regard himself as a modern Hemmingway, hence the cigarette and beer. When this icon appears, I'm examining the actual logistics and engineering of writing, looking at the gears in the machinery, if you will. Whether discussing if the two-goal three-act story structure is horribly limiting or the notion of triangles for character motivation instead of the classic protagonist/antagonist paradigm, this will appear.
Worms Ready For Action -- Oh, yeah! This one sums up the subject perfectly. Anytime you see this, it relates to me becoming a professional writer. MC Hammer once said, "Talent makes room for itself." That's bullshit. In the creative field, you have to be twice as good as anyone there just to get a look from editors. I don't view writing as something that will eventually come your way if you are good enough, I view it as a competition. You want it, you can't just take it, because others are keeping it away from you for various reasons. So, I chose a character from the greatest artillery game series ever. Because making it in the creative arts? Oh, yeah. It's war.