Friday, July 30, 2004

1 Million Free & Legal Music Tracks

1 Million Free & Legal Music Tracks - Main.HomePage

Via Boing Boing again. Wheeeeeeee.

Oooooo that smell.

"This week's barnyard breezes have been brought to you by the Little Britches Rodeo, conveniently located at the Penrose Stadium in Colorado Springs.

"Little Britches Rodeo: Working hard to turn your children into the cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo clowns of the future!"

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Kids will be the death of me.

I was reading Tricia's blog the other day. The post about how her sister got a piece of crayon stuck in her nose when she was a child reminded me of a couple of experiences with my son (now 11) when he was an infant. Things that I planned on posting about if I ever ran out of ideas. But then I forgot because, let's face it, I'm me.

The first was when he got a Skittle stuck in his nose at the age of three.

The problem with a Skittle in a person's nostril is that it's a hard shelled, oval candy with a not-so-soft, chewy center. It's not like an M&M which, I would imagine if it had to, could melt in a kid's gooshy nostril. A Skittle will just get harder as time passes. And the slick mucus coated shell really doesn't give the tweezers something to latch on to.

I have no idea how long I sat there, tweezing inside that boy's head, trying not to wedge the candy even further in, or slip, leaving him looking like a disgraced mobster while he sat there sobbing and saying he was sorry. Eventually I was successful and he was relieved.

I showed it to him and said, "Okay, now which hole does the candy go in from now on?"

He pointed to his open mouth.

I patted him on the head and tossed the Skittle in.

I'm kidding. I threw it in the trash. I'm not that nasty. Although then he cried about me throwing the candy away. Sometimes there's just no pleasing people.

And that's not the only thing that has been trapped in there. He loved to put things in his nose. It got to the point where if I couldn't find my keys I would check his nose.

Okay. Not that bad. But man, the stuff that went in there that shouldn't have would make quite a list if I could remember it all. Anything he could reach that he could fit in a nostril, he did.

Why did he do it? I don't know. Maybe it was because his shorts didn't have pockets and he was afraid of losing things. Kind of like the way a hamster stores extra food in its cheeks. "Oooh! A Skittle! Hmmm. No pockets and I'm not quite hungry just now." *SHLURP* Up the nose it goes "for later." Never mind that it will take dad and pointy bits of metal to retrieve it. It's a good idea at the time to a 3-year-old, I'm sure.

The second thing I was reminded of was the incident where, at the age of two, he nearly managed to kill me. This is a quicker story because it happened really fast.

I was alone with him, and he was all happy and smiling while sitting in his jammies on the floor.

He looked so cute. I picked him up, lifted him high over my head and said, "You sure are a happ*ACK!*" and then I proceeded to gag and choke. Luckily, I didn't drop him.

You see, unknown to me he had a penny in his mouth. When I was holding him up and smiling at him, he smiled back. Not having any teeth to KEEP the penny in his mouth, it fell with perfect accuracy into my open mouth while I was talking and hit me in the back of the throat. There it did its best to end my life. But no dice baby! I'm tougher than a penny!

I quickly lowered him to the floor and gagged until the penny fell free while my son sat in front of me smiling away. He was still cute through the tears in my eyes. Bless him.

So the lesson that I learned from that incident, for all you new parents out there (Mark), is to NEVER trust a baby above the level of your head. There's no telling WHAT may fall out of them. Stuff you never even saw go IN them.

Also, if you are missing something small, check the baby.

Levitated | Levitated Daily Source, the good source

Levitated | Levitated Daily Source, the good source

Nice, downloadable source code for artistic thingies. And stuff. It tickles my art geek brain.

SUPER MARKETING: Ads from the comic books

SUPER MARKETING: Ads from the comic books

Found at Boing Boing (again). If you like this kind of stuff as much as I do, and I know a couple of you do, check it out when you have time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Parody site.

Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.

This may or may not be around long. Enjoy it while you can. Here is the background at Boing Boing.

I love Boing Boing.

Cover Comparisons.

Sometimes I feel more like a technician than an artist. I go through the motions; work the machine; build the ad; collect the paycheck. But once in a while my artistic side will emerge and ravage Tokyo. Or whatever else happens to be handy.

A couple (few or so) weekends ago Heather and I were in a huge used bookstore here in downtown Colorado Springs. For the longest time it was called "Four Corners" and I bought all my books there. Then a while back (like... years) they changed their name and for the life of me I can't remember what they changed it to. And this keeps happening.

I look up at the new name above the door as I enter the building and say to myself, "Oh yeaaaahhh!", then I buy a book or three, leave and five minutes later I've forgotten the name. I think it's "First..." something. I tell myself that this is a sign that I don't really care what the name is, but I really fear it's because my brain is hardening and I'm becoming more resistant to change, "In MY day...".

How was THAT for a tangent?

So anyway, we were in THE bookstore just browsing around and found ourselves in the Horror section. I'm pretty sure we walked there, but I really wasn't paying that much attention to where we were going. My eyes were running over the covers and my mind was having it's little artsy thoughts, "not bad...kinda cool...I LIKE that...that's crap...not too bad..." and Heather was talking about how good Peter Straub's work is.

I looked at the books she was referring to and one of the covers just leaped out at me! Not because it was good necessarily, or – you know – haunted and thirsting for my blood like you might expect, but because it looked very similar to one of the other covers I had just glanced at. Similar enough to trigger that feeling of instant recognition.

I quickly looked back across the shelves until I located the other book and then did a side-by-side comparison. I launched into total art geek mode before Heather's laughing eyes. She was totally impressed by the amount of crap I droned on about. That's what I'm telling myself. Leave me alone!

I suggested that I should get the books, scan the covers and blog about it and she agreed that it was a fun idea. So. Having fun yet?

I bought the crap one and Heather already owned the Peter Straub book and was willing to loan it to me for this post. Here they are. Time to get my geek on.

"Ghost Story" © 1979 by Peter Straub, published by Pocket Books, first printing April 1980. No artist named.

"The Ghost of Veronica Gray" © 1985 by Ken Eulo, published by Pocket Books, first printing August, 1985. Cover artwork © 1985 by Lisa Falkenstern.

It really should be obvious to anyone which cover came first. The one that doesn't look like it was done by an intern. I do have to say this: after a google search for Lisa Falkenstern I discovered that she has illustrated far more book covers than I have and some of the ones I was able to look at weren't bad at all. So... Good for her.

Maybe this was an early cover and I'm being horribly unfair. Perhaps it was even the fault of an art director that had been with Pocket Books for decades and won't let go of the past. I know what that's like (not our current art director; someone from my previous job). Or it may have had a rushed deadline.

Now I'm feeling guilty. But will it stop me?


Let's begin the autopsy.

They both share the same title font. In 'Ghost Story' the illustrator extended the 'Y' to accommodate Peter Straub's name and the 'G' has a tail. I'm not sure how typesetting was done in the early to mid 80's. I'm not really a graphic designer. I don't get all giggly over fonts. Just suffice it to say they are the same as far as I care and we will go from there.

Moving outward we get to the outline on the letters, which also ties into color usage. On 'Veronica' the outline is black which isn't too far from the violet that was used for the upper half, and the letters were kept white. Pretty snoozy (to use a phrase our current art director uses). In contrast, the artist for 'Ghost Story' used red, which against the dark blue background totally lifts the title off the cover and calls attention to it.

Moving to the background colors now. 'Ghost Story' uses dark blue and silver (looks grey, but is silver ink). This gives the scene a bleak feeling. Good idea for a horror novel. 'Veronica' uses violet and cyan with a tinch of magenta. This gives the scene an Easter feeling. Okay, I'm being a bit flippant there. What it doesn't scream though is horror. Horrible, sure, but not horror. Although, I will say the bad color choice is what first drew my eyes to that book, so there's something.

Let's talk lastly about style choice. The unknown artist for 'Ghost Story' went with a graphic feel. All flat images. Stylized house and tree. No other scenery details. No shadows. Knife-edge hill and sky separation. Very consistent within itself.

'Veronica'... damn. This is going to take a bit.

Okay, it seems as though Lisa liked the graphic style and wanted to improve upon it, but didn't really have an idea of how to do it. Instead of the gradually sloping knife-edged hill she went with a knife-edged semi-circle (and you can't see it but the circle continues on the spine). Why? I don't know. I can't even guess really. I'm baffled.

Then, having decided on a flat graphic feel for the background she puts a photographic house at the tip of it. Like a nipple with shutters. And tosses on one of the stupidest drop shadows under it that I've ever seen. The thing had to be put there because she felt there needed to be a shadow, but couldn't determine what it should look like. It doesn't even match the light source that would be needed to allow the OTHER stupid shadow in the picture to exist.

Which leads to the other source of shadow on a flat graphic style background: the running girl. She doesn't look scared so much as misshapen. And about to fall off the side of the cover. And her shadow ends in a point. It was like Lisa realized she was going to run out of ground for the shadow to fall across after she passed the hem of the dress and figured, "Fuck it. It's a paycheck. I'll just turn it into Cheech the Wizard's shadow."


So, in conclusion. I'm glad to see that the quality of Lisa's work has improved over time, and everybody has to start somewhere. I have no doubt that the creation of this cover was surrounded by circumstances that I am unaware of. I can tell that it was obviously inspired by the cover of Straub's book, and since Pocket Books published both books there is no real harm done, but it didn't improve upon it in any way whatsoever. It's almost the level of 'okay' fan art. A fan that missed the point. If it had been me I don't think I would have put my name on it for fear of something like what just happened happening.

One thing that she can say to me however that I absolutely cannot argue with is that she is getting paid to do one of the things that I have always wanted to do. Even if she did it badly. K'Ching!


Afterward: Okay, no fault of Lisa. 'Veronica' is not a compelling book. I figured since I bought it I may as well read it. Yargh. It *might* get better, but I'll never find out. And in fewer pages than I gave 'Veronica' to grab my interest, 'Ghost Story' has totally managed to intrigue me. I will be reading it to the end, and possibly seeking out more of Straub's work.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Another stop on the Lazy-Ass Posting Tour of 2004!


"For when life sucks"

Now why couldn't I think of something like this? Of course, if I had I wouldn't have abbreviated "advertising campaigns" as "add campaigns", but there you go. We all have our faults.

And the web poll that mistake is in? It's just opinion. They never really answer with anything like a fact. Although it seems that kittens and the elderly are tied, perhaps due to the fact that they are often found around one another. But teens are in the lead which would have been my guess.

Also, at the bottom of the page is a button that says "Click here if you would like a website like this one!" I didn't dare. Not even as a joke. They might mean it and have ways of making it happen.

Oh, and one flavor of the KissStick (which is GUARANTEED to improve your kissing) is Anise (Black Licorice). Good God NO! Just the thought of it makes me want to spit. And I don't see how that would help kissing. Blech! Gag.


So. There you go.

I was going to follow another link they have called "Teen Victory" and it said that it couldn't open the page because Safari couldn't connect to the server. And now none of the links are working, even the one I was just at (KissStick).

So either I just blew their bandwidth for the day by looking at two pages (sad), or they have a detector that lets them know when someone is poking fun at them (I need that). Either way, I hope it's back up before long so you wonderful people can have a look around. If anyone can find out what the Teen Victory link was about, please let me know.


Okay, they appear to be up and running again and holy CRAP! They are in Denver Colorado.

It turn out that Teen Victory is a non-profit organization devoted to help teens stop smoking. Not as funny as I had hoped. But the endorsements for the Life Sucker™ are:

(taken a smidgeon out of context)

"The Life Sucker is a great device for oral stimulation. ..."
-Irwin M Cohen. D.M.D., P.C Pediatrics Dentistry.
(That could be handy when you need to orally stimulate something in a hurry)

"Our family recently purchased the Life Sucker and found it fun and satisfying. ... I also noticed one of my sons using his quite a bit..."
-Nancy Hyde, musician, piano teacher.
(You know, the one we beat with piano wire. The twitchy one)

"I pulled my L.S. out in math class to chew on during my final exam.  It made me relax."
-Brett Hymer
(And it tickled my brain in all the right places! Now I am the GOD of MATH!)

"After I suck on the Life Sucker, I don't need a smoke."
-Christi Frederick
(Unlike after I have sex. So the Life Sucker™ is BETTER for you than sex!)

The instructions for use:

"Whenever the urge to smoke hits you, put the balloon-shaped end of the Life Sucker™ in your mouth and suck or chew on it. Suck it with the indented part on your tongue, or suck it with the indented part towards the roof of your mouth.
(Okay, really, how many other ways can there be to suck on this thing?)
"Tickle the roof of your mouth.
"Or chew or inhale on the narrow end of the sucker."
(They later warn you that it is possible to choke on this thing so I have NO idea why they advise you to inhale on it. It might seem safer to suggest light puffs on the narrow end to simulate smoking, but actually inhaling... doesn't seem wise to me.)

And a business opportunity from their order page:

"If you are 14 or older and would like to become a Suckcessful Sucker Salesperson by selling Life Suckers™ over the web, please e-mail us."
(Can they think of anything more gay to call their sales reps? I mean really. Take a moment and say it out loud. There is no way to say that title without emphasizing the first "Suck". Even if you CAN do it, you will still be thinking it. And as long as they are running with the "suck" motif, why not call them Suckcessful Sucker Suckpeople? If you are going to play with the spelling of one word you may as well play with them all. God's already not amused.)

If this all really works then fantastic. More power to them. I just think they could have come up with a better name than Life Suckers™ and KissStick. I mean a brain sucker sucks out brains. So what does that tell us about a life sucker? How about Kicker Tit. Or Psychedelic Psucking Pstick? Hell, I don't know. If I were creative I would have thought of this first.

So just remember, "Instead of grabbing a beer, a cigarette, chew, or screaming at someone you love, suck on the Life Sucker™. Medical research proves that sucking is soothing "

Friday, July 23, 2004

A softer world.

A softer world.

Okay, I may be seriously lacking in funny lately, but these are awesome. For me it has the feel of an illustrated Jack Handy Deep Thought. I only read five posts back and have two favorites already. July 9th and June 18th. I love it. My kind of humor. If you are already bored with the quizzes while waiting for me to stop being lame then check this out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Okay all you testy people!

Just for Fun Tests Tests

This is for you! Thanks to Sue for the link.

Enjoy it while I try to scrape the barnacles off of my brain to release my trapped creativity. Anyone have a saw, flashlight and mirror handy? This could get tricky.

I'm still alive (as far as I know).

Just damned busy. Derek's on vacation and wouldn't you know it, as soon as he leaves the work board blossomed in artwork orders.

So I'm slammed here at work.

When I get home I'm too tired to even get on my computer to balance my checkbook, much less be entertaining.

So this is just a quick message for anyone who might be concerned about my welfare.

I'm alive.

Also, if you have a few minutes, head over to Mark's site and check out his and Linette's newest addition to the Maynard clan, their daughter Clementine. She was born on the 11th and I'm just now saying something about it. I suck.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Fizzle & Pop - Storytelling Game 7 (6 words)-Competitive

Fizzle & Pop - Storytelling Game 7 (6 words)-Competitive

The Speed Round has begun!

Remember, only the first eight stories submitted will be voted on. This round will last until at least eight stories are written or four days have passed. Good luck and write fast!

And the words chosen by last games winners Tricia and Jenn are:


The theme is: Pirates

Post the stories at the link above. Everyone is welcome to write!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

An Ass-whalloping Good Time

Karaoke is fun. I feel that I am less than good at it, but that's to be expected. Derek posted the photos from the last bar located karaoke night that I was a part of. I still haven't forgiven him just yet. Especially for the ears plugged photo.

So, in an attempt to find out if I can actually manage to sing away from the mega-stress that I feel in a bar situation, I picked up the Playstation 2 game "Karaoke Revolution". It was very fun, and I may even be getting better at singing. We'll see.

Last week Heather came over and we played the game for a bit in a non-competitive mode for a while, then we decided to try out the multiplayer Arcade mode. In that mode you each choose a song for the first two rounds and try to out sing your opponent. The person with the higher score takes that round. For the final round the game chooses a random song for each player and you just do the best with what you get. Like I said, fun.

Now, when Heather was playing the single player mode she was getting platinum (over 20,000 points) on ever song she tried. I hadn't gotten platinum on a single song in the game yet. So I figured I was going to get totally smoked. We played and some kind of miracle happened and I won. I hit platinum on all three songs (I think). And then we stopped for the night.

Last night she wanted a rematch. I got creamed. I was lucky to beat her on a single song each game. We played a bit differently. For one, all of our songs were chosen at random instead of just the last one so neither of us could stack the deck with songs we were good at. Then, about halfway through my crushing I also realized the other night she was playing at normal difficulty, and I was on easy. This time we were on equal footing and she verbally destroyed me.

But I'm not giving up! I will yet win! And perhaps I will learn to sing withut all of that enunciating stuff.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

My Good Friend's Wedding

Three posts in one day. Now don't get on my case if I ignore you all for the rest of the week.

I finally went through the photos my brother and I took two weekends ago at our friend Justin's wedding.

The wedding was held in Green Mountain Falls here west of Colorado Springs.

It started off as a pretty good day, but by the time the ceremony began large, cold raindrops were falling.

Undaunted, the wedding went on and during the vows the rain stopped and the sun came out.

Here's Justin looking calm as the water. You can tell the girls behind him were totally riveted on him.

Here's the flower girl, focusing hard on her job.

Here's the lovely bride Jennifer with her father.

I really like this photo.

Not so much this one, but there you go.

It was a great wedding.

On the way to the reception Heather pointed ahead and calmly said "Deer." To which I replied something like, "What?" She repeats, "DEER!" and Trevor hits the breaks as a big deer races across the road.

That could have sucked.

And there you go. No fantastic wedding stories to share. Sorry.

Suspension of Disbelief Dot Net

I can't get this trackback thing to work, but head over to Steve's blog and check out his billboard entry for 6.25.2004. It made me grin. I wish we had them here.

Hollywood Is Calling

Hollywood Is Calling

Two in a row! I'll try not to make this a regular thing, but at least it's a post, right?

What can I say about this one? Holy cow. They've provided memberships! I'm going to let a portion of their FAQ speak for me:
Q: How is Hollywood Is Calling able to get celebrities to participate in this service at such affordable prices?

A: The vast majority of our celebrities are not motivated by financial reasons when it comes to this project. Their extraordinary achievements have made them tremendously popular all across the globe and they believe that our patented new service is a great way for them to stay in touch with their growing fan base. It's also a lot of fun.
To which I say, "Kato Kaelin". True, he may not be in that vast majority that they speak of, but still. HE'S THERE!

I found this to be odd:
Q: What if I accidentally pick up the phone when it rings and it's the celebrity

A: If you pick it up the phone the celebrity will still give you the message but they cannot wait while you turn the answering machine on or run to get the person the message is intended for. The call will automatically terminate in less than 30 seconds

Q: Can I put the celebrity on hold while I get the person I bought the call for

A: No. The call will automatically end less than 30 seconds after it begins so we strongly recommend that you leave your machine on, or if you happen to answer the phone, that you simply chat with the celebrity for the allocated time before the call automatically ends
'the Hell? What if the celebrity is still talking after 30 seconds? Say it's Leon Spinks or something. It could take him 30 seconds to say four words. I don't think you are getting your money's worth in that case.
Q: How long does it take for the celebrity to call

A: The celebrity may call minutes after you place your order or they may call approximately 7 days later. It's entirely up to them and their schedules. They may call at any time day or night because they live in various time zones so it's important for you to make certain the answering machine is always on
All I can picture is Kato sitting by the phone, waiting to be called into action. His fingers occasionally reaching out over the receiver and flickering in anticipation. A bed pan by his side. A mini-fridge in easy reach. Time zones be DAMNED! His fans demand it!

And here is the list of call types you can request as well as the limitations on custom messages:
Customized Message - $29.95
Customized Romance Special - $29.95
Call Just To Say Hello - $19.95 (NEW)
Encouraging Motivational Call - $19.95 (NEW)
Merry Christmas - $19.95
Happy Birthday - $19.95
Tell My Wife I Love Her - $19.95 (NEW)
Tell My Girlfriend I Love Her - $19.95 (NEW)
Tell My Husband I Love Him - $19.95 (NEW)
Tell My Boyfriend I Love Him - $19.95 (NEW)
Congratulations On Getting Married - $19.95 (NEW)
Thank You For Your Business - $19.95 (NEW)
Thank You For The Job Interview - $19.95 (NEW)
Have A Nice Day - $19.95 (NEW)
Happy Anniversary - $19.95
Happy Easter - $19.95
April Fools - $19.95
Congratulations On Being Employee Of The Month - $19.95
Happy Marital Engagement - $19.95
I Miss You Very Much - $19.95 (NEW)
Happy Graduation - $19.95
Congratulations On Having A Baby - $19.95 (NEW)
Happy Retirement - $19.95
Happy Sweetest Day - $19.95
Happy Fathers Day - $19.95
Happy Mothers Day - $19.95
Happy Hanukkah - $19.95 (NEW)
Congratulations On A Great Report Card - $19.95 (NEW)
Happy Thanksgiving - $19.95
Happy Valentines Day - $19.95
Happy New Year - $19.95
Happy Halloween - $19.95
Get Well Soon - $19.95
Invitation To A Date - $19.95 (NEW)
Marriage Proposal - $19.95 (NEW)

Q: Can I have the celebrity leave any kind of message I request

A: No. In order to be approved the message must be brief, polite, in good taste and civil.
I'm wondering how the "April Fools" one works... "Hi! This is Kato Kaelin hoping you're having a fantastic April Fools Day! No. It's really me! No joke! Seriously! Stop laughing dammit!"

And those limitations eliminate having him call O.J.'s kids and offering a condolence message, "Hi! This is Kato Kaelin and I'm really sorry your mother's killer escaped justice! Whoever he is!"

I also should mention that the same couple of questions appear multiple times in the FAQ. I guess either they get asked this a lot, or it's for people who really aren't paying enough attention. Hah.

I do like the rewording of this one though:
Q: What time of day do the celebrities usually call

A: Given the fact that our celebrities are scattered in different time zones all over the world when they travel, they may call you at any time of day or night. Consequently, it is important to leave your answering machine on at all times
I just like the thought of scattering celebrities across time zones. I wonder if they use a special "Celebrity Displacement Cannon". Launch them into the stratosphere with a pre-paid cell phone and wherever they come to rest, there they are!

They also have an electronic newsletter (notification of when new celebrities join) and a VIP room that is an empty forum. Totally empty.

I hope they eventually have Adam West available. That would almost be worth $19.95.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Jesus Beanies

Jesus Beanies

So. Hmmm. Here's a quote from their sidebar:

"New Brown-Eyed Jesus Beanie...
We have a new edition to the Jesus Beanies line. Currently we have a small amount of brown-eyed Jesus Beanies, instead of the original blue-eyed Jesus Beanie. This is a small test sample. There is no additional charge for the brown-eyed Jesus, but if you desire this new beanie, please make sure you select the correct version upon ordering."

Or, you can leave it to God to sort it out. However they are NOT at this time offering a blue-eyed Moses Beanie ("The Moses Beanie:Give Me Ten!" or "Moses Beanies: Making the Law Loveable"... I WISH I was that funny), so don't ask.

"small test sample" = "mistake, but we can't find anyone willing to rip the eyes off of 50 Jesus Beanies."

I will buy a Coke for the first person that sends me an actual photo of a Jeasus Beanie (blue or brown-eyed, I'm not picky) velcroed to a cross. Or riding an Easter Bunny. Photographer's choice.*

*You have to come here for the Coke. I'm not shipping anything.

What's YOUR Wienermobile™ wish?

I was making a highly nutritious dinner of Oscar Mayer® Wieners the other night (made with turkey and pork). Yeah, I know, blah blah blah bugs, blah blah blah lips and arseholes. I agree, they are nasty, but they taste good if you don't allow yourself to think about it. That's how people manage to eat grubs and haggis. This way you get all that PLUS turkey and pork. And it's not like they've used them in an episode of Fear Factor yet.

Is Fear Factor still on the air?

Anyhow. I was about to toss out the paper wrapper when I noticed an opportunity of a lifetime that I wanted to pass on to all of you. From now until 7/29/04 (so, not very long really) you can win your wish with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile™! Wish valued up to $5000.

What is the Wienermobile™? Follow that link to find out all you want to know about it.

And here is the contest:
"What's your wish with the Wienermobile™? Fill in your wish in 50 words or less and it could come true! 'Oh, I wish...'"
And then six lines for writing out your wish and standard information request (name, address, date of birth, etc.). One thing to note however, no P.O. Boxes! No Wienermobile™ weekend for the homeless!

They also say to go to for more ways to win. I checked it out, thinking that perhaps you could win by taking photos of wieners in happy places or something.

Apparently not.

During the month of June you could have bid on the chance to have the Wienermobile™ vehicle for a weekend and up to $5,000 to make your wish come true! But noooooo. You were too slow.

Here is the auction result.

The wording of the auction interests me. It's that "chance" word. The package that tallpaul56 won for $10,600 doesn't actually seem to say that he WILL get to have the Wienermobile™ for those two days, just the chance and all the other tangibles (weenies, gift pack and 2 kids bikes). He still has to have his wish approved by Oscar Mayer®. He could still miss out. If I were him that would piss me off sideways to spend that kind of money and not get to go on the weekend ride. But who knows. Perhaps tallpaul56 has deep pockets. And it's for a good cause.

And if filling out a wrapper isn't your idea of likely, you can apparently enter online here. I say "apparently" because two screens in it wants your email address and I'm just not that keen to play. The only wishes that I can think of run counter to their requirements: "Keep in mind you'll be judged on Originality & Creativity, Integration of the Wienermobile™ in your wish, and Elements of Goodwill. So, from fun with your family to helping the community – be creative and your wish with the Wienermobile™ could be granted!"

It's that "Elements of Goodwill" that is the sticker. The only things I can think of are either mundane or evil. The mundane wouldn't win because it's... mundane. And the evil wouldn't win because evil NEVER wins. I could try to use some of my 50 words to point out how fantastic the publicity would be, but I doubt they would buy it. And then they would have my email address to pass on to the authorities and we don't really want that.

So, my wish for the Wienermobile™ will never come true, or even really be fully formed. I am curious to know what you visitors would wish to do with it though. So, please, comment and share. Unless you are "in it to win it", in which case head over to the site and enter soon because time is running out! You could be one of the 50 big wiener winners! Or, just be satisfied with entertaining us.

You know.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

A shorter story of a past 4th.

Wow. That was a long post.

Here's a short one from me about a 4th of July that I remember from my youth.

My dad had a decent collection of black powder pistols and rifles. He was very fond of guns. He even had his own ammo bench and I remember helping him make bullets from time to time.

My dad also liked to drink. I didn't know any different at the time, I just figured it was a "Dad" thing. And he wasn't a mean drunk, at least not mean to me, so it didn't lead to a ton of abuse like it could have.

Anyhow, on to the 4th of July, 1977. I think. I would have been 9. It was a nice 4th. He had been drinking most of the day. My best friend at the time and I were playing out in the yard, waiting for the sun to go down and the fireworks to begin.

I don't know who's idea this was. It may have been me or it may have been my dad. Whoever it was we all pretty much concluded that it would be cool if he were to sit on the camper (it was one of those collapsable ones) with a couple of his black powder pistols and all of the stuff to make them work (I can visualize all of it, but I don't remember the proper names) with the exception of the shot, load them with the powder and wad, and fire at us as we ran around the yard like loons. While drinking beer, of course.

Every time a pistol would go off we fell to the ground in dramatic death throes. Then when he was reloading we would get up and run around some more.

No bullets and at least 10 feet of distance made it actually quite safe and the guns were cool. And loud. Even though he was using smokeless powder I still remember the smell that accumulated after around 15 shots or so. And the echo through the neighborhood was awesome as well.

So after the police arrived and verified that we weren't in fact dead on the lawn as we had been reported, my friend and I were sent in the house while they talked things over with my dad. I'm pretty sure they took the pistols with them when they left, but he got them back at a later date. It was fun while it lasted.

So that's the short version of my 2nd most memorable childhood 4th of July celebration.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Heather's Mermaid

(deleted and reposted)
I'm having strange freaking problems with this. For whatever reason it's adding characters to the end of the picture links that shouldn't be there. If this still isn't posting right you will see a broken link icon. Click it. Odds are it will take you to a page that is empty. Look up in the address bar and delete ANYTHING that comes after the ".jpg".

The link should be:
and nothing else. Sorry about that. I have no idea what's wrong.

Fixed it. Better late than never, no?

Original post follows...
About a month and a half ago Heather had asked me if I would be willing to draw a mermaid for her. She said she liked my artistic style. It took me long enough, but I really like the end result. Here it is:

Click the smaller image (or broken link icon) for larger version. Or copy and paste the above link. I have NO idea what's wrong.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I took a personality test...

...that Tricia had posted a link to. I think I messed up on it though. perhaps I went through it a bit too fast. Here are the results.

Wackiness: 74/100
Rationality: 46/100
Constructiveness: 38/100
Leadership: 38/100

You are a WEDF--Wacky Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you a menace to society, depending on how you channel your energies. You chew your fingers and have an addictive personality. Properly guided, you can be enormously productive--otherwise you run amok, stir up trouble, and generally have a hell of a good time.

To your friends, you are a source of relentless entertainment. You often get into trouble, but you almost always find a way out. You are strangely popular and feed off others' energy. You live hard, seize the day, and although your more sober friends would like to see you settled down, you generally have fewer regrets and better memories than they do. Your tenet is that, at the end of the day, one regrets only what one didn't try. You are right.

You could benefit from outside help in balancing your highs and lows. Or perhaps cutting back on the caffeine.
So. Would any of my readers who actually know me care to comment or give their opinion of the results? This much I do know, I don't chew my fingers.

Hello Everybody!

What a weekend. I feel guilty for all the sitting around that I did though. I did get a good drawing started. At least, I think it's good. But I also fear it may turn to crap after I've put in the next 10 hours or so inking and coloring it. I envy those people that this stuff comes easy to. Oh well. I'll press on.

The freakiness at the Acacia Park Uncle Wilbur Fountain continued yesterday.

I took my kids back for the first time in two years.

The last time, if you will recall my mentioning (if I mentioned) we were treated to watching a homeless man bathe himself (clothed, thank god) while all the kids were running around acting like it was normal or something. The only thing that kept me from totally freaking out about that was the huge amount of chlorine that is added to the water. It did, however, keep me from returning to the fountain for the remainder of that season or the entire next year.

But I finally broke down because it was a nice day and when I mentioned the possibility of perhaps (maybe) taking them there for a bit, in a while, they both started doing a happy dance and singing my praises at the top of their lungs. Okay. Not that happy, but it was the most excitement they had shown that weekend, including going to watch the fireworks displays.

So we went. Halfway there it started to rain, but we continued. By the time we got downtown the rain had stopped and everything smelled nice and ozone coated, yet comfortably warm. There was still a decent amount of cloud cover and since it was 5:03 the fountain was playing the music and the animatronic figures were visible and spurting water in all direction.

For the non locals, I should take a moment and explain the Uncle Wilbur Fountain to give you a better idea of what it's about, but I'm a bit pressed for time so I will instead provide you a google link. I love you guys, but I'm in a hurry dammit!

When we reached the fountain the kids leaped from their shoes and took their frolicking places. My 4-yr. old daughter was practically vibrating with joy. My son, who at 11 years old is less than a head shorter than me already, was also excited, but not quite to the point of vibrating.

Their mother had joined us and we took a seat on one of the benches and watched the kids play.

And if I were to end the story here it would all be happy. Hah. Shall we continue?

No homeless man bathing this time. Fate upped the ante. Instead we had a homeless couple with two dogs. One was a little ratty, terrier looking, Benji dog, and the other looked to be a hound dog puppy.

The dogs were initially with the woman who was sitting at the bench to our left. The guy, I later realized, was at a table behind us. I only found out that because AFTER SHE HAD FINISHED TAKING THE DOGS THROUGH THE FOUNTAIN she left the hound dog with him.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Once I became aware of this woman I started to worry. My daughter LOVES animals. And bugs, but that doesn't pertain at this time. I hope.

The woman had just finished soaking the dinky dog and was amused at how pissed off it was from the whole experience. She then took the leash of the bigger hound puppy and was leading him to the fountain jets.

I was a bit concerned that my daughter would see the dog and run over to pet it and be her loving self. I shouldn't have worried. OF COURSE she saw the dog and ran over to pet it and be her loving self. My 'freak-out' meter started to rise but leveled off at around a 3. There were other kids around the dog and the situation seemed non-threatening.

Then the woman put my daughter's hands on the dog's leash and wrapped them in her own hands. She proceeded to lead my daughter and this struggling dog into the fountain. 'Freak-out' meter totally shattered. I was up and out of my seat and over to them before she had been able to take more than two steps. I disentangled my daughter from the situation and led her back to the bench where her mom and I tried to explain some of the dangers of life to a little person that couldn't grasp it.

After she had promised to leave strange dogs alone and had run back to play some more, the woman come over to apologize and tell us that she didn't mean any harm. I accepted the apology mostly because I couldn't see any benefit to going off on this woman especially since no harm was done other than seriously freaking me out.

After that, other than the drug deal happening on the bench to our right between a seedy looking dude rolling a cigarette and a 12-year old girl, the Manson family gathering at a table behind that bench which included the aforementioned girl, and what appeared to be a pedophile's photo shoot, the remaining hour went well. The fountain opened up, the music played, the kids had a blast and then it was time to go. I can only take so much freak-out in a day. My daughter cried and cried. She wanted to know when we would be back, and didn't want to take "soon" as an answer.

I didn't make any promises, but the "plan" is to go again on Saturday. Assuming I can fix my meter by then. Perhaps if fortune really smiles on us we will get to witness a mugging.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Deadline extended

This round of the story game has been extended to accommodate the players on the road. It will end Tuesday morning, or when 8 members or guests have posted a story.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

My entry in this week's story game.

Here it is. Everyone still has nearly a day and a half to get a story written for the game. Come! Frolic! Release your inner cowboy! (The theme for the stories this time around for anyone who hasn't looked is "western")


Jojo had never wanted to be a rodeo clown. It was just one of those things that happen to people when they aren't paying enough attention to where they are going. Like getting clipped by a train. Or gang raped by the gorillas at the zoo. All you can really do is roll with it and hope for the best. And in the case of the gorillas learn to not walk around a zoo with a banana in your back pocket.

But that was then, and this is now. And now Jojo was facing an enraged bull.

Moments earlier it had tossed and trampled its rider and was now bearing down on Jojo like a freight train. Or a pack of gorillas. Whichever. It sucked either way.

What Jojo wanted to do at that moment, more than anything was to run from the stadium out into the street, screaming and shedding his clown clothes the whole way. But he couldn't move. He was terrified; frozen with fear.

All of the clown schooling in the world hadn't prepared him for the horrible creature that was hellbent on trampling him into the dirt. Much less two weeks at 'Willie Bob's Emporium of Clown Teaching & Learning'.

It was his first time in the field and he was about to die.

His mind raced back to what his mentor, Willie Bob, had told him before giving him his own lucky red nose and running off to play in the flowers.

"Jojo, the most important thing to remember to do when a bull is about to trample you to death and you are frozen with fear is to... Look! Butterflies!"


'That's fifty bucks I won't be seeing again any time soon.' he thought as the bull crashed full force into him. The impact knocked the wind out of him and sent him spiraling into the air.

Freed from the burden of gravity, with stars flashing through his skull, he realized that his time working as a rodeo clown had come to an end.

Next stop: Cowboy!
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."