Monday, January 31, 2005

Fun way to spend a lunch hour.

I linked to this at my junk drawer, but I did a bit of work on it myself, so I'm posting it here:

Boing Boing: Katamari Damacy made from paper

I went ahead and rebuilt the image they have for printing at the originating site. I have it saved as a 156K PDF, however my image hosting service won't allow me to put up PDFs, nor will it allow PNG files. I finally had to go with a 344K JPG to link to here:


Click for larger version

But it won't print as sharp as the PDF will. If you are interested in getting the PDF, I've sent one to Cory Doctorow – who posted the original story linked above – so it may show up at boing boing. Or, you can drop me an email or a comment here and I'll send a copy to you.

I've fallen under my baby's crosshairs.

In response to her challenge, I offer this.

Random 10
1. "Path of Least Resistance" - Modest Mouse
2. "Tortoise And The Hare" - The Moody Blues
3. "The Script For My Requiem (Live)" - Blind Guardian
4. "Home" - Iggy Pop
5. "ohh what fun" - The Apartment
6. "Down To The River To Pray" - Alison Krauss
7. "Are You A Visionary" - The Kleptones
8. "Minstrels Song" - The Moody Blues
9. "House In Motion" - Talking Heads
10. "Spiderwebs" - No Doubt

Total # of music files on computer:
I'm on my work computer and it has far less than I do at home. The total is: 2504 songs = 6 days of music = 9.54 GB.

Last CD you bought:
- "The Dresden Dolls" - The Dresden Dolls, just yesterday in fact.

Last song you listened to before this post:
- "Half Jack" - The Dresden Dolls, surprise.

Name five songs you often listen to or mean a lot to you:
1. "Accidentally In Love" - Counting Crows
2. "Mouth" - Merrill Bainbridge
3. "Once in a Lifetime" - Talking Heads
4. "Artists Only" - Talking Heads
5. "Red Sweater" - The Aquabats

My 3 Victims.....
Jenn
Rasgal
Andy

The Gift - Part 5. : The Finishing

Thank you everybody for your comments. I've decided to use both across four different shirts. I have them set up at my store, and you are welcome to check them out and see what they should look like.

Now the thing that came to mind as I was finishing up was, "Do I actually have a legal right to make these shirts, or might I get sued by the School District?" I honestly have no idea. I would think that for a limited run that isn't being sold for profit I might be okay.

Therefore I've considered two options to avoid getting sued. The first is the shirt will only be available for a limited time (up until I get mine ordered and in my hands) and the price is set to the minimum level required by CafePress to cover their costs so I won't be making a dime from them.

The second thing I'm going to do is, after my son's birthday, I'm going to offer to give the school the artwork – with slight modifications to the color so my son's remains unique – on disc and the rights to use the artwork for any fundraising purpose they want free of charge for the next three years. After that point they will have the option to buy the artwork outright or stop using it.

Anyone have any other suggestions or advice?

---
Since the eyes were remarked upon in the comments, here's a close-up of the eye by itself:



The convenient thing is, because of the way I built it, it's very easy to change around to suit my needs:



It's still not quite as good as I would like – it needs to be a bit more random, and less patterned in the lines – but it'll do for now.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Gift - Part 4. : The Textening.

Okay, a few things. Derek reminded me that the artwork on the t-shirt through Cafe Press can be up to 10" x 8" or 8" x 10". So I've put together two designs based on those dimensions. I would like opinions on which design to go with. Or perhaps I should do two shirts? Let me know what you all think.

You'll no doubt notice that I messed a bit more with the colors. I decided to have the school colors more as a background element and changed the eye color from blue to green.

Here are the choices.

Choice #1:



Choice #2:



So, comment away.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

This is pretty important

so give it a look: Boing Boing: Tell US Copyright Office to let you use orphan works!

The Gift - Part 3. : The Coloring.

I called Justin's school this morning and found out that their colors are red and black. Ugh. And After I finished with the first stage of coloring the trim on the helmet was silver, rather than gold. That, combined with the red, reminded me horribly of Magneto's helmet. That wouldn't do. So a bit of revising later and here it is:



The project still isn't done though. I have to drop in the text and find out if Cafe Press can print it large enough. So what do y'all think?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Gift - Part 2. : The Inkening.

So yeah. It's inked. Next step, coloring it. I probably should find out what his school colors are.



Opinions on it so far? I should note that not only do I fail to do thumbnail drawings when putting something together, I also nearly never use references. Unless it's something that I have no idea how to draw. Two very bad habits that I can't seem to shake.

Searching

For the longest time nobody has been finding my site by way of (especially) odd searches. Finally there are a few that amuse me:

7 people found there way here looking for "the fizzle dance" and 2 more by just "fizzle dance" and 2 looking for a "fizzle bar" (What the Hell is the "Fizzle Dance"? Is it something you do at a Fizzle Bar to impress "Fizzle Chicks"?)

Actually, there are a whole lot of "fizzle" type searches, including 2 for "fizzle sticks." I like the sound of that. Fizzle sticks! It sounds like something a confused granny would shout after being cut off in traffic, "Aw! FIZZLE STICKS!" Heh.

2 visitors arrived via a search for "alice duke" (I had a link to her art site, but it's now a dead link. Alas.)

1 came for the "nipple pop" (and stayed for the "funny", I'm sure)

1 came for a "large picture of a skittle wrapper" (Sorry to disappoint you on that)

1 was looking for "derek knight hockey" (Wrong blog, he's next door.)

1 asks "why is the sky blue calvin hobbes" (that's a good Calvin strip – where his dad is giving him totally wrong answers to his questions – hope you found it, o' seeker of mirth)

1 randomly seeks "short stories cold snow quiet man 10th grade" (uh. no. I have no drugs for you. g'wan ya bum!)

And lastly a possibly dangerous person was seeking "a barrel that has springs in it and when you open it they pop out". (I wonder if he* would have found me if he had added "knives on springs"?)

So. Nothing really great, but then I'm rarely found by searches. I'm too ninja-like.

---
*And you know the searcher was a "he". Likely a teen "he" that likes to dress all in black and be moody at stuff. "He" no doubt has a shirt that reads, "I angst therefor I am..."

If "he's" still around and visiting all I can say is, "Hi! I hope you enjoy the site. Drop a comment sometime!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A gift in progress

For my son's birthday I've decided to make a custom t-shirt for him to wear to school (for gym or what-have-you). He's getting other stuff too. I'm not that lame. He's getting books! Heh.

To keep me on task so I have a chance of getting it finished and to him before his birthday in mid-March I've decided to post the stages as they are completed here. It also gives me something to post about. Win-win.

On to the art... stuff.

His school mascot is a Viking, so I've been kicking around various layout ideas in my noggin' – I'm horrible when it comes to thumbnailing layouts – and sketched out the viking head that I'll be making the centerpiece of the design. Here that is:



This is a very rough sketch, and I have a few ideas to make it more dynamic, but it's a start.

If this goes well I'll apply the same process (posting the stages as I go) to the projects that I told Mark I would do for him about... um... two years ago now. Yeah, I suck, but I'm trying to fix me.

Oh yeah, and don't let the boy know about this or you'll spoil the surprise. Fortunately, he never reads my site.

Gouranga!

I just received the following email and I didn't know what to make of it:

-----
From: NitaiGouranga@aol.com
Subject: Gouranga
Date: January 25, 2005 11:13:50 AM MST

Call out Gouranga be happy!!!
Gouranga Gouranga Gouranga ....
That which brings the highest happiness!!
-----

A Google search turned up the following:

1 - a Grand Theft Auto News & Resource Site

2 - an entry at Urbandictionary.com that reads:

---
1. gouranga
A word that appears on moterway bridges in north west UK. It's only purpose to annoy drivers who are left with a nagging curiosity for the rest of their day until the next day when it ceases to become important ever again.

for god sake why did they have to colour it in. Now it's more noticable and more annoying
-
2. gouranga
A feeling of happiness stemming from running down an entire column of Hare Krishnas in your car, as first invented in GTA1.

Splat! splat! splat! splat! splat! splat! splat! GOURANGA!
-
3. gouranga
is a word that is used by Hare Crishna monks meaning be happy!

EG 1.
happy monk guy- how are you today friend? are you happy?
guy- no! now go away!
happy monk guy- say gouranga it means be happy it will cheer you up
Guy- humph! gouranga............... hey you're right i feel happy already!

EG2.
when you play gta 1 you can usually find a line of monks (the orange guys) if you kill them all at once gouranga apears in big letters across the screen
---

3 - An article at "Richard's Dish" from 2001 commenting with a trace of annoyance on the appearance of a bunch of stickers in Scotland reading "Call out Gouranga and be happy!"

4 - A post from a few days ago at "theOTHERblog" talking about the same email I just received. I'm closing in on an answer, I can feel it.

5 - And finally, an answer of sorts that seems to tie it all together here.

I had totally forgotten about that "event" in GTA1. I didn't know they were monks at the time. I thought they were joggers in orange jumpsuits that ran in a line. Now it makes more sense. I got quite a few GOURANGA!s back then, but it was tricky. You couldn't even let one get away and they ran like the dickens.

So if you find this odd bit of spam in your email, this should give you some idea what it's about. Also, in the last link they mention the Scottish branch of ISKCON as possibly being behind the spread of Gouranga, and Rockstar North (the devolopers of the GTA series of games, and originally named DMA Design) is based in Leith, Scotland.

I'm still not sure if the email is the result of one lone loopy spam punk, a viral ad campaign – which would be odd since the GTA games since GTA3 haven't mentioned it (that I've found) – or a concerted effort by the Hare Krishnas. But whatever.

Gouranga! (doin' a dance of happyhappy)

Happy Birthday to my baby!

Today is Heather's birthday! If you feel inclined to do so, and haven't already, drop by her site and wish her a big happy!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Oh yeah, happy "Worst Day of the Year!"

MSNBC - Jan. 24 called worst day of the year

via Retail Blog.

It's good to be back.

I had the nightmare from Hell last night. It was the type of nightmare I usually have BEFORE going on vacation. I'm never good with the details of these dreamy thingies but here's the gist of it:

It was almost time to go home on Monday night. I suddenly realized I had four brand new ads on my desk that were due at 8 am the next morning and I hadn't started them yet for some odd reason.

Three of them were easy small ads, but the fourth was a monster. It was a quarter page sized ad with somewhere between six and ten new cars that needed to go in and no shell to work from. Each car also had about three pages of extra descriptive information that HAD to be in there.

The AE said that the client wanted to see a proof before I went home and she wasn't going to stick around. She gave me his email address, said I couldn't leave until I heard back from him and then left.

I don't know if the other ads went to other artists or I just ignored them, but all my attention was on getting this one ad built. And it was impossible. It couldn't be done. But that is what I spent my entire night trying to do. I wish I could remember the vehicle descriptions. They were quite insane. The whole time I'm trying to complete this impossible task I'm thinking about how late it's getting and how my kids are at home, waiting for me to show up and feed them and put them to bed, and I'm still fighting this Hell-sent ad.

At some point I snapped awake just enough to know it was a dream and I said to myself, "Just set the fucking thing on fire when you get back." then fell right back into the dream. And forgot that it was a dream. It was like I had drifted off into wakefulness within the dream and was now asleep-awake thinking that I had dreamed that it was all a dream and since I had fallen awake I was even further behind on the ad. Fun, huh?

Then people start coming in and remarking about how they are surprised I'm still there since it's almost 8 am and the ad is only half done and the client is going to be pissed and there is no way I'll be done on time.

Finally my alarm went off and I had to get up and go to work.

Yes indeed. It's good to be back.

As a postscript, against all of my expectations the board has remained empty all morning. That won't last, but I'm trying to enjoy it while I can.

Just kidding.

No post. Surprised?

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm still alive

I'm just enjoying my vacation which is swiftly coming to an end. I've accomplished about 10% of what I wanted to, but that is mostly due to bad time management. I think I appreciate my spare time a bit more when I have less of it. Not that I'm in a hurry to go back to work or anything. I'd rather have more spare time and waste it than have less and cram everything in. I'll try to have an entertaining post some time on Saturday or Sunday night.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Nosey thingie post

Heather tossed down the gauntlet and I picked it up and said, "Okay. Fine. I'll do it, but be prepared for it to be stupid and/or silly!" And it is:

---

3 names you go by:
Collin
The Tickle Bandit
Lord of all He surveys

3 screen names you've had:
Sketch
Pen
Spectre

3 things you like about yourself:
I'm relatively intelligent
I learn fast
My bones are made of pure sunlight

3 things you hate/dislike about yourself:
How shy I am
How I overanalyze things
The way my bones keep me awake at night

3 parts of your heritage:
My Mother
My Father
Some other really, really, really, REALLY old people

3 things that scare you:
Doing taxes
Going to prison
Hearing voices that tell me to kill

3 of your everyday essentials:
Seeing or talking to Heather
Macintosh G5 dual etc.
Alarm clock

3 things you're wearing right now:
Jeans
Biker boots
A stupid look on my face, mostly hidden behind my beard

3 of your favorite bands/artists:
Talking Heads
Scissor Sisters
The Kinks

3 of your favorite songs at present:
I honestly have no idea
I'm horrible with song names
Boogie Fever

3 of your favorite songs EVER:
Burning Down the House
Life During Wartime
Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

3 new things you want to try in the next 12 months:
Buy a house
Pay off Sears
Get winged monkeys to leap from my butt

3 things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
Honesty
Trust
Fantabulous sex

2 truths and a lie (no particular order to keep ya guessing):
The next sentence is true
The previous sentence is false
I like cheese

3 Physical things about a love interest that appeal:
Her smile
Her eyes
How comfortable she feels when we cuddle

3 things you just can't do:
Catch moonbeams in a jar
Turn my body inside out and do a little dance
Balance the world on my pinkie

3 of your favorite hobbies:
Reading
Gaming
Creating stuff

3 things you want to do really badly right now:
Go home
Start my vacation
Give Heather a big smooch

3 careers you're considering:
Advertising Graphic Designer (hahahahahahahah)
Game Designer
Supreme Ruler of All Creation

3 places you want to go on vacation:
Las Vegas
England
A really nice restaurant

3 kids names (either boy or girl):
Winkie Wee One
Pooter McBabblebox
Orca

3 things you want to do before you die:
Make a Will
Find a way to live an additional 500 or so years
See the RIAA, the MPAA and the Disney copyright lawyers sobbing with defeat and shame

3 people who have to take this quiz now:
The Pope
George Bush
God

---

Have a good Weekend everyone.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Wouldn't you know...

I'd decided to stop posting the spam that I get after that last one because it almost never generates comments (although, come to think of it, nothing else really does either), therefor I assume that it doesn't interest anyone. I guess I understand it, since one spam is pretty much like another and we ALL get spammed. Derek gets a daily buttload of spam. Daily.

But once in awhile a piece of spam comes across that seems new and fresh in its approach or even just funny. I just wasn't expecting one so soon. I've had to retype it since the spammy bit is an image file, although the text included to try to slip it past spam filters* was quite amusing as well.


Here it is with my comments in red:

From: correctness@ctoa.com (but it listed the "From" as "Refreshed A. Rightness" on the mail list, a solid Christian name if ever I read one)
Subject: SPAM-HIGH: Wakey wakey! (Eggs and bakey!)
Date: January 8, 2005 7:21:17 AM MST
To: collin@grahamcenter.com

Good evening, (this bit was text)

Dear Friend,

If you would like to make love with one (or more) women who are almost crazy to have sex with you, this will be the most exciting message you will ever read.

(Are you kidding? They would be almost crazy not to! And is that "(or more)" at one time?! Good golly, this IS exciting! Possibly the MOST EXCITING thingie whatsit.)

Here is why.

(Do tell! My heart is racing from the excitement! And to keep my blood pumping so I don't die, of course. But mainly excitement!)

Julie Paris (no relation to that other young woman named Paris) is a lesbian who lives in Miami Beach, Florida. (Good thing you cleared that up. I would hate to confuse a nice, wholesome lesbian living on the edge in Miami Beach with a vapid slut.) Actually, she is bi-sexual... (Did you think about this before you sat down to write? Next thing you'll be telling me is she's ambisexual. Good with either sex on either hand.) but... she hardly ever "wastes her time" with men. (Um. We seem to be off topic. Excitement waning.) That's because (according to her) (says you) most men just don't have a clue about how to satisfy a woman in bed. (Professor Tongue in the Labia with the Clitoris.)

For years, Julie has studied chemistry and its biological effect on women. (She spent years smoking weed and luring women to her room to help her "research"..."Trust me, I'm a scientist!") She is responsible for creating many of the top cosmetic products in the entire world. (Like "Cold Cream" and... um... "Q-Tips". And that thing that makes your eyelashes curl. Bean farts**.) But now, she has created a product called "Fire Play" (I hope this isn't just lighting the bean farts.) that makes almost all women...

Instantly Horny! (Oh it's not! It's so not! Lighting off bean farts never "makes almost all women... Instantly Horny!" My excitement has returned and it is stronger than EVER! Whooboy. Feel the burn.)

Click here to learn more about this product! (Don't bother clicking there since I didn't link it.)

And here is the bonus spam filter dodging text:

Leh mu muBe smart, be intelligent and be informed.
One should eat to live, not live to eat. I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.To desire is to obtain to aspire is to achieve.

There isn't any finer folks living than a Republican that votes the Democratic ticket. The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
Attention to health is life greatest hindrance. I never said all actors are cattle, what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle.
Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven't committed.Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness in itself has the aspect of strength.

Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me.
Win or lose, do it fairly. It makes sense that there is no sense without God.

True dignity is never gained by place, and never lost when honors are withdrawn.
---
IF Julie Paris is real and IF she really has made a product that will do all this says, then I apologize for my flippant comments. HAHAhahaHAHA! heh. Anyway. I'll not share anymore spam for awhile.

---
*Even with the text added it still registered on our system as "SPAM-HIGH"

**Sorry about that. I don't know what came over me. For what it's worth a search of "Julie Paris Cosmetics" on Google turned up nothing relevant. BUT "Julie Paris Cosmetic" turned up THIS site. Very interesting and offering great insight into the hearts and minds of evil men.

I especially love this quote:
"Plus, I also think after you read this website, you will realize... without any question whatsoever... that when it comes to writing website copy (or any other kind of copy) I am truly the "800 pound guerrilla" who can walk through the valley with no fear of competition whatsoever."

Would this perhaps be the valley of Suck? How are you at writing carbon copy? I'll stop now since, according to his main page, he's quite litigious and jealous of his "newsletters" being used without God-knows-what:

"Don't even think about reproducing and/or selling... even one sentence... of these letters in any form whatsoever. They are all copyrighted and, if you do rip them off, I guarantee you will have a "legal experience" so unpleasant... it will give you nightmares forever!"

So there you people go. I'm risking nightmares forever to entertain you. I hope you're happy.

Monday, January 10, 2005

There's an off chance...

that I'm the only person twisted enough to think of this, but I doubt it.

This machine mentioned at boing boing:
Boing Boing: Machine chops almost anything into micron-size pieces

could be very effective way of disposing bodies. I wonder if "The Mob" are building one?

Nonetheless, very cool.

Oops there goes another blogger's job.

I'm writing this while scarfing down my lunch in between ads. It's looking to be a busy week so I'm not sure that I will be posting much this week. I'll be taking next week off to unwind and celebrate my daughter's birthday which will either mean mo'betta posts or... well, nothing. We'll see.

While I was eating I was scanning boing boing and there were a couple of stories about bloggers who have lost their jobs, or were threatened by their employers due to their blogging that I will list...
...
...
wait for it...
...
now:

"Waterstone's fires 11-year-employee for blogging"
"Companies that have fired people for blogging"

This leads me to wonder once again what would happen if someone here where Derek and I work – other than all the freaking people we've told – were to come across our blogs and read some of the stuff we've written. Okay, mostly the stuff I've written. Derek doesn't talk about work as much as I do.

I wonder how they would go about firing me. Would I come back from lunch to find they've changed the locks and left my crap on the sidewalk with a note that reads, "Better luck next job, blog boy!"? Or would they perhaps realize that I need this occasional outlet to keep me from snapping and going on a rampage with an X-Acto, stapler and paper cutter? Would they see the humor in that previous sentence? These are all questions that I hope to never know the answers to.

And now I shall return to work. My blessed, most enjoyed provider of the funds I need to continue my meager existence and provide food for my two adorable and dependent children who would really hate it if their dad were to lose his job and their home due to somebody not having a sense of humor.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Happy Friday.

Enjoy the brainless strawberry.

Geek news:

This is through boing boing – of course – and might be of interest to anyone who likes comic books. Personally, the last comics that I collected with any kind of regularity were "The Tick" and "The Maxx". If I go into a comic store these days I don't recognize a majority of what's on the walls and head straight for the graphic novels or collected volumes.

I just don't seem to have the patience for individual comics anymore. If I can get an entire run of a comic series in one purchase that is what I prefer to do. 'JTHM', 'Squee!' and 'Lenore' being at the forefront of my mind. I'm the same way with TV shows. I would rather buy an entire season of a show that I like on DVD than schedule my time around the TV. TIVO would be a good thing for me to invest in at some point.

This idea for comics sounds pretty good to me. Being able to download music that was new to me during the Napster days led me to purchase many CDs that I might have never considered. The same could work for comics.

What do you think?
---
Also, check this out. Scott McCloud is another person who inspires me, both with his work and his ideas. I've read both his first edition of "Understanding Comics" (for which Will Eisner was a significant inspiration) and "Reinventing Comics". It's probably about time I started to do something with that knowledge, huh?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Think your life has taken a turn for the odd?

If you are a regular reader of boing boing than you have probably already read this story. If you haven't, then check it out. Perhaps one of you will have an idea that will help Mark Frauenfelder out.*

I thought my problems with Sear's idiocy was annoying. I guess it could be worse.

An update to this story is here.
---
*As an aside, one of the other books I got for Christmas from my mom was the now out of print 'The Happy Mutant Handbook' which I am currently reading. It was published in 1995, and was edited by Mark Frauenfelder and his wife Carla (who at the time was Carla Sinclair), who I found out from the book are the creators of the 'boing boing' zine and the offshoot website (for some reason before reading it I always thought it was Cory Doctorow's site) and that Mark is from Colorado. I'm amused and inspired.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A Happy Thing for a Compulsive Collector:

(There may be better ways to do this that I am unaware of, but this is the way I know and it works. If anyone has a better way, please pass it along. Also, this may ramble and be of limited interest. Sorry.)

I'm on a Macintosh. I don't like Internet Explorer with the exception of one feature: the ability to make a web archive. In IE, if you go to "File : Save" then choose "Format : Web Archive", then click "Options" and make your selections from that screen – download images, sounds, movies, and links up to five levels deep, ensuring that you "Skip links to other sites" – you can duplicate an entire site and its content files (MP3s, JPGs, AVIs, etc).

A legitimate use for this is to be able to back up your website or blog, and rather than only saving a link or the html of the site it will copy every bit. Doing this also allows you to view the content of a site away from an internet connection.

A less legitimate use would be to capture everything at a gallery site, or snag Flash movies and games that you couldn't normally download. If the movie or game pops up in its own window you just ensure that it is the top window and "file : save". There are some games it can't get, but there are a lot more it can. And I haven't seen it fail on a movie yet.

Why would you want to do that since it's right there, free to view or play with online when you want?

Because, the net changes. Sites go down. Stuff gets lost. Ads get annoying. Screws fall out. It's an imperfect world.

So IE can capture quite a bit of this "stuff" using web archiving and that's all a slice of wonderful, however what if you don't want the entire site (or page) that you found your goodies on? What if you want to compile a standalone collection and don't want to grab things piece by piece? What if you don't want to have to play with them in IE? Can you open the IE archive and get at the bits you want and toss the rest?

Up until yesterday, as far as I knew, the answer was "NO". Then I stumbled across a couple of freeware files for the mac that help to crack that nut. Finally. After over a year of wishing for a way.

The first I'll tell you about is the second I found. The name of the program is "File Juicer." The newest version is shareware ($8), however the developer is still offering the previous version for free and it does what I need it to do. You just drop your IE created web archive on the juicer and it squeezes the media goodies out, including Flash (.swf) files if there are any in the archive.

Over the past year I'd been downloading various web archives of nifty little programs that had been offered on the web for free (but not for download). Things I didn't want to lose just in case their hosts vanished. I used some of them to try out 'File Juicer' and it worked like a charm. A+ and I'm going to purchase the upgraded version to show my support for the developer's work. Color me very happy!

This leads to the second program I'm going to mention, which happens to be the one that led me to 'File Juicer', and that is 'iSwiff.' This handy little free application allows you to "Play Flash games, animations and movies without your web browser. Enjoy full screen experience, uncluttered by browser toolbars and ads, when you find flash you want to keep on your hard drive." And the new version (1.0.2) released today fixes some problems that were in the first one; specifically the need to double drop the files to get them to work.

And there you go. Again, if you know of a better way to do this for the Macintosh I would like to hear it.

---
Update: Huh. I just tried something with Firefox and it worked. I did a "file : save : web page, complete" on a game over at Kontraband to see the result and it DID grab the .swf file in addition to everything else on that one page (it also worked on a pop-up window game). So that might be the better way of getting the stuff off of a single page, but I don't see a way to get more nested pages (like at a gallery where you have to click a thumbnail to get to the full size image). So for a one shot page grab I would recommend Firefox and for an entire site I would recommend IE. Until someone makes a plugin for Firefox that will do it.

'File Juicer' can also be used to grab media files from applications (including Windows apps), PDFs, power point files, etc. It's a really nifty little thing.

Another one gone

This Christmas I was quite surprised to receive two of Will Eisner's highly respected books on cartooning from my mom: "Comics and Sequential Art" and "Graphic Storytelling & Visual Narrative" All I need now is some time to read them.

My mom said, "You know he's the person who created the comic 'Spirit' right?" I said that I did know that and that he is a very important person in the comic industry and my mom said, "He isn't still alive, is he?" I told her that I was quite sure that he was.

Will Eisner passed away two days ago due to complications from heart surgery at the age of 87. Bob Andleman, author of Eisner's upcoming biography, 'Will Eisner: A Spirited Life' wrote the following that I am taking from his obituary for Will:

"Will Eisner didn't create Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or even Archie and Jughead. Some comic book fans may scratch their heads when asked to describe his work. But every artist and writer in comic books, as well as graphic artists across the entire spectrum of modern illustration, television and film, owes a debt to him."

There is far more about him here and the complete obituary can be found here.

My grandfather, who had collected a huge amount of comic books in his lifetime, was the person who introduce me to Will Eisner's work through 'The Spirit'. I was immediately hooked by the style and the subject matter, and thinking back I'm certain that 'The Spirit' was a key influence in my desire to become an artist*. He was an extraordinary artist and a brilliant man. He'll be missed.

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*Although not the sole influence, it was certainly the first. Through the years I've also been inspired by the work of Boris Vallejo, who's style I've actually turned away from in favor of the far superior Frank Frazetta; Richard Corben; Vaughn Bode; Phil Foglio; Bill Watterson; Alphonse Mucha; Gustav Klimpt; Egon Schiele; Alberto Vargas; Olivia De Berardinis; Milo Manara; Hajime Sorayama; Simon Bisley; Brom; and no doubt countless others whose names I never learned or can't recall.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Further Example of Finger Pointing

This ties in with my earlier post about the anti-gaming lawyer Jack.

Start with this link:
Manhunt Pulled from UK Shelves: Rockstar's killing-fest is called out in connection with a teenage murder.

Then read either of these:
Robbery, eh? How base a motive.
Pay attention to the last paragraph.

So. The 14 year old victim is the one who owned the game, and his own mother was unaware. It was a game that he should not have been able to purchase on his own, so how did he get it?

And the victim's mother is quoted even more in this article.

In no way am I saying what happened to her son was just or fair. But neither is jumping on the blame bandwagon by accusing a software company of "irresponsibly providing a template for murder." (something which books – particularly murder mysteries – have been doing for many years) and being totally oblivious to the fact that her son, the victim, was the underaged owner of the game.

Here is a timeline that offers more information about the murder.

What it comes down to is this: Violence exists and has existed for all of recorded history and beyond. Humanity is predominantly violent. If it wasn't then there wouldn't be such a large market for violent entertainment. But outlawing entertainment isn't going to reduce the amount of violence committed in the world. Not as long as there is still greed, anger, jealousy and fear within people.

If you are a concerned parent then the best thing that you can do for your children is to be aware of what type of entertainment they involve themselves in, be aware of the people they call friends and stay active in their lives as much as you can.

Here's a person who feels differently. Apparently in his ideal "civilized and free society" people are told what they can and can't create or play. I'm tempted to comment, but the post is so old I doubt he would ever see it. Besides, HURR DURRRR covered the pertinent bases.

Normally a Junk Drawer post.

But I don't have anything else for you today, so enjoy and Happy New Year (3 days in)!

I Am Bored - Sites for when you're bored.
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."