Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Made me laugh

While browsing Milk & Cookies I found a link to a flash movie that I found very amusing. Truly, I did. And I'm not as easy to amuse as you might imagine – facts to the contrary notwithstanding. So go, follow the link and be amused. But be warned! It's... naughty humor *shhhhh!*

Still sick but (hopefully) improving

Yesterday, for Memorial Day, I spent nearly the entire day laying down trying to rest while coughing out a lung or two. I barely had the strength to stand upright and was quite glad that both children can manage to feed themselves for the most part. They stayed out of the latched cabinets so all is well with them. They have lived to see another day and so have I! Yay!

Today I'm at work, you know, working. Everyone around me probably wishes I would go home before I infect them. But just to be spiteful I'm not gonna. Actually, I figure if they didn't get it from me all last week when I was sick, odds are they are safe. And if they DID get it, it's incubating inside of them right now like a teeny-tiny Alien ready to burst forth from their chests in a horrendous spray of mucus and coughs. Who wants to miss seeing that? Not I.

So here I sit. Waiting. Grinning. Coughing. So this is what it's like to be evil? No wonder Derek is always so happy.

On my lunch I finished up my next stupid ribbon idea that's for sale at my cafepress shop. Here it is:



Click it if you wanna check out the booty. Why support fallen angels? Hell if I know. I just had the design idea and ran with it. Perhaps I'll make a "Support Angels" ribbon to keep things fair.

Friday, May 27, 2005

CliparToon #59: If you hear tiny footsteps and a clinking noise, cover and run.

I'm sick. Still. But I couldn't let the week pass by without at least one new CliparToon regardless of what common sense says, so here it is. Have a great weekend everyone!

My home computer is kaput.

Last night my Dual G5 decided to stop working. It's similar to the problem that my old (well, not THAT old) work G5 was having. That one went to the repair center three times and they couldn't get it to duplicate the error. The final solution? Plug it directly into the wall instead of through the power strip. It seems it needs more power than it could get through the strip.

The same problem happened to my coworker Scott's new G5 iMac. Plugging it in directly to the wall fixed his too.

The similar thing between all three of these computers? They were purchased through Mac Mall and they came with a free RAM chipset in addition to the Apple memory that was included. Possibly the extra RAM is failing and it needs to draw more power as time goes on until the strip can no longer provide it. If that's the case then it's just a matter of time before the component totally craps out.

So, tonight when I get home I'm going try plugging directly into the wall and see if that fixes it.

Right now I'm still under warranty if that isn't the problem but I really, REALLY need to splurge the $300 to get the extended Apple Care Warranty before my year is up.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Now for the REAL before and after photos:

Before


After


So, I'm no Keanu Reeves but I'm also no Phil Specter, so that's a good thing. Most of the comments around work have been positive, but Ray asked me if my mom cut it. Now that I look at it, I'm still a bit too fuzzy on the face though.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My 'Before' & 'After' photos:

Before:


After:


Overall, quite an improvement, don't you think?

(real photos still to come)

Something I learned about myself yesterday.

I'm a geek. I always had my suspicions, but now I can prove it. There were bushes arranged in front of the podium and stage (read two posts down for an explanation of the event) and there was a sign thanking the nursery that provided the "shrubbery and bushes." And I realized that I absolutely cannot see the word "shrubbery" without thinking about the "Knights Who Say 'Ne!'" So, not only am I a geek, I'm one of "those' geeks. Yes, that is right. I'm a Monty Python geek who looks like he cut his own hair (one post down). BUT I did manage to keep from sitting in my seat saying "Ne! Ne!" to myself and giggling, so there is hope of a somewhat normal life among non-geek society.

Oh yeah...

I also got a haircut yesterday. I'll post before and after pictures at some point. When Derek came in to work and saw it he first said:

"I can't tell if you got a haircut or it's just laying flat."

He then followed up with:

"Did you do it yourself?"

...

I'm sick

It feels like a Summer cold. I don't have an ounce of energy, I'm achy, my balance is off and my throat hurts like hell. I felt the beginnings of it yesterday morning but it was nothing like today.

I attended my brother's high school graduation yesterday. It felt a lot longer than it was, but that was probably due to my being sick. It got me thinking about my own graduation. Man that sucked. I'm glad I don't have to go through that again.

Trevor graduated from Wasson. When I graduated from Mitchell in 1986 we, like most of the high schools around Colorado Springs, held our ceremony at Wasson's stadium. These days they hold their ceremonies at the World Arena, the local house of hockey when there is hockey to be housed as well as other ice oriented events. And non ice events. Basically an indoor arena. The advantage of this is we weren't sitting out in the hot sun for 3+ hours. The disadvantage is when it was over there wasn't really a way to get down to where the graduates were without jumping over a wall. Also it was obvious that many of the graduates and guests had never skated a day in their lives. I hope they release a blooper video. All things considered it was going well until Trevor went past the podium and received a 5-minute penalty for slashing. He was lucky he wasn't ejected from the ceremony; the teacher never saw it coming.

I've been considering writing a post about how things would be different if I were God but it's just not in me right now. If I were to write it today, number one on the list would be, "I wouldn't be sick." I may still eventually do it, but perhaps not. Eh.

I was also considering mentioning how it would appear the new thing for teens to do when they are out "cruising for sexual opposites (or equals, who am I to judge?) to impress" is to take the "support" magnets off of SUVs and large trucks and toss them up on the roof where the average sized vehicle owner will never see them from the ground. This will cause the owner to purchase another whereupon it too is tossed on the roof at the earliest opportunity. The goal is to see how many times you can do it to the same vehicle. The record is somewhere around six. Yes, let's say six since I'm making it all up anyway. This isn't really happening to the best of my knowledge. Or maybe it is. Who knows? It might have been a lucky guess on my part.

Thank God it's Wednesday and not Monday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Your Character’s Alignment

Interesting. I took this quiz to determine "my character's" alignment. I was a big AD&D geek many years ago and the characters I played would generally be neutral-good, neutral-evil (when I played an assassin) or chaotic-neutral. It seems I wasn't that far off the mark.

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Based on your answers to the quiz, your character’s most likely alignment is:

Neutral

A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutrality is a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil. After all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. The common phrase for neutral is "true neutral." Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion.

--excerpted from the Player’s Handbook, Chapter 6

Monday, May 23, 2005

One more for the store:

Happy Monday. Hah.

Do you like dragons? Do you looovvvveeeee dragons? If so then run (or click rather quickly) over here to purchase my latest, and possibly greatest* take on the "support" ribbons! Or just admire it below.



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*although I still like the "Grim Ribbon" best.

Some things I learned from George Lucas this past weekend.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, you may want to skip this. I won't give away too much, but still. If you are thinking, "What movie?" Go ahead and read it.

Apologies in advance to my Heather for the nits that I am picking here. Overall I did enjoy the movie and felt there were several parts that were quite cool. But...

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Being a Jedi is very bad for your hands.

Darth Vader is vacuum sealed for freshness.

If you have managed to lop three of the limbs off of what could be the greatest enemy to humankind EVER it doesn't hurt to go the extra bit and nudge him with your toe into the lava.

Blue lightning makes you ugly. Avoid the blue lightning.

Being a hermit in the deserts of Tatooine for less than 20 years will seriously age a guy.

Yoda is green and yellow.

Children are actually "younglings" even though my spell checker says "no, no, no."

It's never too cliche to strike a pose with your fists in the air and yell, "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

If everyone in the world already knows how your story is going to end, there's no reason whatsoever to be overly creative in how you get there.

Don't turn your back on a mob of clones with guns.

Commercials lie.

"This is not the prequel you seek."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

It was a shop updating kind of day.

I've added four more CliparToons to the shop,

Me-You-Boo stuff:


A Matrix inspired Neo Ribbon:


And an evolution of that into The Grim Ribbon:


Just look at me go.

CliparToon #58: BEERbeerBEERbeer...

I realized this morning as I was heading off to work that I hadn't made a new CliparToon yet this week, so here it is. The toon may be weak, but the BEER; she is STRONG!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blame the zombie cucumbers.

Somehow they infected the muffins.


(click pic for shirts and shyte)

But the good news is the zombie muffins have pushed the clowns that much closer to the archive.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Why I have nothing for you today.

I upgraded my CafePress shop over the weekend and now I'm trying to stock it with stuff that people might actually want to buy. You will still be able to find the same old things that were there before, with the addition of the new "My Ribbon Can Beat Up Your Ribbon" stickers and shirts created from a design suggested to me by my Heather and the beginnings of the rapidly growing CliparToon Collection.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be adding an evolved "Support Evolution" ribbon, another ribbon idea that has been kicking around in my head for awhile now, many more CliparToons and a "Zombie Gear" section that will include the Cucumber Zombie and whatever future zombie stuff that dribbles forth from me.

My goal is to use whatever I can make from the shop to pay off my student loans, however the reality is more likely that I might make enough to offset the rising price of gas for a week or two. Time will tell. Who knows? Maybe I'll come up with the next "hot new design" that will sweep the nation, nay, the WORLD and will make me so much money that I'll be able to afford to become a Republican. Ha ha.

My normal style of posting should resume tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Two Dumb Clowns

Okay, I recreated their ad so that it doesn't look as crappy. At least I don't think it looks as crappy. You be the judge.:



So, other than the fact that it's still a stupid clown, what do you think? The state spots aren't noticeably smaller (and I'm PRETTY sure that it doesn't matter what state you click on anyway, it'll still just take you to the main site), the color is more balanced, he no longer looks like a clown/pickle hybrid, the company logo is 4x it's original size AND the text isn't cropped off. I wish I knew how much the original designer was paid. If it was more than nothing it was too much.

Now, unless I find another example of really bad banner ads from these people, I mean worse than I've already posted, or unless I'm contacted by their attorneys, this post is the last I can imagine having to say about this subject. I'll be back next week with more of the usual.

Okay. Seriously now.

Heather, in her comment on the snake mortgage ad post, mentioned seeing a scary pickle clown ad. We have found that ad. Here it is:



Art geek rant follows, read and be prepared to be bored.

Okay... WHY?! WhywhyWHYwhywhy?! It's ugly, stupid looking, badly designed, the eyes look like they were added on as an afterthought since they aren't in the same style as the rest of the thing... I swear, this looks like someone, an "artist" of some sort (bullshit artist, probably), found any clipart that was vertical to fit his space – damn the subject, as long as it FITS! – tossed on google eyes to be "cute", then squeezed in buttons for each of the states to suit the client's needs.

I looks to me like there was a surface that the "artist" cleared away because right above Alaska there is a thin break of light green through the dark green. It doesn't belong. There were probably a few more large white spots in the original clipart like the one that "Bad Credit OK" resides in and on the arms. Obviously the surface was cleared away to allow for the state buttons. That makes sense. This is what doesn't make sense. The spot left for "credit" is in a stupid position. It looks like a sloppy afterthought rather than an actual design choice. Honestly, WHY HAVE IT IN THE SPOT AT ALL?! It stands out in an ugly way! Dumb! I'm in a business where we use "Bad Credit OK" all the time and I know what it really means: "Your credit is ass? No problem! We'll just load you up with a higher interest rate!"

And WHY color code the buttons like that? This might be something that runs through all of their banner ads, but for certain designs it makes more sense to do away with it. I, as a potential customer, have no idea why Colorado is a red button and Texas is purple. It appears to have been decided alphabetically. Or perhaps the "designer" thought it added a pretty rainbow effect. A BETTER idea would have been to mix the colors up a bit, you know, kinda like the spots on an actual clown's clothing would be. And don't use red or green on a green background. Instead use yellow, orange and blue. Or purple. Keep it to three colors though. No reason for four.

And this bit is particularly offensive to my design sense. See that "Click Your State & Refi"? Yes, that's how it ACTUALLY was. The "designer" left off the rest of the sentence! Kind of a big deal, I would imagine. And the stupid clown was trimmed on the right edge as well. His pinkie's in some guy's custard pie!

Making him fit all the way would have caused him to shrink in height about the same amount as the height of the footer (the bit I've blurred at the bottom) which would have been a HORRIBLE setback to the overall design unless the person doing it was actually a designer. Or at least somewhat spatially aware.

Here are some solutions that wouldn't involve disfiguring Bozo by trimming off his sticking out bits. First, he could have filled in the extra blank space by fixing the header. Add in all the missing text and, if you need to, make "Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows!" all the same font size. The footer could have been expanded as well. The firm's logo could have been edge to edge with the extra text that was on the side beneath it instead. Another less acceptable fix would have been to stretch him to fill up the space. He's a drawing of a clown, not an actual photograph nor another familiar object where it would be noticeable to alter the dimensions unevenly.

Time allowing I just may recreate this stupid ad and post the result. It'll still be ugly because, face it, it's a dumb idea, but I should be able to manage to make it somewhat less ugly and more cohesive a design than it is now.

That sure ran long. Sorry. In case I don't post again today, have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Invasion of the Blog Snatching Cucumber Zombies. From Mars.

I found the link to this site from another site that I recently added to my links list. The first post I saw there was titled "Zombie Cucumbers". Anyone who knows me will know the word "zombie" will catch my attention faster than almost anything. In his post this fellow, Drew, came to the conclusion that pickles are basically zombie cucumbers. As these things tend to do, that brought an image to my mind that I just had to make a reality. So I did. Here it is. Blame him , not me.


Clicker to make bigger.

What are they thinking?

I was over at a news site today, checking out a particularly awful picture of former child star Macaulay Culkin that one of my coworkers was talking about. He looked like he either just woke up or perhaps the judge ruffled his hair, because honestly, how often can a judge say he did that? Not nearly often enough.

Here, see for yourself:



CW1: "You should see this picture of Macaulay! He looks messed up."

CW2: "What happened? He used to be cute as a kid, but now he just looks weird."

Me: "To be honest, he looked weird as a kid too."

CW2: "Yeah. But in a cute way."

Right beneath this photo was an advertisement for (I'm pretty sure) the same company I mentioned I-don't-know-how-long-ago about the vertical ad involving the "frosted" gingerbread man resting in the tall, phallic glass of suspicious, thick white fluid. Let's call it "milk," wink-wink.

Well, apparently they are still making "fun" ads. Let's look at this one, shall we?



What the...?

Okay, let's look at the imagery presented here. We have a snake. Snakes aren't so bad. I like them. But I know a lot of people don't like them, so that makes it an odd choice for an image to draw the greatest number of click-through traffic to your site. May as well use spiders and clowns for a regular triptych of terror. How can this be remedied?

I know! Make the snake red! People love red snakes. Red is the international color of trust, after all. It has been proven in test after test that one of the first things a person thinks of when seeing red is "trust"... if we discount, "danger," "blood," "fire," "pain," "Satan," "Santa Claus," "apples," and probably a few dozen other things. "Trust" is right up there. And it's so soothing as well. Out of all the colors in the rainbow it is certainly one of them.

Okay! A red snake it is then! Still not quite doing it though. Not feeling the "urge to click."

I've got it! Make it a freakin' red RATTLE snake! With it's fangs hanging out! And make it so it's looking right at the customer as if to say, "poke at me for a good time" like real rattle snakes do all the time! They'll HAVE to click on it! They'll have no choice!

For their next ad I wouldn't be surprised to see a reclining leper with the tag line, "High Mortgage rates causing you to fall apart?"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sketching Exercise #3

Robyn supplied this description:
Covered in bumps, larger than a refrigerator, makes a metallic clanking noise, the envy of all that gaze upon it.


This was actually my second idea. I should have done my first. Oh well. And no, I can't draw a motorcycle any better than I can draw a car.

and Debra supplied this one:
Heavy, dark, glowingly enthusiastic, and about as subtle as a box of rocks.


I like this one.

It may just be me, but in just three attempts at this the descriptions seem to have shifted from the obvious to the totally obscure. Still, keep them coming. I'm enjoying it. Comment here with new descriptions.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

You heard it here first, dammit!

Organized clowns are tools of Satan! And it's no laughing matter.

Read on, and gibber in fear as the evidence mounts:

It was recently discovered that the true "Number of the Beast" is actually "616", and not "666" as was previously reported by religious people and heavy metal artists around the world. Full story here.

"616" is the area code of Grand Rapids, Michigan. See?

(gets to gibbering, you!)

And the final demonic puzzle piece to fall into place, from April 19th through the 24th, Grand Rapids was the location of the "Clowns of America International" convention. Read about it here and feel the evil. FEEL IT! IT'S PINK! AND SPATTERED WITH ANIMATED GIFS! Seriously. It's just not good.

As you no doubt now see, it's as plain as the squeaky red noses on their faces. Don't let the painted on smiles and seltzer bottles fool you. It's all a part of Lucifer's plan! Even the big... floppy... shoes. For the love of God! Look how many you can fit into a car! It's unnatural, concentrated evil!

Unorganized (disorganized?) clowns are Satan tool wannabes, much like the followers of 'Metallica' before it was revealed that they weren't really Satanic, just greedy.

And MIMES! Mimes are Satan's clown ninjas used for covert operations of evil. Ever wonder why all dogs bark at mimes? They can sense the evil that is mime, much like they can terminators and postmen! If you don't already have a dog you better get one or you'll never hear the mimes coming!

And now you know. Knowledge is power!

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Minor update. I was rushed a bit when I posted this yesterday and I got to thinking, "Mimes aren't silencers. That's just silly. They're NINJAS!" So there you go. One teeny change that makes it all better. And more knowledgeable! (Extra KNOWLEDGE, free to you!)

Clipartoon #57: They move on silent little button feet.

Faceless button men with needle and thread bother me. What crafty thoughts are going through their little button heads? Nothing for the good of humanity, you can be sure.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Please don't be angry with me Foxy

This was originally going to just be a reply to foxy's comment on my Clipartoon #56 post, but it ran so long I figured I would turn it into my Monday post. I hope you aren't annoyed with me when all this is done Foxy. The last person that this happened with was Jenn and she forgave me. I hope you will to. I also don't expect to change your viewpoint on this issue, I just wanted to clarify mine. Her comment is as follows:

The people who are upset about it all are the artists who have done the work and are trying to make a living from their music. Everyone wants their music but no one wants to pay for it...meanwhile they (the artists) are supposed to subsist and pay their bills and eat like all the rest of us. It's like having someone swoop in and grab your paycheck just as it's being given to you and saying "you don't need this, I'll just be taking it and spreading it around a bit." So why work if you're not going to get paid? Pretty soon the artists have to give up and get another job so they can live too... Yeah, alot of parasites along the way make some money but it's the artists themselves who are really getting ripped off.

I know the above is true because I've interviewed tons of those 'artists' and believe me, they worry quite a bit about it. Their work, their music, is not only how they make their living but they feel proprietary about their music just like proud parents feel about their new offsprings. It's what makes good artists go bad... End of rant... ~:^)

My reply, incoherent and incomplete as it is:

How do you explain the artists that aren't upset about it? The ones who see this as a new way of spreading their music to a far wider audience than they could with the older forms of distribution? The ones who feel that targeting their fans with lawsuits is actually hurting their sales more than filesharing is? Personally, I'll eat a brick of babies before I'll buy anything by Madonna or Metallica again. What about the artists that are using this new technology and emerging mindset as a way to market their music and sell their own pressings of their own CDs and making far more for themselves then they would after the money trickles down to them past all the layers in the older, over priced system, and greed infused industry?

Personally, I don't listen to music that often, I've mentioned before that I don't even have a radio in my car. But (as I've also said before) file sharing, specifically the first incarnation of Napster, turned me on to bands that I doubt I would have noticed before. Bands that I have subsequently supported by buying their CDs, attending their concerts, purchasing their merchandise (stickers, t-shirts, DVDs) and supporting in ways that I wouldn't have if I had never heard of them. And it's pretty safe to say I wouldn't have heard of them on the radio since they aren't "marketable" like Britney and the other prepackaged "artists" that seem to be the bread and butter of the pop industry.

No, not everybody who downloads MP3s will also support the artists in a monetary way. Some people are content with keeping what they've gotten for free, but here's the unanswerable question: Would that person have spent a single dime toward these artists if the files had not been available? I don't think they would. Even if they did, I doubt they would in their lifetime spend as much on them as I did at a single Aquabats concert. The artists would be better off if the RIAA would focus it's energy on people like the ones who sold Heather her two pirated CDs rather than going after an individual who downloaded a Metallica CD and suing him into oblivion. In Heather's case she was a fan trying to support the artist and instead added to a pirate's pocket. (Although in hindsight if she was buying the CD from eBay it would have been used, which is the realization that triggered my addendum after proofing. Even though she bought those two used, she buys a heck of a lot of CDs new. And the point is still valid because those people don't just sell on eBay.)

It comes down to this: I'm happy and willing to support the artists that I enjoy when I can afford to. The more affordable they are able to make it or the more they can give me for my dollar, the more support I'm willing to give. It's value for dollar, and as prices go up everyone is going to be looking for the best way to spend their money. Many times I've told myself I don't have the $20 for artist "A"s latest CD and then wound up spending more than $20 on artist "B"s stuff combined because the initial price point was lower and I saw a greater value in it. Actually, that happens far more on DVDs with me than CDs, but the principle is the same.

As to an artist up and quitting due to P2P* is there a single artist, one single artist, who has given up doing what they love because they think too many people are getting their work for free? How many artists have the luxury to NOT have a day job or another means of generating income until they get going? I read once that Madonna was one of the hottest "entities" to be shared in torrents awhile back because, let's face it, everyone likes to touch a virgin for the very first time, yet I never once read that she was suddenly having to hold down a day job at McD's due to lost sales as a result of all that unwelcome popularity. In fact, didn't she just make her final payment on England a few weeks back?

The ones that I've heard bitching the loudest about this – and it could just be because I don't hear from a wide enough variety of sources, or they happen to have the PR machine to broadcast their complaints the furthest – are the ones who have already made a ton of money under the old system, sell their concert tickets for around $200 a seat, and have been PAID, but don't want to risk any kind of decrease in that pay by trying something new.

It might be a surprise, but I do have some insight into how an artist feels about his/her work. When I first started putting my artwork on the net I was sooo worried about someone ripping it off and selling it as their own. Vain? Sure. I'm no Brom, Frazetta, Sorayama, or any other famous artist. But I'm still an artist of sorts and I would like to get paid for what's mine. Obviousy.

The only thing that has changed since I first posted an online gallery of my crap in 1997 was my attitude toward the whole thing. I realized that I can't stop people from taking my work and selling it even though I've told them not to. I've set up a CC license that allows for non commercial use of my art, and modification as long as the person who modifies it allows others to do the same with what he/she made (although the CC site seems broken at the moment) but that won't stop someone motivated to make money from my work. In spite of this possibility I know that it is in my best interest for people who like what I have done here to take it and pass it along to their friends and tell them where they found it. Then when I've upgraded my store (which I will be doing early next week) and started offering things a "fan" would like to own, they can encourage me to do more or show their appreciation for what I have already done by buying something from it. If they don't, will I stop? No. I'll continue to mess around here as long as I enjoy it whether I get paid or not. Artists create; they have to.

End of my rant.

Okay, not the end of my rant. In the first go-thru of proofing this mess I remembered this and didn't really want to find a spot to squeeze it in since I'm lazy as all hell, so here's my rant-addendum:

All this doesn't even BEGIN to touch on purchasing a CD used. $0 of that sale finds it's way back to the artist. So if the same CD that was bought new once is resold used 20+ times, does that decrease the value of that artist's work, take money from his pocket and kill his desire to make music? What if each person made a copy of that CD before selling it to Media Play? The person bought the CD used, ripped it, then resold it, still used for a portion of their money back (usually half of what they would sell it for as trade or 1/4 for cash). Is the artist being ripped off? Bread taken from the mouths of his children? For a sale that he was paid $0 from? Good lord, we better break it down! If the CD was $20 new, bought once, the artist made "x" amount from the $20 that was originally charged. Let's call it $3. That CD is then sold by the original purchaser to a used CD place for $5 cash. Already that person made more than the artist did off that one CD. The Used place sells it for $13 (since it's a new release). They made $10 more than the artist did, so he's already missing out on $12 that others made from his work (except, yes, the initial person is actually down $15 and the shop only really made $8 from the sale so let's use that figure as the amount the artist is "missing"). Lets say over the course of the week that same CD is bought and sold 20 more times. The shop has then made ($8 x 20 =) $160 off of that artist's work and beyond the initial $3 he made from the CD when it was new he hasn't gotten a dime of it! The humanity! Yet it's legal! And what if a "fan" ONLY buys CDs used? What kind of thieving bastard is THAT?!

Bah. It's all smoke and mirrors. Ultimately, the only value there is to anything beyond what is needed to survive is what people are willing to pay for it.

The fact that file sharing has taken off like wild fire, to me, proves less that world is full of filthy thieves and more that people aren't happy paying so much money for variable sound on a platter. Instead of spending so much time and money trying to shove the evil back into P2Pandora's Box it would be better spent looking at the current system of distribution and sales, what people don't like about it, what the new system can offer, why it's more appealing and how to utilize it to make things marketable for the artists. Apple did that with the iTunes music store and made some serious bank for themselves in the process. It's down to being the rock or the stream. The rock will stand firm, resolute, inflexible but the stream will win in the end by both skirting around the rock and by eroding it.

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P2P = "peer to peer" and I used it as a fast way of saying "filesharing", for those of you who might be my readers that aren't in the "know" as it were. I don't know who you are, but you might be there and I didn't want you to be in the dark. And, unlike saying "WWW" in the place of "world wide web" it is actually one syllable faster to say out loud and eight characters faster to write. Knowledge is power!

Friday, May 06, 2005

A sample of bad logo design... and a teenie story! Weeee!

We work up the hill from an outpatient mental facility. This is a place that doesn't, in itself, store the crazies. This is where I would assume the unrestrained and not-so-dangerous can go for some coffee, donuts, meds and a friendly person to talk to. This makes for some interesting drives up the hill some mornings.

One morning there was a bit of a mist about on my drive in and there were around eight of them, stumbling their way up to the mini mental munchie mall. It's a pretty steep hill. They were scattered about the road singly or in groups of two since there isn't much of a sidewalk and they were crazy anyway, what's a little jaywalking? They were ignoring the cars that were weaving among them except for one of the trailing women who was cussing out anything that entered her field of vision. It was like something out of a zombie flick. All it was missing was a soundtrack by Goblin.

Anyway, the facility has a logo that has bothered me for years. To me it just doesn't seem to say "Mental Health." The other day when Heather and I were returning from lunch I pointed to it and said:



She found it quite amusing, but I think a lot of the humor is in the delivery.

With a slight modification to the logo it can be turned into:



Or, the always fun:



I wonder... if I had shirts made up of that last one and worked out a deal with the perpetual van-of-crap squatter market that is at the bottom of the hill to sell them for me, how long do you think it would take before I could retire on the profits? Yeah. Probably way too long. And I would have to constantly be watching over my shoulder for mental health copyright assassins. It's not worth it.

There's another dumb logo design near here – at least one – but I can't find it online so it'll have to wait until I start carrying around my camera again.

Have a great weekend everyone.

CliparToon #56: Coming soon to a chimney near you!

They have the technology. They will build him. Once he has proven his worth by squishing a dozen or so file sharers they will build thousands more to combat the ever growing filth that is the "P2P menace." Sharing music is unholy! It's against God's will! Why, if you were allowed to listen to music without having paid for it... that would be... RADIO!

You can probably guess which side of the fence I'm on when it comes to copying and sharing music. I'm just hoping that the old guys in the black robes driving the beemers and waving the gavels about don't decide to cave in to the stupidity and greed and top that fence with barbed wire.

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with piracy. Not in the least. But here is my vision of piracy: Rip an entire CD, burn it to a new, blank CD and then resell it for a profit. That is piracy. Those are the people that the frickin' RIAA need to be targeting. The ones who are MAKING MONEY from music that isn't theirs. Not Joe Blow college kid that ripped Beck's latest CD for his own personal enjoyment.

The problem is, the really, REALLY successful pirates, the ones making and selling thousands of CDs worth of stolen music, aren't in this country and aren't subject to American law enforcement. So what to do? I know! Let's target are own citizens! Assholes.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

PoE Project #8



This drawing has the MOST background scenery that I've ever added to a drawing of mine. Ever. Much like hands and feet I have a bit of trouble drawing backgrounds. All in all though, I think it turned out "okay."

Something else of significance occurred after the creation of this drawing! Something simply WONDERFUL! Was I offered a ton of money to do this for a living?! Ha-ha-ha. No. Read on!

When I do the screen captures of the PoE blurb for each site I have to put the url somewhere so that later, when I've made the cartoon I can link it to the original site.

The way I was doing this was I would pull the link to my desktop, copy its name and paste it in the PDF capture's "comments" section. That was working wonderfully. Up until today. Today I did upgrades to my OS and firmware. When I went in to look for the link in the comments it was empty. I thought to myself, "nononononooooo..." and then checked three other captures. They are all empty of comments. I don't have the original links any more. None of them.

This one was fortunately recent enough that I could track down the link through the "Past 7 days", but most of the rest of them were grabs from hitting the "random site" button. There may be a way that I can find the other ones by looking through the archive categories at PoE. I hope so.

One good thing to come from it though is I've figured out a MUCH better way of doing it that will keep everything organized as well. Learning is fun!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

URL ABC's

Found at Defective Yeti.

Instructions found at DY:

How to find your URL ABCs: Type the letter 'a' into your location bar, copy the first URL that your browser autosuggests as a completion, and paste it into the corresponding field below. Repeat for letters 'b' through 'z'. You may add a comments as well, but they are not required. You can skip a letter if you'd like, or you can supply a comment for a letter even if you omit its URLs (to explain that nothing came up for that particular letter, for instance). When you are done, click 'Format My URL ABCs' and this script will return the HTML code you can paste in the comments of the URL ABCs post , use on your own site, or print it out and enclose it with your next Kelly Osbourne fan letter. Whatever.

My sad list:

And there you go. Give it a shot for yourself.

PoE Project #7



Well? Are you, punk?

Isn't it sad? I'm sort of an illustrator and I work in the automotive field, but I can't draw a car to save my life. If I was using some sort of source material I could probably do better, but since I was going from memory of the Hummer that blew past me yesterday morning it didn't go so well. I also shouldn't have tried drawing it in position. Since it was so close to the bottom of the "page" it wound up getting a bit scrunched. It's a low-rider Hummer. And that poor, poor sinner. No ears, no hair and no salvation because he forgot to wear his "I hate gays" lapel pin. What a bummer.

Arrrrgh.... I just realized I should have made the sky an orange/red.. thing so it would look more "End of the Worldsie". As it is it looks like a nice, pleasantly clear day for Heavenly strato-bodysurfing. Where's the fun in that? I could change it, but I won't.

I imagine this Rapture Ready site is still around since it was only a few months ago and unless I've been paying even less attention to the world around me than usual, the Rapture hasn't yet occurred. Still, I haven't visited. If you would like to, click the pic.

Happy Tuesday all.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Spamitty-spam-spam

It's been ages since I've received spam that has even the slightest potential for mockery. Don't get me wrong, I'm still getting spam, but it's all unimaginative and boring. They better pick up the quality or they're going to be replaced, mark my words.

So. Here's one I just got, hot off the internet. It's not the best but it'll have to do in this, my spam famine (my comments in red, of course):

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From: 1ira@1dayresumes.com
Subject: Achieve full erection!
"Are you an optimist or a pessimist when it comes to your erection? Do you look downward halfway through the 'process' and think 'My erection is half full,' or 'My erection is pitiful.'? Well, thanks to SCIENCE! you don't need to ever think again and you are guarantied bountiful and fearsome erections at any time of the day or night! Oh bless the almighty SCIENCE!"
Date: May 2, 2005 1:04:01 PM MDT
To: Collin

Excellent erection
Why, thank you. I've been growing it for years. One day I hope it will win me a ribbon at the fair!
Prolonged effect
Yes, it does tend to sear itself into the back of one's eyeballs.
No prescription required
I should certainly hope not! Christ, if I had to get a prescription every time I was in dire need of an erection... Well, let's just say the co-pay would be brutal.

2 popular medicines:
CIALIS - http://www.pills-of-love.com/sv/
VIAGRA - http://www.pills-of-love.com/vt/

not to mention the not as popular, but less expensive:
POISON IVY - http://www.pills-of-love.com/owie/
SMACKING IT AROUND A BIT - http://www.pills-of-love.com/seriously-ow-man-stop-already/

Discreet packaging
I've always felt that these drugs should be packaged with a variety of porn and coupons for 10% off your next purchase at Dildo-Rama, and be delivered by someone really hot and willing to ensure your customer satisfaction. I guess that's why I'm not in marketing.

To be taken out, go here
Are you threatening me? If you are prepare to be smacked down by my excellent and effective erection of DOOM! Courtesy of SCIENCE!

Updated to make it non-image-dependent.

CliaprToon#54: What am I? "Zooooom-swish-stabstabstab-zooom!"

The son of a Republican! Hahaha. I kid. A little "political humor" there from a person who's not really that good at "political humor" I know not all Republicans and their spawn are pure evil* any more than all Democrats hug trees**, but for some reason, when I first saw this clipart (the kid's text was already there) it made me think to myself, "I'll bet that kid grew up to run Enron." And the way his dad is dressed up all nice in a suit – no hippy, that one – and smiling in a smug paternal way. Yep. "You've been made head of Enron? That's my boy! Now go suck the money out of some widows!" Or am I just bitter and disillusioned?

Remember last week when I said I would try to do three or so toons a week? Apparently that didn't happen. I'm lowering my expectations to closer match reality and will now do at least one a week. Go me!

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* Take Derek for example. He's, tops, 73% evil. He used to be pure evil, but much like plutonium loses its radioactivity, he's lost some evil over time. It's leached out into his surroundings, as it were. You should see his desk. And his chair. Evil. A low, close to the floor evil.

** I may have hugged a tree once, but I was VERY young and I didn't inhale.
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."