Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A little something for you aspiring comic artists that swarm my site...

...ha-ha... via this boing boing post.

Part 1: Step-by-Step process by Kazu Kibuishi

Part 2: The AppleGeeks way

Part 3: The Making of Amar Chitra Katha


Okay, it's partly here for you, but mostly for me. I'm considering doing a page or two for the Global Comic Jam that Jared is involved in. Derek has indicated an interest as well. If I decide to do it I'll certainly let you all know.

Illustration Friday: 2006.01.27 - Glamour


Click for biggification.


Is it glamorous?

As you can see, I chickened out and played it "cute".

Actually, the other idea I had just didn't work out.

Really.

I'm not just saying that.

It bombed.

It bombed as bad as Paris Hilton in anything, including 'House of Wax' and night vision blow job films.

Okay, it wasn't that bad.

But it wasn't good.

That happens sometimes.

Perhaps the next theme will allow me to wallow in my darker self.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Why do you cross your fingers for luck AND when you tell a lie?

If someone asks you to cross your fingers for them, and you do just that with both hands because you are REALLY rooting for them while saying, "I hope you get it!" – whatever "it" is – how is the finger fairy supposed to know that you aren't really lying?

Does it matter which fingers you cross?

Do thumbs count as fingers for crossing purposes?

Can you cross your thumb and your pinky?

I wouldn't though.

That's probably a gang sign somewhere that will be read as "Yo' mama iz a skizzank!" and get you shot.

Do the fingers have to be on the same hand?

Can you cross the index fingers of both hands?

If you do will it give you the benefits of luck, the ability to lie with impunity AND the minimal tool necessary to keep away vampires?

What if you cross both of your thumbs and flap your fingers?

Will that get you anything other than started at and possibly locked away?

I'm really hoping it will get me a duck.

But I could be lying.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I really need to watch my money.

Not so much how I spend it – although that might be a good idea as well – but the actual money itself, on those rare occasions when I'm using cash rather than my debit card. And lately that's mighty rare.

This past week, however, I had a bit'o cash that I was using for breakfasts, lunches and occasionally dinners and tips. I'd started the week with $100 and by Friday I was down to $2. Yeah, I really need to watch how I spend it.

Heather and I went to 7-11 Friday night to pick up a 2 liter of Diet Pepsi which cost $1.89. I gave the cashier my last two bills and she proceeded to examine them as though I were up to something sneaky. Then a look came over her face reminiscent of the face that I wold have when I changed my infant son's diaper.

I thought to myself, "Oh great. I didn't even glance at the bills. I'll bet someone drew a dick on one of them or something."

She finished her scrutinizing and then said to me, "I can't accept this," and handed the bill back to me.

I took it and looked the face over to see what was wrong. At first it seemed just fine, but then I twigged to what was fishy. It wasn't a dollar bill. It was this (minus the writing I added to avoid jail time – click for bigger):



A Silver Certificate from 1957! I was shocked! I have no idea when it was given to me as change, but man I was tickled! I've never been so glad to have had a diligent counter clerk before in my life! That bill had been circulating for 49 years! I think it's the oldest paper money that I've ever had in my possession. Sure, it probably sat around for awhile during those 49 years, but still!

Here's the other bill so you can compare the faces without cracking your own wallet (same stuff applies on the clicky and jail avoidance):



I told the cashier that it was fine and I would pay for the soda with my debit card. She was still looking at me like I was trying to pull a fast one. Yeah lady, counterfeiting 'ones' is the fast track to financial freedom and acceptance within the Mob.

I have no idea if the bill is worth more than a dollar, or worth even a dollar – it does still state that it "is legal tender for all debts, public and private" – but that doesn't really matter to me. I'll be happy to hold on to it.

Also, of course, Wikipedia has an entry about Silver Certificates here. It's an interesting read.

Well, this is good news.

Boing Boing: Senators figure out the Broadcast Flag, curse it as an abomination!

Good news indeed.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Freak-out Friday

So. The end of another week full of stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. So much stuff that my head has grown all puffy. Noggin chock full'o stuff. What stuff? you ask. Oh. You know. "Stuff".

Probably the most mind-heavy thing to happen this week was the outing of my blog here at work on Monday. All I can say is, "oops". Well, that and before you fire me read this post. It was as true then as it is now. So far the reaction from my superiors has been favorable, but I've written many things over the past two years. Some of it is mighty weird by "normal" standards. This has me all kinds of freaked out. Enough of that topic. It's making my head dizzy and my stomach hurt.

On a lighter note, this week's IF topic is "Glamour". That ought to be a challenge. I'm sure I'll come up with something this weekend. I already have a seedling of an idea. The decision is weather to play it "cute" or "disconcerting". Hmmm. Flip-a-coin time.

As I was taking a trip down memory lane the other day – also known as "my archives" to cement in my mind just how screwed I might be – I found something that I did on the site over a year ago that was fun. At least it was fun for me. I think it's time I did it again.

This was the way it played out the first time around:

Answering Questions 1

Answering Questions 2


So, this weekend if you would like to participate, please leave a comment with questions either regarding me or whatever you might like to hear my opinion on and I will provide an answer of some sort next week. Very likely the "smart-assed" sort.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Read this:

Burnoff: Part 1 - The Bad Guys Win Really, do. The comments as well.

Zombieeeeeestuff.

Okay, so OBVIOUSLY this would be of interest to me How to create a freakish zombie in 11 easy steps (Photoshop tutorial). All in all an entertaining lesson. I may give it a shot with one of my own photos.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happy Birthday To You!

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear, sweet, love-of-my-life Heather! Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuu!



And many morrrrrrrre!

Shhhhhh!

In October of 2004, Mark Maynard suggested that it would be cool if I turned one of my stories at the time into a comic for his ink & paper 'zine, 'Crimewave USA'. I said, "Surrrre. No problem!"

And that was pretty much that until I received a package from Mark a few weeks ago that contained a nicely assembled book of some of the comics that he had done for an Ann Arbor newspaper and a pleasant "Happy New Year" card that also said, "So, how about that comic you said you would do for Crimewave?"

My mind raced for a second upon reading it for two reasons: First, it was kinda implied that he was holding off publication of the 'zine on account of me. Second, "When the hell did I write that story?"

That's right. I had an entire year and two months to get the comic done, and I hadn't even started it. Didn't even know where in my archives it was. Hell, to be honest, until he mentioned it, I'd forgotten about it entirely. It's very obvious that I don't work well without some kind of concrete deadline.

So I emailed him, asking what the status of things were and when he would need it by. On January 10th he wrote back and said, "OK you have two weeks. Can you fit it in one 8.5 x 11 page, or do you need more?"

I replied that I should be able to fit it on a single page, but at the back of my mind I was thinking, "uh oh..." I don't think the entire text of the original story would have fit on a single 8.5"x11" page at 9 pt. type and 9 pt. leading, much less drawings along with it.

That meant rewriting.

Plus I didn't know what style to do it in. Should I go the tried and true "Half-Assed Comics" route? Should I do something with the cut paper look I've been working on? A bit of both? Something else entirely? Is that a tumor throbbing behind my eye? So, naturally, I did what I always tend to do when I feel overwhelmed. I put it in the back of my mind and hoped it would be sorted out by pixies.

Stupid pixies.

So I spent all last weekend, the final weekend of my deadline, stressing about it, mostly in my head. For a good chunk of the weekend I couldn't work on it because of other engagements that couldn't be postponed. When I found myself with a tinch of time I couldn't kick start the drawing bits of my brain. I WAS however able to re-write the story to a size that should fit depending on the style I used.

Long story short (HAHA! AS IF!) two late nights later I managed to finish it. Right at the squeaky edge of the 14 day deadline. As of this moment I still haven't heard back from Mark, although I did send the files off to him. Overall I think it turned out pretty good. I had an email waiting from Mark this morning and he said he loved it and it will definitely be in the next issue.

Now, of course I can't show you the full comic. That would be unfair to Mark. I'll show a piece, however – a tiny piece – and if you would like to see the rest I encourage you to buy the next copy of 'Crimewave USA' once it is printed. After it's printed I'll show another teaser piece and provide a link to the where you can order it.

Here you go:



Does that leave you wanting more, or what?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Phrases heard as an artist-for-hire and the real meaning behind them.

I borrowed* this list from a post at the Illustration Friday forum by a member named "toonman". It amused me. May it amuse you.

"It's a charity job" - everyone gets paid except you.

"It will give you exposure"
- so does selling matches in the snow.

"You'll get your value back on the next jobs"
- but not with us, we won't hire you again.

"It's only for the web"
- where it will stand for years and be downloaded by millions of people.

"It's for educational purposes"
- we are gonna teach you a lesson.

"It's great! But can you make some changes?"
- the director's niece made a doodle and he wants it to look just like it.

"We are not a commercial publication"
- we sell 40,000 a week and still don't want to pay the talents.

"Just do something quick"
- but if it doesn't look awesome you'll get bashed.

"Do something simple"
- any idiot can do it, that's why we choose you.

"I can't pay much"
- but i don't want it to look cheap.

"We will be in touch"
- we found a homeless guy willing to do it for a bottle of wine.

"Can you start ASAP?"
- i had it on my desk for weeks, but now it's your problem.

"Because it's for an inside publication only, will it be cheaper?"
- just forgot to mention the company is a multinational with more than 100,000 employees.

"Don't spend much time on it" - work all night and charge me half an hour.

"This could mean more jobs in our company" - if you like underpaid toilet cleaning.

"I'd like to send you a copy as a token of our gratitude" - to use as a paperweight for all those unpaid bills.

"Due to crisis, we won't be able to continue using your work" - it was that or downgrade my company car.

"Can you live off that?" - shouldn't you be starving and homeless?

"The check is in the mail" - virtually...

- - -
* Yeah, yeah, okay. Fine. I STOLE this list, but at least I'm attributing the victim... er... "donor". And I made a few cosmetic changes.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A boing-boing kinda Monday

This is just links to stories that appeared on Boing Boing over the past weekend that I found exceptionally interesting. If you are already a regular visitor of Boing Boing and have already seen all of these stories and are feeling a bit gypped by my Monday linkiness, I'll toss a short story at the end. If the links are everything you hoped for you are welcome to skip the story.

Broadcast Flag is back, this time it covers iPods and PSPs, too
Nonprofit alternative to CDDB gets its first deal
David Byrne: boycott DRM
Cozy blanket with sleeves: the Slanket
Maker of Zicam cold cure agrees to pay $12 million to settle class action
Tom Judd's Everyday book of drawings
Cops organize videogame competitions against troublesome kids

Okay, story... story... hmmm. Here's one that once again demonstrates my odd brain.

Ages ago, when I was a teenager (somewhere twixt 16 and 18) I had a best friend by the name of Jeremy Robinson. I only had a motorcycle for transportation, so whenever we wanted to go anywhere in "comfort" we had to ride in his monstrous GMC Jimmy. This was an SUV before there were SUVs. It was freaking huge. A tank. NOT a chick magnet.

Now, Jeremy liked to drive a bit fast. On one occasion, we were flying down Platte Ave. – a road he liked to take fast when he had a passenger because of the dips on the passenger side caused by the crossing streets and the fact that he had no working seatbelts (makes head go bonk-a-bonk) – and I was curious about just how fast we were going. So I looked at my watch. As if it would tell me. I made the mistake of letting him know what I'd just done. He thought that was the funniest thing in the world. Furthermore, it happened at least two more times and each time it was reflex action. I didn't know why I was doing it, but in my mind I fully expected to be able to see how fast I was traveling on my watch.

With the technology we now have, GPS and what not, it wouldn't surprise me if that turns into a feature for a watch or other portable device. It'll let you know how fast you are going. Wait and see.

What brought all this back from the depths of my memory was something that happened a few months back. I wanted to write about it then, but kept forgetting. Well, no more buddy!

Here's what it was: I was driving down 8th Street, returning from lunch, and there was a woman driving along in front of me wrapped in a cloud of total oblivion. She was just going along, doo-dee-doo, crossing the dividing line, slowing down for no apparent reason, putting on her make-up, tossing clowns from her sunroof, etc.

When I was finally able to get around her, I looked over at her because I WANTED TO SEE WHAT COLOR OF STUPID SHE WAS! Somehow, in my loopy noggin, I expected her to be glowing a specific color of stupid, likely somewhere high up on the chart. Don't ask me what the colors are; it didn't work. But I was expecting it to, in much the same way that I was expecting to see how fast Jeremy was driving in my watch. And now my hope is, at some point down the road, we will have the technology to visually gage the stupidity levels of the people around us. If that day comes I'm betting it will be a scary, yet colorful day.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Illustration Friday: "Cats"

This is the first illustration I've made for this Friday's topic. I'm also considering another "cut paper" design or two, as well as possibly finishing the sketch I started of the kitten in the sandal.

Here you go, and as always, comments are appreciated (click for full size):

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Yet more art poo

Messing around a bit more with the "cut paper" look in Photoshop. This time from a photograph of a car.

Here's the photo:



And here's the result of my experimenting (click for full size*):


*The full size might not actually load up. It's showing up for me as a broken link. No idea why. It says there are errors, but I haven't done anything differently. If it stays that way I'll see if I can fix it later.

It the silly things that'll get you. I couldn't understand why the smaller sizes would display in flickr, but the original image wouldn't. flickr said there were errors with the image. The answer was one I knew, but it took me a while to realize what it was. Here's the problem: On the Windows operating system, a JPG cannot be CMYK. I forgot that I'd been working on the original image in CMYK and didn't convert it to RGB before uploading it. Apparently, when flickr resizes the image you've uploaded they automatically convert it. They just didn't bother to tell me what was wrong with the original. Anyhow, it's all sorted out now and the clickie-for-biggie works.

And look at that. The Illustration Friday word of the week is "Cats". Hmmm. I have a few ideas. I may post multiple pics this time. Until then I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

That OTHER drawing thing that I started awhile ago.

You remember. Way back when. I had asked for monster drawing submissions that I would redraw in my own style. I started with Derek's axeman, then I did Heather's alien creature until the fur drove me off. Then I said I would be working on Jared's interesting drawing that he sent to me on December 12th.

Well, after a few starts and stops, it's finally finished, a bit over a month later. The next one I'll do will probably be in a different style, as this one is very time consuming and mentally draining.

So, without further babble, I present to you Jared von Hindman's drawing "Aggressive Genital Display":



And my version of it (click for bigger):



Next up – if I do it – will be a re-drawing of one of my, as of this very day, 6-year-old daughter's drawings.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How's this for lame?

Rather than create a new post, I've caught up on replying to all the comments for the posts on this page. I do have something in mind involving a local church and their flagpole, but it's going to have to wait for another day. Sorry.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Illustration Friday: "E is for..."

I'm keeping with the "cut paper" look again for this one. I want to develop that style a bit more. I'm considering working with Heather on rewriting and illustrating a public domain fairy tale in this style and posting it a page at a time online. That's a bit down the road though, after a few other projects that I'm trying to finish. In the meantime, here's my take on this week's Illustration Friday theme. As always, comments are appreciated:


Click it for the large version.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pop the hood on that sucker

Okay, since this is the last day for the Illustration Friday word of "Sea", and I posted my picture on the first day, and I received a few comments from people who liked the look of the piece, I figured I would take a few minutes and break the picture down so you can see how it was built. Like a peek under the hood for the art curious. I'm only posting a few of the images here because there are 67 of them total and that would be just silly. If you would like to see the entire series, click on any of the images and you'll be taken to the flickr photo set, or click here. If you choose to view it as a slide show, I recommend setting the speed for 1 second.

This isn't so much a step-by-step as to how I made it, but rather layer-by-layer from the bottom up.











And there you have it. I probably won't be doing the next IF word until the early part of next week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Trip In to Work

On the way in to work I usually take I-25 South and hop off at Bijou. There's a wee little hotel there that is available for conventions and they usually seem to host things like "Three Toed Midgets Anonymous" and "Drunks Without Cars".

To give you an idea of the neighborhood they have a Denny's across the street to the south, a fenced off, out-of-business gas station to the east and a plasma donation center to the west. Suffice it to say, not the top resting spot in the Springs. They used to be called the 'Le Baron'; I can never remember what they are called now. It's just as well. Less chance of being sued for slander.

This is also the area where I saw a drug deal go down while I was at the 7-11 – next to the Denny's – and got heavily stared at by the dealer's accomplice who was sitting behind the wheel of their Lincoln Town Car.

So. Guess who's coming to convene this week? C'mon. Guess.

Well, if the marquee is to be trusted, it's the CSI. I almost can't think of a better spot in Colorado Springs for a passel of crime scene investigators to gather than that. Heck, they might trip over a few bodies just trying to get in the door. Kind of a working vacation, I'm thinking. At least it should give them plenty to talk about between seminars.

CSI-1: "Well, you can tell that he was mugged from behind and then stabbed repeatedly in the kidney with an ice pick."

CSI-2: "Are you daft?! It was obviously a ball point pen. See? There's blue ink lines leading into each of the holes. Idiot."

Further up the road, a bit beyond the tattoo parlor where my brother got his tat, I saw a guy that caused me to do a double take. It also brought a song to mind that I've decided to share. Lucky you.

You look like a greaseball
Walk like a greaseball
Talk like a greaseball
But I got wise
You’re a Bee-Gee in disguise
Oh yes you are
A Bee-Gee in disguise.

Weird Al watch out.

And that should just about do it for today's post, unless something momentous happens. The rest of the week may be post-less since I'll be taking the next two days off to spend taking care of my kids while my ex goes in to the hospital to find out if she's going to be able to get by with an angioplasty or if she's going to require a heart transplant. Have a great week everyone!

Minor addition...

I got my haircut on the 2nd. Really cut. It's damned short. My beard is longer. There's probably more hair in a random hippy's armpit than there is on top of my head. So, today someone who hasn't been around for awhile sees me and says, "Collin. You cut your hair." It was stated in such a way that I felt it should be news to me or something. As if, perhaps, I'd done it in my sleep and just hadn't realized it yet. I had a nearly overwhelming sensation that I was supposed to quickly reach up to my head with both hands and feel around while a look of horror spreads across my face and then I was to run off screaming like a girl. But, because of who it was and who I am I just said, "Yep!" and kept walking.

Even more baffling is when people form it as a question. "Did you cut your hair?" Okay. Let's see... on Friday I looked like an English sheep dog on two legs. Today you can see my eyes. By Jove, I believe I did! Well done Watson, here's a biscuit.

And I realize that my observations are nothing new. I'm reasonably certain that George Carlin and a host of other comedians have talked about the tendency of people to state the obvious before. But it's still amazing when it happens.

Here's a tip to everyone who comes across someone who has obviously cut their hair and you find yourself starting to ask them if it was really cut or tell them it was as if they didn't know. Instead say, "Hey! Your hair looks nice!" even if it doesn't. ESPECIALLY if it doesn't, because odds are they have been worrying about it all morning and a little false assurance goes a long way. Do NOT say, "Did you lose a fight with a lawnmower?" or something equally pithy because it's not funny. It makes you look like an ass, and, if there's a God, it'll get you kicked soundly in the fork.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"Getting a leg up on Angelina Jolie"

or "There's Nothing New Under the Sun"

The other weekend – no, not that one, the OTHER one – Heather and I stopped by the ultra-depressing Media Play "Going Out of Business" sale. I took the opportunity to expand my DVD library a tinch. Among the titles I picked up were 'The Ref', a movie I've enjoyed for years, and 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith', a movie that was also surprisingly fun that came out last year.

I noticed something about the cover art. See if you can catch it.

Here's the considerably older 'The Ref':



And here's 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith':



Notice anything... mmmmm... derivative? No? Are you sure? How about now?



Yeah. It's probably just me. Too much stress must be causing me to see things. Just in case you would like a closer look at the last one, you can click on it for the bigger version. Have a great Tuesday everyone.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Probably the best $7.50 I've spent in a while

Over the weekend I found this site: OTRFTP Server.com. They have "over 32,000 old time radio shows and counting". I don't know how many of you might be interested in radio shows from the 30s, 40s & 50s, but I was terribly interested.

Back when I was a wee tot, one Christmas I received a record player* and three albums of "Old Time Radio Shows". They were Blondie, Dick Powell as Richard Diamond, and Inner Sanctum Mysteries.

Blondie was okay, but I loved the Richard Diamond and Inner Sanctum albums. The episodes on Richard Diamond were 'The Stick Pin Caper' and 'Juice Bar'. Inner Sanctum had 'Til Death Do Us Part'. I have no idea how many times I listened to those two albums and in my entire 37 years those were the only episodes of either of those shows that I'd ever heard.

Until this weekend.

I shelled out the $7.50 to buy one credit which allowed me to download 1 GB worth of old radio shows (approximately 150 shows) solely because they had 90 episodes of Inner Sanctum and 52 episodes of Richard Diamond available. I grabbed them all, much to my son's dismay because he wanted to play "Command & Conquer: Generals" on my computer and usually I don't do much with it during the weekend. Instead I subjected him to Old Time Radio. He's probably better for it.

After I got them all downloaded I dropped them into iTunes and sorted them out so their names were fixed, etc. I found that there were some files that were named slightly different but were actually the same program. Irritating. Still, it gives my 'collector genes' something to play with for awhile.

So far the quality is pretty decent, considering the age of the recordings. The episodes of Richard Diamond – written by Pink Panther creator, Blake Edwards – range from 1949 to 1953 and the Inner Sanctum's episodes range from 1941 to 1954. Of the two, the Richard Diamond episodes sound consistently better, but to be fair I've only listened to three of the Inner Sanctums and four of the Richard Diamonds. I'm hoping to find some programs "out there" that will allow me to tweak the sound quality a bit and hopefully improve the ones that aren't so good.

If you are interested in giving this place a shot, and are on a Macintosh, I highly recommend the donation-ware FTP program Cyberduck. If you are on a Windows PC... um... I'm sure there are ways for you too.

Also, if you have any suggestions of old radio shows that you liked, let me know.

---
* To you youngsters out there, a "record player" was similar to a CD player only it used needles and heroin to make the music happen. We also had to wind our watches back then or time would stop. You punks have it so easy now.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Illustration Friday: "Sea"



Derek was saying that he tends to get a large amount of visitors after posting his Illustration Friday" drawings, and it turns out that he posts his at the tail end of the week, so I decided to give this one its own post rather than appending it to the previous post. I don't want Ray to take more of a hit than expected.

For my first attempt, not too bad. I guess. I thought that the word that I would be doing was "flavor". It turns out that word expired on Thursday. Surprise! Still, considering I didn't have a concrete idea when I started I think it turned out well.

I built it in Photoshop. I wanted to get a 'cut paper' feel on this one. You can click on it to see a larger version. What do you think?

Thanks Justin C.!

This was awesome. It led me here. Based on that and the other three videos at that site AND the downloadable MP3s, I broke down and ordered this and this. Now THAT is an excellent example of how to use MP3s to your marketing advantage. The first CD alone – Hip to the Javabean – has 39 bonus MP3s which include Demon Lemon's first two CDs! For $11.50! A few dollars less than what Coldplay's newest album costs without the crippling DRM. This is likely to be the best $23 I've spent on music in quite some time. You should give them a listen and watch all of the videos. It's great stuff!

Also great: Derek and Heather's uncle Ray has offered me a wee spot on the internet from which to link to those Sand videos I made. Again, I'll remind you that they are large files and may not be worth the time you spend to download them, depending on just how hard you are to entertain. Here are the links:

Sand 1
Sand 2
Sand 3
Sand 4


So there you go. As an extra bonus they can all be viewed without an annoying trip through pop-up-and-under Hell. I told him that if it gets to be too much of a drain on his bandwidth to take them down as needed. Not that I expect that will be much of a problem.

And last: I will finally have something for Illustration Friday! Just... not yet. When I finally have it done I'll add it to this post I'll put it in its own post. If Saturday rolls around and you still don't see something it either means you need to refresh the page, or that I'm a lying bastard.

Have a fantabulous weekend one and all!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Advertising Jesus in Black & White

Deconstruction time.

I found a card that was intended to change my life and snatch my heathen soul from the snarfing jaws of Satan himself. Ooo. So close. But they missed by "that" much.

Here's the front of the card:



On first glance I thought this card was selling funeral services. It wasn't until I read the last line and flipped it over that I found its "true" goal. Either way, I knew I was going to post it. On with the deconstruction.

I don't have shoestrings. I usually wear biker boots with zippers. Something tells me that it wouldn't read as well if it said "YOU may zip your zippers in the morning, but the UNDERTAKER may unzip them before night." Oh Undertaker, you vixen! At least buy me a drink first!

"ARE YOU READY to meet your MAKER?" What? With my zippers down? Well. Okay. He's not going to be impressed. "37 years on earth and look at him. Tsk."

The other pair of footwear I have, the dressier shoes, are slip-ons. No zippers or strings. So I can already tell this card doesn't "really" apply to me.

Not to mention – as I mention – anyone who works nights. They untie their shoestrings in the morning. Does that mean the UNDERTAKER may tie them before night? And, once he has tied them up nice and neat, when he realizes what he's done would he smack his head and say, "Dammit! I did it again! *grumble*grumble*"

Oo! Oooo! What if you're a night shift worker and instead of untying your shoes you just kick them off like I used to do when I worked nights and one of them rolls under the bed and you figure you'll get it later because, damn, you're tired and you jump on your bed – forgetting that you left your entire knife collection (even the kitchen knives) out on your bed because you were going to shine them up when you got off work – and BAM you're dead, but when the coroner comes to collect your body they can only find the one shoe – not thinking to look under the bed – so they just toss it in the bag with you, haul you to the UNDERTAKER, he opens the bag, looks inside, sees the lone shoe and that it's already tied... NOW WHAT?! Here's this dead guy with one lone shoe, already tied but not on his foot! Does he untie the shoe, even though it is footless, for much the same reason that a person with OCD will straighten the throw pillows on someone else's couch? Does he pretend he's the Prince in Cinderella and try to slip it back on the body? "It fits! It fits! There's gonna be a wedding!" *do-a-little-dance*

And what about the other foot?

"YOU may kick your shoes off in the morning, but the UNDERTAKER may only have one shoe to untie, put on your foot, retie and then leave your other foot covered with either your sock or an intern's shoe before night."

And let's not forget "YOU may tie your shoestrings in the morning, only to get hit by a downtown bus at lunchtime and be knocked clean out of your shoes which are then stolen by a homeless person, but by night all the UNDERTAKER can do is shake his head because, dammit, he's not running a Foot Locker and the intern is down to one shoe!"

At this point I've seen the word UNDERTAKER too much. Without doing any research to find an answer, I find myself wondering a few (more) things. Why underTAKER? What do they take? Apart from your fluids, your photograph, whatever was left in your pockets and, in hopefully very rare cases, your after-death cherry? Okay, fine, they do a fair amount of taking, but in the name it's tied to the word "under". So unless it's talking about underwear, I must assume it applies to the assigned duties of the job, i.e. putting bodies underground. So, again, why "taker"? It should be underputter. Or putterunder. Putterthere? But it's not. I'm sure there's a reason, but man I'm so lazy right now.

Also, do they still refer to themselves as "undertakers"? I thought that name had kinda dropped out of usage. Don't they more commonly refer to themselves as "morticians"? Personally, I want to start calling them "the dude that owns the shovel and box" but that's just me.

On to the graphic. Nothing says UNDERTAKER like a hearse, with the exception of that particular organization of letters. It's what made me think, more than anything else, that this was a card for funeral services. But then I read it – just the front – and I thought to myself, "Huh. By the time you're in the hearse, don't they have your shoes back on? Wouldn't a better graphic, a more fitting graphic, be a untied shoe?" Then, once I found out the card was really about Jesus, I figured a nail and pliers would do.



I'm considering instructing my son to screen my calls that way, "Who's calling. Look, I don't care how important you say it is, unless you tell me who you are you won't be getting through. 'No man speaketh unto the father, but by me.' NOBODY ELSE CAN HELP YOU." But, then again I can't even get him to keep his room clean, much less speak in bold-italic caps.

I really have nothing to add to the two quotes that follow, but the "WHAT YOU MUST DO:" portion.. yeah.

Four of the five steps are from the same portion of The Bible. Romans. The one that was pulled in from elsewhere is REPENT. It almost makes it feel like an afterthought. "Let's see... we have Admit, Believe, and Ask twice... something seems to be missing. Hmmm." flip-flip-flip "Hey! How about Repent? That should fit in there somewhere. It'll keep the Catholics happy." Seems to me, the original recipe for Salvation Cake didn't call for Repent. It was in an entirely different recipe. Oh sure, it looks good, adds a bit more flavor, but is it really necessary? Not according to Romans.

And finally, "Isn't it time for Jesus?" made me think of the "It's Miller Time!" commercials, which in turn led me to think of a commercial where a guy gets home from a grueling day at work, tosses his jacket and briefcase aside as he walks to the kitchen, throws his tie toward the bedroom and steps out of his pants, and when he opens his fridge out pops Jesus as we hear a deep voice boom out, "It's Jesus time!". Then we get a quick clip montage of Jesus and the guy hanging out, doing tequila shooters, starting a bar fight and trolling for hookers to "save".

And you thought I was kidding about that whole "jaws of Satan" bit.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Okay.

I've disabled the links to the movies since, according to Derek, the hosting service I tried out is "shit". There was another one that I tried first and it was even more "shit". So. If I ever get a workaround set up I'll repost them. Not that you are missing anything fantastic. Unless – and possibly "even if" – you have a fast connection they probably aren't worth the time to download. Spielberg I'm not.

Here's a thought I'm having for a "contest" of sorts. Or at least the prize portion of a, as yet, unformed contest.

I used to be HUGE into VHS. Hah. I thought I was huge into it. Now I'm SUPER HUGE into DVD. My DVD collection could kick my VHS collection's ass and smoosh its face in the mud if it was so inclined.

In the process of building my stupid-large DVD library, I've re-purchased several of my favorite movies and series. I don't mind too much since, on most DVDs, you get a fair amount of extras so it almost makes up for buying the same crap twice.

Almost.

Anyhow, I'm tired of housing my old VHS tapes and I'm thinking of offering them up as prizes for a contest or contests. Either individually (or by series) over the course of several contests, or as one big ass brick of movies for a single contest. I still haven't decided on that detail.

I also haven't figured out just how many tapes I'm talking about. I need to pull them all out and look through them. I'm pretty sure there are all 8 (or is it 10?) of the Mr. Bean tapes, the Spawn animated series (3 tapes I think), three or four Aeon Flux tapes, The Talking Heads' Storytelling Giant, one tape of 'The Thin Blue Line', 'The Gods Must Be Crazy II', 'Dutch'... and... more. Certainly more.

Since I haven't watched them in quite some time I have no idea what the video quality will be, however they've all been stored on the edge, so they should be "okay".

Now, to come up with a contest that anyone would be willing to participate in. Tricky. I'll work on it. It's something to look forward to, at least. If anyone has any opinions, ideas, or would like to offer some enthusiasm, please feel free to comment.

This also reminds me that I never did tell you all what I won from The Retropolitan. It's truly awesome. I don't have it in front of me, so I'll be guessing at the numbers, but there was 'Monster Squad' on DVD, PLUS 5 DVDs of the TV series 'Werewolf' (about 2/3 of the show) PLUS 14 DVDs of the old 'Friday the 13th' TV series*! It was a hell of a surprise! Thanks again Retropolitan!

---
*I hadn't heard of the 'Friday the 13th' TV series as it debuted about the time that I was in Tech School for the Air Force and I was far too busy for TV, then I was overseas in England and they didn't carry it, and then I was in Armpit, Texas (aka Abilene) and too busy drinking to focus. But Heather is excited about it, and from what I've read it sounds good.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New... something.

Hi! I'm tired! But that's okay. No. Really. It's all good. Yep.

So. Look at this new shiny year of ours. I tell you, I can feel the difference in my bones. Here's something for the new year. I'm trying out a a free file hosting/sharing service to link to movies of a few of my Sand "experiments". They are .MOV files. You Microsoft users might need QuickTime to view them. I honestly don't know. You Mac users should be fine. Click the picture to be whisked away to a magical land of advertising and download fun.



29.42 MB


20.806 MB


17.947 MB


20.275 MB



They'll only be available for 30 days. I apologize in advance for the abundance of ads that the file hosting service will cram in your face. TANSTAAFL.

Um. Nervermind. This post was all a dream. A dreeeeeeeaaaaaammmmm. Ooooo.
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."