Thursday, August 23, 2007

Video Game : Game of the Month

Bioshock for the XBox 360. I've only been able to play it twice since getting it what with Real Life™ and all, but the only reason this wouldn't be my GOTM would be if it were to end in an hour. I don't think that's likely. So there you are.

Last night I fought two Big Daddies and lost track of the time. They are a bitch to kill. Stayed up too late. I'm sleepy. So. Little Sisters. Harvest them or cure them? I'm curing them this time around. I figure I'll harvest them next time I play through the game and see what happens. Because I know I'll be playing through again. The last game I felt this driven to play to completion was "The Darkness," and before that it was "Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay." This is a beautiful game, it controls well, and it's from the people that created "System Shock 1 & 2." The only beef I have so far is the physics are occasionally wonky. If you have a 360 and enjoy fps games with a bit of an edge, get it.

Setting a splicer on fire and then electrocuting him when he jumps in the water is fun, but using telekinesis to bludgeon a splicer to death with a nearby corpse is even more fun.


So, I haven't posted in awhile. Technically there's one post on my Vox site that didn't made it over here. It was short though, so here it is:

Woot's Shirt Derby : Results
Aug 10, 2007

None of my three designs this week that I actually put time and thought into came close to my one, half-assed, last minute design last week. The best scoring one wasn't even a tenth of the final winning vote total.

The hot dog was the highest with 47, followed by the bones with 34 and brining up the rear is the penguin with a measly 24 votes.

I've decided that I have no idea what people want. For the next derby, whatever the topic I'm making a zombie fit. Fuck it.

Wouldn't you know it? The following derby theme was "Superhero" which I didn't participate in because of 'Marvel Zombies.' The first two weeks of the derby were filled with people accusing other people of stealing ideas. No way was I going to touch it. But last Friday the theme was Maps, so I drew up this design:

and posted it on Friday around 1 pm. By 5 pm I was in second place with close to 100 votes. However the original design didn't have the title on the shirt and after a few comments from people who didn't feel people seeing them in the shirt would "get it" – and Derek agreeing – I realized I had to do a design tweak. I made the change, resubmitted it and lost all my votes. By Friday night, however I was back up to 2nd place and remained there through the weekend. On Monday morning I started slipping behind, and now it looks like I'll be finishing in sixth. But I did get over 300 votes, so yay zombies! We'll see what next week brings.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Randomness : Pointless Invention

Found in the tubes: Automatic Candle Snuffer

I don't know which baffles me more: the idea of anyone needing an automatic candle snuffer, or the first two "illustrations" that accompany the patent. So you don't have to follow the link, and so I can fill up some space, here they are with their explanation text:


Figure 1 is a perspective view of a typical prior art candle holder. Candles may be used to provide light as well as atmosphere or mood. While it is possible to blow a candle flame out, it is not generally desirable to do so, as it may interrupt a romantic atmosphere and hinder the mood.


Figure 2 is a perspective view of the present invention in use. The device of the present invention includes a glass housing having a digital timer device attached thereto. While the timer is running it magnetizes a plate on the timer that holds the lid in the open position. When the designated time has expired, the magnetic field is terminated and the lid swings closed, sealing the housing from the oxygen supply.

My notes and observations:

(Fig. 1)
  • The guy has to pee, and his chest is chilly.
  • Has the romantic atmosphere ever been interrupted or the mood been hindered by blowing out a candle? If anything, it's just the first puff of the evening.
  • This is romantic?
  • Way to blow flame at your lady friend.
  • The blanket has been cut.
  • God the colors on that porn set are horrible.
  • What is up with her feet?
  • He really, really has to pee.
  • Even though they are both "users" (22), he's the one with the DTs.
  • Is that light blue shape a throw rug, beanbag chair or an egg?

(Fig. 2)
  • There is no #3 in the list of "reference numerals" on the page, and the different sized font and different arrow lead me to believe it was already part of the picture. Do I want someone too lazy to white that out having control over fire in my house?
  • I believe her neck is broken. He better hope they're in Vegas.
  • His pants are gone.
  • So is the blanket.
  • And his pecker.
  • You would think he'd be concerned about the whole "missing pecker" thing, but he's just smiling.
  • Does the Family Circus know this goes on in their border when they aren't around?

The "invention"
  • Where is the need for this product? "I have no mouth yet I must blow out a candle"?
  • Do you ever really need to decide in advance that a candle has to be put out in 3 minutes, 22 seconds? Who plans for that kind of thing?
  • (From Fig. 3 not shown) "After that time has expired, the timer shuts off and gravity shuts the lid, releasing it down over the opening of the tube, blocking the opening and suffocating the flame of the candle." Or... it continues to stand due to residual magnetism, or the fact that it's balanced.
  • If it does fall, you better hope it's a snug fit. Looking at the other Figures, I'm thinking there's a good chance of gaps.
  • It's ugly as sin.
  • Why is it rectangular rather than a tube?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Woot.Shirts : Three designs...

Well, four really, but I'm only calling attention to three. I'm not that fond of the fourth. Neither is anyone else, judging by the votes. The theme this week is "Heat." The limitations mainly are to stay within six colors, avoid gradients, and no "Woot" related shirts.

This was my first entry. It didn't quite turn out as well as I hoped. Nobody to blame but myself. Moving on...

The second entry so far is doing better than the first. Still not blazing up the ranks, but what can I do? Suck less I guess.

My last entry. Too early to tell how this one will do. I only saw two other penguin related designs after I got this idea, and the one closest in concept is nowhere close to the same in execution. It's also above 130 votes, whereas mines... not.

I said it before, but I really mean it this time. They need to not allow voting until after the submission deadline. In spite of what they think, I do believe that some people vote for the lead designs just so they can back a "winner." Allow submissions through noon on Tuesday and voting from then until noon on Thursday. But whatever. It's not my contest.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Shameless Plug : Skull Totes

I just put up a new design for a tote bag at my Cafe Press store:

It's $14.99 and you can get to it by following this link or clicking the picture.

I had a companion piece that would have been with it as well, however it was flagged for looking too much like Mickey Mouse, I guess. And yes, it does a bit:

However I'm not passing it off as "he-who-shall-not-be-named," I never even mentioned the "D" word, and I think it's different enough to be safe from lawsuit. They disagree, I'm not a lawyer and there we are. I do understand. It's hard to be willing to stand up to a gigantic corporation that has managed to extend the copyright laws 11 times to keep their flagship icon from falling into the public domain. Never mind that it was that same public domain that they raped to build their empire. (For more on this, I recommend going here.) Maybe I'll make a skull bunny.

I do have another design in the works that will look quite different. No, not a skull bunny. I'll let you know when it's up.

The whole reason I'm doing designs for tote bags right now is because I'm tired of bringing my stuff to work in plastic grocery bags. I figured, if I'm going to buy a tote bag, I may as well get one that has my art on it. The reason I've chosen to do skulls is because I like 'em. While this design appeals to me, it's not quite what I'm after. The main reason it's gone up is because Heather likes it and wants it. If at least three more people want it that'll pay for my store for a month. Wheee!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Podcast + Stuff : This one's better than usual.

At least I think so. Probably because it's not just me and Derek yammering. Check it out:

--- Stuff ---

As a side note, the crazy number of hits I'd been getting for awhile now have apparently regained sanity and shrugged out of the wrap-around jackets. I'm back to around 30 hits a day. So... I post more and I get less traffic. Sure. Why not?

My Woot shirt is holding steady at 55 votes. 602 votes more and I could be in the lead, provided the current lead design didn't get more votes. Bah-fooey. Maybe next time.

I had a dream that Derek might appreciate. I was going on a road trip the next day and I and a couple of guys I don't know were packing up a car I've never seen in preparation. We had a dog that I don't own in a box in the front seat and a cat somewhere else in the car. One of the guys was putting a bird in a can and was about to wedge it in with the dog when I suggested that we shouldn't put the bird in the car just yet. The cat would be able to get him. The guy pointed out the bird was in a can, but I said the cat was pretty smart. Then the dog escaped from his box and was running loose. We were trying to catch him because we didn't want him to get into traffic, whereupon reality shifted and all dogs looked exactly like like people, only with wild hair, wide eyes and big smiles. That meant we were chasing this dog/guy around the yard as he flailed his arms about and woofed. I thought to myself, "It's a good thing all dogs look like this guy, or people watching might think we are trying to catch a retarded guy." I finally caught him by leaning out with my arms extended and said, "C'mere! Gimme a hug!" and he did. So I guess my subconscious for the evening had decided that cats were smart enough to de-can birds and dogs are retarded.

I can't imagine why I'm losing visitors.

Happy hump day! Go get'cha some!
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."