Archive for January, 2008

Color fiddle to see it on a website

Thursday, January 31st, 2008


Experimenting continues…I just wanted to mess around with brightness and contrast and see how it changed the look on a couple of computer screens.

But here is my big learning thing tonight…the bright light of the various scanners “pops” certain colors an, particularly interesting, certain types of pens and inks. I had never thought about that until fudging with it the last couple of nights. The scan can be perfect almost beyond perfect.

Hmmmm…let me say this better…the light gets so bright on a high resolution scan, the computer can’t lie to your eyes and what you see.

That doesn’t mean it turns out the way the artist intended, but it doesn’t mean it is incorrect. Very big lesson.

Kind of something to think about during the elections process, in an odd sort of way; I don’t think that is much of a stretch of a comparison.

So now I have a high res scan of the original, I have a fiddled with scan, and I have printed piece…it’s all the same original stuff, but they are three completely different things.

Learning process. Learning process.

It’s like a Highlights magazine puzzle if you look long enough

Thursday, January 31st, 2008


I was playing with different mediums tonight while watching TV and this doodle, er, rapido artistico contorno, came up after a couple of hours. It has no name. The balance isn’t great of top to bottom, I know. And the new type of canvass didn’t like the lighter colors.

But it works in a way for me. I wasted no real time doing it because I watched a movie I had wanted to see again and TiVo versions of two shows from last week…net time lost in life was zilch.

I knew I wanted the kite and the landscape to be brushy, so it looked windy, but then stick things in the sky that the wind was blowing onto this beach and sand dune. That was my broad idea when I started. Then I kind of chickened out, and then I got my act back together.

The obvious ones are in the beginning at the bottom, which is the smoke from a cabin and a sailboat. Two things that blow at the beach with a kite. Then came my fill it in with some of the usual stuff, and if you have seen enough of my work, you’ll know it when it comes…little tiny things…

Then I got bored. I wasn’t liking the new pallette and I was mad at myself for getting this far into one of these things without spending a couple of bucks to fiddle with real crap doodles to understand the pens and ink and surface.

So I got loopy and had some fun…

The number six seems like something bad, maybe, that washed up on the beach. So then I did a devil looking thing way up above on the right to explain why a number six popped up (Big A, after careful study, saw a king elephant holding guns…to each their own).

More fill in the space.

I took the eyes from my evil thing and tried to do a nun falling upside down out of the sky with a parachute that had obviously not opened.

If you you read into it, I guess, the nun is reaching out to the form of a person with her hand.

So then it started to grow on me. My little story, even to myself, was kind of being told. I don’t mean that personally, it’s just the idea of beaches and what blows a shore putting the big kite there as the whimsical and then doing things that are bad, or tougher to figure out, in the hard ink. A little literal, but look at it again.

Isn’t that what beachcoming is after a good wind? A bunch of stories that just came floating in?

P is the one that told me this passed a test when she first looked at it and stayed studying it for a real 60 seconds. And she came up with things I hadn’t thought of when I did it!

Rapido artistico contormo!!!! Ole!

Sporting News just hit my death list watch 2008

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Sporting News is awesome for their special issues that you can get off the newstand. Some of the writing is very good week-to-week, but not over the top and not really too deep.

But I just got a random offer to order 52 weeks for less than $15. Kerplunko!!!! My cash is down on that! They are going to give me a year of the magazine for less than any of my daily newspapers! Bingo, bango and bongo!

Now I just have to figure out where I am going to store them all…I mean, you can’t throw away The Sporting News, right?

Actully, I met a man once whose father gave him his first birthday present before he could even, ummm, eat his cake with a fork or spoon.

His dad saved, for one year from his date of birth, a perfect off-the-newstand copy of every Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine and Mad Magazine. Be boxed it all up carefully and hid it. Then, he gave him his first birthday present when the kid turned 13.

Brilliant daddy planning.

The POTUS vote update

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

A friend of mine, who I have never really talked politics, so I can’t speak to his general persuasion made an interesting point today.

We were talking about McCain or Romney and Clinton or Obama and he said, “You know, I have no clue until their running mates are chosen.” And then we both just changed the subject.

But I was thinking about it later, and this might really end up being super important to that 20 percent of the electorate who sits firmly smack dab in the middle during POTUS vote, and since we’re down to four I am going to play it like old school.

If the R nominee is Romney, he needs an Orange County-type conservative from the West Coast. I’m not even sure who that is these days because the party is so fractionalized. Geeeze, that says something for Republicans.

McCain, if nominated, probably needs Huckabee.

Clinton would go with a Dixiecrat…so I think, today, she would offer it to Obama and then go with Edwards. But I also think she could tap Richardson.

Obama needs an oldie but a goodie. Hmmmm…how about cherry picking an old experienced Clinton cabinet member…Madelaine Albright? No, goofy, not that old. Richardson.

So, I can agree in my brain that Richardson balances both of the D nominees (I’m not predicting, I’m just observing), but the Rs are very, very interesting. Romeny wants the last thing in the world during a general election to be about religion so goodbye Huckabee. McCaine wants to look conservative, but also needs a Reagan Democrat sympathizer to gang up on those middle people that actually swing elections.

Which makes the Rs even more interesting for POTUS…can McCain gamble that he gets his 40 percent no matter how much they bitch about him or his running mate, while putting a ticket together that does even more to swing towards the middle. This is a battle we are watching in real time. Very interesting.

The “Democrat Party” doesn’t really have that problem because their bling is going to vote for whoever isn’t Romney or McCain and they aren’t going to piss the base off with either nominee no matter who the VP choise is at that point. The Ds are not going to stay at home in November.

But the neocons are the religious people, they might and now even Rush, I heard on the radio today, is saying the the conservatives are broken with step to a single drum (my words). But what if the gamble is that McCain, if nominated, can pick that up on the flip side by grabbing gray area independents?

One last political thing…

Novel size books will be written for cqampaign students down the road showing that Giuliani ran the worst campaign from the front since Muskie in 1972. He was winning and had the most money three months ago, and he couldn’t even get more than 15 percent in his firewall state? Uh, oh. But it’s deeper than that…who the hell was he listening to, exactly?

So, let me give an answer…old farts like me that thought technology and communications could rule the day, troops be damned. Really, I think this will be a legacy of his campaign. He had a bunch of people over 40 calling the shots that said they could use these new fngled ways to communicate via the internet tubes, television tubes, and radio tubes, to stay relevent leading up to Florida. 

Rudy biting the dust so bad is probably more historical from a wonk standpoint than a minority or woman or old or Morman POTUS.

(Hey, side note, did I just get that right by accident? We will either have a black president, a woman, the oldest first-termer ever, or a Morman pretty much no matter what now? The only one I am questioning is the McCain thought, but far less lazy people than I can look that up.)

Maybe if it sounds European…

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

One minor problem I am running into with my doodle art is, well, I call it “doodle art.” Finally, someone in the art business said I had to quit calling it that because it was just a doodle and that made it sound like a doodle.

“Granted, a damn nice doodle, but doodle is a bad word because anyone thinks they can do it without any thought to what makes it a damn nice doodle.”

Finally, someone said it in a way I understood.

American Heritage Diction defines doodle thusly:

doo·dle       (dōōd’l)  Pronunciation Key 
v.   doo·dled, doo·dling, doo·dles
v.   intr.

  1. To scribble aimlessly, especially when preoccupied.
  2. To kill time.

v.   tr.
To draw (figures) while preoccupied.

n.   A figure, design, or scribble drawn or written absent-mindedly.

Hmmmmm…I guess they aren’t really doodles, even though I do most of them while watching TV or talking on the phone. So it’s just kind of a doodle, because it’s not mindless…it’s just that my right brain is doing one thing while my left brain is doing something else. It does kill time during conference calls and football halftime shows on Sunday afternoons. But they are kind of thought out before I start.

So, I thought I would see if I could figure it out in French. I mean, everything sounds more impressive in French, right? The closest they had was griffonnage (scribble) and distraire (distract, make uneasy). Neither works. They aren’t scribbles and they are not meant to distract you or me. I needed to go more Southern European.

Italy! The closest matches I could find there were scarabocchiare (scratch, scrawl or squiggle), geometria (specific lineament) and aspetto (form of something). Getting warmer. I could call it geometria aspetto. So I did a little more research and it comes to pass that, from what I gather, I may as just as well call it a doodle for how any comination of those words translates to people that know the various verbs and nouns associated with them.

But I would not give up! Must go farther into the heart of Southern European languages…

Portuegese…which produced another dead end…rabisco (scrawl, doodle or scribble). Probably should not use a word that every translation is literally back to doodle.

So, I sat back and looked at what I have produced. Well, its all about shapes. But they don’t really make anything, per se, so they fit an abstract definition, sometimes, except when they don’t. So I just started feeding words back and forth into various translations using websites like this, and I think I found it in Portuegese…

My art is rapido artistico contorno.

Fast shape art. In a Southern European language — probably mangled! I can practically taste the 30-year-old Port at my first gallery opening!

Rapido says it’s informal because it’s done fairly quickly. But it’s not a doodle!

OK…the humor part of this is if I get good and start saying it while just quickly explaining that my form is Porteugese for “fast shape art” I get nine out of 10 people will just nod and think it sounds like some movement from the 1960s that I am resurrecting or that it’s a known European form. (Hey, which it might be, BTW, I don’t know.)

Rapido artistico contorno!

I’m on the next flight to Lisbon…


Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Today I was cleaning and I found a very, very old beer my bedroom floor had spilled and dried up over God knows how long. Nasty. I have no idea how long it had sat there. Gross.

But as I was cleaning it up, I realized that the smell was very familiar. I’m not sure if it was the stagnant, dried  beer, the mix of beer and the hardwood, or what…but I found myself having some pretty funny college memories just from the smell. I started to get flashes of townhouses in Boston and bad dorm rooms in 100-year-old buildings where you’d hang out just because they had cable.

So when I was done, I decided to scribble down some other smells that have a time or place, and that I could “smell” just using my head. What can I just remember so vividly, I could reproduce it if there was a such thing as a smell sketch artist and a crime was involved.

Here’s my quick list:

Sterile cigarrette smoke on wet clothes. My parents didn’t smoke, but I can smell their clothes from getting carried into the house in the rain after a cocktail party or anything else that involved adults in the mid 1970s.

Spit on the microphone of a Motorolla radio microphone. Call it the hair of communications. Those dang mics had a smoke/slobber/dirt smell that I can recreate in my nostril with just a thought.

A new album. A brand new album had an odor. I think they must have used something like a powder to package them but I can’t prove it. I just know there was a smell, and it’s firmly planted in my olfactory organ.

Dirty corn meal. We didn’t have a sand box in pre-school. Must have been to dirty. We had a cornmeal box, and I can sniff now and make a canola smell in my brain.

Guts. I have killed and cleaned some birds and rabbits in my day, and it is a smell that pretty much made me stop hunting for anything bigger than I could give away immediately or eat in one meal.

Concussion. This is one that surprises me, but I can smell a concussion. Have you ever put your tongue on a battery and tasted the akaline? (Don’t answer that, we’ll do tastes another day.) Well, that is the smell of getting your bell completely rung. It smells like a battery tastes.

New car. Particulrly a brand new 1979 Toyota Corolla hatchback. Yellow.WA license plate # TBY 095. It smelled like shit in a non-shit sort of way.

Overheated breaks. A very specific moment in Arkansas in a 1979 Honda Prelude in the middle of no place coming out of the Ozarks. I will never forget that smell. Ever. I had to pussy foot it to the button of the mountains and the whole time, even with the windows and sunroof open, we were choking to death.

Drakkar Noir/Obsession. Locker room smell because a bunch of overly pubescent 1980s teenagers globbed this stuff on so bad…well, I can still smell them both.

My grandmother’s bathroom. Mildew, mold and 50 years of people all made it memorable.

There are others, of course, but those were my quickie list.

Sometime just sit and listen to Abbey Road

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I love this about digital music.

I have very much gotten into playing whole albums the way they were arranged on vinyl and then inserting  gap of two minutes into the right spot to simulate turning it over.

I’m not even sure why, other than the fact it just feels like we need the little break in the great albums and they are written to have some flip time…not just all run together. Well, at least the classic albums.

The White Album is my favorite to do this with; I actually have a scratchy copy of my red-numbered vinyl version that is incredible. (I can tell you exactly where I got it…right out in front of The Cavern in Liverpool in 1988. Paid a premium, but it was soooooo worth it).

But the one that got me today while I was doing some writing was Abbey Road. If you have it, sit and listen to it with a nice pair of headphones on.

I’m a dork sometimes with this stuff, I know.

She came in through the bathroom window
protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wonders
By the banks of her own lagoon

Didn’t anybody tell her
Didn’t anybody see
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
Tuesday’s on the phone to me

She said she’s always been a dancer
She worked at fifteen clubs a day
And though she thought I knew the answer
Well I knew what I could not say

And so I quit the Police Department
And got myself a steady job
And though she tried her best to help me
She could steal, but she could not rob

Didn’t anybody tell her
Didn’t anybody see
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
Tuesday’s on the phone to me

Did I see that right? A smooch for the POTUS!!?!?!?!?!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Was that Chris Shays from connecticut that kissed George Bush just before the State of the Union. I can not find anything online yet, but I know Republicans like the guy…I just didn’t realize that the President was on a kissing basis with anyone.

Mostly I thought the President kind of just ho-hummed and mailed things in. He didn’t even make some lame attempt to say that the state of the union is anything exactly, let alone “sound” or “good.”


UPDATE EDIT: John Dickerson mentions the kissy face here at Slate.

For those reading the small print

Monday, January 28th, 2008

We had about an inch of snow today, and someplaces got up to three inches. This was slick stuff on the roads, and it’s so hilly around here, school was pretty much cancelled before the sun came up just because of ice from the rain the day before.

But on the news I caught a glimpse of something that cracked me up. You know how they scroll all the school delays and cancellations across the bottom of the screen? One said: “All winter snow driving lessons are cancelled.” It was for a technical college/vocational school and I it was very funny to see. I have no idea of the details, but it was just a funny reminder that we don’t handle any snow very well in the Puget Sound area.

Big A loved the snow day, but she has been on pins and needles about whether her gymnastic recital is on for tonight. Is that what you call it? I need to learn the lingo. It’s on.

Dill hated the snow. Scout loved it. I think body weight kind of determines this for a dog, you think?

James Burrows

Monday, January 28th, 2008

I was watching some stuff I had recorded on the DVR the last week. Comedies/sit coms.

I was shocked the realize, really for the first time, every episode was directed by James Burrows…even a couple of obscure ones from the 1970s.

 The man even directed one episode of Night Court!