Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nerd Post

A friend of mine posted a link to this video today. It illustrates something I've often imagined on my own. Hope you enjoy.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Open road

I have been dreaming about getting a motorcycle for the last three years. I think it would be a blast to get an old honda, and build it into one of these:

 The first is from an outfit out of Glendale, CA that specializes in turning vintage hondas into cafe racers. If I had the money right now, I would buy from them. Check them out here.

 The second seems to be a private project done out in Colorado. It's on eBay, right now. Check it out.

Then, there are beasts like this. If I ever own a motorcycle, at some point, I will have to take it out somewhere like Bonneville and just open it up (image from here).

(last image via)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aspen Grove

Drove up to Aspen Grove with the family, today. The kids all needed naps, but it was enjoyable, still. Some photos:

he has the same smile in every picture

I heart the heart

so editorial

aspen grove. rocks!

high five a tiger!

Photos from the car in CA

 As promised earlier, here are some photo from the road trip we took for grandma's funeral. Four of them. I wasn't in a picture taking mood, I guess.

Aliens and jerky. Why would they travel millions of light years to come to earth, you ask? Now you know the answer. Jerky.
T. in a 'Cars' induced coma. Bless you, in-car dvd player.

Also glued to the screen.

These are the jokes, kid.
I would have taken more, but I only had the camera for this leg of the trip. Maybe next time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lost and Found

While doing the last post, I found these photos I took back when I was working at Camp Roberts.
Save me a piece of that corn for later!

Best $5 I spent, once.

I am Sparticus

today, the spanish lady was feeling a little overwhelmed by motherhood. Since I had most of the day off, I offered to take the kids for a few hours to let her breath some uncontaminated air. Here are the photo highlights:

I slung baby a. over my shoulder, stuck little miss o in a stroller, and made c-bug use his own legs, like a sucker. I looked like a crazy cat lady, only male, and with kids. Ladies.

we walked a few half-miles to the Bean museum to look at live and not-so-live animals. Baby a was squealing and kicking his legs the whole time. I guess the little guy's happiest when he's strapped.

this is one of the not-so-live giraffes.

*editor's note: it is evident that my dad transformation is still in it's infancy, as I let the opportunity to make 'a-half-a-giraffe' joke go untold (the other half walks real well, but you should see the mess it makes while eating). it won't happen again.

and a not-so-live elephant.

yikes! Look at the nose on that...thing. Makes you wonder if they're all like that, or if this is the tumor that killed it.

this one might still have some life in it. No, it definitely did, right up to the moment they said they were going to release it, and, instead, gassed it. You can still see the joy, mingled with nerve toxins.

honey badger, taking what it wants.

c-bug's souvenir: telekinesis. maybe some chiggers from the exchange. mostly telekinesis.

the kids had a blast. they even brought out a boa constrictor, and an African spiny tortoise, though neither of the kids were brave enough to touch. I was. I'm brave. Worth it. To celebrate my bravery, we got ice cream, and baby a pooped on me. I told you he was strapped.

I took this photo for my dad. Ever since I can remember (2008-ish), he's been telling me stories of an ill fated expedition to the amazonian interior that tragically ended after the crew was eaten by tapirs. This is one of those tapirs. Sleep lightly, children. If you can even sleep at all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Little Miss o's Hospital Adventures

I was at work yesterday, when I got a call from mrs. h that little miss o had hurt her wrist. Yesterday also happened to be the first day of our new insurance, so my first concern (surprisingly, it wasn't for o's safety, probably because I could hear her crying in the background) was quickly resolved. I asked mrs. h to describe what had happened, and it sounded to me like o had dislocated her elbow more than hurt her wrist. Mrs. h made an appointment with a doctor's office for later that evening - right about the same time I'd be getting off work. I was able to meet them there. It was a bit of a wait before o was seen. We (mr. c was with us, too) passed the time reading all about the horrors of otitis media, and looking at pictures of the inner ear (thanks, antibiotics vendors!). When o was seen, it was confirmed that she had dislocated her elbow, and that it had reduced after mrs. h tried to check her wrist. No big deal.

On a personal note, I've liked spending time in hospitals with my daughter. I don't like that she has to be there, but I like how she burrows into me when she's scared, and how much she slows down when she doesn't feel well. She's always so fearless and outspoken, it's interesting to see a vulnerable side, and fun to be the person she clings to when she feels that way. My boys don't do that with me.

Too much touchy-feely.

When we got back, c&p called (heh, See and pee...) on skype. Mrs. h and P did all the talking. C and I just tried to one up each other with video antics, until our wives got sick of dealing with us and pulled the plug. We only defaced one church magazine before they ended it. Probably a record.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Uncle Caveman

I just got back from California, and a funeral held for my wife's grandmother. Is it okay to say you had fun at a service? I did.

Whenever I am around my wife's family, a couple of things always stand out:

1. There are a lot of them. I've never known anyone with a family as extensive as Mrs. h's. It was a bit intimidating the first time we went to Thanksgiving dinner together, and a hundred people showed up. They are all fun, loud, and all up in each other's business. It's the good kind of messy family you'd see in a feel good romantic comedy starring whoever is popular at the moment.

2. I am a grump. Being around people I haven't seen in a while (or haven't met at all) invariably leads to questions of the, "What are you studying/working on/accomplishing with your life?" variety; questions I don't always have an answer for, or am just not especially proud of answering. The anticipation of these questions, alone, is enough to put me on the defensive. I'm pretty sure her relatives think Mrs. h married a bear. What can I say? I'm a work in progress.

Some highlights of the trip:

Discovering Mr. C is scary good at manipulating his peers. Criminally good, even. By the end of the trip, he had organized his cousins into a syndicate of willing scapegoats, bruisers, and enforcers, and employed them in a scheme to ultimately control all the hot wheels in great grandma's house.

Bonding, while peeing on the side of the road with my boy in Death Valley.

Riding dirt bikes in the Lancaster desert.

Little miss O contentedly pooing on everything she could get her sick bum into, and ultimately bringing her and her brother to the burial in pj's, because everything else was dirty.

Getting beaten by a four year old at Mario Kart, and writing songs with Matt and Christy about how making babies like great grandma made babies never put her sexual orientation into question.

Stacking the favorites list in the rental's satellite radio with groups like "Mother Truckers," "Das Racist," and, "Kelly Clarkson," with K, just to bother the next renter.

After reading this list, I think I still have a bunch of growing up to do. Photos to come, later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Working for the city

Here's a piece I did today in mypaint. It was inspired by cover art from The Flaming Lips/Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. In almost ten years, I still think it's one of the best albums my ears have ever listened to. Well played, sirs. Well played.

Friday, August 12, 2011

More art rage.

I've been playing some more in art rage. This is what I did today. I know the composition is a bit crap, but I was mostly just playing with the colors.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Art Rage

Sounds like a social disorder, but it's actually a paint program. I've become a bit bored, lately, with the programs I found before - they don't seem to simulate the physics of paint very well. They do pencils and markers beautifully, but I wanted to be more deliberate with chunky brush strokes, and what have you, and my options in that department were limited. Art rage does the paint stuff fantastically. The demo doesn't let you save in any other format except for it's own proprietary format, but "print screen" lets you get around that. And, setting your calendar back let's you get around the 30 day trial, so... win. My only complaint is the lack of a blend tool. I can probably get around that with 'technique,' but, as of now, I have none. Final tally: ArtRage 1, Me 2.

Here's a sample of what I've been doing.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hello, my name is Simon...

For my birthday, my family got me a drawing pad. For the longest time, I've wanted to try my hands at digital art. I liked the idea of being able to try out different mediums without having to drop major dollar for supplies, and I always felt a bit too self conscious to take a class where other people would see my stuff as it developed. I don't like sharing my learning experiences until the initial discomfort subsides.

Wanting to continue the "cheap as free" philosophy that lead me to digital art in the first place, I found some open source programs to cut my teeth on. MyPaint has been my favorite. It's intuitive, well laid out, and super easy to get started with. It wasn't until I needed a few more options with cut-and -paste that I started working with Gimp - a photoshop-like program with some real muscle.

Much of what I've done is inspired by graphic designers and concept artists, my favorites are him, him, and him. The last one is an old friend of mine who let me bum some art supplies way back in college. Back story over. Now, peep the strategy:

The first two are mine. The third is a copy of one of Paul Christopher's paintings I really liked. The last is one I did of my nephew. Just a sample. I'll post more later.