Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cosmetic Surgury for Fish

This link covers an article in "Fish Love" magazine about how to perform cosmetic surgery on fish! We all know pet fish are snazzier with tattoos or docked tails.
What bothers me most about the instructions are the total disregard for how the fish might feel about this. He's treated like a plant getting pruned. No concern about frightening or hurting the little guy. What's wrong with some people?

Monday, April 28, 2008


I love the story of Olympia. It's probably most famous as it appears in the opera (and movie), The Tales of Hoffman (Les Contes d'Hoffman.)
Hoffman loves Olympia. She's pretty, charming, and talented. She's also a robot. He doesn't know this, and brushes off his friend's warning that "[they say] she's a dead thing, or never was alive!" Hoffman learns the truth at a party. Her feuding creators break her to pieces before his eyes. He's horrified.
Everyone laughs at him.
If you've never seen The Tales of Hoffman, you may want to peek at the trailer*. It's a very strange, yet very charming film.

*Broken link now fixed!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ouch My Head II: Doc Saturday.

The headache wasn't that bad, but it struck me as strange that it
1. Was on one side of my head
2. Had hung around for ten (now eleven days)

Nothing some Advils couldn't handle, but friends (including some readers) urged me to "get it checked out," on the outside chance it signified trouble.
I went to the weekend walk-in medical joint. Doc Saturday awaited.
I explained my story, saying it probably wasn't a big deal, but was checking with a pro just in case.
"Does Aspirin or Advil help?" he asked.
"Well enough," I answered.
"Then why don't you just take Advil and see if that makes it go away?"
Was he joking? I know how to take a stupid Advil. I thought, I can get the safety cap off and everything.
"I'm not here because it bothers me. I'm just making sure it's not trouble. You know. Something more serious." I said.
"You should see if you can knock it out with Advil first, and if that doesn't work, switch to Tylenol or Aspirin and then see me." he said, with a smug you silly malingering hypochondriac tone. "Of course," he added, "I can prescribe stronger painkillers if want"
Huh? I thought, he thinks nothing's wrong yet he's willing to prescribe freaking Oxycotton to me? Bad, Doctor. Bad! Bad!
We played I'm-just-here-to-be-safe and take-painkillers-to-make-it-go-away conversation badminton for a few more rounds. Finally I squeezed an "if it's still bothering you in a few weeks come back" out of him. Yeah, like I'm coming back to you.
Why didn't he just say "I wouldn't really worry about it unless it lasts several more weeks," when I explained why I was there? What planet was he from?
To give him credit, he did ask if I had other symptoms (vision problems, sensitivity to light, dizziness, recent clunk on the head etc..)
"Nope," I answered. "Just the headache. Nothing seems to trigger it, but it's worse when I nod or turn my head."
His answer?
"Then don't turn your head."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Flying Pig!

It's the flying pig! Stray g. gave me the kit (thanks, Stay g!) and I put him together.
He's 100% paper, yet he's an automaton. Turn the crank at his base and not only do his wings flap, but his legs move and he rolls like a carousel horse!
Now he guards my workstation, inviting me (and others) to take him for a spin.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ouch My Head

Whiner Namowal: My headache's back.
Stop That Namowal: You know where the Advil is.
Whiner Namowal: It's like someone stuck a carpet tack on the right side of my head!
Stop That Namowal: Oh please. On a pain scale of one to ten this is a one.
Whiner Namowal: but... but... it's been bothering me for more than a week.
Stop That Namowal: Better start writing that tear-jerking autobiography. Ouch, My Head: Whiner Namowal's Ten Day Journey with a Slightly Annoying Headache. That should get you booked on all the talk shows. Don't forget to mention those hangnails, paper cuts and acne.

Going over Niagara Falls in a Giant Teacup

"[The Many-worlds interpretation*]", claims Wikipedia, "means that there are an infinite number of universes and that everything that could possibly happen in our universe (but doesn't) does happen in another." What if this is true?
I had my coffee black this morning. Is there another universe where I had it with milk? And one where I had tea? How far can this go? Is there another universe where I went to work in a chicken suit? Where I'm an astronaut? Where I'm going over Niagara Falls in a barrel?
How about going over Niagara Falls in a giant teacup? Or going over Niagara falls in a giant teacup with... Jack the Ripper? (Who talked me into that, anyway?)

*this is the simplified explanation. I'm no physics whiz, but as far as I can tell, the Many-worlds idea was cooked up as one (of many) explanations about how sub atomic particles behave. They're more rascally than than bigger things.

Talking to Myself

It's been one of those weeks. I avoid whining out loud, but I do have an inner whiner of sorts that I need to keep in check.

Whiny Namowal: Some week this has been! Nothing's working out. One disappointment after another! My life is a joke.
Stop That Namowal: Aw, the Big Baby didn't get her way! Maybe you should call 911 or book your horrible ordeal on Oprah. Wuss.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Watch: Reactions

My "Remember you will die" watch is getting mixed reactions. About half of the people who read its message find it cool, the other half are horrified.
Some good reactions:
"Cool! Were'd you get it?"
"I want one!"
"Heh, that's clever."
And the bad ones:
"That's terrible!"
"That's mean!"
[rolls eyes] "ugh!"
[gives me the what's WRONG with you!? look]
Of course, the point if the thing isn't "Muahhaaa ha ha! You'll die! Die! Let that ruin your day!"
It's more like "Some day you'll die, so don't neglect your life. Have fun! Try new things."
It's already had a minor influence:
At the market:
Should I try that new brand/flavor of yogurt? (Remember, you will die.) I try the yogurt. (Actually I tried a bunch of new stuff instead of the usual. What fun!)
At home:
Should I watch television or do something creative? (Remember, you will die. ) I do something creative.
At work:
Should I work unpaid through lunch or go out with my friends? (Remember, you will die.) I go out with my friends.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Digital Grunt

Some jokers threw together this spoof of visual effects industry work.
It will appeal to anyone who works with computers, clients and deadlines.
(In all fairness, my boss is way nicer than the one in the movie.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Here's a quicky I started while "Creep" was playing.
For those unfamiliar with the song, it's about a rejected misfit with lyrics like
I'm a creep! I'm a weirdo! What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here...
What song does it make you think of?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head

Another quick sketch to radio music effort. I cheated and added the frame later.
I like the attitude of the song. Things are going wrong, nothing seems to fit, but he's not complaining.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Gandy Dancer's Ball

Here's a long forgotten number I found on You-Tube.
It's delightful (the song, not my quicky sketch.) So upbeat and catchy.
You almost want to meet Mackinac Mack and Toledo Jack and...
"Gandy Dancers" was slang for "Guys who maintained railroad tracks." How'd they afford "The biggest band/in all the land" for their hoedown?
Here's the You-Tube clip that inspired my fast sketch:

My New Watch

I normally don't sink big bucks for wristwatches, but I couldn't resist this beauty:

The pic is from the website (easier to read), but I'm wearing one as we speak.
I'm more apt to take risks, try new things and have a good time if I remember that I'm temporary. And who knows how long "temporary" is. Weird stuff happens!
When the Reaper rolls in, I don't want to be the chump who thinks Geez, I should have done X, said Y, tried Z etc... It's like I've spent my life at an amusement park and never got on the rides. Whoops!
Interesting tidbit:
I was admiring my "you will die" watch when I caught this add from Alaska Airlines:

Hopefully this isn't prophetic.
If a piano drops on me today, you can't say I wasn't warned.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Another "draw while the song's still playing" pic.
The song: "Spooky", by Classics IV, about the coy girl who "always keeps [him] guessing."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Gumballs Gone Wild

This is based on a flash Action Script tutorial from Flash Mx Studio.
It took me fifteen minutes to type the code, but much longer to get it to work.
My clerical skills are atrocious. My perception doesn't match what's on the page.
It took me the longest time to catch the two typos:
"=+" instead of "+="
"_" instead of "._"
(This is why I'm not an air traffic controller.)
Any time I catch myself thinking This is hard! I can't do this. I tell myself to stop whining and keep at it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Owner of a Lonely Heart

Another quick "while the song's playing" sketch:
Owner of a Lonely Heart, by Yes.
I liked the song when it was popular, but now it bums me out.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Eight Things I Learned the Hard Way

  1. The oven cleaner label says "wear gloves" for a reason.
  2. The toaster says "warning, hot surface" for a reason.
  3. An old toothbrush is a good bathroom cleaning tool, but don't store it near your real toothbrush (unless you want to know what Ajax tastes like).
  4. Hang the sticky fly tape by the lamp? Wow, that should attract lots of flies. Why don't you put it right next to the pull chain...
  5. The whistle on your roommate's tea kettle is a detachable cap. It will let some water trickle into that teacup you're holding, then fall off, dumping scalding liquid onto your hand and arm.
  6. You can outwit the school bully with snappy comebacks. This makes the bully mad. When the bully is mad, you'll get pounded. (Substitute "crazy person" for bully to make this applicable to adulthood.)
  7. Inebriated? Bad time to tweeze the eyebrows.
  8. Out of acne cream? Wart remover is not a good substitute.

What have you learned the hard way?

p.s. was crunched for time when I made the picture

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Another Recent Conversation

Namowal and Someone Else, viewing film footage shot from moving camera. (A foreground detail needs to be digitally removed)

Namowal: The parallax will make this tough.

Someone Else: No! It's the stuff passing in front of other stuff that will make it tough!