Monday, March 31, 2008

Floaty Heads!

Sally was kind enough to lend me some flash code books.
I have very limited experience with code of any kind so getting something to work is a treat.

This is based on a simple "get the object to follow the mouse" script from FlashMX Studio, with a few changes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ever Get the Evil Eye?

I saw it through the rear windshield. I'd just parked my car at the shopping center and was reaching for my club. The man stared in furious disbelief. Like I'd made an attempt on his life.
What was wrong, I wondered. Had I run over his foot? Cut him off? Had someone put an inflammatory sticker on my bumper?
I stepped out of the car and he let me have it. At first I couldn't figure out what he was jabbering about but then I pieced it together. He'd "gone out of his way" to park away from other cars (how far? One space.) and I had the audacity to park "in the space right next to him!" (Oh the humanity).
I said I was sorry but I wasn't. What else could I say?
  • "Gee, it's not like your car is that new of fancy"
  • "Oh yes, I did it on purpose just to annoy you."
  • "Worried about your car? You should have walked here. Looks like you could use some exercise"
  • "This makes you upset? Good luck with the world."
Smartass comebacks work great in cartoons and sitcoms. In real life it's a good way to get slapped. No thanks.

Throw Erica a Bone (Marrow Doner)

I don't know Erica M., but a rival coworker does.
She has leukemia, and needs a bone marrow transplant to beat it.
The problem- they need a good genetic match for the thing to work, and they're still looking.
If you haven't already done so, please go to here to find out how to be added to the list of potential donors. I registered years ago but nobody's needed me yet.
I realize this is a departure from my normal blogging, and I don't want to sound like a "Hey, let's help this person out [see what a great person I am! I'm more sensitive than you!]" but I figured I'd make myself useful for once.
It's a cinch to register, and you could save someone. So please sign up, tell yer friends to sign up, forward Erica's info to your friends...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sorry Tale of the Happy Hoatzins

When I was growing up, I adored D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Full of heroes, monsters and magic, it influenced my artwork and imagination. All sorts of crazyness was possible!

In my teens I came up with some mythlike tales of my own. Here's a weird one:

The Hoatzins were a flock of beautiful birds with a long lifespan. They flew like acrobats. They sang beautifully. People couldn't get enough of them. The thing to do was to visit the island and give them gold and baskets of apples.
Like butterflies, they came in many colors.

Here's a blue one:

Then, like in Greek Myths, something went very wrong.
A hoatzin is only beautiful as a kid.
They matured into, beady-eyed featherless creatures with arms instead of wings. Beaks grew sharp. Voices grew raspy. The ugly duckling in reverse.
Something like this:

Visitors stopped coming.
The hoatzins grew bitter.
No more flying, no more singing, no more adoring fans and no goody baskets. Still, they waited for the tourists to return.
A bat flew to the island. He gave them gold and apples. "Run off the magic cliff," he promised, "and you shall fly once more. Run off the magic cliff, my friends, and your fans shall return."
They stampeded off the cliff. They flew, for a fraction of a second, then plunged to their deaths.
The tourists returned with gold and apples. They present them to the bat to hear him tell The Sorry Tale of the Happy Hoatzins and to see their bones.

Hey, I told you it was weird!

p.s. There really is a kind of bird called a hoatzin (pronounced hoh-AT-sin). Unlike my HOAT-zins, the former know better than to stampede off cliffs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


This was drawn to a jazzy instrumental called Skoobeedoobee by Woody Herman. I'd never heard it before.
This lacks the personality of my other two quicky sketches, so I wasn't going to post it at first. Part of the problem is the music. While I adore jazz from the 20s and 30s, much jazz from the 50s and 60s leaves me cold. I get a you don't appreciate this because you're an unsophisticated square vibe. Maybe that's why the bird looks so smug.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hit the Road, Jack

Another quick sketch based on a song.
"Hit the Road, Jack," by Ray Charles (and an uncredited female who tells him to hit the road).
The song goes by quick, so I cheated by throwing in a few details after the song ended, so it's a four-five minute work instead of a three minute one.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Can you imagine running into this in the woods?

Meet BigDog, a robot from Boston Dynamics.
Lifelike to the point of creepiness. Yikes.
I hope that's private land that they're testing it on. Otherwise it's gonna startle some hunter and get blasted to bits.
I caught myself thinking, that's a good animation they got there!
I'd give anything to see BigDog dance a jig.

Just Added!
A hilarious spoof of BigDog that I saw today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Three Minute Night

Time's tight, but I wanted to post some fresh work.
The challenge: listen to a song and draw it before it ends.
"Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues was on the radio.

As I've said elsewhere, I have mixed feelings about this song. I like the dreamy melody, but when he gets to the "I love you oh how I love you!" part he sounds like a nut. (At least he doesn't say "I wanna love you and squeeze you and call you George!")
I pictured him locked in an attic, gazing out the window at whomever (or whatever) he loves.

p.s. I turned off the radio when it got to the annoying poetry part.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yay, Randy Pausch!

After a string of embarrassments and blunders this week, I was in a foul mood. I'm a loser! I thought, My life is a freaking joke!
Then, by coincidence, I saw this video. It slapped me into shape. My sulking was replaced with awe and wonder. Wow. See for yourself (if you haven't seen it yet.) It's a lecture of wisdom from a terminally ill professor. He's not pleased with the situation, but he refuses to let it ruin his life.
It blew me (and my bad attitude) away.
Note that this is not religious or political. Nor is it New Age silliness.

A longer (and, in my opinion, better) version of the speech can be found here.
For more info, check out his home page.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Evil Tiki part II

One of my earliest posts was Evil Tiki.
Nutshell story:
My dad painted a picture. It hung on my bedroom wall when I was little.
I found a creepy tiki in the grass and was terrified (it didn't take much).
Image Hosted by
For fun, I digitally enhanced said tiki to make him look extra menacing:

Image Hosted by
A few weeks back I typed "Evil Tiki" into Google Images to see if my childhood nemesis would show up. He didn't, but look what did!

Yes, this mask is called "Evil Tiki". Note the needle teeth, glowing eyes and the eyebrow arch.
My dad should ask for royalties.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tranquility Road

(Click the image for a bigger one)

Here's my take on a concept started by Sally Cruikshank and expanded on by others:

I'm on Tranquility Road if I can steer clear of nagging traps: thoughts, concerns and issues that drive me batty. My top five crazy makers?

La Morte (death)- My inner nag says, Don't take growing old for granted! People your age and younger have kicked the bucket! People you knew! Beware! Oh yeah, you know you'll probably outlive your folks, right?

Swamp O' Jerks-
Bullies, liars, pests, monsters, and idiots fester here. If you read this blog (or if you've spoken to me within the last week or so), fear not. You are not from the Swamp O' Jerks.

L'amour (love)- Almost left this one off. I've shied away from romance for years, telling myself my career was my first priority. Could have been a mistake. I'll never know.

Me, The Big Dummy- I'm not stupid, but I do stupid things. The ol' foot in the mouth is my specialty. Many's the day I skulk away thinking, I said what?! My biggest blooper occurred a few years back. A friend (who was being treated for cancer*) came home exhausted after working late. I greeted him with "What're they trying to do? Kill you?" Such tact.

Career - I'd like to lob a water balloon at everyone who told me I'd get ahead by working hard and playing by the rules.

So there it is. I'd originally planned to make this animated or interactive, but time's tight.
After reading these gripes I'm thinking I should re tittle this post "The Long and Whining Road"

*he survived, but at the time no one was sure how the cancer would respond to the treatment.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Roach Motel

Overtime city.
Toastmaster meeting for lunch.
Time to break out older work so the blog doesn't go stale.
This tribute to 1950s signage is part of an insect-themed chess set. It's the castle (get it? get it?) I created it in Second Life* a few years ago.
A picture of the entire set can be seen here.
I also made the (mostly hidden) gazebo, plus some of the plants in the background. I made the shrubs free to copy. Now they're all over the place.

*I'm Olympia Rebus in that world.