Friday, July 25, 2008
Similar to last week's robots, his guy was done with acrylic, gauche, watercolor, and more acrylic.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
A dark city cries for help.
…and their hired thugs.
This band of terrorist criminals ravaged
Enter: The Dark Knight. Batman seemed to rise from the darkness itself, striking back at those who had tarnished our once-beautiful
Fly, Batman, fly. Into the light of the dark black night.This post sponsored by OBAMA/CARTER '08
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
I don't paint that often, so when I do I like to make it look different from my line drawing. Between writing and drawing children's books, Dr. Seuss made some pretty incredible paintings. I'm no Dr. Seuss, but I like the idea of continually trying new things.
I layered acrylic, watercolor, gauche, and marker for these robots. I think I could have gone more abstract, but then they wouldn't have been Friday Robots.
Have a good weekend; don't do anything these robots wouldn't do.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
You'll find some people who believe air conditioning is one of the evils of our time. I am not one of those people. Yes, air conditioning uses energy which could, theoretically, be used to transport food to a starving child. Energy could also be used to prevent more wars, end the AIDS epidemic, find a cure for cancer, or make sure my brother never becomes a US Senator. These are all noble causes. None of them, however, should be done instead of air conditioning.
I know I am taking an extreme stance here. The globe keeps on warming, and if we don't cut our carbon emissions drastically, we'll need a lot more than air conditioning to save our skins. But air conditioning is not a luxury item like SUVs or those pools that you swim in without going anywhere.
Air conditioning makes life bearable. You flip a switch and a wonderful cool breeze caresses your tired body with a lover's touch. Air conditioning, not opposable thumbs, sets us apart from the uncivilized animals. We used our gigantic brains to come up with this miraculous invention; why don't we take more advantage of it? When it's 95 degrees outside and you've been out all day, how does it feel to come home to a 90 degree apartment? Not too good. When you're trying to think of witty jokes and you can't move due to the heat, how easy does that make your task? Not easy at all, dear readers. Good jokes can come from anger, but so can heart attacks. Also, the crime rate is higher in hotter states and during heat waves. I'm not going to even bother finding a reputable source for that information: I just know it to be true.
And don't tell me to use a fan. Heat makes me angry, but dumb people flapping their mouths about fans enrage me. Fans are a false prophet. Do you know what fans do? They move air. They don't cool the air, the don't even run air through water like swamp coolers. They take air that has been sitting in Point A and transport it - magically - to Point B. Does that really change anything? If we're going to have a conversation about wasting electricity, I'm making fans Exhibit A.
Why are movies so popular? For a long time theaters were often the only places that had air conditioning. Why do so many people spend their weekends at the mall? Again, air conditioning. When it gets to be a certain temperature I begin to think of errands I need to run, just so I can be enveloped in that frosty synthetic air.
Let's make a deal. All buildings be required to install air conditioning by the year 2010. It doesn't always have to be on, but it should be there just in case. In exchange, I will take the world-destroying laser I have currently pointed at Earth and redirect it to some lesser planet, like Venus. I've heard it's hot there.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
One of the reasons that made this year's Butte to Butte so special was the Olympic Track & Field trials, which took place in Eugene this year. For those of you not up on your track history, Eugene is Track Town, USA. Steve Prefontaine ran for the University of Oregon (and sported a darn fine moustache). Bill Bowerman (and here) and Phil Knight, the guys who co-founded Nike, coached and ran, respectively, at the UO. The Olympic track trials have taken place there four times in the past 30 years. It was somewhat humbling running in the town with that kind of history. But we took it all on and finished with admirable times. We even got our names in the newspaper.
One of the things that caught my attention in Eugene was the ubiquitous presence of Nike. Specifically, the graphics promoting the track events were really eye-catching. I liked them so much I decided to try my hand at replicating them. Nike, let this be my formal submission as graphic designer.
Monday, July 7, 2008
A special shout out to NPR for running a short piece on Dinosaur National Monument, which sits comfortably on the Colorado/Utah border. A. and I camped there a few years ago and it was a special kind of bliss. Their visitor center is built into the side of a hill which is actively being dug out for fossils. You can get up close and personal with dino bones, and even have your picture taken by one. It's like Disneyland for geeks.
Colorado is a great state to live in if you love dinosaurs. They have a state fossil (the stegosaurus) and the venerable paleontologist Robert Bakker lives there when he's not canvassing Wyoming for relics of a bygone age. They also have one of the best collections of dinosaur skeletons in the world at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
P.S. If you think the only good place to spot a dinosaur is in Colorado, think again. For a short time, you can find them in Cleveland.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Like most of us outside the state of Illinois, I was introduced to Obama by his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. In what turned out to be the highlight of that election cycle, he gave a speech so great that it outshone the nominee himself. What was that guy’s name?
I spent the next four years wondering why that dude who gave the speech wasn’t the one running our country. Certainly someone capable of introspection and abstract thought would be better than the current resident of the White House, a groundhog scurrying about in a man’s clothes. When Katrina and then Rita tore through Louisiana and Mississippi, our supposed leader holed up in his Texas ranch while Harry Connick Jr. demanded help for his fellow citizens. Why a singer became a better leader than our president remains a mystery. If you’re a person who believes things happen for a reason, maybe you’d think that it took two hurricanes to wake up half the nation from our national nightmare.
As the 2008 election year grew closer, it seemed that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic candidate for president. This filled me with sadness. Sad because it would really be wonderful to see a woman President - just not that woman. It would be like your parents giving you booger-flavored ice cream.
-Yay, ice cream!
-Wait, what is this? I’m not hungry anymore.
She has obviously been preparing her resume for years. Running for Congress in New York, joining the Senate Armed Services Committee. Yeah, she wants everyone to have healthcare. But booger-flavored ice cream with strawberries really doesn’t make it more appealing. (Let’s see how far I can take this metaphor, shall we?)
The great thing about Barack Obama is he hasn’t become part of the institution yet. He’s still young, smart, and has plenty of political mistakes to make. Sometimes he’ll say something that I’ll agree with wholeheartedly and get blasted by the media for saying it. I’m not sure when speaking your mind and stating the obvious became unwise for politicians. Maybe it’s always been that way. In any case, Obama has not yet become that stone wall where information cannot pass freely. What he says, he means, and what he says, he says eloquently and with passion.
Obama’s speeches are one of his greatest strengths. Unlike the mole-man currently squatting in the White House, Obama can elicit change with his words. You’d think that a man giving speeches for at least eight years would get better at it. The current President proves that public speaking is a talent as well as a skill. After the 2004 Democratic Convention speech, my other favorite Obama speech was the one he gave soon after he was attacked for belonging to a church whose reverend was a weirdo. Known as the Race Speech, Obama answered many of the unasked questions of an African American running for President. More importantly, he addressed a wound that we as a country have yet to fully comprehend, let alone heal. As a white guy, it is hard to adequately discuss the deep divide we still have in this country. One of the best things I can do is listen. We must consider is the amazing diversity of this country: not just black and white but Latino and Asian and just about every other region in the world. Obama’s family background speaks to the way America really is. When Kennedy got elected as the first Roman Catholic president, it was a big deal. Forty years later, we need to keep making steps toward progress, toward understanding.
In the coming months a lot will be said and not much understood. The wrong details will be analyzed to death, words taken out of context and misinterpreted. A cloud of confusion will cover the nation. Keep your wits about you, dear readers. Try not to throw your shoe at the TV. On November 4th the cloud will lift.
We need to remember that we are electing a leader, a representative for us all. We are also electing, in my opinion, a person who we strive to be: the best of ourselves. Obama is just a man, with failings of his own, but he is more than a politician. He is heroic because of his humanity and because he has the capability to show us where we can go.
May our leaders make us leaders.
Friday, July 4, 2008
When you're done admiring these fine independent robots, could you take a minute to write a review of this very blog at Blogged? The tone is up to you. Gentle caress, chaste embrace, knowing glance. Go wild, but remember: this is the internet, not some seedy paid-by-the-hour motel. We have standards to uphold.
Another place to stick your opinion of my work is at Powells City of Books! Here or here for my two Falling Rock book collections. You can also purchase said books at those convenient locations.
Enough details; let's celebrate this gosh-darned country of ours!