04 May 2016

[info] Uber, By The Numbers, 39 Ways

Uber ... love it or hate it, it's hard not to be fascinated by the beast.

Did you know, for instance, if you were an angel investor in Uber and you laid down $20,000, you might be $40,000,000 richer at this point? Or that 20% of drivers are women and 25% are over 50 years old?

Or that, if Uber had to engage its drivers as employees, it would cost Uber $4.1 Billion?

No matter what you think of it (for the record, I'm not a fan), it's an educational trip to get an awareness of the sheer numbers swarming around the phenomenon. This graphic ... 39 Facts About Uber, by Cardude of MisterBeep.com, gives the skinny. The original article is at http://www.misterbeep.com/39-facts-about-uber/.

Made by: Mister Beep

03 May 2016

[pdx] A Review of UKL's The Lathe Of Heaven 45 Years In The Making

One of the more interesting sorts of literary critiques is from those who come to the work late.

The Lathe of Heaven is Ursula K. LeGuin's 1971 masterpiece, a subtext-laden love letter to Oregon and the nature of existence and human affection and love, and the most Portland novel ever written. It clothes its story so well in its setting ... A now-alternate-past version of Portland and northwestern Oregon ... that it's hard to believe that LeGuin wasn't a native Oregonian. It's the novel that caused me to fall in love with her writing, and the way she looks at the world.

At the blog Biblioklept, posted last October, review Edwin Turner posts an intriguing and accessible interpretation of his experience reading the novel for the first time, making a solid case that it's Heather Lelache, not George Orr or Dr. Haber who is the pivotal character of the story. He ends his review thus:
The Lathe of Heaven is a propulsive and intriguing read. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before now. Great stuff.
To which we say, better late than never.

Read the review at https://biblioklept.org/2015/10/28/a-review-of-ursula-k-le-guins-novel-the-lathe-of-heaven/

26 April 2016

[logo] Sacto Kings Debut New, Improved Logo

... and this one in over the transom. The NBA's Sacramento Kings (which, I've incidentally found out, is the oldest continually operating franchise in the NBA, having begun in 1923 as the Rochester (NY) Seagrams) have changed up the graphic identity, retiring a look they've sported (sorry not sorry) since 1994 ... to be precise, this look:

Not remarkable, really. Got the job done, we suppose. Doesn't make us laugh, doesn't make us cry. Kind of bland, really. Like something you got from SportsTeamLogoMart; about the only logo with less passion is OKC's.

But now, This ...

Very effect. We're enjoying this much; tough, clean, smart, direct. Its clean design mixes the right proportion of design and attitude.

What really got us going about this logo approach was this version:

This looks like something a Sacto fan could get passionate about. The lion wearing the crown (whose simplicity of design is genius to us), morphing to the basketball shape. 

Pretty nifty, we think. 

[pdx] In Portland, During the Playoffs, Blazer Fans Who Own Buildings Be Like ...

Seen looking north from NW 11th Ave and West Burnside St, just before we go in for our Sunday night session of Powells City Of Books-Church:

Hard not to feel good about the Blazers, right now.

16 April 2016

[Out122ndWay] Mount Hood Of The Day: Wy'East Walking His Sundogs

The view today from Rossi Farms was bright ... and beautiful.

The bright sunlight washed out the peak; that's it there, almost a dreamy silhouette. But today was brought to you by Mount Hood, the sun, and that high thin icy mist, which gave Wy'East sundogs to take out for a walk.

Of course, wherever there's one sundog, there's usually another not too far away.

Bow, wow, wow!

14 April 2016

[pdx] Portlandness Is The Atlas Portland Needed.

There's a section, near the front of the book Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas, (David Banis and Hunter Shobe, $24.95, Sasquatch Books, www.sasquatchbooks.com) which tries to define just what 'Portlandness' is, and then goes on to illustrate just where that Portlandness is thickest. In it, the book's authors, faculty in the Geography department at Portland State University, surveyed students in one of their courses to find out what qualities define life in Portland. The list of answers were largely what one would expect – things like green energy use, breweries, liberal politics, food carts – and they then related these qualities to things that could be measured via GIS and then, plotted the density of these qualities individually and then combined them all into an infographic that illustrated the combined density of all these statistics. 

The results  come off as one might expect: the more you go toward the center of Portland, the more Portland Portland is. Or maybe the more Portlandia. And the assaying is a valuable thing, because it represents a moment in time for Portland, one which our hometown has gone from adorable regional town to the west-coast's 'It Girl'. 

Latterly, Portland has become painfully fashionable and the subject of a national love affair which, if it may be levelling off, shows little sign of abatement very soon, for better … or for worse. Is there a Portland state-of-mind? Is there a way to objectively look at  that peculiar state of being that seems to be Portland and, here in the 2010's, and lay it all out for you, comprehendably? If there is, Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas  comes as close as anything can at the moment ... a witty, earnest look at what it means to be Portland right here, right now

Portland, for all its reputation and buzz, is still on a cusp of sorts. We're still at a place in the national consciousness where we can get either even more popular or pass the crown of the new cool on to another city (sorry, in advance, new city, if we do). But we weren't always this way. There is a story, a context, to how Portland is now and what that's made up of. Portlandness tries to tell that story, as it is now. If 'Portlandness' is a thing, this atlas does its best to describe it as it finds it. In the first part, as mentioned above, it tries to quantify that. 

Portlandness is divided into seven sections, after the introduction which sets the Rose City into a Cascadian context, which group maps and infographics according to overarcing themes: Urban Landscapes, The Once and Future City, Wildness, Views of the City, Social Relations, Food and Drink, and Popular Culture. Amongst them, there's scarcely a base that hasn't been touched, from historic street names to the hauntedness level of various areas of town; one map that combines all the historic plans of how Portland could have grown into one clear-yet-detailed graphic that makes you think of what may have been; the geography of the invisibility of our city's homeless; the interface between the coyotes of Portland and its chickens; a comic on geek culture and its spatiality; another demonstrating how far one is from the nearest indie coffee shop and plots that against Starbucks; a set of set tables demonstrating how long you're going to be waiting for that food at the Screen Door cafe; Chinatown then, and now; the evolution of the Guilds Lake area; a sorely-needed 2-page spread on how the city's annexations have created its shape (my favorite); soccer culture (would you ever doubt? - there's even a set of diagrams showing the loudness levels of various sections of Providence Park during a Timbers/Sounders match), even the story of Maywood Park. One section relates how children see the city, another composites how a group of students in a PSU course made mental maps of the town, characterizing it with their impressions. There's even a map of downtown that shows you the route you must take if you wish to be surveilled by the fewest cameras. And it even tries to answer the question does Portland have more strip clubs per capita than anyone else, making smart side-stop at the reason why that would be.

The design is a tight, disciplined, visually delightful thing, which herds all these infographic cats into something with a grand sense of order. Typography is beautiful, and the infographics are well-done and diagrams you can get lost in. By starting with a strong introduction (which even compares the Portland of Oregon to the Portland of Maine and finds more similarities than you might think) to give a regional setting and context, this book goes beyond mere interesting (and well-designed) fact presentation via infographics and does what a solid reference atlas should do … behave as a snapshot of a moment in time of an important time in the story of the place that is Portland. 

This is a fine book that I really can't put down for long, and anyone who loves, is intrigued by, aggravated by, or loves from afar Oregon's biggest town really should find a space on their shelf for it. 

The Portland of 2015 is a curious thing. Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas is the atlas Portland needs for this time. I'm kind of hoping that the authors decide to do a 2nd edition sometime down the road. 

The comparison would be epic.

Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas, (David Banis and Hunter Shobe, $24.95, Sasquatch Books) is available via Sasquatch's website (http://www.sasquatchbooks.com/book/?isbn=9781632170002&portlandness-by-david-banis), which also has links to other places you can purchase the work.

09 April 2016

[teh_funnay] Holy Talking Koi … Fish Wielder Character Cards!

As the release date for J.R.R.R. Hardison's epic, Fish Wielder, approachetththehth*, the swag gets better and better. And if you're lucky enough to be at a convention where J.R.R.R. is, you might stumble your way into this nifty find:

Fish Wielder Character cards! And a nice production they are, too. Slick, wonderfully colored, great-looking mementos of the adventure yet-to-be, they are great portraits of our main protagonists and antagonists.

Our hero, Thoral Mighty-Fist and his faithful companion, Bradfast … the talking koi.

Of Thoral, the card saith Perhaps the strongest, toughest, most mythical fighter in all the mystical world of Grome. His most striking feature is his piercing gaze. So intense is his stare that those on the receiving end often feel the need to look away for fear they'll catch fire.

Well, why … I eyes ya.

The heroine … Nalweegie … looks delicious. And there's a reason.

The elfish warrior princess, in the elfin language, Nalweegie translates as "the Evening Snack". She is so named because to look on her in twilight quells the hunger of one's heart without making one feel overfull, as can happen with a more substantial meal. 

You know what would be perfect? If her visage would also be part of 'this' nutritious breakfast. 
And, how can be a heroic tale without the villains? The set contains two:

This is Necrogrond:

The mysterious and evil sorcerer. A high priest of the Bad Religion, kidnapper of Princess Nalweegie** and the self-proclaimed nemesis of Thoral and Brad. Oh. He is also immortal.***

As nemesis-proclaiming goes, self-proclaiming saves a lot of time. We approve of the getting-things-done attitude of Necrogrond. 

And someone who needs no introduction … but he's getting one because he's a silent type … The Heartless One:

The scarlet-robed and mostly silent leader of the Bad Religion and the mastermind of the plant to find the lost Pudding of Power. By eating it, the Heartless One hopes to bring the peoples of the magic world of Grome to their knees.

Talk about eating like you mean it. I hope it comes with a MSDS.

The art is by Herb Apon (who drew the FW cover art), the coloring is by Dan Jackson (who worked with JRRRH on The Helm) and the silly is 100% Jim. Each card has the above descriptions and a QR code on the back, so you can sail away to where-ever that takes you in the online world of Fish Wielder.  And if you were lucky enough to go to Emerald City ComicCon, you may have run across Jim and he's probably given you one. If he offers you one, it's our hearty recommendation to accept … and join the school of afishonados waiting for this work to come out.

The world of Fish Wielder on line is best accessed though FW's site here: http://www.fishwielder.com/, which has as much as you need to know about the whole spree, and should keep you wanting some more.

Two fins up, so far. 

* ththththhthth. Thththth.
** Booo, hisss!!!!
*** So, there's that.

08 April 2016

[Out 122nd Way] Mount Hood-of-the-Day: Under Gray Skies

This edition was postponed because there was a lot of distractions last week, not the least of which were a chest cold that kept me off line most of the week. But this was a dramatic shot I liked and was just backed up just right.

I also tried an angle about 200 feet east down NE Shaver from 122nd, but found the parking not as advantageous.

But it draws a nice line between dramatic and mundane.

[teh_funnay] Spot The Error

In the last week, in as much as Wife™ and me were parched, we stopped at one of the fine purveyors of artificially sweetened, flavored, fizzy water arrayed along the many miles of SE Division Street and acquired a small supply of said beveraginal substance in the cup you are about to see here.

Bearing in mind the time of purchase, I invite you to spot the error.

Go on. Take all the 'time' you need!

06 April 2016

[Out122ndWay] SE Market St, In the Mist

A brief check-in, the fog this morning making it feel chillier than the unseasonably warm day this is destined to become:

You don't get variegated fog like that out this way very often, turbulent weather or no.

SE Market Street, looking east from SE 113th Avenue.

03 April 2016

[pdx_liff] Old Town Portland Sightlines

Devoted here to my love of looking as far as I can down a street and getting lost in the view.

This one, a look west down NW Glisan Street, from NW 6th Avenue:

And this one, looking south on NW 5th Avenue from NW Glisan Street:

Stage your favorite Leverage scene, fans. Remember, in Seasons 1-4, this was actually Boston, but we all knew it was really New Boston … Portland, I mean. 

[pdx_art] Art Nouveau M.S. Awareness Mural, NW 6th Avenue, Old Town

Also seen in Old Town last week during our sojourn there, this mural in an awesome dead-on Art Nouveau style:

This is the first and only time I've ever seen Multiple Sclerosis awareness displayed so gorgeously, and with such style. An artist rubricked Lydia Emily painted it in 2015, and I pay all due respect. It's most lovely.

If you're in Portland, you can see it on NW 6th Avenue at Flanders Street. overlooking the small parking lot on the NE corner.

If you're not in Portland, just look at the photograph.

[pdx_liff] Vintage Taxi Poster, The Fox and Hounds

Seen on the corkboard and The Fox and Hounds in Old Town (simply smashing burgers and fish and chips) was the following vintage poster:

How vintage is that?
  1. You didn't have to dial "503".
  2. Dig that Safeco logo.
  3. Dig that Radio Cab logo.
  4. The poster has the addendum 'OR WALK', and no Uber or Lyft-based snark. 
This thing is a straight-up collector's item.

[Out122ndWay] The Aliens Have Arrived Out On 122nd …

Or, at least, their tagger has. ET's no Banksy, not by a long shot, but I kinda dig his style anyway:

The above fella was spotteed on SE 122nd between Oak and Stark, on the old, boarded-up car wash on the lot between Ron Tonkin Honda on the north and the Astro station on the south, whereas this guy:

… was similarly eagle-eyed at SE Market (note the sign) and 122nd, on the same lot as the Plaid Pantry store, SW corner of that intersection.

Some things we can deduce from mere observation:
  1. The aliens are quite happy.
  2. They may need dental work.
  3. They are rather horny.
  4. They are good as opposed to evil (note the halo), and
  5. They have chin clefts that remind one, uncomfortably, of derrieres (or maybe it's me with issues, who knows).
So, let's welcome them, whoever they are. David Douglas is amongst the most diverse communities in Oregon, so a couple of ETs should fit right on in.

19 March 2016

[Out122ndWay] Mt Hood-of-the-Day: In the Bright Sunlight

I'm usually through this stretch of 122 way before this hour. Put it down to T.C.B. and working overtime. Which is a thing that happens.

Back to the usual corner at NE 122nd and Shaver, Rossi Farms, and this is what it looks like with it's the time before the sun has passed the meridian but is still somewhere south of fully-out-of-the-way:

The mountain entices because it dares you to look closer and see more. But there's all that light.

That is merely a cloud in front of the peak there. There is no eruption impending, thankfully. I'm in love with that outline, and would have for something to harm that profile (it's the same reason I'm not fond of the "Baha Bug" VW conversion, but that's another program). A Plinian eruption such as what ravaged Mount St. Helens back in 1980 isn't likely, though … it would seem that Hood just doesn't roll that way.

But still it wouldn't be much fun. Let Mt. Jefferson erupt. They haven't seen action down that way in yonks. 

18 March 2016

[pdx] Sellwood Bridge Bonds: Same As It Ever Was …

One of the bits of ephemera given out at the Sellwood Bridge grand opening a few weeks back now, was this, printed on the back of a card given out by the Multnomah County Elections Dept to encourage y'alls to use your damn' franchise. Here it is. Most ironically illuminative:

It enumerates the various benefits the bridge would bring. Most unintentionally amusing is the point that The life of the contemplated bridge would be 40 to 50 years. The ad, as the attribution notes, was published in The Morning Oregonian in November of 1923, and the bridge would actually debut just slightly more than 2 years hence.

Given the cited lifespan, the old Sellwood reached its pull date in 1975. Interesting to think that they figured that a 50-year bridge would fix the need adequately. And, of course, the debate over taxes is an evergreen one.

Also, those fonts? Love those fonts! Those fonts just speak loudly of their time.

[Wy'East] Mount Hood-of-the-Day: Embedded In A Golden Dawn

The dawn, as profiled in the post before, was sublime. It had been a few days since I last saw the mountain, and this atmospheric display was moody and worthy:

I played withe the curves a bit in Photoshop to amp up the golden a bit. I'll cop to a little bit'o'manip. Here, for your further delectation, is a tighter shot:

I like the car lights in foreground. Makes it into more of a statement.

[liff] Radiant Dawn

Radiant, literally. Coming off my work shift this morning, observe the rays being picked out of the sky:

Sunrises are the best some times.

[Out122ndWay] Holy Irony On SE 122nd Avenue

Sometimes I wonder if the Shepherd's Gate Church isn't trolling.

Spotted by FB friend and RL fellow-Portlander Sarah Gerhardt, the church's reader board is usually seen by me travelling south on 122nd, so I see the north side. I don't travel north on 122 as much so, I missed this:

I shall leave you with only two thoughts:

1) The church, as reported, used to be a strip club.
2) Dudes, phrasing! 

Oh, before it slips my mind, Sarah's online home of publishing and awesome is She Never Slept. It's horrible, in the good way.

17 March 2016

[liff] The Dude Does Dutch Bros.

And in over the transom, here's the latest in the long line of desirable, have-able Dutch Bros. Coffee stickers:

The latte abides, dude.

[art] Paint-by-Number to Infinity, And Beyond!

The latest addition to the paint-by-number oeurve finds us rocketing out to the stars. What a trip, eh?

To infinity and beyond.

What all that green is doing in space, I've no idea. 

16 March 2016

[comic] A Bead That Looks Like StupidFox

I'm fond of rather a few web comics, of course, and today, after visiting A Bead Source, a little farther out SE Division St, she found this little fellow:

He reminds me of this little dude:

That's StupidFox, a little guy who's not too bright in the brain department, but a genius in the heart and soul division.

http://StupidFox.net, for the funny.

[art] Coffee Or Something Else … ?

The eternal artist dilemma. Reach carefully, Rembrandt …

Not as easy as you think. In Portland, coffee takes many, many forms.

Might be kopi luwak, for all I know.

11 March 2016

[literature] Fish Wielder Socks for True Afishionados … And A Book Trailer!

Since learning of J.R.R.R. Hardison, life certainly has been funnier at times. And life has just become a little more footwear.

Here, for your delectation, through the auspices of Mr. Hardison, is something I'd not thought exist: Fish Wielder socks.

Yes, socks.

Attractive, soft, and well-made, I predict these will be the envy and fashion of fine afishionados the
length and breadth of Grome, and several other alternative worlds.

With Bradfast ready to get down and get busy, truly your ankles have never been safer.

But that's not all! Jim has released a pretty slick book-trailer for the upcoming work, which I've embedded below, to be watched:

You have been warned.

August, 2016 is coming.

Prepare yourself.

[Out122ndWay] Mount Hood-of-the-Day: Cloudcap

I've done one cloudcap photo before; this one, while chaotic and low in detail, is very entrancing. More of a cloud-hoodie, really.

The location can be more clarified by the blade set at right, which not only gives one the nearest cross streets, but tells you it's in Portland's Argay Neighborhood. These are the old-style street blades, which seem to be becoming rarer along the main streets by the day.

Now, the mountain:

The mountain, as I said, is in low contrast. A surfeit of sunshine today throws the buildings at the far end of the Rossi property into a higher contrast, but that big floppy cloudcap should be unmistakable.

Head in the clouds, indeed.

10 March 2016

[creativity] The Drawback Of Mortality As Motivation, And A Wise Alternative


If there's anything the last couple of years has taught me that hangs in front of my face like one of those little pine tree air fresheners in your car's window, it's a two fold thing:
  1. Motivation is important
  2. It's too easy to confuse inspiration with motivation. They are not the same thing.
Going into this phase of my life, I had thought that all you had to do was surround yourself with inspiration and the gifts would perfect themselves.  Mind, that's not what it looked like at the time. I thought that stunning examples of what could be would bring out of me what could happen. And, the truth is, when it comes to inspiration, I'm neck deep in it and threatening to drown. I live in the state in which I was born, which is one of the most beautiful, semi-unspoilt places left on earth. I live in one of the most beautiful and desirable cities in America, a place so painfully pretty it almost satirizes itself. I have, over the years, collected a library of wonderful books about how to draw, how to paint, and how to write. I've managed to get an education in graphic design. My aesthetic sense is sharper than its ever been before, for what it's worth. And for friendship, online and in other places? I am privileged to have met people who are insanely, happily, unabashedly creative. Artists and authors I once dreamed of just saying 'thanks for the great work' to.

So, where's the creativity for me? Well, it turns out that I've gotten it wrong all this time, or at least halfway so.

Motivation is not only the not the same thing as inspiration, if you have all the inspiration and not motivation, you have a very pretty studio but you aren't doing anything with it. Inspiration is the fuel, and unless you have the spark of motivation, it remains inactive, inert, pretty … and kind of dead, a backdrop no matter how well and thoughtfully curated.

Add that spark to the fuel, and bang … you'll get motion. Production. Whether for an aspiration to an eventual career or just a fulfilling and meaningful use of spare time, without the motivation, you have faith. And faith without works is dead.

So, what does motivation look like?  Does it carry a scythe?

Well, there's the rub, innit? Just because you've figured out what it is, doesn't meant you know what to look for. You just know you have to look for … something. And so we search.
Amongst the things assayed is the idea of mortality … the end of it all, Old Morty Reaper, whatever you want to call it. A lifespan is a finite thing, we just don't know our pull date. The idea, as I understand it, to death being a great spur to motion, is simply this: work as though you might be dead tomorrow. #YOLO. Do it today, because you might here to do it tomorrow. It falls on the just and the unjust alike.

And it'll work to a point. But the Grim Reaper is an equally humorless taskmaster, and inviting him to watch is kind of redundant, as he'll come when the time is ripe anyway. There's no stopping him. And until you do meet him, it's nothing more than a Sisyphean, grim-faced, serious struggle, working dourly against a deadline, as though the more work you put in, the farther out that deadline might get pushed just a little. The best art has always been fun, and there is no fun there … just desperate, strenuous grasping for something, you don't really even know what it looks like.

And it ends up tiring in despair. The knowledge of ultimate demise operates as an intense negative to me, and I have work over the negative before I get to the positive. By the time I'm in reach of your power … I'm too glum and tired to use it, even if I could grasp it, after all that murky work.

A few days back, one evening, I seriously considered using the promise of oblivion as a spur, and was fleshing out some thoughts about it. A little later that evening, on my way in to my evening job, I was almost presented with my mortality; moving though an intersection I take every evening, I nearly became a casualty. I had the green and was going through and was more than halfway through the intersection when a car, running the red on the cross street, flashed across my field of vision. The red light camera standing sentinel gave two brilliant flashes, casting a cold metal relief on the whole thing, and making it other-worldly and surreal. It's still rattling me. A few seconds one way or the other, or the lack of a certain reflex, and I would have been hurtin' for certain, never mind my beloved 1972 VW Beetle … and we won't think any farther down that branch for now, thank you.

A short while before that I thought about doing something in case I died and couldn't do it any more. And then something happened that could have caused that, before I had so much as a chance to put that plan into operation. The sum total suggested that just taking my pleasures as I wanted to might be the best option, since who knows?

And that doesn't seem effective. I'm having a little trouble finding the words, obviously. Suffice it to say that it seemed even more of a pointless dead-end than all my scotched plans and scrubbed missions to this point in time.

All you need is now. And to be in the now?


Confiding this to The Wife™ a few days after that was a real revelation for me. She had the whole thing from a different angle. And I felt something warm open up because of it.

Let's see if I can relate it as I understand it from what she said. The way she seems to look at it, you spend every moment you can doing what you aspire to, because when you're in that moment, you're doing what it is you're supposed to be doing and so you aren't striving to go to a place, you're in the place you were supposed to be in all along. All the gifts should be there with you. So, instead of journeying to the promised land, learn to see the promised land as were you are right now. And you just start doing what it is you're supposed to be doing, because it's the most natural thing ever.

She said it much more succinctly, and better. And this is what I've been rolling back and forth in my mind. I noticed one thing begin to happen after that. A certain stress seems to have changed its pull. I got the sense then, that a flower had opened up in front of me, and at least one thing I needed was there, and I just had to develop the courage to reach and pick it up.

The current step is to build that courage. 

So, let's step back from the joss-stick-and-whalesong for a moment, and distill. Changing my assumption from trying to travel to a place I want to be to assuming I'm in the best possible place right now means whatever I have now, I can use, and whatever I have now are the tools necessary. If they're a little rusty or worn, I need to repair or sharpen them up. If the room's a little drab, I can decorate it within whatever ability and tools I have now. I don't have to wait. I don't have to be ready; actually, the idea of being ready becomes irrelevant.

It all is what it is. Just acknowledge what I have now, and use whatever that is I have now.  

And it's no longer a desperate struggle. It's still a struggle, yes … but it's a little happier one maybe.

It's taken a very long time to come to this simple, if prolix insight. I wish I had been ready for it a little earlier, but again, it is what it is. And it may or may not be the key. But I've arrived in this point, and I am here. 

In the now, where I might have what I need after all.

And, so it goes. 

09 March 2016

[comics] How To Draw A Horse Right, By Someone Who Should Know.

In this video, comic deity Donna Barr shows you how to draw a horse the right way, in 15 minutes, assisted by another comic deity, Roberta Gregory ...

The video was done last year at the Clallam Bay Comiccon, and if you didn't know that Donna created the series Stinz, then you should get acquainted with that.

(posted with some abashedness that I waited so long to do so. Personal reasons)

[design] NASA JPL's "Visions of the Future" Space Tourism Posters ... And A Place That'll Print 'Em For You

A short time ago, NASA JPL released a series of delighfully-retro themed posters envisioning places in the Universe ... including our own, warm, commodious Earth ... as vacation destinations. The series is called Visions of the Future, and they're all available at the site http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/visions-of-the-future/ and all the images are free for the downloading. You can print them as you wish, use them for wallpaper, or whatever.

Your tax dollars at work, Earthling. I, for one, heartily approve of everything from the idea to the implementation to the lush graphics. JPL has hit a home run here.

But what if you don't want to bother with printing them, for whatever reason? Maybe you don't have access to large-format printing, or maybe you'd like to have them in some other form than inkjet? Not to worry, Major Matt Mason; Vivyx printing is charging quite reasonable rates to print them for you. The print charges start at $2.50 by the each for the economy paper in the 12"x18" size but you can also have that in museum-grade canvas for at little as $12.25. If you want big and quality you can have that canvas print in 36"x54" size for $110.25.

The link here is https://www.vivyxprinting.com/nasa-jpl-posters.asp

08 March 2016

[map] Mars, As The Medieval Explorers Saw It

Well, naturally, there weren't medieval explorers on Mars, but there should have been, and with Eleanor Lutz' map, you can pretend there were. An excerpt:

The antique look is nailed exactly, precisely, and satisfyingly. Using authentic-looking fonts and a razor-sharp eye for the style, Eleanor has lovingly recreated the style of medieval mapmakers on a world that's never seen humans, complete with hints as to name origins and official looking seals denoting probe landing sites, with portolans emanating from them for the win. Forming the basement to the art is official NASA photos of Mars to help fix the artistic geography to the real, and tie the whole look together.

Eleanor is a PhD student at the University of Washington whose passion is art and infographics; she's been published in various places including Popular Science and the International Business Times; and judging by her FAQ, she's a smarter person than I'll ever be … and she has the wit of a Karen Wynn Fonstad.

Her blog, where you can buy the above and get to know her work better, is TableTopWhale.com

(H/T to The Wife™)

[Out122ndWay] Mount Hood Picture-of-the-Day

No spectactular cast shadow … but when it comes to Wy'East, who needs any extra awesome?

The distant angle from NE 122nd and Shaver …

and extreme close up!

[caturday] The Happiest Calico In The Greater Portland Area

Call it #Caturday, deferred. I took this picture on Caturday, anyway. And Taffy, the girl calico, is wandering around the studio room, purring out loud and occasionally giving the little miaow that's saying I'm lonely but she has my undivided attention, I mean, she was purring out loud when she came in the room.

If you want to know what purrfect happiness is, here:

That is Pioneer Square Taffy.

07 March 2016

[pdx] Two More Reasons To Smile If You're A Portland Liberal Who Likes Print

Two things that have happened in the last week that should make you smile if you're liberal, a Portlander, into literature, or a liberal Portlander into literature (surprisingly, that's not all of us, campers).

The first thing is that The New Republic, the 102-year-old journal of liberal thought and opinion, is now essentially a Portland immigrant, but its mentor is a good one. Win McCormack, who ran the legendary Oregon Magazine back in the day and currently helms Tin House Press and is one of the greatest literary figures Oregon has produced latterly, bought TNR out of the hell of 'vertically digital integration' that Chris Hughes was moving it into. The Wall Street Journal reports:
When announcing his intention to sell the publication, Mr. Hughes said finding a sustainable business model for the magazine had proven elusive. But he says he believes that Messrs. McCormack and Fish are the right people to lead the publication forward.
“I had many conversations with qualified candidates, and of those I ultimately concluded that Win McCormack and Ham Fish are those stewards. Their backgrounds in journalism and progressive politics make them uniquely qualified to lead such a historic institution,” he said in a statement.
When you're looking to give a liberal magazine a proper home, going with an actual liberal is always the best way, I think it's axiomatic to say.

The other notable thing that should make every good liberal happy is that the Oregon Center for Public Policy is moving its office to the center of the big-time. I like saying that the OCPP are the policy geeks The Oregonian thinks they're talking to when they talk to the Cascade Policy Institute. That is to say, when Soylent News™ goes for some reasonable political voice, they think they've found it in CPI but, as usual, they're wrong about that.

This can only be good news for the OCPP, as Chuck Sheketoff's voice has been gaining much strength around here and of the two big voices, OCPP is much much more on the side of working Oregonians of all types and those of us who think we're a community rather than those of us who see the Oregon economy as some sort of Thunderdome.

And if you'd like to work for OCPP and have the mad office skills, there's a position for Office Manager open: http://www.ocpp.org/2016/03/03/2016-office-manager/

06 March 2016

[pdx] The Sellwood Bridge Opening, Part VI: The Fire Boat's Salute

I've seen this sort of thing in many celebrations on TV, of course. This is the first time I can remember ever being a witness to it.

After the parade, one of the Portland Fire Bureau's boats gave us all that particular version of the high-five that is so much fun to watch. When the gouts started, we all ran to that side and started firing off the shots, cool spray wafting back our direction.

First, it was water-colored …

Then it was the old red-white-and-blue …

… then, of course, they ran out of toner …

Then it was back to water-colored again.

A little disappointed that there was never the Cascadian green-white-green, but I'm not complaining. It was nifty.