31 January 2008

[art] Free Online Comics = Good Thing™

1311. Just stumbled on this one: Marc Guggenheim (art by Dave Dumeer) has just dropped issue #1 of Resurrection, a dark tale of the days after the sudden, unexpected, and inexplicable end of a brutal ET invation of Earth. Nobody knows why the aliens have disappeared, where they've gone to ... or if they'll be coming back.

The entire issue #1 is readable online here.



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[design] Prepress Knowledge: It's Not The Law, But It's A Damn Good Idea

1310. One more reason to stay subscribed to CreativePro.com:  those little things about trimming and folding at the printer's that will mean the difference between a successful job and an expensive FAIL.

They talk. You listen.

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[meme, bloggage] The Great Interview Experiment: Q and Me

1309. The experiment is in progress: I've responded to Q's questions to me. Since I think graphically, I did so graphically. I'm quite proud of the work, if I do say so myself.

Check it out here.

(I'll be posting my own images here in a few days. Q has the exclusive rights to first-publication, of course, so I'll let him collect Google luv)

Next, I have SusanIsk in my sights. I'll be making up and sending off my questions later today.

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[art] The Year of Stan, 30

1308. Good thing they didn't walk into Transamerica Ttitle Co.

That would just wind up sounding awkward, and kind of '50s Sci-Fi B-movie-y.

On the other hand, these two could be just what Des Moines needs.

(Critiquity: I'm very impressed by the small details - the picture on the wall and the computer desktop on the monitor. Quite nice!)

[art] The Year of Stan, 29

1307. Now, if he'd just deliver it like Mitch Hedberg or Jim Galligan ...

It's all in the delivery, son.

30 January 2008

[bloggage, meme] I Am An Experimental Subject

1306. One of the latest Big Ideas is The Great Interview Experiment, a meme started by L.A. based writer Neil Kramer in his blog Citizen of the Month. And I, nobody by name and profession, decided to sign on.

One reason is because it looks like it'll be fun. Another is because it pushes me a little outside of my comfort zone, and this looks like it'll be in a good way.

Another reason is, when they get to contacting me, I get to be interviewed by Q. A couple of sub-reasons I like this; one, I've never had the privilege of being interviewed by a letter (and as an ex-Star Trek geek, being interviewed by Q is a coup*), and, B, I love the sense of humor on that blog. Follow the link. That is the greatest blog header picture evar. Now I don't feel so bad about downloading all that pr0n all that aimless reading of Wikipedia.

We're apparently on our own in arranging these interviews, so I hope I get to thank Q soon.

My interview victim subject is Slackmistress. I'll be coming for you soon, luv; your blog is a treat to read, and I don't want to come off like a complete dork when talking to you.

Update: Mememeister Neil has informed me there has been a bit of a realignment.

Susanisk, You Are The Quarry. And I still don't want to come off like a complete dork when I talk to you, so let me scan your blog.

It's not that I'm not a dork, mind you. I just don't want to come off like one.

(* Yes, I'm a doggerel poet, and I know it, and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn)

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[us_politik] The Best Man Is Out

1305. I share the disappointment that most other people feel over John Edwards' exit from the race do.

Curiously, he said he was suspending his Presidential run. Strange. Those still waters run deep, neh?

He was the best of the Democratic candidates and the best of all candidates truly. His concern for most of us who are generally made to watch the train of American prosperity pull away with us left to our own devices at the station was, I thought, the most genuine and sincere. I thought his moment had finally come at the Democratic "debate" when he stepped in and kept it classy, reminding Obama and Clinton that their arguing wasn't helping one poor person out of poverty nor was it getting one impoverished kid insurance.

As a voting and aware American citizen I feel rather betrayed. Our media (no surprise, but still a disappointment to note) never gave him the serious look he deserved. Instead, we got a group of snickering heads who got hung up on the fact that he may (or may not) have spent $400 for a haircut ... which is, of course, nothing that any of them ever do. Edwards is the only candidate who ever had any expensive tastes, you see.

As a Democratic voter I'm giving my support to Obama, and hoping he does the right thing, should he get the nod, by naming Edwards as his veep.

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[liff, irony] In The Final Account, Even the Dark Lord Must Bow To Developers, Apparently

1304. The site of Anton LaVey's "Black House" is now ... infill condos.

Via BoingBoing.

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[LOLPDX, teh_funnay] He Asks.

1303. The question of the age:

(Nicked from here. Noble cause. Maybe you can help out.)

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[art] I Got Prizewinning Artistic Friends

Frosted bark with moss
Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial
1302. This photeaux was taken by an acquaintance of mine, one Laurel Black, and was submitted to Intel's Hillsboro Naturally digital photo contest. This lady is known to me in the S.C.A. locally as Eulalia.

She has quite an eye ...

It won first place in the adult division. Now, I don't know how she'll take to being called an adult, in as much as she has a joie de vivre that is most childlike (in the good way).

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29 January 2008

[art] Actually, I Prefer Black Ballpoint ... (Some NSFW)

1301. But Juan Francisco Casas does his in blue ballpoint.

That's all. Blue ballpoint.

Amazing photorealism.

UPdate, Important: I have been advised by Stan that some of S. Casas' works are NSFW. While I cannot completely guarantee the non-salaciousness of the sites I link to, I do not knowingly link to sites that are meant to deliver you to anything that will get you into the doghouse with your partner, spouse, or employer. My apologies here, folks.

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[art] The Year of Stan, 28

1300. I never knew anyone without a torso, though I had a science teacher in High School that looked like he had no neck.

His head looked like someone pushed it down between his shoulders. Weird.

[art] The Year of Stan, 27

1299. One of the features of this service is that anyone you call in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Or maybe in Henderson.

[art] The Year of Stan, 26

1298. This was probably inspired by one of those "trust" exercises I hear about so much in those mysterious "management" "retreats".

Stan's cartoon figure drawing is really getting stronger than ever. it was always good.

[job_search] Despair Is An Option ... Just Not A Good One

1297. When you fancy yourself a designer and keep a blog open to all on which you proclaim yourself as such, moreover when you state that part of its mission is to chronicle your ups and your downs, then if you just tell about your ups then you're not really being honest.

I'm human. I'm used to being scoffed at, but it's still a tough slog being unrelentingly upbeat when all about you are reasons to be discouraged.

I have before me a TBNT (for Thanks But No Thanks) letter from one of the opportunities for layout work I've applied for. This particular one I've waited more than six months to hear from. Contained in its standard "we regret to say that we've filled the job" verbiage is the following:

This posting generated a large group of applications. With that kind of response, we were fortunate in knowing we had the luxury of being very selective as we sought to narrow the field.

I'm looking on this and trying very hard to figure out how this was supposed to lessen the sting of apparently not actually having a chance of getting anywhere near something I wanted to do very much (and any member of the company that might Google this and find that verbiage will notice that I did not ... and will not ... include your name. I know how to keep it classy).

They had the luxury? Turn that knife just a leetle more, wouldya?

Like I said, it's hard sometimes to be upbeat when all you're ever told is "no".

Well, heh indeed; watch me take the tone up. I believe I have skills, value, and potential. I'm ready to work like hell for whoever makes the entirely sage decision to take me on.

What have I done lately? Well, how about:

  • Helping guide a quarterly publication with a circulation of 11-12,000 from an insert in a bigger publication to an independent publication, now in color. It's landing in mailboxes now. And I did the layout.

  • Seeing to it that a local nonprofit is going to have them a full page ad to trade with a Seattle group by the 1st of February. Short notice. I work well under pressure. It will happen. There's no question about this.

  • Preparing to break a Designorati drought by posting a couple of articles and one good review. I'll notify when that happens.

I've heard that the secret to getting through the door is to keep knocking until it opens.

I have not given up. I'm still knocking.

Surely that's worth something, even these days?

Click on the Resume and Portfolio Request button in the sidebar to see what I'm made of. I'm quite a catch, actually.

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28 January 2008

[design_tools] You Suck at Photoshop. Because You Do.

1296. Good peoples, look upon the following label and evaluate its meaning. We do not use it in an ironic sense this time. We are entirely serious.

There. That out of the way, we've stumbled on what was previously thought impossible; darkly humorous tutorials.

You, according to Donnie Hoyle, suck at Photoshop. You just do. And he's going to decrease your suckitude. But Donnie, you see, has (as they say) issues ... hell, he's got two or three subscriptions. His wife is leaving him. She's unfaithful. He's impotent. He's going through a major league depression. He has a MMORPG-addled friend who's always trying to get him to drop what he's doing to go on a raid.

They all have supporting roles in the danse macabre that Donnie does whilst trying to teach you how not to suck at Photoshop.

Note well the little touches; the highly-indicative names on the example files; possibly the only use of the phrase "man-batter" you'll ever hear in a tutorial. It's more than performance art, though; these tutes really do deliver the knowledge goods. The paths trick in Chapter 4 is particularly good, simply brilliant, and useful.'

But the humor is dark and very savage.

You have been prepared. Good.

Here we go. You Suck at Photoshop #1 deals with warp, distort and layer effects to help Donnie get round a pesky restraining order:

You Suck at Photoshop #2 is subtitled "Covering Your Mistakes" and involves a kitty. No kitty was actually harmed in the making of this chapter.

You Suck at Photoshop #3 is about the clone stamp and manual cloning and has some dead-clever advice on how to to that. And Donnie tries to exorcise more of his personal pain – to no real effect:

and in You Suck at Photoshop #4, Donnie liberates himself with paths and masks, another dead-brilliant tip on how to elide a background ... but has second thoughts. Anyone out there know how to cancel an eBay auction?

Aw, damn ... you let your kids see this, didn't you?

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[or_politik] Novick On Eschaton

1294. Steve Novick's "Have a Beer" ad has just been noticed by Atrios at the Best Damn Political Blog Evar.

(Ed Note: I'm still for Merkley. But Oregon's Senate race is getting noticed, and that's important. And the ad is clever, and funny)

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[ad_design] No, This Is What Allergy Congestion Can Feel Like ...

1293. So I was cruising the intermets for pr0n for graphic design job-search resources and came up on this little banner ad for Claritin:


I was intrigued. I know what allergy congestion can feel like; a whirlpool does not really come to mind. But then I thought ... hey, think outside the box here, Klein. If the feeling of allergy congestion can be equated to something so abstract as to leave me scratching my head, what else could I come up with?


Nuts and bolts? Why not? Or, how about ...


Cumlonimmbis Cumulownimbuds CumulonumbnutsThunderstorms? Nah, too obvious. Whatever else abstraction could we come up with. Could allergy congestion feel like ...


Paisley printed corduroy? Actually, make a note of that one. I'll bet it's not far off. Actually, the last time I had stuffed sinuses, the feeling was similar to ...


... the feeling I had after watching an episode of Lost. I just can't get the appeal of that show. But if I'm going to compare allergy congestion to a TV show, lets do it right ...


... and compare it to a Season Two episode of Space:1999 (a/k/a, "The Season Where The Women Constantly Scream"). Oh, wait, I've got it ... with the mind so much on politics lately, this has got to be it:


Yes. Mitt Romney giving a speech. That's it. It's settled. Allergy congestion feels like watching Mitts give a speech.

Don't question it!

That's it right there!

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[or_photos] A Gorgeous Ruin

1292. At the bitter end of South Water Street, (yes, Silverton again) there is this gorgeous tumbledown building, just reclining on the side of the road, taking its leisure.

Just to the left, out of shot, is the city limits. This is the last bit of Silverton before you leave town and get back out into the country, on your way to the Falls.

The door on the end seems to suggest that it was some commercial building. Would it only that I could remember what it was ... but remember, this was the side of Silverton I never hung around in (funny, considering I was born and did half my growing up here).

Behind it is the steep hillside on the other side of Silver Creek, which directly behind it. I wish I could just remember ...

It is a fabulous ruin. Very beautiful in its way.

The Wife™ was behind the lens for these. Credit where due.

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27 January 2008

[or_photos] Silverton - Street Signs and Back Streets

1291. More Silvertonage.

Some time ago I uploaded Silverton photeaux with the aim of showing off the street blades in My Little Town™. I realized that I never quite got to that. Herewith ...

I give you here your typical pair of Silvertonian street blades. Silverton, as many towns do, name streets after the families of the settlers who originally populated the town. Barger and Cowing are two such family names.

As seems appropriate for a town of Silverton's size, the street blades are uncomplicated. They show a designers' sense of hierarchy; the specific (street name) stands out, the generic (street type) is diminished. Information processing is limited to what the driver quickly needs to digest. Also notably is the mixed-case, which, when the sign went up, some time in the 1970's, was something of an innovation. There is now a school of thought that holds that the brain processes not only the shapes of the glyphs but the overall shape of the word – which, if correct, suggest that a mixed-case word of clear glyphs packs more informational punch.

The typeface is a recogizable FHWA version.

This corner is in one of the most charming neighborhoods that one could imagine, south of downtown and between the South Water Street arterial (the road to Silver Falls State Park) and Silver Creek. Looking south down Cowing from Barger, here's what you see:

This is charming enough to make an hold hard-hearted former Silvertonian like me consider moving back some day.

Next we have a street blade set from one of Silverton's hidden corners. You won't find Fourth Street on most maps, but it exists. thou there's not much of it:

This is looking north on Fourth from Drake:

There is, by the by, just out of shot on the right, this big gorgeous house that overlooks that asphalt sidewalk. You can see it quite plainly if you look up Drake Street from South Third (it's a rather short block).

And this is south on Fourth from Drake:


Up there at the top of the hill, according to maps, Fourth doubles back and becomes Fifth. I didn't have the nerve to walk up there though: it looks a little bit private even though it's a public right-of-way, and I didn't want to make the people up there look like I'm doing surveillance. If there's a sign for the corner of Fourth and Fifth, we'll have to find that another day.

Next, here's an example of a downtown blade, from First (properly, N. First) and High

The blocks defined by First, Water, Main, and Oak are a historic district now, with attendant signage:


While the brown color and the distinctive and refined serif type here communicate charming antiquity, the e-x-t-e-n-d-i-n-g of the type in the word FIRST by stretching it out makes me cry a little and die a little inside.

And this is what a numerical street outside of downtown looks like. Note the directional, in the same case and size as the generic.

And Portland isn't the only place you'll find a Stark Street ... there's also one just east of the above picture, along B Street between N. Second and N. Third.

I am really burning the time here. Up against the clock, got to go. More later.

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[modern_liff] Decidedly Not A Wonderful Thing

1290. Via the inimitable BoingBoing:

The Canadian National Post looks on with mild horror as American linguists report on the growing trend in the American south to use "Canadian" as a masking euphemism for black people, so that white racists can say socially inappropriate things without tipping listeners off about the cancer in their souls.

(Click through here for the article) If this be true, this be appalling. Though I must point out our so-inclined fellow Dumb*ss-Americans are not only offending our neighboring country and trashing our fellow man they're also guaranteeing that a cancer on our national culture endure.

That's three effects for the price of one smug slur. Must be that dogged American productitvity I hear so much about.

In other news, an American won the Democratic party primary in South Carolina last night. Impose your own truth on that one, good peoples.

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26 January 2008

[art] The Year of Stan, 25

1289. Strange ... the forecast actucally called for raining cats and dogs, not this.

And we now know what VMRS students do on thier day off.

[art] The Year of Stan, 24

1288. For those hard-to-reach places... Just put the molars out on the brush.

There, you've saved a step ...

(Critiquity: I admire the work on hand-creating and shading the letterforms. That's pretty cool. The joke works on sort of the "crack you over the head" way. The rendering of the teeth is pretty good, which means I get that "uh-oh" feeling I get whenever I see teeth out.)

25 January 2008

[pdx] It's Hard Out Here For A Former Fur Store Owner


News Item: Gregg Schumacher ordered to pay $43,000 of legal fees for filing a frivolous lawsuit against PETA over thier protests of his store (via the Merc)

This, of course, gives us a chance to do what we usually do in such situations, namely, steal a photo from the Merc's Blogtown and LOLize it.

Whenever I think I've got it tough, I think of ol' Greg Schumacher. Now that's some vicississitudes of fortune there, boy.

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[design, news_design] Birth Pangs of a Color Publication

1285. The new edition of the Sierra Club Columbia Group's quarterly, the Columbia Overlook, has hit the mailboxes and should be arriving in Club member's mailboxes any day now.

I attended the mailing party at the Group's offices out at 30th and Stark last night, and it's an interesting place to be. Thanks to the tender mercies of graveyard-shift weekend work it's typically not in the cards to attend most Group activities. I believe in what the Sierra Club advocates for, however, and this volunteer activity allows me to give back in a way that really makes it real for me and (I like to think) provides a service that is very much needed. It's a win-win-win.

All We Gotta Do is, Talk Talk

The biggest challenge here was, just as in every distributed operation, is communication. Jeff, who's been involved with the club for a very long time (one other thing that always impresses me about Sierra Club members is the commitment they have to this group and its cause) and has agreed to become the Overlook editor and did the yeoman's job in getting me the information I needed. Until now, the Overlook has mailed as an insert to the Oregon Chapter's Oregon Conifer, so we didn't have to worry about making the issues mailable. Now, we did.

The give and take in the e-mail-channel was pretty brisk at times. But as long as the channel stayed open and active we were able to hammer things out. Jeff liaised with the post office (if it doesn't fly with them, it doesn't fly – period) and gave me feedback as quickly as he could.

In the end, through the mailing back and forth of questions and PDFs we got the address block in the right place and the labels all went on on Wednesday.

Power Windows ... In Color

The issue put to bed, I'm looking forward to what Jeff has in store for the developing of the Overlook. It's always been a good source of information for Sierra Club members locally, now it's going to be even better. Any Sierra Club publication is distinguished by gorgeous photography ... the members have an eye for the beautiful and the picturesque. Any publication is made more exciting with pictures, and with color it comes alive with a shout. Next to the mailing label in this issue is a couple of beautiful pictures, on from Jeff of Mount Hood from an outing to Trillium Lake in February 2007; another is looking up through the trees in Hoyt Arboretum.

The Overlook carries the Sierra Club message; the color photos underline it and put a big bang on the end.

If you want a good look at what the evolving new Columbia Overlook looks like, follow this link directly to a PDF of the Winter 2008 issue (it's about 670 KiB). I'm proud of it, we worked out some beginning issues and we'll be working out more, and I think editor Jeff is wanting to evolve this into something quite exciting.

Think about joining the Sierra Club too if you care about the world around you. They're good, smart, committed people doing something terribly, terribly, necessary. You don't have to be a member to go out on an outing or volunteer – they'll gladly welcome the help.

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24 January 2008

[liff] The Kind of Dreams We Have Hereabouts

1284. I'm sitting in a space between two brick buildings in a place that looks vaguely like Old Town, I know it's Old Town, though absolutely none of the buildings are actually ones you'd find there in reality.

I'm having an espresso.

Suddenly, the brick wall on the north side of the courtyard soundlessly falls on everyone in the cafe's courtyard, draping itself over us as though it were a blankit. It smarts mightily, but nobody is so much as scratched.

At that moment I realize that I'm the only one who can properly document the scene due to my writing and photographic talents. So I run like hell down SW Broadway (going quickly south of Burnside) to find a camera store so I can buy one. I'm broker than broke, but I figure I'll cross that bridge when I find it.

All the camera stores sell jewelry and electronics. No cameras at all.

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[us_politik] All You Need To Know About The Best Democrat and Two Republicans

1283. In this edition of telescreen theatre we'll call Vidiot Nails It.

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23 January 2008

[art] The Year of Stan, 22

1283. I don't know which had me laughing harder here, the SG's warning or the picture of the lazy old dog smokin' away.

This one is comic genius. No clever comment here.

[liff] Jerry O'Connell Is A Better Tom Cruise Than Tom Cruise

1282. For one thing, he's funny with out being creeptastic:

Yeah, for me, KFC is indeed what it's all about. It's just good chicken!


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[art] Hand Writing It In

1281. Just as a reminder; art isn't always a clever picture.

As someone who has done calligraphy and still handwrites a diary, I thought the above-linked was one of the coolest bits of bloggage I've ever seen. The stationery is cool. The blocky handwriting is cool. And handwriting a blog entry which is then posted as an image makes the whole thing wonderfully reflexive.

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[art] A Couple of Cartoony Dragons

1280. You see, good peoples? I told you I was an artist!

The Wife™ asked me to come up with something on short notice for her event, the Shire of Dragon's Mist's Arts Gathering (info here). A good time is to be had by all.

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22 January 2008

[liff] Blunt, Honest Words From Out of the Crallspace

1279. This entry at the blog The Crallspace impressed me not so much because of what was said but because if everyone adopted any one of these behaviors, at least a little, we'd all be a lot better off for a bit longer.

I'm part of a family that's always just scraped by, even now. So the stuff about each gen doing better than the last gen has always been something that is the stuff of concept. Still, the USA has always, at least in Oregon, been a better place to scrape by than most places are to wildly succeed in.

But who says that things will always stay as "good" (and all the relativity that term encompasses) as they always have, or continue to "get better" (same proviso)?

Who really says? Does anybody really know?

Of course, I also appreciate the bluntness of Crallspace's language. Blunt in the way that makes you think in the good way (hint: you know that when you hear it. Not everyone who fancies themselves a straight-shooting thought-provoker really is. Here's the exception).

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[art, x_pdx] The Year of Stan, 22

1278. Maybe if he spoke Russian, he'd know ...

A little critique talk here: there is some really strong artwork here by Stan, better even than his Joel & Steve work (what I've seen of it anyway). The man and the woman are very believable in a cartoon sense (the artwork on the chick rocks, seriously!), though one tiny nit to be picked here (well, so to speak) ... that fellah kinda looks like he's about to indulge in a little rhinotillexism here.

But overall, very strong, with teh funnay joak well implemented. Better than me, most certainly.

[liff] Heath Ledger, 1979-2008

1277. I just heard this. I don't usually blog about 'hip' actors' deaths; there are so few actors these days whose craft is that inspiring and whose passion is moving.

Heath Ledger was one of those actors, and notably, he was one of the few modern actors that myself and The Wife™ both enjoyed. We liked his aplomb, we liked his daring; we loved his performance in A Knight's Tale; we had not quite gotten round to seeing Brokeback Mountain, we were looking forward to his psychotic take on The Joker in the newest Batman movie.

So it was quite shocking to turn on the radio to hear that Heath Ledger had died, aged only 29 years.

Truly that was too young to die.

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[net_life] Found Object: io9.com

1276. Just found this one; the Bad Astronony email update recommended this.


Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, remarked that it is a ... :

newish blog-like thing with rapid-fire updates, gossip, and photos from the world of science fiction. It’s actually very cool, catering precisely to folks like me: science fiction fans who have grown up, take it semi-seriously, but like the occasional cup of snark. The writers clearly love (and are extremely intimate with) the genre and have lots of cool stuff on the blog (though they seemed to have liked the suckfest that was Pitch Black), and their insider info is impressive.

That's true. The first thing I found was a post about this B-minus 1980 dystopian bubblegummy thing called The Apple; imagine Logan's Run, add in pop music addiction and a thinly-done Faust as a subplot, subtract out all the dying-at-age-30 and stuff, and you just about had it. And there was snappy, sassy give-and-take about the movie that was fun to read.

Naturally I signed up. I won't be able to keep up, no, but I signed up. couldn't help it.

The tagline is Strung Out on Science Fiction. That it is, that it is.

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[blog_life] Another Excellent Reason Not To Go PayPerPostal

1275. Very recently, ORBlogs admin Paul Bausch announced a policy of delisting blogs for ORBlogs who were found to use a new service designed to get advertisers cheap marketing in blogs called PayPerPost (no, I'm not linking to it, peoples ... you're on your own).

The stated reason was that Google got wise and went Agent Orange on the so-called "Posties", sending their page rank to zero. Any blog that has PayPerPost content consequently falls so far off the Google search radar that you might not even know it was there. ORBlogs runs that same risk if found to be reproducing any Postie's posts, which would ripple down to blogs that list with ORBlogs.

So it should go without saying that we here at The Times are 100% in support of pb's move. But then it occurred to us: how do you know that any given blog contains Postie content? They say they'll disclose but people being people, maybe they won't.

At the PayPerPost website (add the dot com to go there peoples, like I said, I ain't linkin') there is, fortunately, a short list of the most successful Posties ... who seem to be making about $1K/month doing PPP content. I chose this blog to look at ...

The PPP material stuck out like a sore thumb. Ostensibly a sports blog, it had posts on online gambling, LED wedding lights, Christmas lights, and retail job bank sites. They floated there like dung in a punchbowl.

So, aside from the manpower (how much does Google have? Oh, forgot, they use surplus Jango Fett clones, I guess) I guess it isn't that hard to figure out what is and isn't PPP content.

Short answer: it makes your blog look horrid.

So if anyone thinks that Google and services like ORBlogs is being unfair, look at it this way: using PPP content will make you look like a braindead wanker with no pride to speak of. Of course, if you're down with that, Postie away.

But for me, whether or not I approve of the message any blog is sending, I tend to respect it more if it's not advertising at me. Just because we can stick an ad on anything and everything doesn't mean we ought to, or should.

(Disclosure: while many of my posts carry the phrase powered by Qumana, this is not paid promotion for Qumana. Qumana is free blog client software (that we are quite happy with) that can be obtained by going to Qumana.com ,)

UPdate: Can't let this go without including what Rafe Needleman (and while I could be justly accused of just wanting to use the name "Rafe Needleman" in a post, that's just merely the case here) said at CNet News.com:

This is a bad, bad, bad thing. It's hard enough for bloggers and professional journalists to maintain their integrity as it is. Even an unsubstantiated rumor of impropriety can destroy a writer. And PayPerPost casts a pall of doubt over everybody.

Maybe I'll go start a company that certifies writers as "guaranteed payola-free." Sure, we all have our biases. We're human. But when I read a blog, I want to know that the opinions I'm reading actually come from the writer's heart and head, not directly from some influence-pusher's marketing budget.

I am adding this service to my list of awful ideas that subvert the social contract.

Could hardly say it better myself.

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[liff] John Stewart, 1939-2008


I've learned to love the night, 'cause the light's gonna get ya, right between the eyes in the morning, like a gun ...

Bombs away.

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21 January 2008

[art, x_pdx] The Year of Stan, 21

1273. This may not have worked then, but now, with advanced SFX hair techniques (including the resolution of the war between HD and Blu-Ray hairstyling), anything's possible!

What a great world ...

[logo_design, pdx_media] KGW Storms To HD With Revised Logo

1272. KGW is now in HD, and it looks very much like the station has remodeled its logo look to go with it.

This doesn't appear to be a radical redesign, as the recent KATU re-ID was. Rather, this seems to be a refinement of the older logo, integrating the typography they've been using of late in the chyron space (the lower third of the screen).

 KGW's Wikipedia page has the old logo, and the entry itself has been edited to say that it was the logo used until 21 January 2008:


Today, posted in this entry on OregonMediaInsiders, fellow user Myhousemf posted this image to an open thread (and we've got to give him the credit ... we've been all over the KGW.com site and haven't found it anywhere):


What comes immediately to the eye is the depth. There's a hint of the drop shadow lifting the 8 above its background shape. What is most remarkable is the shift in the typography (though not in the 8). As pointed out, it now matches the chyron typefaces.

 What I find most encouraging about this redesign is the re-introduction of the call-sign KGW into the logo, though. I'm old-fashioned in a way – when I was growing up, child of the TV generation, a TV station's corporate ID wasn't complete without a reference to the call-sign. Latterly, that's not been the case; witness all the FOX and CW stations that ID themselves as part of the network, and the CBS Mandate (which I've referred to here before). I like this not. And the Northwest NewsChannel 8 ID didn't work terribly well for me; made it sound more like a pay-tv channel.

The return of the K, G, and W to the Channel 8 logo brings a fresh bit of locativity to the logo. Having a three-letter call is something to be proud of.

(Thanks of course go to OMI for simply existing)

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[pdx, liff] Talking To The Right Man

1271. Viewing KOIN 6 News this morning we were pleased to see the Rev. Chuck Currie being interviewed by Lynn Huston about the significance of MLK.

We couldn't think of a better fellow, really.

Shame they didn't put video up about it.

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[art, x_pdx] The Year of Stan, 20

1270. This one is for anyone who's ever wanted to tack the verbiage "5 POINTS" under those signs that say "PEDESTRIAN".

People like me.

I never did it, though, no.

So if you see that on a sign anywhere, that wasn't me.


20 January 2008

[art, x_pdx] The Year of Stan 19

1269. I had a thought of an urban version (All Y'all Haul) and one based in the scattered American pig-latin enclaves (Oo-hay Aul-Hay), but that's about when my idea-thingy b0rked.

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[pdx_bloggers] Taoiseach Has Gone Missing?

1268. I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but Beaver Boundary's proprietor, Taoiseach, hasn't posted anything since last 20th of November.

Yes, that's 2007.

I hope he/she is alright. I sure liked that blog.

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19 January 2008

[bloggage] 1,999 FTW

1267. As of this moment, my blog has logged 38,001 visits of every description. Since one of my favorite shows was Space:1999, I felt compelled to mark this occasion – 1,999 visits until my counter rolls over to 40,000.

I know better than to expect almost 2,000 visits in a day, but if anyone wants to do something crazy and spread the word that I'm trying to hit that mark, I wouldn't discourage you. It would be a cool record.

Of course, I am not one of two girls in posession of a cup and I have no bootleg MP3s to give away. Just me and my quirky personality, that of a graphic designer who's having a bit of trouble finding a job hereabouts. You go with what you got.

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[art, x_pdx] The Year of Stan 18

1266. When even Vaseline Intensive Care won't do the trick, one must get creative.

17 January 2008

The Year of Stan 17 – Teh Sickness

1265. Oh noes! We hope Stan gets well right away, but have to admire his pluckiness in getting something up. Well done, Stan!

Remember to get those organs back in ...

[art, SCA] Creating The Roll: A Side Pursuit

1264. We here at The ZehnKatzen Times media conglomerate are pleased to announce the growth of another salient in the ZKT quest for graphic world domination.

For many years now I've been associated with the Society for Creative Anachronism – the preeminent medieval recreationist organzation in the world today. In that group (which I call our local Shire of Dragons Mist home) I have excelled, some people feel, in creating art – specifically Heraldry, which concerns coats of arms (of which mine is pictured here).

My good friend and teacher Ciaran Cluana Ferta has inveigled me to restart a longstanding quest to recreate a roll of arms of the Battle of Barnet, which occurred on 14 April 1471, and was a notable battle in the English Civil War – what we 'merkuns call the Wars of the Roses.

This is an open-ended project with the goal of creating this Roll of Arms with as much realistic style and materials as practical ... for example, I will be creating the egg tempera I will use, though I will certainly not be making the vellum (which, unlike today's paper product was rendered from animal skins). I will, however, be researching and documenting how those materials came about.

Misson Control for all this merry madness will be the blog Creating The Roll, which I have staked out at http://thebarnetroll.blogspot.com. I hope that those of you who read who are interested in such things will follow along with me. I'm truly excited about this.

Also located there will be links to my SCA pals and SCAdian activities, including links to the branches local to the Portland Metropolitan Area, in case you've been looking to get on board with the SCA but have never been able to find an entry point.

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16 January 2008

[art, x_pdx] The Year of Stan 16

1263. He should try asking him about Vioxx. All those commercials I see keep telling me to but I just don't have the time to ask mine.

Yeah, they can't all be gems, peoples (my jokes, I mean, not Stan's art).

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[art, x_pdx] The Year Of Stan 15

1262. Next week, on Hoboken 911! he gets upgraded to NERF.

Actually, I tried on of those NERF pistols. The urge to destroy came over and i just kept firing and firing and ... uh, what just came over me there?

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[liff] Insert Dionne Warwick or Miss Cleo Witticism Here

1261. The Astrological Magazine is shutting down. Wait for it ... Unforseen cirucmstances. Well, it is an art, not a science, y'all. Via.

Here's a screenshot for posteritys:

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