Video 24 Jul 3 notes

Found these two familiar little guys at Petco. They look exactly like my two cats when they were kittens. As you can see, they didn’t want me to leave.

Photo 23 Jul #zenbrush and Pixlr Express

#zenbrush and Pixlr Express

Photo 23 Jul #Zenbrush and Pixlr Express

#Zenbrush and Pixlr Express

Video 21 Jul 1 note

#ZenBrush doodle with post-work in Pixlr Express. The image below is a kind of “workflow diagram” (not quite a tutorial) showing the process from the monochrome original, to a template change in ZenBrush (to orange), a few details changed, and finally rotated, cropped, filtered, painted, and watermarked in Pixlr. 

Photo 21 Jul 1 note Began life in #ZenBrush and then found its way into Pixlr Express. This is technically the second derivation of the original. 

Began life in #ZenBrush and then found its way into Pixlr Express. This is technically the second derivation of the original. 

Photo 20 Jul 1 note SIX LINES TELL YOU IT’S A WOMAN #Zenbrush 
It was really tough choosing a font for this. A lot of them made it look like an old movie poster or cosmetics ad. In the end, I went with my default choice for Pixlr, the dotted fonts. 
The other challenge was the Zenbrush template. Obviously, it’s pink, but on my laptop, if I wasn’t looking at it head-on, the viewing angle gave it an orange gradient, which looked very striking. I tried to add the effect in GIMP, but nothing really looked right.

SIX LINES TELL YOU IT’S A WOMAN #Zenbrush
It was really tough choosing a font for this. A lot of them made it look like an old movie poster or cosmetics ad. In the end, I went with my default choice for Pixlr, the dotted fonts.
The other challenge was the Zenbrush template. Obviously, it’s pink, but on my laptop, if I wasn’t looking at it head-on, the viewing angle gave it an orange gradient, which looked very striking. I tried to add the effect in GIMP, but nothing really looked right.

Video 20 Jul

#Zenbrush landscapes 

I think it’s always worthwhile when I can revisit old works and themes with new tools and get nearly equal results. 

Video 20 Jul

#zenbrush doodles

Video 20 Jul

#zenbrush Normally, I find most of the templates a bit gimmicky and silly, but this “moon” one put a fairly neat twist on a simple, monochrome representation of a tree (especially turning the brush strokes orange). 

Video 20 Jul

#Zenbrush doodles “moth” (right) and “wisp-fly” (left)

Photo 20 Jul 1 note Been a little behind posting my #zenbrush works. Had this one on my Pinterest page but never bothered to post it here. 

Been a little behind posting my #zenbrush works. Had this one on my Pinterest page but never bothered to post it here. 

Photo 18 Jul Know what I love most about this little Bluetooth speaker? When I take calls on it, it looks like I’m talking to an egg.

Know what I love most about this little Bluetooth speaker? When I take calls on it, it looks like I’m talking to an egg.

Text 16 Jul 2 notes Seven Quick Notes About Marvel’s New Thor

Thor #1 cover by RDauterman

For the record, I take no issue with Thor being a woman. I am, however, puzzled by the decision, and worried about its implications.

1. The last time Marvel did this was with Ghost Rider, when sales dropped and the book was in danger of being canceled. It did not help. In business, this is called the glass cliff. It’s a kind of “last resort, pandering while thinking outside the box” sort of synergistic effort in which a business that’s not doing well will promote someone they wouldn’t normally give the job to, the hope being either 1) They turn the company around, and they get to look progressive in the process, or 2) The company fails, and they get the protection of being able to say, “We tried the woman, and the woman didn’t work out. Oh, well… Que Sera Sera.” Speaking of intentions…

2. This is where matters get really touchy, so let the record show this a very broad generalization with a lot of assumptions which are most likely wrong. When a fictional character typically portrayed as white and male gets a race or gender swap, there’s an issue of “why/why not?” that inevitably comes up.If the decision to make Thor a woman is “Because we can, so there!” Then it’s arbitrary and therefore token, a stunt (see point 1). If, however, there’s meant to be a greater significance to Thor being a woman, a comment on gender roles or a criticism of women in western mythology, then the risk is that the message overshadows the medium, Thor the character being traded in for Thor the statement. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with that, Wonder Woman is a similar kind of statement, but she’s also an interesting and compelling character in spite of the socio-political connotations attached to her. Similarly, when it came to Loki…

3. When Loki became a woman, it was in Lady Sif’s likeness (she’d been killed in a recent story arc) to taunt Thor and play on his feelings of guilt. In other words, there was an in-narrative reason for the change that was in line with the original character, not merely a swap for swap’s sake. Speaking of Lady Sif…

4. The comic Thor actually has a surprisingly good batting average when it comes to gender representation. There’s Lady Sif, Amora the enchantress, Hela of the underworld (Loki’s daughter), Brunnhilde and her Valkyrior troops, to name a few. Really, it’s not like Thor was hurting for female characters, apart from a touch more variety outside of a love interest for The God of Thunder.

5. The idea of someone else being able to wield Mjolnir (by essentially the law of averages) was already explored with Beta Ray Bill, which makes the passing of the hammer seem all the more token. Thor doesn’t work nearly as well as a legacy hero compared to, say, Green Lantern or The Phantom or even Batman (Knightfall, Beyond, Incorporated…).

6. What exactly will this mean for the films? It wouldn’t be surprising if Tom Hiddleston passed on the role to Jaimie Alexander since there’s a precedent for it in the comic. However, while we don’t know the context for this change in the comics as of the time of this writing, Chris Hemsworth’s commitment to his role plus the task of finding someone to take up the role in his place (given what a hard time it’s been to bring Wonder Woman to modern audiences), it would make more sense for Marvel/Disney to leave the comic to its own devices and maybe consider following suit if the movies were to show a drop in box office returns. Given how the films have fared thus far, that sort of change would be years away even in the worst case scenario.

7. Does all this have anyone else thinking of the Silicon Knights’ game Too Human, or is that just me?

As I’ve said, it doesn’t bother me in the least that Marvel wants to make Thor a woman. It’s piqued my curiosity, and I think it could be pretty cool. I simply wonder piquing interest and looking cool is all that’s gone into the mission statement behind this venture. If so, that will be sad, so here’s hoping I’m wrong.

Text 14 Jul

Well, I said goodbye to Verizon on Sunday and everything seemed okay. My phone was even showing me LTE coverage at home, which was exciting because I’d be lucky to get one bar before. I didn’t bother testing it since the number was being ported.
Today, though, I’m thinking I may have to seek yet another carrier. With T-Mobile, I had decent signal at home, but crap everywhere else. With Verizon, I basically had the opposite problem. When I saw the LTE icon yesterday, I thought I lucked out. At work, though, I could barely get EDGE (that’s 2G) which meant I could make calls… generally, but any data feature was completely useless, apart from the occasional notification. I thought, “Okay, bad signal at work. At least my Kindle app still works, along with a few other programs, and I’ll get good signal at home, which was what I wanted anyway.”
I get home, and there’s no LTE. There’s no 3G. There’s only EDGE, and it’s not even full bars. I’m afraid to try and make a call.
All I want is to not have to step outside to make calls, and two providers have failed me at it.

Link 13 Jul decay-proof record scroll: Crowded Potato Salad Bowl»

On crowdfunding, commercialism, Canadian comedians, commentary, and communism… 

OR:

Don’t call the horse a child molester because he won’t eat your sugar cubes. 


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