what do you know, looks like my reblog doohickey has been working since I set it up! I just need to clean up the inbound formatting, looks like. Ah, machines. That’s better.

reblog entries

Just added some possibly bitrotted code to suck in some feeds from here and there. Might not work, might go haywire and clog your RSS. Whatever, I will attend to it tomorrow.

reflections on this image making excercise

Just over a week ago I started expecting myself to execute and post a digital drawing or painting every day, using the iPad or my more-capable graphics tablet, a 12-inch Wacom Cintiq. Both offer a direct-display drawing experience. The Cintiq is a more capable tool because it offers gradations of pressure sensitivity and the stylus also delivers information about velocity, tilt, and other factors that comprise the range of data making up a drawing stroke.

However, it is cumbersome and tied to a CPU, in this case a speedy Mac OS X laptop. The iPad, of course, is itself a standalone device.

I have been surprised at the capabilities of the iPad, and how quickly and effectively I have been able to gain and expand my control of marking using the device, considering that there is no actual gradated pressure sensitivity. In general I have been using stylii to craft the images, but in the case of at least one app (Brushes, I think) I noticed that using fingers instantly expands the marking vocabulary (there seems to be some sort of velocity-based interpretive algorith that more effectively creates a varable width mark).

I’m going to press on here, I think. The ease of setup and execution on the iPad really makes it remarkable for this – it’s clearly easier and faster for me to draw on the iPad than in an actual notebook with a pen or pencil, simply because I don’t even have to dig around for the right tool or eraser.

However, of the initial series of drawings, there is one which clearly stands out: the Bacon banjo-neck sketch. This drawing is unquestionably superior in visual impact, fluency, and acuity of observation and execution, as sketchy as it is. The image was entirely created on the Cintiq. I don’t think this is an accident. I look to establish and experiemnt with an iPad-to-Cintiq workflow on an appropriate subject shortly.

Hopeful internet trawling reveals absolutely no trace of Apple looking to license Wacom’s technologies and no clear indication that Apple intends to introduce induction-optional touchscreens, which makes sense in many ways. However, I cannot imagine that Wacom does not see the iPad as a profound threat and I very much look forward to the introduction of a standalone device with all the input capabilities of Wacom’s product line.

Wine glass

wine_glass.jpg Incredibly hurried sketch of a glass on our Halloween tablecloth, literally after finishing cookery and just before serving.

Sawyer's View-Master, Portland ORE


Super quick sketch of an old View-Master. Not entorely successful. I was trying to get after the surface textures of the dark, reflective surface of the device, but the digital emulation of wet oil color mixing led to a loss of control of hue, value, and draftsmanship.

Some limitations of ArtRage’s UI are beginning to crop up for me.

The iPad version does not have drag-reorderable layers. The photoshop-like layer blend settings are only available in the desktop iteration of the app. Only certain settings can be visually controlled via a tap and drag. The layer transparency setting must be entered as a numeric value rather than via tap and drag, which is a bit jarring as it forces the mind out of visual mode and into language and math mode.

Some of the characteristics of the brush are labeled in puzzling ways (for example, there is no clear setting for brush transparency, only for Load, Pressure, Size and a few more. These values are expressed as percentages, which is understandable for all except Size).

Despite this, the app remains far superior for my needs. Brushes, used in the Kirks, was not as goofy to control as I had recalled it being, though. I still don’t get why that app doesn’t implement layers.


Aargh, I thought I had figured out how to interleave the actionstreams baloney with entry posting but no dice.

My electrician ended up running off to get supplies and will be back tomorrow, which is too bad, since I had hoped to end the day with that item crossed off the list. Oh well.

Resist False Winter

Yesterday was the warmest day of the year to date, reaching 69 degrees at this nearby weather station.

According to UW professor Cliff Mass, the spring has been the coldest on record since 1948 from an off-the-cuff perspective (number of days over 55).

I moved a bunch of the furniture from our main living area out on to the deck and did a thorough de-furring and vacuum run. Wehn that was done I moved outside to weed whack and take on some other chores.

We are expecting a new grill on Tuesday, so Viv cleaned up the deck for me while I turned and repaired our compost bins. I still have a huge pile of scrap from our deck demolition a couple years ago and I used the rest of the afternoon to build a standing potting bench. I may add a shelf or two in service of bracing the structure but not until the weather improves.

Using deck scrap to build furniture produces very heavy furniture.

It went very quickly, though, and makes me think i might build that x-braced picnic table after all this summer.

Viv has dug out nearly all the beds and transferred many of the potted plants to either new pots or the ground. I got my potatoes in a week ago but still haven’t popped any starts into the vegetable bed. Well, one start – Viv found a volunteer lettuce in one of the flowerpots.

Lacking a gas grill at the moment, I cooked a couple steaks over wood, which is always a challenge as charcoal is so hot. They came out nice, though. I used a teriyaki-and-mustard glaze that burned black much faster than the steak did so what appeared to be horribly charred was actually nicely medium rare.

All this yard work meant the dog did not get his walk; we are hoping to get a good one in today despite the return of rain and cold.


Notes about the little-known sitcom, “Strangers,” to have been shot circa 1974-1978 for American network television.

The following casting and story conference took place on Twitter the evening of August 16, 2010. Participants were myself, @mcgee_gorgo, and @arthurwyatt. Transcript has been lightly edited and rearranged in descending chronological order.

Want geriatric sitcom. Bradbury, Heinlein: roomies. Asimov: wacky downstairs neighbor. Working title: “The Veldt.”

mcgee_gorgo: @mwhybark @arthurwyatt I see PK Dick in there as a Kramer figure.

mcgee_gorgo: @mwhybark @arthurwyatt [PKD bursts into room to applause] “Bob! You won’t believe it! My third eye opened and…” “Ah, not this again…”

arthurwyatt: @mwhybark Gold, Jerry, Gold!

PKD added to charlist. Forry Ackerman can be the Newman-enemy type. Also, Bob = Oscar, Ray = Felix.

project name changed: “The Veldt” too obscure. “Strangers” eventual title after rejection of “Bob’s Freehold”

arthurwyatt: @mwhybark @mcgee_gorgo Heinlein and Bradbury create a TV show. Harlan Ellison shows up, pissed off and claiming they’re ripping him off.

I love that Ellison episode. Little known fact: dude wrote it himself, took name off. “Eviscerated,” he claimed.

@arthurwyatt @mcgee_gorgo Asimov keeps coming by, talking about latest book. Sometimes seems to complete three books/episode. Bob hates it.

Ray continually copies childhood diary entries and submits as SF stories or novels. Often they fly. Bob hates it.

arthurwyatt: @mwhybark I’m seeing “Bob hates it” as a regular theme. Possible role for R Lee Emery?

NOICE. I’ll have my people call his people and he can yell at my people until they meet his standards. Yes x3 @ “Bob hates it.”

Maybe Woody Allen as Ray? or @hodgman in wrinkle-skin, liverspots a la Estelle.

who can forget the classic RobbiE the Robot guest shot? Where bot mistaken for RobbiT the Robot, knock off?

and of course the beloved David Bowie Xmas. “O Little Moonbase Alpha,” “Golem Golem Golem, I made you out of clay”

Then there was the time that Roy Orbison dropped by and swapped glasses with Ray. Oh, boy, did Bob hate that. Both Roy and Ray are all blind, and & then PKD is all Roy/Ray/who?

Newhart could actually do either Bob or Ray, come to think of it. So could the actual comedians Bob and Ray, for that matter.

arthurwyatt: @mwhybark hideous casting choice would be Robin Williams. Well, always really.

That one where Asimov thinks he’s gotta lose the sideburns for a gig, and Bob is F YEAH MARINE CUTZ but Ray pixie-fixes it? Bob hated that.

Oooh, lefthanded casting note: Robin Williams as Ray, Bill Shatner as Bob.

“Bob hates that” drinking game sweeps the nation. National ID card? “BOB HATES THAT”, drink. No draft? “BOB HATES THAT,” drink. etc etc

Hugh Hefner guestpisode, never rebroadcast. collectors’ prize, swapped on VHS for decades. When finally posted to YT, it proves pretty meh.

Final core casting in hand: R Lee Emery as Bob Heinlein, Woody Allen as Ray Bradbury. Still uncast: PKD, Asimov, Delany.

Bob surprised by visit from ex-wife, then other ex-wife, finally another. Farcical hiding, excuses to Ray, who doesn’t care. Bob hates it.

Ray gets ripped on May Day, dances, sings, summons hamadryad – turns out to be neighborhood masseuse! Happy endings. Bob likes it.

Asimov is conflicted about publishing in skin mag. Ray and Bob help him see porn is like puppies, kittens. Everyone troops off to Studio 54.

A, B plot experiment: Ray loses key, locked in laundry room. Bob meets cute new neighbor. Neighbor finds, saves Ray. Bob hates it!

Studio discussion of Monty Python promo shot crushed by production schedule conflicts.