Category Archives: Visual Arts

Feedback.

Hi. Got a minute? I’ve got some questions for you, and I hope you’ll take the time to read this and let me know what you think. 

I’ve been a writer for a long time. Wrote a couple of books a few years back, on Flash and animation. Plan to write more in the future (although probably not more tech books – turns out they have a shelf life measured in months…not years). In the meantime, I blog, not just because I’d like to keep my writing chops up, but because I have to. I don’t mean someone’s holding a gun to my head…I mean I feel compelled to write, and it seems pretty stupid to write stuff and never have it read. Blogging allows me to share my thoughts with others, and it costs nothing (other than my time) to do so. Continue reading Feedback.

An American Tune.

Just came back from watching An American Carol, and I’m very happy to report that I found it pretty funny, very entertaining, occasionally poignant, and incredibly refreshing. It’s not often that, as a conservative, I can go to see a film and not wince at the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) liberal agenda that the studio and director choose to serve up. Way to many Hollywood films are made by Liberals, for Liberals – or even worse, made by a bunch of Hollywood types who use their films to stake their claim to “I can be more liberal than you can.”

This film is different. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay different. Continue reading An American Tune.

Children with Toys.

Giving young actors a budget of a couple of million dollars and telling them to go make a movie is a lot like giving a four-year-old a pair of scissors and telling them to practice those naiscent running skills…the results are not gonna be pretty. Allowing some actors a budget to make the political equivalent of potty jokes (in one case, quite litterally) is just completely irresponsible.

David “I married Courtney Cox so you don’t have to” Arquette and his ex-Friends wife have created a little opus they call “The Tripper.” It’s a fun-loving story about some Really Earnest Hippies who encounter a derranged psychopath who likes to dress up like President Ronald Reagan, mimic his voice, use his one-liners…and chop people to death with an axe. Um…yeah.

Watching some bad movies, you think, “Wow…this musta seemed funny on paper…I wonder what happened.” Not this turkey. What I wonder is what movie exec lost his job for greenlighting this abomination. Continue reading Children with Toys.

I’m working on something cool…

And I thought I’d let you know about it.

Here’s the deal…I’m always thinking about ways to make the things I use better. I’m also good with my hands, and notoriously cheap, when it comes to buying something I could make myself – especially when I can make something that’s better than what I can buy.

The other day, I was looking for a guitar stand, one that would hold several instruments at once. I didn’t like anything I found at GuitarCenter – too expensive, and cheaply made. I figured I could make something that would cost less and work better. And I was right. Turns out, a bunch of people agreed with me, and want to get me to make them a stand like the one I made for myself. What a novel idea. Continue reading I’m working on something cool…

My two cents.

The Captain is IN.I’ve been in the business of using computers, in one way or another, since 1982. I wrote my first college paper on an Apple III. I owned one of the original IBM PCs (Hercules Graphics Card! 512K RAM! Two full-height 5 1/4″ Floppy Drives! Dot Matrix Printer! DOS 2.0! Ashton-Tate Framework! All for the low, low price of $4,000!!!). I’ve worked as a software engineer, product manager, project manager, marketing manager, and user interface evangelist for software publishing companies. I was around for the birth of Windows 1.0, the life and death of COMDEX, the rise of the common user interface, the Year of the LAN, and a slew of other things, long consigned to the dust bin of computer history. I’ve been a user, author, coder, beta-tester, evangelist, designer, and planner. In short, I’ve held just about every job you can hold in the software industry.

Now I’m writing reviews. Continue reading My two cents.

How ideas happen.

I get to be creative for a living. In fact, my livlihood depends on me coming up with creative solutions to problems, and creative ideas in marketing, advertising and design. I’ve given a lot of thought to how ideas come into being, largely because the more ideas I get, the better off I am (within reason). There’s an old saying I like, “necessity is the mother of invention.” You could argue that it’s also the mother of creativity, or at the very least, the spark that lights the match of imagination. Case in point… Continue reading How ideas happen.

A shameless plug.

VectorRight.comThis is a shameless plug for my wife’s company. I say this in the spirit of full disclosure. VectorRight.com sells conservative-themed merchandise (shirts, caps, bumper stickers, etc.) I did the design work for her on the front end, and all the tshirt and bumper sticker designs as well. There’s some free stuff there, too – a bunch of Photoshopped pictures that feature Bill, Hillary, and some other lefties. It’s a completely partisan site – forget “fair and balanced,” unless your idea of fair is that she’s got a site and there are probably a dozen liberal merch sites out there competing with her.

So if you’re in the mood to see some decidely politically INcorrect stuff that trashes the Left (as opposed to what you’re USED to seeing, where the Left trashes the Right but calls it “all in good fun” – go for it. And buy something. I don’t make a dime off it – I did all the work “pro bono” which is Latin for “Honey do” (if you know what I mean, and if you’re a married guy, you do). But in order to perserve a more perfect union (mine) I’d consider it a personal favor if you hit the site, looked around, and found something nice for the Conservatives in your life.

Goin’ Digital.

I love photography. I have since I was a kid. Back then, the big barrier to entry was the hassle and price of developing film and getting prints. This struck me this morning, because I was asked by my daughter to take pictures of her for a school project. She protested a couple of shots, feeling as if she wasn’t ready for the shutter to snap. I explained to her, that it didn’t matter – I could take as many pictures as we needed to get the right shot – the bad pics would simply be deleted. Continue reading Goin’ Digital.

Patently Ridiculous.

Can we stop for a moment and talk about patents? I’m a creative guy. Over the years I’ve come up with any number of creative ideas. Some of them could/should be protected, intellectual property. Some were just great ideas. As a creative guy, I’m generally in favor of some kind of protection for those who come up with some useful new invention. On the other hand, I’m for the immediate dissolution of the U. S. Patent Office, and the creation of a new agency that understands what in the HELL they are doing.

Here’s the deal. Let’s say you invent something. Nobody ever thought of it before. It’s useful. It’s cool. You don’t want somebody to steal your idea, so you apply for a patent. Your product takes off. You make millions. At some point, your patent runs out, and everybody and their cat decides to market a me-too product, turning your product from a unique gadget into a commodity. You resign yourself to make less money.

This is how patents are supposed to work. Continue reading Patently Ridiculous.

The News has gotten to be SUCH a tease…

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. Details at 11. – Reuven Frank

Evening News

Here’s something interesting to try, the next time you watch the local evening news. Get a stopwatch and time the newscast. Write down the number of minutes taken up by commercials, the actual news stories, and the time they spend teasing the news/weather/sports. I think you’ll be amazed at how little time is spent on the subject matter, and how much time they waste on teasing the next story. Continue reading The News has gotten to be SUCH a tease…