Thursday, March 29, 2007

So that's what that little thingy does, or - you think you know a camera...or...flower power!

So that's what the little flower thing does. After having a camera for about a year and a half, you'd think I knew the thing inside and out. Of course not, this is modern technology. No idea why, but I had simply never paid much mind to the fact that there is this little button on my digital camera with a flower on it. So, I've been trying to get a decent photo of these two little toys I got last week. They are the car versions of Toy Story Characters featured at the end of the Cars movie. I'm still looking for a Sully and Mike if you should come by the set... ahem... I actually also have the Hamm car, but he's somewhere in the house misplaced by my son.

Anyway, like I was saying, I've been trying to get a decent photo of them with the digicam and hadn't been too successful. I could get a photo, but they just took up such a small percentage of the field, it was pathetic. So, I had just figured I couldn't do it that close, then I accidentally pushed the flower button. Bingo! Suddenly I'm in bidness! So I go from crappy to being able to see detail you can barely see with the naked eye (seriously, Buzz' helmet doesn't look all that dusty). Combine that with the handy-dandy timer so the camera doesn't move and viola!


woody up clooooose

buzz up clooooose

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Monday, March 19, 2007

North and South of the Border

My good buddy Jeope is a fine Canadian citizen. Why he likes to freeze his assets in Winnipeg, as a Mid-Atlantic American, I cannot understand. Be that as it may, I still like him a lot, and his photography and illustration work has inspired me to do more with this blog than when I originally started it. After meeting him in Vegas at the HOW Conference, I found him to be much like his online personality, only with odor.

Ok, cross that with my listening to the book Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. This is the prequel to The DaVinci Code (or is it the TDC is just the sequel to A&D - bah!). If you know the story, ambigrams play an important symbolic role in the story. So I checked out the book just to see the ambigrams. It really touched a nerve for me, I guess. I've been fiddling with ambigrams ever since. I even went out and got WordPlay by John Langdon (yes he was the inspiration for the main character's name) and checked out his website. I was just blown away. I still have a ways to go in terms of artistic excellence, but I'm getting the hang of the conceptual side.

Now, put those two items together and lay it on the US-Canada border, if he looked at it from the north facing south, and I looked at it from the south facing north, we'd see the same thing:

I got a lot of inspiration from Jeope saying on a forum that his parents were hippies and part of the reason they picked this name is because the letters were all round. Just looking at the word Jeope made me think it might not happen at first. The J is an odd duck kind of letter, and many of the ways I tried to combine the J and the E were just way too forced to be very legible. Then just before I gave up on it, one of my doodles suddenly had the answer, which you see above. Great! I think to myself. Now if I can just combine a P and an E, Oy! no easy task there either. Given the loopiness of the J and the E, I started playing with that idea here as well. I came up with the shapes you see above, but the E was again looking a bit forced, Ok, next to the J, it wasn't reading like an E unless you point it out. Well, the O was easy, thank goodness. I had all the letters, but it just didn't seem quite right. The E just kept sayin' "I ain't right yet." After a lot of different experiments, it turned out that just overlapping the EO&P a bit solved the problem. The O cuts off the E in a good place to make it readable as a lower case e, either printed or written in cursive. Then the whole thing snapped together just right.

So that one was fun. Something else was bugging me though. While I did a good ambigram for that, I had a nagging feeling that there was more to explore with Jeope. Round and round and round letters, hmmmm...Oh! Let's try this and whoa! It worked. Can you figure it out? It's not an ambigram at all, just an interesting presentation of the name. Can you figure it out?



Monday, March 12, 2007

Things I didn't think I'd miss

Well, it's been just over a month since my buddy and pet of almost ten years passed away. We had to put my dog BJ to sleep because his medical bills were mounting and his health was eroding. He had gotten skinny and was having trouble controlling when and where he relieved himself, often in the house near the end. He was a great little dog and for some reason this weekend, I missed him terribly.

It made me think about what is different about life since he passed and a couple of things came to mind. First, the kitchen floor gets a lot dirtier below the dinner table than it ever used to before, especially by my son's chair. Second, now I have to wonder if I actually heard the doorbell. The little fella was a good alarm dog, for sure and he never missed the chance to bark at someone at the door. Lastly, the mornings aren't quite as warm. On cold nights, he would hop up in bed with us, and often lay along our legs and we'd keep each other warm.

The other day when I got home from work, I got out of the car and expected to see his little Batman-like ears peeking over the window sill, but they weren't. It was just a WHAM here's reality moment. Anyway, I miss you buddy. I hope you're having fun up there.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Mommy Said Knock You Out!

Sometimes you get lucky and hit the shutter button at just the right time and then the caption hits you so fast, it just can't be wrong. I mean, what else could she be thinking with that expression? ;-)

Mommy Said Knock You Out!


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