Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Picture of the Day: Wrong Way!

I'm kicking myself. When Oral Roberts died a few weeks back, I should have posted this for POTD.

Oh, well.

He's still dead (someone must have missed a payment), so I don't feel so bad.

I don't know who to credit it to.

The story is that this sculpture is based on the money-grubbing preacher's own two money-grubbing hands. The "Wrong Way" sign had to do with an access road and if I remember correctly was removed after this picture hit the Web in April of 2007, because unintended honesty can't be allowed, right?

Monday, December 28, 2009

X-mas swag: Seriously?

Enjoy the tackiness in the photo, because as soon as I can get my hands on a spray-can of fabric dye, I'm making that thing go away.

Usually, I'm asked to make a wish-list for x-mas presents. I'll make a list of books, like "Salvation Boulevard" by Larry Beinhart, or something like that. I don't really want much.

This year, no list. Instead, they (my sister and mother) took a shot and picked out...this.

They know I'm an atheist, but neither of them is the proselytizing type, so I don't see it as their way of hinting.

I could take it several ways, though. I could let myself get depressed because they just don't seem to know me, after 42 years. But I'm also amused at the notion of going to Freethinker Meetups or atheist get-togethers wearing the damn thing. They're the only ones who would get the joke.

Pic of the Day: Hey, hey, hey--you two get a room!


Was the kid naughty or nice?

Is this a gift or a punishment?

"Hey, there, muscly-armed paper boy, you wanna Popsicle?"


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Bush Decade.

As we approach the end of the '00s, there's the question of what name to give this decade. The 1920s ROARED. The 1940's Flew. The Fifities were Nifty.

This one sucked. Time Magazine's calling it the "Decade From Hell." Too wordy.

Yes, it sucked, and mostly because of one man, and his name belongs with his time in office--and like him, this decade is past.

Good riddance to the Bush Decade.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pic of the Day: Hockey Pope!

The Vatican has issued a directive that their boy's likeness and all that goes with it are copyrighted (smirk).

I'm no great respector of authority figures, let alone religious ones, who haven't earned that respect, and given the church's recent foot-dragging in dealing with pedophiles in their midst, that respect ain't happening. Besides: I didn't vote for him.

I call upon anyone with Photoshop (tm), Gimp, Paint(tm), an Etch-a-Sketch (tm), colored markers, sidewalk chalk, spray cans, or whatever: MOCK these arrogant fools. Bring it.

...then spread them all over the Web.

And now: Hockey Pope!

Monday, December 21, 2009

SOTD: Horrible 'O Holy Night' (unknown)

'Tis the season, and if Carrie Underpants gets an xmas album, so should this guy, if only because he can't sing and knows it.

I got this hideous rendition of the song by email a few years ago. I am now punishing everyone else by blogging about it and embedding video!

The opening sounds like a stinking-drunk William Shatner trying to be Tom Jones, then morphs into a severely-beaten Keanu Reeves trying to sing Elvis, then into I don't know what...but I'm in tears and laughing uncontrollably at this point.

Warning: it's bad. It's really, really bad--and you should therefore send the damn thing to everyone you know, because it's damn funny (note that the guy in the video isn't the singer--that guy stayed anonymous)!

If you want the MP3 version (excellent for hand-to-hand combat), there are links to AmazonMP3 and iTunes at the video's YouTube home page.

Song of the Day: You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (Gary Hoey)

This is a live version of the instrumental from Hoey's second xmas album. I tend to keep the studio version in heavy rotation on my iPod for those occasions when I want to scrub the nasty hayseed bootprints out of my mind's ear at work (boss' radio stays on one of those c-word stations).

Gotta say, I like this guy's style. He reminds me a bit of Joe Satriani back in the late '80s or early '90s ("Surfing With the Alien" and "Flying in a Blue Dream") as far as tone goes--bright and clear, as opposed to the dark & chunky Metallica approach.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

When your jaw drops, trip the shutter.

The subject line is a paraphrase from an interview in a photography magazine. Very good advice.

My mouth would still be hanging open if I were Andy Willsheer, a UK photographer who had an out-of-control dragster (driven briefly by Steve Gasperelli, until physics took over) land practically in his lap!

You can see Willsheer in most of the clips here; just at the 7-second mark, he's standing behind a low concrete barrier wall, lower-left.

The man's photos of the encounter are nothing less than astonishing!

The write-up has some details wrong; the car's not going anywhere near "250 miles per hour." I'm guessing under 40, myself.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kit review: Bond. James Bond.

I've mentioned my friend the movie freak a few times; he's a James Bond fan, so this year for his birthday I hunted down and found a 1999 re-issue of the '63 Polar Lights James Bond model kit.

Polar Lights made tons of pop-culture, movie and TV-related kits, such as Dick Tracy, the Beatles (Yellow Submarine era), Sean Connery's James Bond, Dracula, and the Munsters' living room.

The kit's pieces were well-detailed, but the sprue "trees" are a bit thick. It's very easy to cut too close to a part and damage it, which makes for more work later on. Assembly went quickly. None of the parts were warped and needed only minimal cleanup, but I did need to hit the seams with a file to smooth them out.

I hit all the major subassemblies with primer--and that was probably a mistake, since I used filler primer. It went on heavy and helped to obscure some small details.

My next mistake was in painting; it's been several years since my last model and I had some issues with my several-years-old flat paints coming out glossy (especially the Humbrol "flesh tone," which made Bond look like old wood). It took days for the Testors flats to dry out.

Don't use cheap brushes! I kept having to pick bristles out of fresh paint.

The instructions called for the model base to be painted green and the dead tree was to be brown. Very realistic. I left it all primer-gray, then dry-brushed with flat black, brown, tan, green, and olive drab to pick up details. Then I laid down some Woodland Scenics turf in patches.