Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nonsense! Name a Shrub After Me. Something Prickly and Hard to Eradicate.

"Hot dog" or "dot hog", which one?

"dot hog"... sounds like a new web extension. "Go to www.wagner.hog..."

Whew, it was a hot one today! Hot day, not hot dog... come on, now... focus! Work with me here.... a scorcher today... glad we went to the beach on Wednesday... if we had gone today, they would have had to use a spatula to get me off the beach and back into the car. You ever cook something in a pan, cover it, and walk away for a minute? You'll be right back, right? Then you get distracted... the phone rings, or you hear that wonderful little sound your cell phone makes when you get a text message, and you lose your mind for a moment... "Oh, someone thought of me! Someone cared enough about me to send me a little message! Who's it from? What did they say?" Man, getting a text message validates our existence, doesn't it?

Anyway, you return the text, feeling a little better about yourself... and then you smell smoke. "Oh, nuts! I was cooking something!" You race back in, whip the lid off the pan and the pan off the grill, all in one motion. A big blast of smoke comes boiling out of the pan, like a magic trick, revealing your charred and inedible food. Down the disposal it goes...

That would have been me at the beach, if I had gone today instead of yesterday. At some point, Wifey would have lifted her head, opened her eyes, turned in my direction and said, "Hon, do you smell smoke?" Then she would have freaked out. There I'd have been, burnt to a cinder, like the marshmallow of an over-zealous smores maker, with a look on my face that said "Why didn't I just stay home, like a sane person?"

All that to say, it was hot today.

But you know, the sunburn is *almost* worth it, just so I can experience the pure bliss of rubbing aloe vera on it... ahhh...

Got a few more Skateboard Graphic wallpapers to run by you. Let me know what you think.

I dropped the Mark Gonzales graphics onto a new background. Gone is the brick wall and in it's place is this... (click to see larger)

I like it much better, but I'm still not completely sold.

Here are a pair of wallpapers for the classic Rodney Mullen graphics from his freestyle board, from back in the day, before freestyle died a horrible - though logical - death. The first has a cool green abstract thing going on in the background...

In the original, the little red skateboard also had a design on it - I think it was a simple drawing of a jester - but I can't find good source art for it, so for now, it is blank. This next variation has a cool (IMHO) blue texture that I dropped in the background...

On the original board, the skeleton was on a big chess board, and there were pieces scattered around... I may pull some of the chess piece art off and add them behind him, kind of ghosted. In fact, here's the original source art I used to generate the Mullen wallpapers...

As you can see, even blown up, the art isn't all that redhot. I really needed to get in there close and literally recreate the artwork, which is fine. It's tedious work, but for some reason, I enjoy it immensely. I'm trying to find a higher-res pic of that art, preferably without the trucks on it, so I can get a better look at the art on those pieces in the foreground, since those would be the best ones to use on the wallpaper.

The problem with looking for pics on Google Images is that you only get a small fraction of the pics you're looking for by putting in variations of the name (in this case, Rodney Mullen). A lot of the best pics are named something generic, like "Image4002874" or something like that, which won't pop up when you search for Rodney Mullen. So you have to hunt around... track down one that does say Mullen, and hope that it leads, say, to a forum where people are posting pics of boards they are collecting, then start browsing around the forum, looking at other pics.

Anyway, I'm on the hunt, and I'm in no rush.

This last one is one that I think turned out really good. It's the classic Bones Brigade Tony Hawk graphis - one that I never rode growing up, but came close to buying on many occasions.

I like the purple... I can forsee that I'll make several, though, swapping colors with both the purple stripes and the red/orange square behind the hawk skull.

Once I get these in good shape, I think I'll reactivate my Deviant Art account and submit them there. They'll get much wider exposure there (I believe) and then I can drive traffic to my new site as well.

Meh, enough of that.

Todayve in History: August 28
- August 28, 1898: Pepsi Cola is born! (A round of Coke's, on me!)

- August 28, 1937: Toyota Motors is born! (A round of Honda's, on me!)

- August 28, 1963: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom takes place, with Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. (You know you want to watch the musical version of it in the sidebar again... go on... click it!)

- August 28, 1964: The Philadelphia race riots begin. (They take their marathons very seriously in Philly)

- August 28, 1988: The Ramstein Airshow disaster occurs, killing 75 and injuring hundreds. (See video below.)

- August 28, 1991: Soviet Union officially collapses. (Reagan for President!)

- August 28, 1996: Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce. (She finally got sick of him quoting Star Trek all the time.)

In remembrance of the Ramstein Airshow Disaster, here's a video for ya...

Yikes. As much as I like to watch things go boom, it's a bit unnerving to know that lives were snuffed out in the process... human error, eh? Sucks to be human sometimes, I guess...

I see things like that and my mind always goes to the theological macguffin of "God micromanaging all events" vs "God stepping back and allowing us to do what we will, with little interferance." I know the arguments on both sides, and both arguments can have holes poked into them. At the moment, I have no answer. That's an awful lot of people that could have avoided death if God had just nudged that one jet up a bit more... but then, why would He intercede in that event and not all others? Where does it stop, you know? Maybe He prevents ten times as many tragedies that we'll never know about. We see the ones that do happen, and it makes some of us wonder...

Does God micromanage the trajectory of every bullet and artillery shell in warfare? Or has He just set up an environment for things to play out, and He just lets the ammo fly where it may, based on physics, and then just deals with the consequences afterwords, including who lives/dies? How involved is God in the actions of every single person? Or is He cold and distant? Or is there a third (or fourth) option?

Uh oh, I'm getting too "out there", sorry. Better throw in a funny picture here to break the tension...

Love that guy's face. That's the face of a man contemplating a career change.

I think I've wasted enough of your time. Gonna pull the plug. Three more days until the Movie Quote Contest fires up again! Someone notify Bob!

Until tomorrow, remember, I invite you to this cabin as my friend. Not to criticise nor to comment on my command.


Paula Titus said...

I'm the first? Yikes. Did I miss the rapture?

Very very cool graphics, and I know nothing about skateboards, I especially like the one with the green background, although not too fond of skeletons.

Thought provoking questions you ask about "God micromanaging all events," stuff I wonder about too. I usually just defer to what He said about the sparrow. :)

David Wagner said...

Honestly, I've never been much for skulls and skeletons either. I guess it's that the graphics themselves represent a certain period of my life. A period of life that is far enough away that almost all of the negative facets of it have evaporated and what remains are the positive ones. I guess that's how nostalgia works.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying working on these, probably more than is logical and explainable. I know the moment will come (probably soon) when I'll just stop working on them. I'm going to keep tinkering while the fire is there.

Thanks for your input, Paula. Looks like it's just you and me in the Dave Clubhouse today...

Rebekah said...

I didn't think anyone felt that way about texts, too! I hear that ding and will actually think, "Oh somebody loves me." An then I get that feeling like, '...' Anyway, interesting observation.

In the Funny Picture it looks like the cows tongue is out. An your wallpapers are pretty neat. Seems like a lot of work but they are great samples of your work. Like business cards.

Abbie said...

hey dave! sorry to comment so late... beach day for me and anna and rebekah actually, lol :) haha, i totally feel the same way about texts too! and if anna hears it she always yells, someone loves you! lol :) I really liked your take on the board with the green background. The green reminds me of the living dead from LOTR :) pretty cool!

havah said...

Ah, yes...all the sunburns I rubbed aloe vera on in my youth! I'm just grateful I'm not paying for it more now. Hot or not, the beach still sounds divine though.

The Mark Gonzalez graphic looks very 80s. In fact, it reminds me of the album cover of a Christian artist whose name I forget. Hmmm....
The skeleton on the green looks great. It puts him in context/ he's actually somewhere. In the blue one, he's just there. Guess which one I prefer?
The Tony Hawke one is very striking.

Umm...Dave. Since when did Toyota make Honda? o_O

You know, it's odd, but I seldom think of God micromanaging or not. Unless someone asks me about it, which happens, oh, once in about 20 years. So far, anyway. I guess I'm either too hopeful or too fatalistic...I can't really decided. Hmmm...

Umm...I didn't think he was contemplating a career change...I thought...nevermind. :D