Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mint chocolate swirly vectors

Had some more downtime at work today, so I played a bit more with Adobe Illustrator. I used some of my calligraphic art brushes to make the swirly lines, added some leaves, and then mirrored some blend objects on the top and bottom. Voila. I think it makes a nice decorative pattern. I'm not gay.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I almost bought a Mac Pro today.

Today I was probably less than two clicks away from purchasing a Mac Pro. This, when I am one payment away from paying off my credit cards. All I'm waiting on is payment for the Mr. T book project (or my next paycheck, whichever comes first) and I will have completely eradicated all of my consumer debt.

I've carried a credit card balance since 2000, when I custom-built a PC for college. I've come close to paying it off several times, but time and again I've succumbed to the pattern of buying stuff. Woodworking equipment here, electronic drums there, computer monitor, furniture, toys, stuff stuff stuff. Some of it has been necessary for my profession, like Adobe CS3 software, but much of it has been just... stuff. At one point I had a balance of over $6,000. I know that's actually below average in this country, but it's still unacceptable. So over the last year I've disciplined myself to pay that sonofabitch down, and now I'm one payment away, and I'll be damned if I didn't just almost shoot it right back up into the thousands.

Not today, baby. They almost got me, but not today. My mantra from now on shall be "If I don't have the money for it, I probably don't need it." I'm holding to my plan, which is - wait for it - saving money until I can afford to buy something. What a crazy concept! Besides, in a few months, when I actually have the money, the price might come down, or I might get more bang for my buck. And don't give me any business like, "well, just put it on your credit card and pay it off when you get the bill." I'm not falling for that ballyhoo.

Two quad-core 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processors with 4MB RAM is going to be pretty sweet, though.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mavericks to nowhere.

Smile big and wave for the cameras, sweetie!

"As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?" -Sarah Palin, June 25, 2008

When my sister asked me what I thought about McCain’s choice for VP I didn’t have much to say on the matter, because I honestly didn’t know much about Governor Sarah Palin. I gave a non-committal answer and told her that it wasn’t surprising that he would choose a young photogenic woman to try to balance the ticket. Say what you want about her experience... whatever. I’ll concede that not everybody elected to public office has to be a 20-year Washington veteran .

However, the more I learn about Sarah Palin the more she scares me.

In her acceptance speech at the GOP Convention this week she claimed that she “told Congress thanks but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere”, a term she said she was insulted by when she was running for governor in 2006. She indeed did reject federal funds, but only after the fiasco gained national attention and it became politically expedient to do so. She forgot to mention that she originally supported the project and secured a $223 million earmark for it in 2005. In fact, she supported the bridge in 2006 at the time the Republican Congress opposed it. The money, consequently, stayed in Alaska. And she claims to be a fiscal conservative.

Apparently she does when it comes to social programs. As Governor she used her line item veto to reduce funding for Covenant House Alaska by over 20% earlier this year, before her teenage daughter became pregnant. I guess fornication is not as much of a sin when your own daughter is doing it. Too bad not all teenage mothers are from wealthy political families, then I guess we wouldn't need halfway houses at all, would we?

Here’s what that exemplar of objective, non-partisan journalism Bill O'Reilly had to say on the issue of teenage pregnancy. Pay attention to the dates:

“Millions of American families are dealing with teenage pregnancy and as long as society doesn’t have to support the mother, father, or baby, it is a personal matter. It is true that some Americans will judge Governor Palin and her family… for the sake of her and her family we hope things calm down.”

- Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor, September 2, 2008

And this, directly from

”On the pinhead front, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. The sister of Britney says she is shocked. I bet. Now most teens are pinheads in some ways. But here the blame falls primarily on the parents of the girl, who obviously have little control over her or even over Britney Spears. Look at the way she behaves.”

- Bill O’Reilly, December 20, 2007

Sarah Palin believes that Roe v Wade should be overturned completely and irrevocably, and that women should not have the choice to end their pregnancy in any situation. These are arguments that should have ended twenty years ago. What’s that? You were raped? Tough stuff, sweetheart, you’ve got to have that baby no matter what. Your pervert father molested you and knocked you up? Too bad, so sorry, you and your unwanted child are screwed for life.

She also appears to be unfamiliar with the First Amendment, judging from her attempt to fire the Wasilla, AK city librarian because the she refused to consider removing from the library some books that Palin wanted removed. Censorship is not what this country is about. Fortunately the people of Wasilla banded together and came to the librarian’s defense, and Palin withdrew the termination.

And goodness gracious, fuck me, she also thinks that public schools should teach creationism.

Are these policies what she was referring to when she talked about eliminating big government in her much-heralded acceptance speech? Conservatives love talking about getting government out of our lives when it comes to their money, but on all other matters they don’t mind telling you how you should live.

I’m not buying any of it. She looks good in front of the cameras. She can deliver a speech well. What's it been, 11 days since she accepted the VP nomination? She hasn't held one interview, not one press conference. But then again, what's the point? Any word out of her mouth in an interview or press conference would just be more window dressing, fearmongering, meaningless phrases like "small-town values" and outright lies, to say nothing of her avoidance of speaking about policy issues and things that matter.

I want to end this with a question. What would you rather spend money on, four more years of war in Iraq, at a cost of $6 billion per MONTH, or affordable health care for children (at a comparatively low cost of $1 billion per month for five years, a bill that Bush vetoed in 2007?)

I could go on, but I'm getting pissed. More lies, more aggression, more of the same.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I've been getting into a lot of swirly vector art lately. I know there's a lot of swirly vector design out there lately, but it's a lot of fun. I had some downtime today and I knocked out this design. I also found some great illustrator tutorials in general at this website: http//