So, last weekend I didn’t post any doodles. The reason for that is I went to go see a movie at the theater (and actually pay!) and then spent most of the day running around shopping. In the previous week, my wife’s cell phone broke, and while we were discussing what we should do about it my cell phone broke. My wife could conceivably live without her cell phone, but I rely on mine so that I’m reachable for work stuff. We ended up at the local Best Buy, and they happened to be running a special on Palm Pre phones: $149. Well, we already happen to be Sprint customers and both of use are out of our contracts so we get the full sign up discount. We just couldn’t pass it up.
Love the phones. They are fantastic, especially for me. I’ve got it connected to my Google mail and calendar accounts as well as my work Exchange server, I can see both calendars at the same time but not sync them, so my work never knows about my personal appointments and I don’t have to clutter my personal calendar with work junk. Sure, the Pre is a little lite on applications thus far, but eventually that will change. Besides, while the iPhone has a million apps, most of them are crap anyways. Yeah, that’s a real application. But the Pre’s got the web, which gets to most things, and its got a Twitter app and a couple of movie time apps and other basics.
Anyway, this week I spent a little time messing around and making myself some wallpapers for the phone. I mean, I’m not 17, so pictures of hot chicks, which is what 99% of wallpapers for phones are, aren’t what I’m looking for, and besides, I like making my own stuff. Some of my experiments were complete crap, so I won’t post those, but I will post two that I am happy with. The first is a cut version of a previous doodle, the castle and the moon:
After doing that one, I spent a while messing around with Gimp and various brushes. So, while not a traditional freehand doodle, here is the best of the bunch, and the only one I felt worth sharing.
Clearly, I like black and white since I’ve been in more of a “sketchy” mood lately. The whole thing was done with a city brush, a couple of mystic symbol brushes and some blood spatter and gunshots brushes. Here it looks sort of bland, but I dig the way it looks on the phone where it takes over the screen with the icon bar overlay at the bottom.
Anyhow, I’m sure to make some more wallpapers, and I’ll continue to share them.
I’m a doodler. At work, when I’m on the phone or thinking about programming solutions, I’ll grab a pad or a stack of post-its and a pen and doodle. I used to do it during boring meetings, but I don’t have those anymore (one of the joys of working for a small company). That said, I’ve had a Wacom Bamboo tablet for some time now and put it to very little use. Having learned to make graphics using Paint Shop Pro (versions 4 thru 7, before they got bought by Corel and all the program controls changed), I’ve never been comfortable with the way that programs like Photoshop and GIMP do things, so whenever I needed a new image for my website, or even work, I’d often try to use some other program and then run back to PSP once I got frustrated.
So, in a concerted effort to learn GIMP, use my tablet, and doodle more than just randomly, I’ve decided to dedicate Saturdays at the blog to posting doodles I’ve made n GIMP with the tablet. I’ll try to post at least one image per week, but we’ll see how that goes. Without further ado…
As you can see, my hand with the Wacom stylus is a bit shaky. I’m just not used to drawing with one hand while watching the screen, translating movements out of site to movements on the screen. I suspect I’ll get better, because I do actually have quite a fair bit of hand-eye coordination. But just like perfecting a no-look baseball catch as a kid, it’ll take some practice.
Another thing I’ll be working on as I do this is repetition. I’ve always wanted to draw cartoons, and I’ve been told that, at least with pencil and paper, I’m not a bad artist. The one thing I can’t do is repeat an image, or draw a similar image with slight changes. You know, like a character from frame to frame with movement. They always end up distorted, with different shaped heads or different proportioned bodies. If anyone knows of exercises they’d recommend for improving drawing consistency, I’d appreciate hearing about them.
So, for the first time ever on this weblog, I’m posting something that is going into multiple categories. This is going to be a long one, so, bear with me.
I don’t dislike smokers because of cancer. If people want to kill themselves, fine. What I find distasteful is their impact on me.
1) Smoke stinks.
Even if you aren’t blowing it in my face, I can still smell it. And it is fairly putrid. You know that phrase “smells like a dirty ashtray”? There is a reason it is considered a bad thing. Along those same lines, smokers stink too. Most of them don’t realize that they trail a pungent odor around with them, that their clothes are dripping with stench, because they have become accustomed to the smell. The smoke gets in their clothes, the walls of their homes, the pulp pages of the paperback novels they own, and everything else. It permeates their very lives.
2) Cigarette butts.
The picture I have included with this tirade is of the grassy area just outside the Doraville Marta station. There is a good ten foot by fifty foot grass area with a couple of trees that parallels the kiss ride drop off. The entire area looks like that photo. There are probably quite easily a few thousand cigarette butts in the grass, and they clean this area when they mow the grass, which I think they do monthly, perhaps more often. All this despite there being at least four trash cans around the entrance to the station.
And this isn’t an isolated incident. It is the same just about everywhere. Ever looked at the side of just about any major road? Chances are it’ll be covered in butts from drivers flicking their’s out windows as opposed to actually using the ashtray in their car.
So, if you are a smoker, at least try to do your part… I won’t bitch at you for smoking if you promise not to be a jackass and litter.
And that leads into the next point about litter in general. Most people don’t want to live in a shithole. But they seem to have no problem with contributing to making the world a shithole.
I ride the bus and MARTA most days (some days I work from home, and some days I’ll drive to work because its faster), and the number of people who will leave behind trash is pathetic. Want to know how to shame an entire train car load of people? If you see some newspaper, plastic drink bottles, or fast food bags on the train rattling around on the floor as everyone pointedly ignores it, at a stop where a trash can will be relatively near your door, pick up the trash (be loud about it, crinkle the paper or bottles), ask someone to hold the door (using a loud voice, project from the diaphram to ensure people hear you), and step out to throw away the trash. When you come back, thank the person who held the door and say something like “Just couldn’t stand seeing that trash on the floor. People should throw out their own stuff.” Then enjoy as the entire car of people shift uncomfortably and avoid eye contact. Oh, there might be one or two who smile and even say something to you about how you did a good thing, but probably a good thirty percent of those people will have left trash on a train car before, and the rest of them have seen trash and never done anything about it. The best part about it, though, is that you will feel good. First off, it feels good to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Secondly, rubbing people’s noses in their own indifference is its own reward. Remember, they wouldn’t be shifting uncomfortably and avoiding eye contact if they weren’t guilty of leaving trash or ignoring trash.
Outside of making people feel like crap about themselves on MARTA, its generally a good idea to always try to leave any place better than you found it. If you go to a park, or camping, or even to a movie theater, be better than other people and throw out your trash. Yes, they have people they hire to do that, but where do you think the money comes to pay the people who clean up after you? Movies don’t cost $9 a ticket for shits and giggles. Federal and local funded parks, it comes from your taxes. So, like the title says, do your part, don’t litter and maybe pick up a piece of trash every now and then.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging…