All I can think of to say is… Wow!
Found at Autumn People
All I can think of to say is… Wow!
Found at Autumn People
Uh oh. That was two cat posts in a row. We are in danger of being overwhelmed by the cute. So let’s just babble incoherently for a while. Or something.
So it’s November. The last couple of days have been rainy and cool but not really cold. It’s not bad. I prefer warm weather but this isn’t bad. It feels right for November. The fall colors peaked late. Until just a few days ago trees were still mostly green but now they’ve changed and leaves are falling rapidly. This colorful part of fall comes and goes so fast.
We watched the Face Off (SyFy) season finale was last night. This was the first time I had watched an entire season of it. I normally avoid any kind of elimination competition show like a flesh eating virus but my son got us into this one and I actually enjoyed it. All of the competitors got along with each other very well and mostly had excellent attitudes. There were a couple of whiny women that I kept wanting to slap, or shake or something, but compared to most such shows this was a very pleasant group of people. And it was interesting to see their creations. The guy I was sort of rooting for (Tate, from Tulsa) did not win but I wasn’t dissatisfied with the outcome. The final three (of which Tate was one) really were the best three. I’ll probably watch this show again when it returns in January.
I have recorded two episodes of Naked Vegas, which was heavily advertised during Face Off. The rest of the family doesn’t seem to be very interested in it and I’m not sure when we will get around to watching it. We have quite a backlog of recorded shows to watch. That’s okay though. So far we are keeping up enough that we haven’t filled up the recorder and we will have a few shows to watch later when football is over and “Oh No There’s Nothing On TV” season starts.
It seems like most of the shows we’re watching (or recording) right now are on CBS: Elementary, Person of Interest, NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI and Big Bang Theory. Besides those, we watch Castle (ABC) and Grimm (NBC) And I think that’s just about all on the “Big Four”. We have nearly an entire season of Hell on Wheels (AMC) on the recorder and several episodes of Torchwood. (BBCA) Our former favorite cable/satellite channels (Discovery, History, Animal Planet, Nat Geo, Science) are mostly showing crap and re-runs right now. Of course HGTV and DIY are still my Saturday morning TV. Like a kid and cartoons, I can’t miss my Saturday morning home remodeling shows but most of the good shows are gone and the few that are left mostly show the same six episodes over and over and over and over and over.
Yes, I have been sewing and have a few things I want to show off but getting out the camera and setting up the tripod seems like such an ordeal for the lousy pictures I always get. But I will get around to it sometime.
I decided to try reading Andre Norton’s Witch World series again. I read the first two books years ago and lost interest with the third. I just finished the third book, Three Against the Witch World yesterday and I do intend to read them all (or at least all that I have) but I want to read something else now. I have ordered two more books by Neal Asher, which should arrive today or tomorrow so I want to wait and read one of those but I hate to not be reading anything. Because of the TV show, Grimm, I decided a while back to download Grimm’s Fairy Tales and I’ve been reading those, just one once in a while and I read another one last night to fill in the time between books.
Via The Middle Stage, an infrequently updated blog about Indian literature, I learned about This Is Not That Dawn, which looks very interesting to me. Since I discovered The Middle Stage, years ago, I have wanted to read an Indian novel simply because I haven’t ever read one, but it’s been very much a back-burner want and I had no book or books in mind. Well, this is the one. I plan to download it soon because the Kindle version is waaaay less expensive.
Oh, almost forgot… I also ordered the first book in David Weber’s Safehold series, thanks to this conversation. I was actually going to start This Is Not That Dawn next but then the linked discussion prompted me to order a few books and now I’m eager for those so I’ll probably read all three of them before I get around to TINTD. Or maybe I’ll try reading two books at once. I know some people do that but I never have.
UPDATE: I received Weber’s Off Armageddon Reef this afternoon but not the two Neal Asher books. (The latter are used.) I was planning to read The Voyage of Sable Keach first (kinda wanted to get to it before Number Two Son) but since OAR is here and I need something to read now, I started that one. You know… there is something extremely pleasing about being the first to read a brand new paperback – the unbroken spine, the clean, untouched pages, that new feeling. But used books are fine too. It’s what’s printed on the pages that counts.
Daniel Rocal has a very nice photostream, which includes some artwork as well as photos. I love Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy. He has turned off sharing and I understand. I really do. You want to make money with your art and you don’t want random people posting it all over the Internet. But it’s disappointing. It’s kinda like when you’re a little kid and you point to a person who’s dressed funny and say, “Look!” and your mom just says, “It’s not polite to point,” and you’re all hurt and offended because you weren’t doing anything wrong, you just wanted to show her something interesting. It feels a lot like that when someone won’t let you share their stuff on the Internet. (See update below)
Anyway, I wanted to post a picture so here’s something totally unrelated except that it also came up when I searched for “science fiction” on Flickr.
Lots more on Subarunio’s Photostream
UPDATE: (11/19/13) Apparently there was some kind of technical problem at the time I posted this. In fact, Mr. Rocal’s pictures are sharable.
Meet Hilda. Isn’t she delightful? I think the third pic, the one with the frog, is my favorite.
Some people will find this offensive but I think it’s cute and funny. I suppose it’s probably weird for a woman to like classic pin-up art at all but I do, for different reasons than the men who like it, I’m sure, and a cute, happy, plus-sized pin-up girl is a wonderful creation.
I suppose this is evidence that nobody cares about blogs anymore: You can share that picture on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google Plus but the old-fashioned embed code is not provided. Of course I could hotlink but that seems rude since they don’t offer the option. Even though I think not offering the option, since they do offer those more modern options, is rude.
It’s October (What? Already?) and just as sure as death and taxes there will be lists of Outside the Box Pumpkin Ideas. Once you get past the obligatory puking jack-o-lantern, which is actually one of the better ones I’ve seen, there really are some unique ideas – lots of painted pumpkins. I like #’s 4, 12, 17, 19, 23, 27, and 39.
I see Web addresses on the backs of cars all the time. I ignore most of them but last week I saw themadhouseartists.com and the words The Grand Lake Artistic Chaos Foundation on a minivan driving through The Nearby Small Town. You know I had to check that out.
So after looking at the website I’m still not entirely clear about what kind of place it is or if it’s something to go and see. They sell a few things online, including books, they have art workshops and dance classes, and there are some pictures of various animals on the website, but it doesn’t look like there’s anything intended for simply curious tourist/spectator kind of people such as myself. There was an “open house” on June 15th. It doesn’t look like they have updated the website since then. Anyway… sort of interesting.
I have found a new artist to love: Mark Lang. His paintings depict modern scenes but many of them reference classic paintings or include the classic painting within the painting. The one titled Marriage is interesting. I also really like Between for the statement it makes. I could go on, saying, “I like that one” and “I like that one,” until I had named them all so just go look. I like them all.
I also really like his website – simple, fast and easily navigable. Unfortunately there’s a note on the homepage saying that it’s only a temporary site. Darn. I hope he doesn’t fancy it up too much.
Via Phantasmaphile, where you’ll find a few more art links.
Intuitive Sewing Machine – It’s pretty but I’m quite attached to my 100+/- year old machine. And I don’t know how “intuitive” it would be for me since I’m used to either a treadle or a foot pedal. I never had any of the beginner problems the woman in the video talked about.
Scrap Quilt – I like this. I need to make a scrap quilt to use up all these scraps I’ve been collecting over the years but I keep getting ideas for perfectly planned quilts that require specific colors of fabric.
The Phantasmagorical Four – The Fantastic Four in the style of H.P. Lovecraft.
Elephantine Talent – Indeed!
The importance of math – Hah!
7 Worst Coca-Cola Flavors – I have tried two of these, the Coca-Cola Blak, which was not bad but not great, and of course, “New Coke”, about which, the less said the better. None of the others sound particularly horrible and I would actually really like to try the Orange Coke.
Roller Coaster Stair – Nifty!
Guiltless Excuses – It’s a smartphone app. (Insert curmudgeonly “what’s the world coming to” rant here)
Crack Shot – How to win at a laser shooting gallery [edited for clarity]
Vintage Alphabets – Examples: An Alphabet of Flower Symbolism, Alphabet of Women of the Future, Computer Names in Fiction
Pin-up Cats – Cute but possibly, slightly NSFW.
Timepieces – I probably shouldn’t admit that I remember watching the guy in the first picture on TV when I was a little kid. I love the camera clocks and the steampunk clock.
Lego Inferno – Dante’s Inferno in Legos.
Oh my! Can you believe the singer in this video is Brent Spiner? Really.
Phil McAndrew encourages everyone to Draw Like a Six-Year_Old. That’s easy. As a matter of fact I do draw like a six-year-old. But that’s not quite what he means.
The thing that really struck me, working with a classroom full of six-year-olds, was that kids draw without any reservations or inhibitions. They just have fun and are excited about putting their ideas down on paper, about making something tangible with just a marker and their imagination. And if they’re young enough, it doesn’t matter how primitive or messy their drawings might look. When it comes to drawing, kids are FEARLESS.
But at some point in life most people stop drawing. Once again, I don’t have any official scientific data to back this up, but I’d bet money that something like eight or nine out of ten adults will tell you that they “can’t draw.” Most adults are extremely reluctant to even attempt drawing. At some point in life most people, for some reason, flip from having fun and enjoying the act of drawing to being afraid to even try. They become convinced that drawing is something that they simply aren’t capable of.
I have several issues with this. One, he assumes that just because someone says “I can’t draw,” they are afraid to draw. It really irks me when people make this fear assumption. It’s stupid. Does it never occur to these people that maybe the reason – the only reason – that a person doesn’t do something is that he doesn’t want to? It’s not fun anymore; it’s not rewarding; we have better things to do.
Another thing, is that Mr. Artist Guy makes the same mistake as a great many talented people: thinking that their talent is nothing special and anyone could do what they do if they would just keep practicing. Sorry, that is not true of everyone. Yes it’s true that some people assume they won’t be able to do a thing and never even try. (like sewing or playing an instrument) But everyone has tried drawing and at some point most of us realize, “Hey, no matter how much I practice I’m not going to get any better at this. I’ve reached my limit. Time to move on.”
Another mistake is assuming that for our entire lives we are all going to keep on liking the same things we liked when we were six. I do still like some of the things I liked when I was six. Others, not so much. Most kids really do lose their enthusiasm for drawing as they grow up and become interested in other things. Then later, as adults, we start thinking, “I wish I could draw.” But most people who say that don’t really wish it all that much. Mostly they are just admiring and envying the talents of others and have no desire to actually spend time doing it themselves. A few of us actually try and discover that we’re no better at it than when we were eight and that it’s not even especially fun anymore. Maybe some of us actually do think, “Maybe if I practiced I could get a little better at it. I’ll never be a real artist but I’ll do this for myself, just for fun,” but we find that we actually get bored with drawing pretty quickly. And so we decide it’s just not our thing and we move on.
Having said all that, I will admit that I do wish I could draw. I wish I could paint realistic looking pictures. I wish I could even paint reasonably interesting abstract pictures. A few years ago I bought a sketch pad. It is mostly unused. I just couldn’t really get into drawing. That’s not to say I won’t ever try again. I still have the sketch pad. Maybe someday, when I have nothing to sew and nothing to read and there’s nothing fun on the Internet, maybe then I’ll give it another try.
Metaphysical Graffiti (via) is a fascinating Flickr set of vintage illustrations. A few are weird; most are merely quaint. The set owner’s captions mostly don’t do much for me. I think the images speak for themselves very well, although I must say I do really like, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” That is a really wonderful “philosophy of life”. Also, this – both the image and the caption are lovely.
I love this image. I don’t know why. There’s just something about it that sings to me.
Finding a Renoir at a flea market. That will never happen to me, which is probably all for the best. I would want to keep the painting but, being rather fond of money, I would also want to sell it. Of course my other half, being the practical type rather than the artsy type, would solve this dilemma by insisting on selling it immediately.
It could never happen to me but stories like this tempt me to start going to flea markets.
My daughter-in-law did this.
I am envious of people who can draw anything at all that doesn’t look like a five year old did it. Like anything I try to draw.
First of all, before I get to the links: I have not been able to look at my favorite link site, Dark Roasted Blend, for weeks because my firewall is blocking it. It says that the site contains “harmful or objectionable content”. If anyone knows how to contact the folks at DRB please tell them for me to get rid of whatever fracking spyware/adware script or ad they’re running so I can start visiting them again. This really, seriously pisses me off so you don’t have to be nice to them on my account.
And now, on to the links…
Cute GIF – I dislike most animated GIFs but this one is just too cute.
I’ve been neglecting some of my favorite blogs so it’s been way too long since I last looked in on Bibliodyssey. The two most recent posts are both wonderful collections of images.
Kinderbuch has charming illustrations from a 1910 children’s book. That was before my time, obviously, but still, it takes me back. I remember having a few books in which the people wore old-fashioned style clothing and there’s just something about those old pictures that makes me think, “That’s what childhood should be like.”
The other collection, Medical Caricatures, is darker but perhaps more interesting. The one that immediately draws me, for the pure horror of it, is “Toothpuller Entertaining in Public, Artist unknown, 1767.” Imagine it’s 1767 and you have to get a tooth pulled. There is no anesthetic and you are to be the afternoon’s street entertainment. Going to the dentist present day doesn’t seem so bad anymore does it?
Woodgrain Post-It Stack – Wow. That’s cool.
Small World Gallery – Beautiful photos of very tiny things
Uh…. – No comment.
The Plain of Jars – The world is so full of interesting stuff!
Science Fiction and Fantasy Flow Chart – I could spend some time with this. It would be more convenient to have it on a big poster though.
Microcosmic Art – Drawings within drawings. Neat!
I’ve been looking at wallpaper again. I wanted to change my desktop background to something seasonal. Here are a few sites that I found.
Graffiti Wallpaper – Lots of beautiful nature theme wallpapers, plus kittens, puppies and more
Crazy Frankenstein – Many different categories. This site also has sounds, flash animations, games and more but I only looked at a few of the wallpapers.
Autumn Desktop Wallpaper – Hundreds of images. This site also has other categories besides autumn. Unfortunately, in the little bit of looking that I did, I didn’t find any widescreen wallpapers.
Raym’s Photosite, Widescreen Wallpapers – Beautiful. About a dozen different categories.
Stock Wallpapers – Only a few autumn but there are several more categories.
It was a tough choice but for now I’m using this one