ArtLung: I am Joe Crawford. Welcome to my website circa July 2008. I am a web developer. I live in Moorpark, California, USA. I work in Los Angeles, and have lived elsewhere and done many surprising things. I put up the first ArtLung website 12 years ago, moved it to artlung.com 10 years ago, nd I've been blogging for 7 years. I'm still learning, every day. Welcome.

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32 ArtLung posts from August, 2008

August 1st, 2008

Two from the ride from the airport

Totally sublime moments from the trip from the airport Tuesday.

On 380 on the way to the resort
Cloudy and windy

August 2nd, 2008

My “Most” Images on Flickr

Most interesting (also most commented — 15 comments):

1992, Revelation Now Junk Mail Painting

Most views (4981 views):

Halloween Pumpkin Designs, 1987

(Second) Most comments (10 comments):

Mexican Coke

Most favorited (7 favorites):

adriana_lima_ellenbebe99f08

August 2nd, 2008

To Molokini; Seasickness

One of the “pre-planned” activities we’ve done was to take a boat out to Molokini and snorkel. Leah and I (and the various family we’re with) enjoyed it very much. We went on Maui Classic Charters’ Four Winds II. Lots of fish, clear water, nice swimming.

I’ve never been seasick that I can recall, and as far as I know I don’t get seasick. I decided on the way out to try and experience seasickness, knowing that my Aunt Jacqui had brought seasickness medication that could ameliorate symptoms once I got it. I was, alas, not able to induce that feeling. I tried simply closing my eyes. I tried looking directly at the undulations of the boat in the water as we were moving, I tried to maximize the feeling of “falling” like on a rollercoaster as the boat was cruising. I think I may be immune from the illness, if indeed that’s possible. The wikipedia page on seasickness implies that it’s possible to be immune: “while others are relatively immune, or become immune through exposure.” Though I’m not sure how I’d have become immune, not really having been on many boats. I wonder if it was my early exposure to swimming (I think I was four?) and how I took to swimming so well. I have no idea what the correlations are, but I suppose I’m glad I don’t get seasick.

On board

August 2nd, 2008

Charles Schulz

(I started this post in 2007 and left it as a draft, I think because I found the subject matter too maudlin).

In 2006, in the post Joe Cool, I wrote:

I find Charles Schulz to be a tragic figure though. Based on the interviews I read, he never fulfilled the ambitions of his life. Maybe I am misreading him — maybe he was self-critical, but despite having created the most popular comic strip of his age and becoming fabulously wealthy, he didn’t consider himself a “real artist” because his medium was not oil paint and canvas, it was bristol board and ink — and because his work was in the newspaper, not in a “real gallery.”

What I had read was a book called Conversations with Charles Schulz, which I had bought in 2002: Third Best Comic Book Store Ever.

In 2007 a book came out called Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography which brought out some controversy because it brought out a “darker side” of Charles “Sparky” Schulz. The controversy brought out some interesting commentary about Schulz, from his family, from fellow comics professionals, and about the nature of biographies. I followed it in earnest, but I didn’t get the book, because, well, I think I already understood something about Schulz from having read so many different interviews with him in Conversations.

Herewith are some of the links I collected from that time period:

August 3rd, 2008

Behind the Resort

Kahana, Maui, Hawaii

Behind the resort

August 3rd, 2008

Is John McCain Stupid?

Daniel Henninger of none other than The Wall Street Journal, asks “Is John McCain Stupid” and basically comes up with the answer, “yes.”

Sitting on beaches and wandering around the isle of Maui, I’m far removed from politics this week, but that headline caught my eye.

August 3rd, 2008

Running Out Of Tropical

So we return to “the mainland” or “The States” on Tuesday. We’re running out of tropical paradise, but that is fine, this has been a lovely trip altogether. Enjoyable and family and chill. Next week will be a trip to Washington state with even more family and I hope just as much chill time, though after the requisite stressful travel time (driving, not flying though).

My phone is on the fritz, but only the display — I seem to have lost all contrast, so everything is a semi-uniform white, extremely light gray (perhaps #dedede, to you HTML nerds), and an occasional black that’s really a dark gray. So photos and twittering have been rebelling. It’s as though my phone has taken a vacation as well. Though really it just drives me to check Leah’s laptop slightly more often. Disconnect? No thanks. I like a trickle of news and updates from blogs and news and twitter.

I also did some deep-diving on my blog archives and found precisely when I was last in Hawaii — that would be July 2002, see: Hawai’i and Memories and Greetings from Maui and A Picture of Me From Waikoloa.

These were posts made from internet cafes I think. And the photo was posted after the vacation itself. At that time I was an oddball, sniffing around for WiFi, trying to check my email–my typical situation then was running a unix shell, sshing, or (augh!) telnetting into my hosting machine and running pine. Nowadays several in our party regularly check their email, even while vacationing. And posting to a blog? What the heck is that? At the time I was still using blogger.com for my posting, posting via FTP.

I think this is quite a cultural change in only 6 years that I was so unusual before, and now I’m a commonplace. People are more connected. It’s simply the way things are.

So today I think we’re going to be going to a local waterfall, a little hike. Otherwise trying to enjoy a Sabbath, resting as much as we can stand.

Here are two photos from the other day, when my phone was working properly:

To Molokini, with tunes
Sunset 4

August 4th, 2008

Offline Blog Tools

Some months ago I was prompted to learn a bit more about the tools out there for offline and online alternating blogging tools. Not server software, but applications which allow you to compose your blog and post when you have online access. I was not very impressed by any of them, but then I also am not part of whatever the demographic is that wants these tools.

So here’s the list I came up with, lo those months ago:

MarsEdit 2 (I’m still astonished that author does not include WYSIWYG)
http://www.red-sweater.com/marsedit/ (for Mac) (30 day trial, cheap)
http://www.red-sweater.com/marsedit/faq.html no WYSIWYG! Ouch!
– not yet tested

BlogDesk
http://www.blogdesk.org/ (for Windows) (free)
– tested it, works great

Windows Live Writer
http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/ (for Windows) (free)
http://wordpress.com/windows-live-writer/
– worked pretty good. kind of impressed Microsoft has a product like this

ScribeFire
http://www.scribefire.com/ (addon Mozilla) (free)
– seemed to work okay, Firefox plugin

It’s All Text
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4125
– not really offline, but sort of interesting
– I didn’t use this enough to form much of an opinion

Also check out this post: Improve Your Workflow with a Blog Editing Program and this thread:
Best or better blogapi editor around.

Ecto (Mac)
http://infinite-sushi.com/software/ecto/
– did not end up trying this one out

Zoundry
http://www.zoundry.com/
Qumana
http://www.qumana.com/
– both of these seem to want to post some kind of spam ads with all your posts, this turned me off so I never tried them out. I suppose it’s possible they have no-ad modes, but, not for me

August 4th, 2008

Three Photos from Yesterday

Yesterday we started out hot on the west coast of the island, and ended up rainy on the northeastern (Hana Road) coast. It was actually quite a nice day. We went and hiked up to Twin Falls, one of many waterfalls and swimming holes on Maui. We swam for a bit, and I even ended up jumping off the waterfall into the water below. It was only a little unsafe, but I was not hurt. I was asking if it was clear below, but I did end up narrowly missing a person below. I was extremely apologetic to the guy, but he was fine. Quite an adventure. The water was about 16 feet deep at the point where I jumped, and the drop was 40 feet deep. I was wearing Teva-style sandals and did touch the bottom as I dropped, but not that hard. I’d like to work out the physics of various weights and how far a jump into water you can do, and how deep the water needs to be.

This jump is not something I can recommend for everyone. But if we went again, I would do it again. It was a blast, and very refreshing. My aunt was disappointed that no photos captured this event.

Lots to think about from that experience. It’s rare I’m the most “daredevil” among a group of people. I don’t think I quite know how to reign myself in when I’m in that position. I need to be aware of my influence in such situations, and moderate the advice I give, to, say, my younger cousins. I think, strangely, I was acting very much as my father would, and did, pushing at the limits of my own physical capabilities to do what, make a point? Make sure everyone has a good time? Push on people to take interesting risks about which stories can be told? I can’t speak for my father, but I think at that leading edge of adrenaline, I make different decisions. In retrospect, I find it fascinating psychologically. One of the things I’ve gotten adept at in the past 4 years is “pop the hood” on my psyche and look in and see how I tick. It’s rare that I can’t immediately see where my motivations come from. Yesterday is a data point I’ll be thinking about for a while.

Oh, and here are the three photos, taken in the space of about 20 minutes as we drove from Lahaina on the way to Twin Falls.

West Coast of Maui
The Land, headed Upcountry on Maui
Upcountry Maui

August 8th, 2008

Three from the drive to Washington State

So we were in Hawaii last on Tuesday. Now it’s Friday and we’re in Washington state: Monroe. Here are some photos from the trip. When I say “some” I mean “three” and they may or not be representative.

Also, my phone is still broken (screen whited out) so twittering and flickring is down significantly. Sad about that a bit.

Log Bear. YREKA, CALIF.
Breakfast in Yreka.
Sky over Monroe

August 12th, 2008

Home, Finally.

After two weeks of traveling, I’m ready to be somewhere, and the somewhere I am is home. It’s been a wonderful two weeks of vacation with family in Hawaii and Washington and parts in-between.

Where are you?

Lots to catch up on. I’ll start tomorrow. Well, maybe a little bit tonight.

My goal Thursday is to do NOTHING. I’m not sure it’s possible, but it’s the goal I’ve been saying out loud.

Is doing nothing possible? Is it possible for me? Possibly Office Space-style is what I was thinking, but I only thought of that when I typed out “doing nothing.”

I hope you’re all having a great day.

August 18th, 2008

No On Proposition 8

Fellow Californians, I believe this to be a sensible vote — please vote NO on Proposition 8. Thanks! And yes, as a matter of fact, I do have friends whose marriages would be affected by this. You can read more of the history in the wikipedia article same-sex marriage in California.

Vow to Vote No on 8

August 18th, 2008

Latest Thomas Barnett Lecture

Always enjoyable, and wonderful to see and hear how the brief has evolved.

via his excellent blog, and the post The Latest and Greatest Brief

August 18th, 2008

Two Zappa-related Entertainments Coming to Los Angeles

The first:

Joe’s Garage, Based on Zappa Album, to Make World Premiere in September:

The Open Fist Theatre Company in California will present the world premiere of Joe’s Garage, a new stage production based on the Frank Zappa album of the same name.

Directed by Pat Towne, the production will begin previews at the Open Fist Theatre Sept. 18 with an official opening Sept. 26. The limited engagement will run through Nov. 22.

Joe’s Garage was adapted by Pat Towne and Michael Franco and features musical direction by Ross Wright and choreography by Jennifer Lettelleir. Producers are Michael Franco, Charlie Otte and Pat Towne with permission from the Zappa Family Trust.

More at www.openfist.org

The second:

The Amazing Mr. Bickford (I found this on the excellent blog Cartoon Brew)

Clay puppets, miniature sets, cutouts, replacement animation, aluminum foil, “strato-cut” slices, molten wax, and other techniques…

The Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles is running two nights of rare goodies created by eccentric animator Bruce Bickford. First up, on August 24th, a rare showing (with permission from Gail Zappa) of The Amazing Mr. Bickford, which has never shown theatrically. Bickford will be in attendance for a Q&A after the 7:30pm screening.

See www.cinefamily.orgspecifically here

August 18th, 2008

Inspirational answer from Ralph Bakshi on surviving in the arts

Advice: Bakshi On Surviving Tough Times

This makes me absolutely love Ralph Bakshi as a person. I’ve never been crazy about Bakshi’s work, but I respect that he’s done interesting work, made interesting failures — Cool World and Lord of the Rings come to mind — and managed to survive. The work of his that I’ve enjoyed the most was his Mighty Mouse in the 1980s. I’ve not seen his early 1970s work, the more adult work. Perhaps it’s time to check them out.

This video is answering a question about surviving hard times, it was taken at Comic-Con this year. This kind of interview is exactly what I enjoy most about Comic-Con — creators speaking with candor and wit.

Artists, watch and be inspired. Yes, there’s salty language in it, but it also contains the truth of 4 decades of survival in the creative arts.

August 18th, 2008

Latest Items That Made Me Laugh

Mack Reed penned The Fastest Spider in Los Angeles, which charmed me and made me laugh.

PCL Linkdump posted a link to a Simplicity Hammer Pants. Giggled at that one.

File under “funny ’cause it’s true” — Sassy‘s Tips for New Dads.

Also: Matthew Baldwin‘s Thought Crimes and Re: Cephalopod are both hilarious.

Neil Kramer really got me with his post The Orthodox Jewish Guy Outside the Supermarket.

Mrs. Heather Armstrong got me cracking up with a simple little post called Short Stack.

This mashup of Terminator 2, Christ, and Death from August 10th made me laugh out loud and grin at its execution and charm. It’s a comic. Sinfest.

This episode of Skadi made me laugh, but I think the thing that keeps me reading is the loose and particular style. Also a comic, this one from Dumm Comics.

August 19th, 2008

Unfit for Publication

Lots of news about this jerk Jerome Corsi’s book these days. The rebuttal makes it clear that the book is idiotic. Excellent transparency, and fast response from the Obama campaign.

Get the PDF of Unfit for Publication via this page on Time Magazine’s site.

August 19th, 2008

Re-Make/Re-Model

I’ve been doing some cultural re-evaluations here in the past few days. Among them is Roxy Music, a set of 1970s records I acquired includes their first, Roxy Music, from 1972. The first track, Re-Make/Re-Model absolutely blew me away with its audacity, and I actually felt some shame over having been a Roxy fan for 24 years and never having heard this song. Enjoy this video version of the track. The quality is middling, but seeing Mr. Brian Eno in glam make-up and a leopard print blouse makes up for it.

Lyrics, and yes, I believe that refrain is CPL593H. Too bad I was in the wrong country and only two years old, or I would have loved to have hung out with these guys.

I tried but I could not find a way
Looking back all I did was look away
Next time is the best time
We all know
But if there is no next time where to go?
She’s the sweetest queen I’ve ever seen
(C P L 5 9 3 H !)
See here she comes, see what I mean?
(C P L 5 9 3 H !)
I could talk talk talk, talk myself to death
But I believe I would only waste my breath
Ooh–Show me!

(C P L 5 9 3 H !)

(C P L 5 9 3 H !)
I tried but I could not find a way
Looking back all I did was look away
Next time is the best time
We all know
But if there is no next time where to go?
She’s the sweetest queen I’ve ever seen
(C P L 5 9 3 H !)
See here she comes, see what I mean?
(C P L 5 9 3 H !)
I could talk talk talk, talk myself to death
But I believe I would only waste my breath

August 19th, 2008

Donald has a Brewski

And engages in wacky shenanigans, no doubt:

via Cover Browser‘s Daily Cover Feed.

August 20th, 2008

I don’t remember D&D being so seductive

Granted, I only played a few times. But still, I hung out with the D&D-ers in 7th and 8th grades.

via vintage ads

August 23rd, 2008

Bear Creek Apartments; Bryan Lee O’Malley

When I was in San Francisco I picked up the first two of the Scott Pilgrim comics while at Isotope Comics (whose very cool owner James Sime has a twitter stream). I enjoyed them immensely on the trip back home and have subsequently picked up numbers 3 and 4 as well. In addition I picked up his comic Lost at Sea. I look forward to number 5 in February 2009. I had heard of Scott Pilgrim at the periphery of my pop-culture awareness, but thought he must be a comic creator. When I saw them on the shelf at Isotope I saw different, picked a random page, was entertained and liked the drawing style, and leapt.

I now follow the creator’s livejournal: Bryan Lee O’Malley. The other day he announced a new comic co-created by someone called Hope Larson — here it is: Bear Creek Apartments. It is short, but rather enjoyable.

August 24th, 2008

What is the proper function of libraries? Uncle Bobby’s Wedding

Brilliantly explicated by a Librarian in response to community objections to a book called Uncle Bobby’s Wedding.


That eloquent defense of this books and free thought
is America to me. It makes me proud to have worked in a library when I was in my teens.

August 25th, 2008

Web Anthropology, particularly YouTube

Anthropologist Dr. Michael Wesch talks about Digital Ethnography. He puts YouTube in perspective and reminds me I love it despite the fact that one needs a tool like Comment Snob sometimes to appreciate it.

August 25th, 2008

Penetrators: Shopping Bag

Another piece of culture I’d never seen, via PCL Linkdump. I had heard of the band Penetrators but I’d never heard anything by them that I was aware of. The video is nearly perfect in its chaotic silliness. The song has a perfect hook too.

August 27th, 2008

Site Launch: The Prosser Group

I worked with Ron Prosser, CEO of The Prosser Group to get this site built this week. It’s a relatively straightforward site. It’s a rare occasion that I do design these days, but this was a fun one to build, and a nice piece of freelance work. Nice when a site can come together quickly.

Site-Launch: TheProsserGroup.com

Image hosted on Flickr

August 28th, 2008

Vote for Abigail for Southwest Blog-o-spondant

Abigail, who runs a pretty great blog, is trying to blog for Southwest Airlines. She’d be great at this:

Here’s what she just posted:

I have submitted a video application for the Southwest Airlines Blog-o-spondant. It’s a really cool blogging gig and I really, really want it. I kind of think it’s perfect for me, too.

But head on over HERE!
to vote!

So get over there and vote!

August 29th, 2008

Animation: Initial energy lost in final product

This is a problem in all the arts, I think. The energy of a a musician’s demo is higher than the final recorded song. A sketch is more fun than a final drawing. It’s acute here in the storyboard and the final rendering from the new film Bolt: Funny commentary from Cartoon Brew:

Cartoon Brew Bolt Storyboard and Scene

August 29th, 2008

Yahoo! Mash Shuts Down

Huh. Okay. You can see what my Mash profile looks like today only at http://mash.yahoo.com/websandiego. I wonder what Yahoo! will do in terms of social networks now? I think they’re focussed on OpenSocial, whose aim is to federate social software. I guess if you can’t build something standalone, build tools to embrace and extend other social network applications.

Here’s the text of the email:

Dear Yahoo! Mash member,

Thank you for trying out our Mash Beta service. We hope you had fun with it.

Please note that we will shut down Mash on September 29, 2008. As a result, your current profile on Mash will no longer be available. We strongly recommend that you return to http://mash.yahoo.com and copy the content that you wish to save onto a separate document.

For a list of FAQs, please refer to the Mash Help Page.

Thanks for trying out Mash!

Matt Warburton

Yahoo! Community Manager

August 29th, 2008

Digital Breast Reduction in Pixar’s Knick Knack

jwz has all the details on the breast reduction that took place in the re-release of Knick Knack. I remember seeing Knick-Knack at a computer animation festival and at other animation tournees in San Diego and I do remember the original version. In fact, I think I have a VHS tape with the original versions from a Pixar short release.

How much of a breast reduction did the toys get? The screen captures tell the story best:

Before:

After:

Again, the full details are available via jwz.

August 29th, 2008

Chris and Pensacola

(I explain the title of this entry at the end of the post–in case you were wondering)

Yesterday I drove to Union Station to see my friend Chris Greazel. Chris I’ve known for over 20 years, ever since he was the artist and I was sort of the cartoonist at my high school. He’s still quite talented, see Greazel.com.

Anyway, I had a great time. Here are some random photos from short trip to Orange County:

Here’s me entering at the transit center end of Union Station in downtown. I took Metrolink to Irvine to see him. One of my favorite places in the world is Union Station downtown. Also, I love trains. Also, it was nice to avoid traffic altogether for my trip to see Chris. Usually we meet somewhere in the middle — but time constraints for Chris have been more significant lately, so I made the trek south.

To trains, Union Station
Under Union Station, Los Angeles

He picked me up and we headed to have some dinner. We had wonderful bento-style box dinner. I had some particularly good teriyaki beef. I don’t have photos of that, sorry. We talked about all the things we usually talk about — everything from life, kids, money, health, everything. The completeness of our communication is something I cherish. We are good counsel and ears for each other. Again, no photos of that. After the meal, we hit a Jo-Ann Fabrics store I saw on the way to the restaurant. I was itching to buy some ink, but they did not have the ink I wanted. They did, however, have these Obama and McCain masks (not pictured: H. Clinton and Bush masks):

Obama and McCain Masks at Jo-Ann Fabrics

I also nabbed a photo of Chris in front of the pens. The lighting is harsh and fluorescent, but as he said “that is how I look.” I owe him a better photo than that. Maybe next time.

Chris and Pensacola at Jo-Ann Fabrics

After that, he showed me where he works, they have lasers there! It must be the future:

Chris' Irvine Workspace

The company he works for does excellent work in laser-etching products, and he’s their chief designer. It’s impressive stuff.

After that, he dropped me at the Fullerton train station on the way home. I nabbed this spooky self-shot of me as the train north was arriving. I kind of like it.

Me with Northbound Amtrak arriving Fullerton Station

The train home was uneventful but comfortable. Before I knew it I was back at Union Station, and getting my car:

Destination car park

I paid my $6 parking fee, and headed home, though I did first stop at World Book & News in Hollywood to look at magazines. I am so unimpressed with how parking on Cahuenga at Hollywood Blvd has gotten harder over the years. There are many clubs and bars down there now, and you can scarcely park. That was frustrating, but the newsstand had some interesting items. After that, I headed home. All-in-all, an excellent capper on a month of vacationing.

Postscript: Also, Chris and Pensacola should have been “Chris and Pens” — but my terrible replacement phone, a Razr, did predictive insertion and decided I must want “Chris and pens” to be “Chris and Pensacola.”

August 31st, 2008

Rollerskating Ninjas

Perfect.

via Japan Probe.

August 31st, 2008

The Pain of Paying; Decline of Credit

Worth a read, via Paul Kedrosky: The Death of the Credit Card Economy:

This shock to the system may further damage the already-fragile psychology of the consumer. Writing a check or deducting the price of a pair of shoes directly from your bank account packs a much more potent emotional punch than charging the pair of Allen Edmonds loafers on your American Express platinum card. Chalk it up to a concept called “the pain of paying,” said Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational. (It’s a concept the parents of his students at Duke University feel every semester.) Imagine that a restaurant, rather than charging $30 per meal, charged 50 cents per bite, with a waiter standing tableside collecting after each chomp. That would be an extremely unpleasant meal. But credit puts a safe distance between the ecstasy of consumption and the agony of payment, and thus makes us feel better. Said Ariely: “If it’s more difficult to get credit, it might make people feel more pain of paying and therefore spend less.”

Nice to see this talked about. The concept that paying cash hurts more should be familiar to Dave Ramsey fans.