Sunday, February 27, 2011

CREATURES BASED ON CHINESE WRITING

I was looking at Chinese writing and lots of them look like stick figure versions of little monsters. Here are some fleshed out versions of what I imagined. I wish I could remember which symbols each of these guys were based on. I wrote it down somewhere but lost it. I drew more of these too, but haven't rounded them up yet.

These are a couple years old now and I can't remember if I've already posted them or not. If you're looking at them for the second time I apologize.

Friday, February 25, 2011

SINISTER WINSTON'S PRANK TIME - Fun With Ears

The idea for this came to me one day when I bought some cheaper unofficial Q-Tip ripoff brand. When I used it the cotton ball came off deep inside my ear. It was a long miserable task involving tweezers and toothpicks and bent paper clips to remove it. After that experience I've always splurged and bought the real deal.

When you read the warnings on a box of Q-Tips it says DO NOT PUT IN EAR. If you don't use them in your ear what are they for? I guess they just don't want to be sued if someone pokes out an ear drum.

Speaking of warnings, this comic is for educational purposes only. Don't really do it or the victim will sue you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

KEV

I don't know what this video means but it makes me laugh. This is my brother Kevin when he was about 7 years old. Now he's all grown up with 2 kids of his own, and one is about the same age as Kevin was in this video. The part that makes me laugh most is when I see his dirty feet.
video
Kevin recorded this music all by himself about 10 years ago. I remember when he recorded it. I was going to offer to play something in the recording but it was some kind of strange 3.5/4-time thing so I couldn't figure it out. It's very twitchy and blink-inducing but I like it a lot.

Speaking of Kevin's kids - check out this artwork by his daughter Mimi: CLICK!

Friday, February 18, 2011

THE WAR - clay animation from 1982

Back in '82 and '83 my cousin David, my brother Kevin and I made several animated clay movies using a Super-8 film camera. Even though we were frustrated with all the film scratches and washed out colors we couldn't figure out how to make it any better with the equipment we had at the time. It's funny because nowadays professional movie studios pay big bucks to artificially reproduce this scratchy film look.

We made this film one Sunday afternoon after church. Even though it's less than a minute long, we probably spent five or six hours making it. From the all the blood and violence it doesn't appear we learned too much in Sunday School that day.

video

The animation in this video was by my cousin David and me. The music was recorded by my brother Kevin and me.

We kept making movies up until the day the $50 bulb in the lamp burned out. Since we only got $1 allowance each week (and usually I'd lose mine as a punishment for something) we never replaced the bulb, and the filming ended.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

DUNE BUGGY UPDATE

Here's an update on the dune buggy. Lee, the dune buggy man, says we're in the home stretch. A couple things need lengthened and welded, and a windshield needs to be cut and fit to the window frame. Then the shell can be put onto the body and it'll be ready to drive.

He put little rails on the back, so I can use bungee straps and haul stuff.

The old wires had a mysterious short in them, and several wires didn't connect to anything. There were pendulous hanging blobs of knotted wires here and there. In the long run it was easier for Lee to tear it all out and start from scratch.

He put in this shorty turn signal and headlight knob. The headlight knob is right in the corner of that black metal framework.

Also he hooked up a gas gauge with a light in it for me.

These wires go to the fuel sensor.

Here you can see the new turn signals and the red Ooga horn.

The 1st time I heard the Ooga horn (I guess that's what you call it) I literally jumped. It's startlingly loud. You can hear it toned down to computer speaker volume in this video.
video

Lee is also making a removable vinyl top. I'm not sure how long that takes, but the buggy will be drivable this Summer with or without it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

DOODLE TIME


My one regret on the above doodle is not making the sasquatch look insane enough. He should have had violently insane and unfocused eyes, and a big open mouth with sharp teeth and drool. I guess that's why I doodled it first, so I could figure out what I really wanted.

Here's a worm's eye view of Lucy. It was taken with my old Minolta camera. The colors are warm and saturated. I can't find Minolta cameras in the stores anymore. I've owned two and loved both of them. Now I own a Kodak and every picture I take is dreary or too bright and washed out. It has about 100 settings to fiddle around with, and I don't understand any of them. The Minolta only had one setting, but every picture always turned out great every time.

My Minolta camera still works but the pictures are only 4 mega pixels, whereas the Kodak is 10. Choosing the right camera to use is a tough decision for me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

JOHNNY WEST'S HORSE

One piece at a time I'm re-accumulating the contents of my childhood toy box. Johnny West, Evel Knievel, and The Six Million Dollar Man were my favorites. Recently my friend gave me a Johnny West figure with most of the little gizmos came with. It's tough to get them all since they're 40 years old, and tiny, and kids would tend to break or lose them.

My cousin and his wife found Johnny West's horse and gave it to me a couple weeks ago. He's in pretty good shape for as much as he's probably been played with. I think his name is Thunderbolt but I'm not positive. There were a few different horses. I realize I could find out by googling it, but I'm old and lazy.

The silhouette of Johnny on his horse is pretty realistic. Woah, horse.

Horse, I thought I said "Woah."

BANG! I know what I'll do now. I'll beat you with a stick.

What's this?.. Wheels?.. He was a ...a robot?
I need to locate the saddle now. He came with some other horse-type items too. I figured the prices would be outrageous on Johnny West merchandise on eBay but they're surprisingly cheap. I have my eye on the wagon, but I suspect it'll be a long time before I win one of those for a price I'm happy about.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ELECTRIC GUITAR PROJECT part 27

I lied. I said the last guitar post was the final post for this guitar project. There was one more small step. I added an "S" logo to the headstock. I went ahead and used the aluminum "S" from the last post. Originally I didn't think it looked right but after letting it settle a few days I grew to accept it.

To get it to stick I had to remove the lacquer in that spot on the headstock. Also I made that area rough and scratchy so it would have teeth for the epoxy to grab.

The front side of the S is very shiny. I am learning it's practically impossible (for me) to take a picture of a shiny object and have it look shiny in the photo. It almost needs to be a motion picture for the glimmer to show in it.

Then the back side was made scratchy and rough with coarse sand paper so epoxy can squeeze into all the crevasses and hold.

When applying the epoxy I only used a small amount so I wouldn't have any squeeze-out. I didn't want to hold by hand until it cured, so I used erasers and whatever else was in the vicinity to keep it compressed.
That's it and I'm not lying this time. I will not cut on this guitar again. Done and done! I really like playing this guitar. It's very small and easy to handle. The action is good too. It has a rich meaty tone when it goes into a speaker. I have one more pickup like the one I used on this guitar. Both pickups were salvaged from an old demolished guitar from either the 60s or 70s. Hopefully someday this guitar will have a brother.

Monday, February 7, 2011

GUITAR NEWS

Woohoo! My guitar appeared on the GUITARZ blog! You can see it featured HERE.

I find myself looking at this blog practically every day. It's got some of the weirdest designs I've seen. Some of the nicest too. If you've ever thought about building a guitar for yourself that's a good place to find inspiration.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

THE SCREAMING WILHELMS #4

This is the 4th in The Screaming Wilhelms series. If you click HERE you'll see some more.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ELECTRIC GUITAR PROJECT part 26

Finished! In only 26 easy steps! This guitar project is finally behind me. Pretty much. I have a final decision to make and then it's off the work bench.

In this last episode of ELECTRIC GUITAR PROJECT the hardware was screwed on to the face.

All the wires were fished through worm holes and pulled out the access port in the back.

Using the wiring diagram I skinned wires and twisted them together. I shortened all the wires so they were just long enough to work with, but wouldn't over-pack the compartment.
Before soldering I plugged in the guitar to make sure it got a signal and everything was wired correctly. After feeling satisfied with all the connections it was soldered together, and the solder joints were covered with electrical tape, and then the entire mess of wires was coiled down into the compartment.

The cover plate was screwed on and suddenly Bertha was alive!

The only reason I bought this soldering iron was because it looked like a space pistol. It probably doesn't work as well as others but I'm willing to suffer for it. If it ever breaks I'll probably transform it into a movie prop.

Here's a shot of the face after everything is finished (minus the strings.)

Here it is with Mei just for size comparison.

After I finished it I noticed the fret markers had turned dark gray after sanding the frets. Metal dust had worked itself down into the pores of the dowels I used for fret markers. I decided to redo them. I found some aluminum "common" nails and polished the heads so they were shiny. This picture doesn't show the shininess very well but believe me, they're shiny! Also buffing them gave the heads a convex shape which was a bonus. Now they still hit the light no matter which way the guitar is tilted.

The nails were cut short, about 1/4" long, and then the previous fret marker dowels were drilled out. I epoxied these new fret markers in place and TADA!

Here's a picture of the back of the headstock.

Here's the face. As it is now I have no logo at the top. It seems pretty plain and generic without anything up there. I Made an "S" out of aluminum and was ready to attach it and then I had doubts. Maybe it doesn't look right. I'm back and forth on it. Another idea is to mount a 2011 penny into the head. That would show the date it was finished. I guess too it would mean Made in USA. These days that's pretty rare so maybe I should capitalize on it.

Strings were attached and I plugged it in and was extremely, pleasantly surprised at both the sound and the action.






It's light and comfortable to hold, and it has very low action. Now I need to make a video.
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