About Me

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I make toys for kids who don't want to grow up. I'm on the lookout for new projects. If you're interested in commissioning me to build something ridiculous, shoot me an email.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Online Comics

These tickled me just right lately.

A Movie That Will Have EVERYTHING

Dragons and Trenchcoats and Nazi German stormtroopers and crazy hot chicks and explosions and Samurai swordfights and guns and airships and bombs and explosions and burlesque dancers and robots and gangsters explosions and ohmygodthistotallyrocks!

I've seen a lot of buzz lately about Zack Snyder's Suckerpunch.  This is the same guy that directed 300 and Watchmen a while back and this is his first film based on an original concept.

When I say original concept, it really looks like every doodle that I ever drew in junior high school has somehow been recovered, rendered in CGI, and wedged into one great big pile of awesome.   Here's the trailer:

Here's one of the half-dozen character posters that are going around online:
Each one of these posters is equally sexy, so I just picked one at random.

Here's a banner that came out a while ago:
There's a story behind all of this stuff, I'm sure, but I just want to sit and wow at the spectacle.  March 25th 2011 can't come soon enough.

New and Improved Fitness Plan: Boobies!

According to an article at MedGuru.com, a recent study by what I will now call the most advanced medical minds ever, there is a direct link between staring at women's boobs and living a longer, healthier life.

According to Dr. Karen Weatherby, the author of the study, "Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female, is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out."  In addition, she also recommended that men over 40 should gaze at larger breasts daily for 10 minutes.  Apparently there's a correlation between the size and effectiveness of the boobs being stared at.  Seems logical enough to me.

It's clear to me that this also explains why women generally have a longer life expectancy than men.  Staring at boobs is easier for them.

So now I feel it's my civic duty to post a picture guaranteed to help you live longer:

Now thanks to the internet I've got a good excuse to go back to visiting the strip club gym regularly...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unseaworthy Vessel of the Week

The other day I was walking along the docks in Angel Island's Ayala Cove when I spotted what at first glance appeared to be a nice, clean, new sailing yacht. At first it looked like a trim and well-equipped boat, the kind of vessel that was ready to weather the passage to the South China Sea without much more than a quick trip to the supermarket for provisions.

Then upon closer inspection I noticed the name:
Angel Island Scout Trip

Clearly this is the boat of a complete moron. I'm sure the owner felt very clever in the brief moment of sober clarity when he came up with this name, but no. Someone who can't even take the naming of their boat seriously should reconsider being in, on, or around water before their nincompoopery gets them killed.

HEAT: A Fire Cabaret

Back in May I attended the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo. There were plenty of fascinating displays of artwork and projects and I spent all day wandering around without getting to see even half of it.

Somewhere in the middle of it all was a series of booths where volunteers from the Crucible were demonstrating a variety of fire arts ranging from glassblowing to blacksmithing. The Crucible is a non-profit training center that offers classes in fine and industrial arts. So if you're interested in learning how to work with metal and glass, you really ought to check it out.

Among the many things they had on display at the Maker Faire there was also a scattering of flyers for one of their fundraising events entitled "HEAT: a Fire Cabaret." The flyer was pretty eye-catching:

So, a couple of months later, finding myself with a free Saturday night, I decided to grab my friend Trevor and make the trip down to Oakland. I'll admit that I had no idea what to expect, but once we had our tickets and walked inside, I knew it was going to be an interesting night.

The first thing to notice inside was that everywhere you looked there was something on fire or an dancing girl or (more often than not) both:

They even had women dangling from the ceiling:
Suspended Dancer

And the ceiling was not low:
Suspended Dancer1

It took a while to get our bearings after the first few minutes of unabashed gawking:
Dancer Sparks

Crucible Poledancer

Among the various fire acts, was a very talented girl twirling a flaming hula hoop:
Flaming Hula Hoop

I can't make a normal hula hoop work, so I can only imagine the carnage if I tried one of these:
Flaming Hula Hoop1

Spread throughout the facility were a variety of artists and artisans demonstrating various industrial arts. I spent quite a while watching this character bending glass:

The blacksmith shop was pretty fascinating, but I was a bit overdressed for the heat:

There were also various artists creations on display:
Copper Fish
Crucible Fountain

Crucible decor
Glass Ladies
V8 Lightning Engine

With the mass of the crowd pressed up to the main stage, I didn't get any pictures of the jazz vocalist, the band, or the burlesque show on the main stage. I did manage to get plenty of pictures of the side shows though:
Fire Fan Dance

These two girls were doing a variation of a fan dance, but their fans were made of steel frames with flame pots on the tips:
HEAT crucible fire cabaret 025
At some point I spent a few minutes chatting with one of the performers:

She turned out to be a very talented belly dancer. You can see more of her at her website: www.dancingeve.com or by scrolling down:


According to her website, she's also a classically-trained violinist. I snapped a pic of her doing a duet with the glassworking guy (with the neon violin mock-up):

Towards the end of the evening I was finally able to see part of one of the main stage acts, Scarlett & Axelrod:
Gravity Plays Favorites 2
Gravity Plays Favorites 1
Gravity Plays Favorites

Still, every time I turned a corner there was more hot stuff:

So after a thoroughly entertaining evening with an intriguing crowd, it was time to head for the exit:

The rest of the night is another story...

Angel Island Day Cruise with the Petaluma Sea Scouts

Friday morning the Sea Scout Ship Compass Rose set out from the Petaluma Marina with the entire crew and a handful of guests on board. The day began as the crew began to arrive around 0600. By 0715, the ship was underway and bound down the river.

The tide was with us, so it was just a couple short hours until we were pulling through Raccoon Straits and arriving in Ayala Cove. There were already plenty of boats which had spent the night moored in the cove:
Angel Island Scout Trip (24)

The Compass Rose was one of the first boats to arrive at the docks though, so we were able to make up on the end tie:
Angel Island Scout Trip (32)

Once all the mooring lines were made fast, I set out for the top of the island. With no particular plan in mind, the rest of the crew followed along:
Angel Island Scout Trip (44)

As we turned off the perimeter road and headed up the trail, the view kept getting better:
Angel Island Scout Trip (66)

Somewhere along the way, everyone ended up a bit spread out:
Angel Island Scout Trip (85)
This is a rock:
Angel Island Scout Trip (77)

This is the view next to the rock:
Angel Island Scout Trip (78)
About three quarters of the way up, everyone stopped to check out Battery Wallace, a Spanish War era gun emplacement. There we rested and posed for photographs:
Angel Island Scout Trip (63)

Just before we reached the top, the fog rolled in and blocked the view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge:
Angel Island Scout Trip (93)

But from the peak of Mount Livermore, you could just make out the Compass Rose in the cove below:
Angel Island Scout Trip (94)

On the other side there was a good view of the East Garrison:
Angel Island Scout Trip (99)

Having already seen one side of the island, everyone opted to hike down the other side on the way back:
Angel Island Scout Trip (102)

This probably had something to do with the fact that it was warm and this was the shady side:
Angel Island Scout Trip (106)

We returned to the dock in time for lunch:
Angel Island Scout Trip (125)

In the afternoon everyone split off into various groups to entertain themselves. I wasn't there, but apparently there was some controversy over who owed whom five dollars for touching a dead jellyfish that washed up on the beach. The jury's apparently still out.

Leaving Raccoon Straits, we were able to glimpse the bridge again:
Angel Island Scout Trip (4)

As we headed up the Petaluma River, an incessant squeaking noise started in the pilothouse. Further investigation revealed that we had chirping stowaways camped out above our port sidelight:
Angel Island Scout Trip (21)

Fortunately the ship was moored in her home berth well before sunset so their parents could feed them.

Stay tuned for more adventures...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Down the River, Up the River

The other day I took a trip down the Petaluma River to Bel Marin Keys to collect a couple of sailboats that were donated to the Petaluma Sea Scouts. Since the approach channel is potentially shallow, it didn't make sense to make the trip with the Compass Rose. We also opted out of puttering down there in one of the painfully slow motor whaleboats. Instead, we took this sportfishing boat that was donated some time ago:

(this particular boat isn't much use to the scout program, so if you're in need of a sportfishing boat, this one's for sale)

Once we'd reached the mouth of the Petaluma River, we made the turn into the channel for Bel Marin Keys:
Bel Marin Keys 1

I've never really been in this neighborhood before. Now that I have, I will admit that I like it. There were a few exceptions, but most of the houses we saw were set up like this one:
Bel Marin Keys

The enclosed little lagoon here is routinely dredged to maintain its depth. What's better is that there's a lock in place so that the tide never rises or falls. That means you don't have to worry about your boat bottoming out at the dock on a really low tide and you never have to smell that special, low tide smell.

Here's another random house:
Bel Marin Keys 2

I like this one because it suggests to me that the homeowners association doesn't mind if you have naked chicks as lawn decorations:
Bel Marin Keys 3

Once we'd loaded the smaller boat into the cockpit of the sportfisher and taken the larger one in tow, it was time to head back north:
Towing Donated Sailboat

The weather was great and we arrived in the marina safely. The scenery was great as usual:
Marin County Scenery
Now all we need to do is hit the decks with a powerwasher, replace some running rigging, and take some scouts sailing.