There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

That’s it? Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

It looks like the storm has passed us by here in Florida, and instead of gale-force winds and torrential downpours, we get sunny skies and cookouts. Good luck to our friends to the North of us!

Site Re-design – Brick House Digital

It’s been a while since I re-worked the Brick House Digital site, which is the business face of the web design and animation company my wife and I work under. I was thinking about taking it to a blog only, but I still want a place to try out new design tools, and the domain has been active for 12 years, so we have a lot of history invested in it.  We’re not doing a great deal of business under it at the moment, with both of us back in school, but we like to keep ourselves visible, and the site gets a fair piece of traffic a day.

I started with positioning the logo and some of the elements in CorelDraw. I’m going with a simple black background this time, some Flash graphics in the center area, and some social media links on the front page.

Desktop For Today

Today’s desktop is an older piece of my 3D art. A skyship, modeled by Winston, rendered in Poser, I believe. I love this model.

Desktop for Today

My desk at the office – today’s wallpaper is a montage from last year’s Blizzcon, featuring Kerrigan from Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft.

Random Thoughts for July 2011

I don’t like algebra.

I enrolled in online classes at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh at the beginning of the year, and classes have been going great. I had a 4.0 grade average until I got to my current class – algebra. This stuff kicked my ass 30 years ago, and it’s not changed a bit. I have another math class after this one, so it’s 11 weeks of swallowing a bitter pill, and then I get back to the fun courses.

The finger I broke last year has healed up very well, and I’m playing bass again regularly now.  I still don’t have a place to play that I feel good about. I’ve got a weekly gig in church every Sunday morning, but it’s only a few songs, and we don’t practice enough for me to feel competent with the material.  In my old band days, we’d practice for a few hours on a weeknight and then play for 8 hours over Friday and Saturday night, so we had things down pretty good.  I still want a Rickenbacker, but I’m also thinking about picking up the regular guitar again and making an effort to learn that.  The guitar shop here in town had a sweet 12-string Fender acoustic/electric for about $350 last year that I wish I had bought. There’s always another guitar, though. Rickenbacker makes 12-strings, too, so they still make what would be my ultimate goal.

I have a Fender Precision that I took apart last year that I need to finish painting and put back together.

Been really getting into marketing on the web lately.  I’m doing the website for the company I’m working for now, and most of it is active at www.wwspwear.com.  We’re a large silk-screen t-shirt company, and we have almost 30 years worth of work to showcase, so I chose to put it in a Picasa gallery rather than on the site.  That way, I can update the gallery and arrange however I want, and not have to keep editing multiple webpages.  I’ve also got drawings for business cards, window lettering, and packaging to create an overall image for the place.

I have my own sites that I need to update as well.  My web design company I have with my wife at www.brickhousedigital.com, and my comic book site at www.skulfrak.com.  I used the Skulfrak site as my portfolio when I was job hunting, but hopefully I won’t need it again for that purpose for a long, long time.  I’m going to switch it over to my idea for comic book publishing, but between work, family, school, playing bass, and some gaming, I don’t have a great deal of time for anything else right now.

I wish Obama would just mint two trillion dollar coins, throw them in the treasury, and put this debt ceiling crap to rest. You’re the POTUS, dude. Grow some stones and show the tea party you’re like a BAWS.

Every Night I Have the Strangest Dreams



I usually don’t remember my dreams. They’re nothing extraordinary. Usually just random flotsam and jetsam from memories or ponderings as I drift off to sleep.  The other night, though, I had one that was strangely vivid, and I can remember every detail.  It was just a short snippet, but I’ve been turning it over in my head, wanting to know more about it, and see what happens next.  I can never seem to get back to a dream when I try, so I’ll probably never get any more of it, but it kind of creeped me out.  This is what I can remember –

I got out of the car and closed the door.  It was very late at night, and it was silent except for the cool wind blowing in the trees.  I hadn’t been to the house I grew up in for many years, but it was exactly as I remembered it the last time I was in it.  I didn’t know why I was there, and only thinking back on it now do I realize that when my mind calls itself back home, that’s where I end up.

I had a nervous feeling as I started toward the house across the front yard.  It was the time of night when everyone else in the world was asleep, and the only things awake were troubled souls.  The grass was dry and I looked down as it crunched beneath my steps.

“I’m watching you.”

I stopped, frozen with fear.  The voice was right there next to be, but I was all alone on the lawn.  I looked around nervously, sure I had heard something, but telling myself I had imagined it.  I wanted to run toward the house, or back to the car, but I couldn’t move.

“I’m watching you.”

That time I knew for sure someone was whispering to me.  I turned, looking for anyone who could be hiding in the shadows.  It was not a nice voice, and the tone was menacing.  I couldn’t move until I knew who it was.  I knew it wasn’t coming from inside my house, as that’s a safe place.  As my eyes moved to the right, I scanned the neighbors house next door.  It was not the same house I remembered from my youth.  This was much bigger, with a second story and a front porch that wrapped around the house on the side.  There were big trees casting dark shadows along the wood siding.  A row of windows along the side facing my house were totally dark, revealing nothing at all inside.  Then I saw it.  In the last window near the front of the house, a small porcelain doll head was peeking out, as if looking at me.  And in that instant, I *knew* it was watching me.  It was an old, cracked and forgotten toy, with dark, empty eyes.  But I realized that it was a dark spirit, looking for something in dead of night, and it had found *me*.

I didn’t know what to do.  Part of me wanted to confront it.  After all, it was a porcelain doll, and I had two hundred pounds on it, so I could probably take it in a fight, but that’s only if it didn’t use any of that zombie voodoo magic on me.  I could run, but that would seem kind of a sissy thing to do.  So I just stood there, staring back at it, and raised a finger and wagged it defiantly toward the doll, as if to let to it know that I was watching it too, for all the good that would do.

Then it grinned at me.

My blood froze.  “You see me and acknowledge me.  Gotcha.”  the dark voice whispered to me.

It was gone, and I was alone in the yard, with nothing but my fear.

I knew that whatever it was, I had become it’s new best friend, and I would be seeing it again.  Some night, I’ll have to go into that house and confront it, and hope I’ll make it back out by morning.

Keeping my Head Down

Not too much going on lately.  There are things going on in the background of my life that I have no control over, and I’m really hoping situations don’t take a turn for the worse again.  I’ve used up just about every trick in my magic bag, and I’m really ready for some stability and security.  It may just be the way things are now, though, and I have to survive it as best I can.  It’s really hard to stay positive when so many people have let me down in the past, and I’ve gotten to where I expect it now.  I’m trying to stay positive and be as productive as I can be, so maybe I’m just being paranoid.

Random Thoughts for September

I’m back to working on the guitar playing again.  I suffered a setback a little less than 3 months ago, when I broke a finger on my left hand, shattering a knuckle.  It was pinned back together, casted up, and seems to be well on the way to being healed.  I go for a follow-up with the surgeon today to see how it’s doing.  I’m back to playing some basic chords and scales, so I have high hopes for a full recovery.

In my weight-loss efforts, I’m down 33 pounds since I changed my eating habits about 4 months ago.  I’m down a shirt size, and none of my pants fot correctly anymore.  For the first time in more than 10 years, I’m below 200 pounds.  Seventeen pounds to go to hit my target weight.  Maybe I should take up jogging on the beach or something, being only a block away.

Been spending some time each day before work at Panera Bread, sipping coffee and using their wi-fi.  At least the day starts calmly before a certain salesman comes in and ruins things by not respecting the sanctity of the lunch hour.

I’ve got a new comic started, but I’ve gotten a bit off-track and not been working on it like I should be.  I really need to regain my discipline in that area of my life.  Now that all the finger drama in my life has subsided, I need to get back to focusing on my productivity and setting some time aside each week to work on that project.

That’s about it for me.  How’s about you?