At OSU in 1992 I drew a daily comic strip for the school paper, The Lantern. It was called Potbelly. I drew the strips at triple the size to pack in detail and used a lot of white out. I loved doing it, but my jokes were laaaaaaame.

The character was a dog with an oversized belly. He didn’t speak but held up signs instead. My inspiration was Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes. Eventually I got distracted and took the summer off, coming back and renaming the strip Bedlam and adding human characters. It still didn’t get funny.

But Potbelly stuck around and holds a dear place in memory. Eventually I’ll capture a slew of them and capture as a Project.

My bearded brother

Our family text thread sometimes gets taken over by Snapchat filters. I may have been the guilty one starting this thread as they have a beard removal filter… only convincing from afar or totally convincing if you’re David.

All this is to say the thread inspired my brother to show up like this while dropping off some goodies.

Related: Filters are also getting pretty good adding beards to folks.

Gabe and Brayden, with beard

Block talk

My friend Terry has been digging into blockchain technology. He has some ideas. Me? I’m still trying to figure it out but we had a chat about it all. He’s coming at it from a different angle. I’m currently watching peers put up NFT artworks for sale while others decry the very notion.

What’s an NFT? A Non-fungible token and just thinking through it is kind of exhausting.

But these two perspectives make me feel like now is not the time for me to dedicate too much space to the notion:

Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are an absolute disaster for so many more reasons than the ecological – Everest Pipkin

NFTs are a dangerous trap – Seth Godin’s gut reaction

Up to the edge of the Gaslight

The weather broke into a lovely spring day and it aligned with the weekend. No excuses, it was time for a walk. Casey had been looping the neighborhood on his jaunts so I suggested we walk up the hill toward the Gaslight District.

This was an excuse to try and capture these new huge power lines that have been going up over the last few months. This picture provides no scale or justice to the apocalyptic scale they bring to the landscape. You should be able to make out the cherry pickers with the installation crew from afar. Just looking at the height made my knees weak.

Electric towers for the apocalypse
An indian restaurant
Dusmesh Indian Restaurant
Retirement home, think?
The apartments at the bend of Rue De La Paix
A gas light on the street
An actual gaslight
paintings on a window of mascot costumes
The former Stagecraft costume shop windows

Good filler

Piecing things together from the day.

I know that I photographed some Judy Blume books for the favorites section. Had a chat with Tamara about a community art project. Another meeting about a UI project—with a team from all over… Poland, California, Washington, Italy and Ohio. My brother arrived in Florida and his dog Lola saw the beach for the first time. Ate a delicious meal from Elm St Social Club (with a tip of the hat to DOMO).

I’m sure I’m missing something, but I also photographed this patch from Oxford Pennant and Real Fun. Wow! and it pretty much sums up what keeps it together in these cold months of a pandemic.

The wonder of a film scanner

Most of my work from college is on slide film. And there are oodles of envelopes of negatives in a huge box I’ve been meaning to explore. So I got this film scanner and though the resolution is wanting, it is all sorts of yay.

I found sheets of negatives from the photography class by Michael Wilson at Manifest Studio. These snapshots of mom were from October 2017. (An extra tip of the hat to Michael for reminding us to date our work.)

A scanner that converts negatives to digital
A black and white photo of a woman reading a book
Fim negatives reversed

Just to keep it spicy

I’ve moved workouts down to the lounge and have been meeting with Larry over the wire three days a week. Now that I’ve got that fancy Portal camera thing he can truly see my level of effort and sweat. This is helpful so he knows how to dial it up and continue to push further.

There’s something there that applies to everything else… This notion of repetition, finding your edges and then pushing just a little farther once you’re comfortable. If anything, just to keep it spicy.

Edie, on green rug

Unrelated, SNL has been strangely funny lately.

Like weird funny. Last night’s episode hosted by Regé-Jean Page had some choice bits: Loco ft. Bad Bunny, The Job Interview, Pete Davidson on Valentine’s Day, Let’s Say Grace, Drivers License and Mr. Chicken Legs Pageant. Here, I made a playlist. It’s on Youtube so it’s dense with tracking.

I bought a blasted Portal

When we had that virtual cooking class the other day there was a couple in a well appointed kitchen. Whenever they spoke and filled the screen we cut to this wide panning shot of the pair. Then the camera would slowly zoom in to the person talking.

“Whoever is doing your camera work is great!” I typed in the chat window.

“Oh, that’s our Facebook Portal. We’ve been using them for Zooms and have sold a bunch of them to our family after they see it.”

Immediately I thought, you can use those for Zoom? That would be great for virtual workouts… Larry can only see my flat butt when I’m doing pushups.

Since my world is currently mostly online, I figured I’d buy one and start up a burner Facebook account to use it.

Yes, I loathe the company that makes this product. Yes, I am aware they are now collecting so much audio and video data from me. Even though I unplug it when not in use, I assume it has an internal battery to continue surveillance.

And the flip side? It is incredible.

I can now have focused conversations without all the trappings of a computer / phone / tablet and all the pesky notifications that go with them. It’s fun to take a break, stand up and move around and continue a chat. Oh, and my self view is a tiny postage stamp sized window that I can’t see without glasses anyway, so I’m not dealing with myself.

This concept is solid and the design and construction of this thing is very good. If only any other f’ing company in the world made something like it.

Here’s a sample FWIW:

Not quite perfection

While I’m “filling up the favorites” section of this new (2021) site, I’m running around the house, pulling out books off the shelves, dusting off games from the closet, searching for year end music lists for alternative and pop music, etc etc., and taking LOTS of photos.

Part of this switch means all those years of “before and after” photo rollovers are going to go away. I’m not sad for two reasons: 1.) I over-processed shit out of photos in the past—it’s honestly mortifying. and 2.) It was a lot of work.

These days I try to fiddle less, or less intrusively. But in this case, the after photo is kind of extra fun.