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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rising Up from the Asses


(Illustration Friday: Phoenix)

Ding-dong, Saddam is dead. It's chilling watching the CNN video of him being led to the noose, knowing he had few minutes to live before dying at the choice of someone else. No, it was not worth all the civilian and military lives that it's taken to get to this point in the most ineptly executed war of all time. However, I can only hope that as they put the noose around his neck, it crossed his wormy mind that the terror rising within him was the same felt by all the innocent men, women and children he had executed. The war goes on, (and on and on and on) but his obscene page in history is finally closed. Please treat his body like that of executed Nazi war criminals; cremate him and spread his ashes to the four winds so there is never a monument to him or what he stood for.

On a happier note, Joe dragged me to see Happy Feet, and I was so pleasantly surprised. It drags on here and there and is a mite heavy in the ecological moral department, but all in all I was blown away. Three pluses I saw as a CGI animator: 1) Feathers. Lots of them. Very hard to do. 2.) Snow means footprints- and in a film about a dancing penguin, it's not just a shot here and there. Again, very hard. 3) THE HUMANS WERE LIVE PEOPLE. Sorry, but I'm always jolted a little bit out of my suspension of disbelief in realistic CGI movies because no matter how hard you try, it's very hard to make people look like anything other than puppets.

On a slightly downer note, I received (at my request) The Richard Donner cut of Superman II. (Again, all hail General Zod.) As one of the fans who clamored for it's release, I can honestly say that I actually prefer the theatrical version- with one small exception: the re-inclusion of Marlon Brando. Jor-El's original scenes were much better than those re-done in the theatrical version by Lara, and add a reason- and a price- for the return of Superman's powers.

Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, December 22, 2006

Let There Be Peas on Earth & Let It Begin With Me


Probably the only way I'll find peace in this lifetime.

Once again, Illustration Friday has wussed out & tried to be as PC as possible at Christmastime (at least it's not as blatant as last years "Holiday.")



So have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanuka, a Krazy Kwanza, a Super Solstice, & a Festivus for the Restofus. (Sadly, there's no Flying Spaghetti Monster holiday for this time of year.)

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Won't You Please, Please Help Me!


No matter how bad things get, always grab for that branch!

If I could change something that would help the world, I would pass a law that all programs, when uninstalled, must COMPLETELY remove themselves from the computer, without leaving behind any files whatsoever. I recently had to uninstall Firefox. I reinstalled it to find that I still had the same problem. I deleted Firefox's folder. The problem remained. I scanned the computer and found at least 5 different Mozilla folders hidden (as in, XP hid them until I told it not to) in my "Documents and Settings" folder.

Uninstalling IE is impossible, no matter what Windows claims. Uninstall it, and the exe file is still there. Delete the exe file, and it will magically reappear again.

Why oh why does AOL need to COMPLETELY TAKE OVER MY COMPUTER just to run?

Sigh.

TTFN
-Tony

PS- Happy Birthday, Jennifer. You help, believe me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm it, I'm it!

Being an oblivious schmo, I hadn't realized that the beautiful & multitalented Robin had tagged me. There seems to be a quadruple motif here.

4 Jobs I have had:

1. Movie projectionist in Bernardsville, NJ. This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had, at least until the owners of the small-town theatre where I worked decided to found Clearview Cinemas & made us wear bow-ties, wouldn’t let us play our guitars in the lobby in-between movies anymore, and chopped up the theater into three large-screen TVs…
2. U.S. Army PFC. ‘nuff said.
3. In high school I did odd jobs for an elderly man- he’s long since passed on. One day I was cleaning out his basement. Under a pile of junk, underneath a blanket, on a moldy, dusty card table I found a cardboard box containing the ashes of his wife. They had been there since she had died, 10 years before. The old man (George) stepped in to see how I was doing and said, “So, I see you’ve met my wife! Just leave her there.” A few months later we painted his house. After we re-hung the curtains, he looked up and said, “You know, Florence would bitch to no end about these curtains, but what the hell- she’s in the basement with a blanket over her head!”
4. I was a Waldenbooks & Sbarros manager in Hilton Head Island, SC. (I snuck an extra job in there!) It was obscene how Sbarros paid me more money to make pizzas than Waldenbooks paid me to drive me insane.

4 movies I could watch over and over:
1. The ORIGNAL (1967) Bedazzled. “Juuuuulie Annnndrewwwwwws!”
2. Kentucky Fried Movie. “The popcorn you’re eating has been pissed in, film at eleven!”
3. Monty Python’s Life of Brian. “I have a gweat fwiend in Wome named Biggus Dickus!”
4. Brazil. “We’re all in it together, kid.”

4 places I have lived (apart from where I am now):
1. NJ. Lived there for 18 straight years, came back 3 years later for 2 more.
2. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Nice place to live, you wouldn’t want to work there.
3. Washington DC (Army)
4. Monterrey, CA (Army) If I had the money, this is where I would settle to spend the rest of my life. Of course, my parents & in-laws would hate me forever for taking the grandkids so far away…

4 TV shows I love:
1. Doctor Who, classic & new. (Tom Baker is a God.)
2. Family Guy. I’m male.
3. Babylon 5- the greatest TV show ever made. (The first four years, anyway.)
4. The Venture Brothers. Come on, make a third season already!

4 places I have been for a vacation:
I’ve never been away on a vacation. When we were kids living in NJ, we used to go to my grandparents summer home in Shirley, Long Island once a year for a week. Ironically, while it was a 3 hour drive back then, it’s about twenty minutes from where I live now.

4 websites I visit daily:
(I’m taking Robin’s out here & stating these are SITES not BLOGS.)

1. Youtube.com
2. i-am-bored.com
3. NYDailyNews.com
4. can’t think of one.

4 favourite foods:
1. Tuna Salad on Rye
2. Ooodles of Noodles
3. Turkey Legs
4. Gala Apples

4 places I would rather be:
1. The Moon
2. Monterrey, CA It’s perpetually 75 degrees there.
3. The 5th astral plane of Venus.
4. Somewhere I’ve never been. Antarctica, maybe.

4 people I am tagging:
This is a universal call to all who wish to be tagged. Meme away.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

FIN-A-F**K-ING-LLY!


(Not remotely what my card really looks like.)

After 8 years and 9 months (4 as a helper, 4 as an M-Journeyman + 9 months of makeup time for unemployment & when I was out with my bad back) I FINALLY have my A-rate! It will be another three years before I can take the A test and have the stigma of the letter M removed from my card, but even then, I'll still be making the big $, and will be allowed on A jobs. Amen.

I'd like to thank someone who helped me with all my union stuff, et al. Like most superheroes, he wants to retain his secret identity & remain anonymous. But I wanted to publicly say thank you. Though we have our difficulties at times, I appreciate all you've done for us. Couldn't have done it without you.

TTFN
-Tony


Saturday, December 09, 2006

IF: Mask



We all wear a variety of masks all the time. For example, today I put on the mask of a good Catholic father when Joe had his first confession. I recited everything in the program, genuflected, stood up, knelt, etc, etc, etc. I listened, standing, while the priest read the gospel, the parable of the shepherd:

"One day, Jesus told his friends this story: "There once was a shepherd who had one hundred sheep. One night one of the sheep was missing. The shepherd was very worried because he loved all his sheep very much. He decided to leave the ninety-nine sheep on the hillside and go off to look for the one lost sheep. He looked everywhere.

After a long time, he found the lost sheep caught in a thorn bush. The shepherd freed the sheep and carried it home on his shoulders. The shepherd and the sheep were full of joy."


And a little voice in my mind whispered, "...and that night, the shepherd and his wife had lamb chops. And yea, it was good."



TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Want a Monster to Be My Friend

Probably the most sexually charged song in the history of children's television. Original & unedited, not the politically correct EnVogue version.



TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Facelift!

After almost two years, it's time to change my blog avatar. All hail the new avatar:


In a few more years, I can try out for a Rankin & Bass Kris Kringle!

Bearded men I've always wanted to be:

The Master (#1) from Doctor Who -the great late Roger Delgado.


General Zod from Superman & Superman II -Terrance Stamp


And of course, the great late Frank Zappa (seen here on the album cover of Sheik Yerbouti- probably the greatest name for an album of all time.)

Feel free to suggest your own.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, December 01, 2006

"For might makes right, until they've seen the light..."


It's drawings like this in my notebooks that prompted many "are you ok?" talks from my parents in High School. Drawings like this made other kids think I was cool. Drawings of Daleks and the U.S.S. Enterprise quickly balanced out that sentiment. I've always wanted to draw a cover for Heavy Metal. Of course, to sell an HM cover I'd have to get some scantily clad bimbo to pose for me first... (If there are any scantily clad bimbos reading this, please feel free to audition.)

Dear Google: MY BLOG WORKS FINE THE WAY IT IS- STOP PESTERING ME.

I originally colored this with the paint program on my Ipaq. When I saved it, it not only caused my Ipaq to freeze, but I could not get it to work again without doing a hard reset. Fortunately, almost all of my data was on the storage chip, but it's still, in the words of Borat, "A pain in my assholes." Next time I buy a PPC I'm defiantly going with a Dell. At least it'll have buttons to play the Gameboy emulator with instead of my Ipaq 4705's useless touchpad.

Although the gears of my mind have been squeaking in the middle of the night like a hamster's exercise wheel, may I say that because of my Jen, Joe & Mandy, I'm the luckiest schmo in the world. They just make everything worthwhile.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Some crying, six carrying me..."

From Philip K. Dick's We Can Remember it for You Wholesale (which was loosely translated into the movie Total Recall:)

"The door hung open and inside, at a big
genuine walnut desk, sat a genial-looking man, middle-aged,
wearing the latest Martian frog-pelt gray suit; his attire alone
would have told Quail that he had come to the right person."

Ok. I'm putting it in my will that when I die, I want to be cremated in a frog-pelt suit. Of course, it might be hard, because I decided long ago I'm going out the same way Slim Pickens did in Dr. Strangelove, (yes, that is James Earl Jones.)

TTFN
-Tony


Monday, November 27, 2006

"6 James Bonds at Casino Royale..."

From Tony's Pearls of Wisdom: He who heavily snacks before bedtime misses bus while sitting on porcelain in morning.

Jen & I partook of Casino Royale this weekend. On the whole it was a good time, with a few complaints: 1) I know all James Bond movies have followed their own timelines & that Casino Royale was Ian Fleming's first Bond novel. However, setting up a post-cold-war prequel Bond flick is a bit confusing, especially when it was established eleven years ago in Goldeneye that Bond is the cold war veteran & Judi Dench's M is the newbie, and not the other way around. 2.) While true to the tone of the original books, (& in a class above the last three plotless Bond extravaganzas,) the movie just wasn't any fun. For fun James Bond films, see Live & Let Die, Goldeneye, & Diamonds are Forever. Of course, if you want to go for all out silliness, rent the original 1967 Casino Royale. 3.) Call me a male sexist whatever, but, as a matter of religion, Bond films are supposed to be awash with scantily clad women, not, I repeat, NOT with nude men. Someone needs a serious talking to about this.

I dreamt last night that my cell phone became swamped with text-message spam (a serious problem in Japan.) Hopefully this was not a foretelling of the future…

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, November 26, 2006

IF: Invention


Here is my invention, the happiness machine. I tried making it with 3ds Max, but it looked retarded. I tried coloring/ shading this sketch, but it still looked retarded. So I decided to just put it up as is. I suppose a nod to Monsters, Inc. is deserved. I've always been a firm believer in Ayn Rand's theory that happiness comes from self achievement, pride, and self love. That must be the reason I'm such a miserable bastard all the time.

Hey- THIS made me happy- I won a "Blog of the Day" award for the previous post (my child-rearing advice.) For Sunday, November 26, 2006!
Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

OK. I can go to bed happy now!

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tony's Parental Wisdom 307a

Tip #307a: When your child does something that angers you, ask yourself if you are upset at your child for what he/she actually did, or if you are upset because of how others might perceive you as a parent. Be sure to honestly answer this question before you discipline your child.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michael Richards & Magic Words.

For those who haven't seen or heard it, Michael Richards, [Seinfeld's Kramer & UHF's (one of the funniest comedies ever made) Stanley Spadowsky,] screamed racial epithets (nigger) and threatened two black men who had been heckling him. Check it out here, if you'd like. Finding himself neck-deep in shit, he later apologized on Letterman - see it here.

Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. Honestly. Richards is just another celebrity in Hollyweird, and my rent is due in two weeks. Should or shouldn't he have done that? I couldn't care less. (Career-wise, it probably wasn't a good idea.) I think that that was a fantastic show- because he got completely naked, all the way down to the rage that was inside him. If I was there, I would have been more pissed because he left the stage. (Personally, my favorite stand-up comic is Emo Phillips.) I'm not saying that the recipients of his ire don't have the right to be upset- though I think the WHOLE video should be circling the internet- let's see what the hecklers were saying that made him snap- (yes, I know the person who caught this on the cell phone only started recording once the tirade had started- I'm just saying I'd like to know the whole picture.) I'm guessing Richards has felt nervous, angry and upset for quite some time. Here he is, trying to make some sort of a comeback, feeling desperate because nothing he's done since Seinfeld has worked, and he just snapped. The people who were heckling him were black, so he exploded with racist comments and threats.

Again, the targets of his wrath and anyone else offended in the club had a right to be upset. Is Richards a racist? Maybe- who cares? Publicly screaming racial slurs and threatening people is defiantly crossing the line, but there's a difference between words and actions. I once asked someone who was offended by this point of view to explain his own POV to me. He said that words come from thoughts and we have to change the way people think. He wouldn't agree that the idea telling people what they can and cannot think is a hundred times more frightening than telling people what they can and cannot do.

(Note to self on the apology: Does Jerry Seinfeld really give a rat's ass about any of this? Is he as shocked and offended as he pretends to be, or his he just doing damage control to keep the sales of the Seinfeld Season 7 DVD's from tanking? Who would buy Seinfeld DVDs anyway?)

There still are some magic words- words that daren't be uttered unless society says you're genetically allowed to utter them- seven words you can't say in polite company (or on television) though it's quite all right to say their less-charged counterparts. Magic words- don't tell me sorcery doesn't exist.

-TTFN
Tony

It's Curtains for you Rocky... Curtains!

One of my Mother-In-Law's plethora of complaints is that in the 8 & 3/4 years my family & I have lived in this apartment, Jen and I do not have curtains in our bedroom. (We have shades, of course, we're not sponsoring a peep show.) This seriously, seriously bothers her. To be honest, it was one of those "we'll get around to it's" that never materialized, and you know what- I actually like the look. I'll start a trend. What amazes me is the obsession that we should put curtains up because "it's what people do." I guess this is a case of when brain filters collide. I tend to live, as Vonnegut said in Cat's Cradle, inside my own mind.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Viva la 80s!

To get out of my funk, I made a cute 80's style, SIGGRAPH / Beyond the Mind's Eye animation:


One question- why must YouTube make all by beautifully detailed work look like crap?

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Banging My Head Against the Wall



Yesterday, I had this conversation with my boss.
Boss: I need you to do me a favor.
Me: Sure.
Boss: Can you take 4 to 6 days off?
Me: No... no, I can't go a week without a paycheck, sorry. I have jury duty next week, though.
Boss: No, sorry, I need it this week.
Me: Sorry. (Extends hand.)
Boss: Oh, I'm sorry to lose you, you're reliable and you know what you're doing. It just sucks. By the way, I need this light put up and these outlets in before you go today.
Me: No problem.

(Me walks away, feeling like an idiot. I've been running work for these people, I'm one of the few people in the shop that never misses a day, never comes in late, I have a clue what I'm doing. I'm really feeling used and abused. I know others have taken up the offer to miss a week of work, but that's not the way it's supposed to go! Oh well, at least he didn't just keep me and bounce my check like some other asshole I can mention. I'm just sick of these tiny little shops. There's no wait for M-Journeymen at the union, maybe a day or two- Whoops! I have jury duty! How can I collect unemployment, or start a new job, if I have jury duty next week? Ok, I can postpone it, just call this number.... no, that's the wrong number, there's a new number.. FUCK, IT'S AUTOMATED!)

Voice: Please insert date you wish to postpone to. This must be within 2 and 6 months from your jury date.
Me: 05.17.2007
Voice: May Seventeenth, 2007... That is NOT within the allowed time period! Please put in a date within 2 and 6 months.
Me: Yes it is! Allright... 05.01.2007
Voice: May First, 2007... That is NOT within the allowed time period! Please put in a date within 2 and 6 months.
Me: Grrr.... 04.01.2007
Voice: April First, 2007... That is NOT within the allowed time period! Please put in a date within 2 and 6 months.
Me: GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU STUPID MACHINE!

(Me calls back, gets number for dial-up. Waits and waits and waits. Gets put on hold. Finally gets through to human being.)

Rude Human: Why should you be postponed?
Me: I'm starting a new job next week.
Rude Human: You have to fill out a letter, explaining-
Me: Wait a minute- why do you have an automated system if I still have to fill out a letter.
Rude Human: You can use the automated system? Then why are you wasting my time?
Me: BECAUSE IT'S NOT WORK- (click) - ING! AARGH! YOU MINIMUM-WAGE-MONGOLOID! YOU WORTHLESS, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYED SEA-COW! GO STICK YOUR HEAD UP YOUR ASS AND FILL YOUR BRAIN WITH YOUR OWN RANCID BUREAUCRATIC FECES!

(Me glutton for punishment. Me calls again.)

Not Rude Human: Ok, what's your name and social?
Me: (Gives info.)
Not Rude Human: Just fill out the form and mail it in.
Me: Um... will it get there in time?
Not Rude Human: You can always drop it off.
Me: Thanks!

(Stay tuned...)

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"My Name is Borat- I Like You!"

I saw the movie Borat last night, and laughed so hard I almost had a heart attack. For those who don't know, Borat is a fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. The film is a "mockumentary" about America. In reality, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (the king lemur in Madagascar who likes to "move it, move it!") and a camera crew convinced different groups (as Borat) that he was filming a documentary about America that would not be shown in the US, or he interacted with people using hidden cameras to get their reactions.

So, on, the outer level, this is an extremely vulgar comedy making fun of an Eurasian man trying to find his way through America. On a higher level, however, it's a fascinating expose of how insane all of our social customs and taboos must look to an outsider. As Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea put it in the Illuminatus Trilogy, imagine you are a Martian who is observing human culture. Every morning, 80% of men on Earth tie a piece of colored cloth around their necks. Why? Does it symbolize some sort of death fixation? The majority of females put on pointy shoes with sticks underneath the heels that must be painful to walk on. Why? Humanity is full of social customs and taboos (racism, religion, patriotism, homosexuality, affection to strangers, feminism, chauvinism, frank talk of bodily functions, etiquette, etc etc etc) that, if you took a moment to think about, you probably couldn't find a damn good reason for.

I find it hysterical how many people in the movie (the rodeo manager, the frat boys (who are actually suing 20th Century Fox), the feminists, and the manager of Channel 16) are coming forth, angry that they're being show without their social filters in place. ("We never would have acted this way if we had know it would be in a movie shown across America!") I'm sure that's one of those things that wouldn't have been as funny if it had happened to me, but what the hell. It's worth the $10 + sitting through 15 minutes of television commercials before the previews even start.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, November 10, 2006

IF: Clear



The cheap made-in-Mexico electrical tape my shop buys leaves far too much residue. Duct tape rips easily. What exactly is the difference between a cold dish of revenge and a hot dish of revenge? This sucks because electrical tape is the perfect band-aid. Oh God, every night I regret that I didn't. Eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ makes me a cannibal and a vampire. Now I have little black smears all over the apartment. What, can you make me have rainbow shots? A guy was mauled by a bear out in the woods and survived by wrapping his body back together with duct tape 'till help arrived. I sliced my finger on a jagged edge of an aluminum stud.

Put those thoughts in the correct logical order. Find someone else who put them in a different order, and explain to them why they are wrong. If they resist, beat the living shit out of them for their own good, until they agree your way is the only way. Then tell them that you're sorry, and they were right all along.

I'm going to bed.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Paranoid Ramblings

Rumsfeld is stepping down! TOO BAD IT'S ONLY 5 FUCKING YEARS TOO LATE!

OK, I have resigned myself on politics, but one question keeps tickling at the back of my mind: If the Republicans hate and fear Hillary so much, why didn't they put up anyone to seriously run against her? Without looking, I DARE anyone to tell me the name of her Republican opponent! He had no commercials, no debates against her, no support, no nothing. It's either that a) they didn't think anyone could win against her in the current political climate- especially in NY- and didn't want her to win a real fight, or b) both parties are just part of some conspiracy and it doesn't matter who wins. (Think about it- why did Gulianni, the man who DID have a chance of winning against her, drop out so that an unknown and unwinnable schmuck could run against her back in 2000? Hmm... And no, unwinnable is NOT a real word...)

Ponderable #2: I know Einstein said that there doesn't HAVE to be an aether, but think about it... if light is a wave, what is the medium that it's waving through? Yes, I know quantum physics states that light is both a wave and made up of particles, and whatever result you get depends on what you're testing for, but this still keeps me up at night. All waves (sound, water, etc) are energy moving through a medium. So what is the goddamn medium of light waves in a vacuum? Is the universe simply made of light, and what we see as waves is energy rippling through it? DON'T SUBMIT TO THE PHOTON CONSPIRACY!

-TTFN
Tony

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Up in Smoke, that's Where My Money Goes...



I don't know. It was the first thing that came to mind.

Being a Robert Crumb fan, I once saw the biopic, "Crumb." Someone told that Crumb's brother was into some sort of yoga where he would eat a string, leaving the end sticking out of his mouth. He would then wait for the rest of the string to pass through his body, and then be able to floss himself. Whether this is a total load of crap, it still makes a fascinating story. Come on, who wouldn't floss themselves if they could?

I need to floss my brain.

I took my son to see Magnificent Desolation, an Imax Film about the moon. Great, educational, but the ending pissed me off, because they showed this Latino chick in the future as the head of the moon colony. I have no problems with Latino chicks or having them in charge, what I have a problem with is this is total bullshit. Unless we discover some sort of moon element that will cause immortality or something else fantastically useful, we'll NEVER have colonies on the moon, because who ever moves there- or is born there- will never be able to walk on the Earth again! Their muscles will have atrophied far too much under the moons 1/6 g gravity. Think about it- why haven't we spread across the surface of Antarctica yet? BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING THERE! So as much as I love the thought of living on the moon- this cynic doesn't see it happening.

I take no joy in this. No one wants off this planet more than me. I hate it. I hate the people on it, bar my family. I hate environmentalists the most, because all they want to do is save the planet. Nuke the whales, and give the roaches a chance.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gripes, Gripes, & More Gripes

Question: What's wrong with this picture?


Answer: There is a person actually taking time out of her life to picket city hall to get a law passed that will ban trans-fats in restaurants. Never mind that this is yet another blow to the concept of personal responsibility, (I do live in a city where two chubbies are suing McDonalds because they supposedly had no idea that eating there daily was bad for their health,) I’m talking about the fact that this bimbo has nothing better to do with her life than protest fat. I WOULD GIVE MY RIGHT TESTICLE TO HAVE SO LITTLE WORRIES IN MY LIFE THAT I COULD CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE EAT!

Other things that my stomach-twisting-stress-filled-life keeps me from giving a rat's ass about:

Same Sex Marriage. Who cares, it leaves more for the rest of us- though I have to wonder how many gays only want to get married because they're told they can’t.

What to Call Same Sex Marriages. What, it's like the Sneeches? You want to be able to tell who has stars on thars? Actually, it would be pretty funny if they had a national lottery to see who could come up with the best name.

Any Sports Team. Baseball season is over, so who cares? Besides, if the Yankees no longer give a damn, why should I?

Paris Hilton, Madonna, Britany Spears, etc., etc., etc! Please feel free, however, to keep posting pictures of Lindsy Lohan falling out of her top. Thank you.

Electon 2006. To quote (the novel) The Godfather, "’I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them.’"
From The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror VII, Citizen Kang: (Bill Clinton and Bob Dole have been revealed to really be squid-like aliens Kang and Kodos.)
Kang: It's a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us!
Man: Well then, I believe I'll vote for a third party candidate!
Kang: Go ahead! Throw your vote away! Ahahahaha!

By all means, feel free to add your own.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Summer Wind, Came Blowin in, from Across the Sea...



A Poem:

The wind came blowing from across the sea
The wind came blowing just to look for me
The wind brought with it driving rains
The wind, it blasted out my brains!

-Tony LaRocca
from Poems that Will Never be in an Elementary School English Book.

An open notice to all politicians:

GEORGE BUSH IS NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION. Understand? So please do not make EVERY SINGLE DAMNED AD about how your opponent once lit a doobie with George Bush, and tell me what you actually plan to do!

An open note to John Spencer.

Wait- you say- who is John Spencer? I didn’t know either, until he got a tiny bit of ink by telling a reporter that Hillary Clinton must have had millions of dollars of surgery done, because she was butt-ugly in college. (Not his exact words.) First of all, she’s still butt-ugly, but that’s beside the point. The point is, I never even knew someone was even running against her- and I read the news every day. I guess this is what her opponent had to say to actually get his name in the paper. The only problem is that the schmuck must have absolutely nothing to offer, if he had to resort to this bit of idiocy. Of course, he could have simply said that she’s done absolutely NOTHING for New York in the past two years she’s been in office… goddamn moron.

Using Dosbox, I actually got the original Hack 3.61 to run on my Pocket PC! (There’s a port of Nethack, but I hate Nethack. Is there ANYONE out there who’s ever won Nethack without cheating?) The only problem is that it won’t load the savegames. I’m not sure if this is the fault of the Dosbox beta or Hack. If you’re a true geek, you’ll understand.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Ghost



It's amazing how much more handsome photoshop can make me look!

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, October 15, 2006

3 & 1/2 Years in 1 & 1/4 Minutes


Like the title says. 621 Digital Camera pictures from May 2003 > October 2006. Enjoy
(Sorry for the crappy quality. My guess is YouTube is set to prioritize motion vs image quality, & the fast torrent of images makes it hard to keep up.)

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Analyze Tony Once Again!



Anniversary #9! That makes it my “Yoko” Anniversary!

Dreams of the last few days:

Fire Bed:
In an old hut, lying on a homemade bed in the dead of winter. It was an old lady's bed. There is a charred iron box full of wood under the bed, and the steel mesh holding up the mattress is charred. The bottom of the mattress is sooty & reeks of carbon. It occurs to me that I’m supposed to light a fire under my bed to keep it warm & survive the winter. It also occurrs to me that this is an incredibly stupid thing to do. I realize I would have to steal wood every day.

Church Football:
Eddie, (a foreman I worked for with IPC up in Westchester three years ago,) asks me to play on the Church Football Team. I agree, but arrive late. In my hurry to suit up, I leave my Pocket PC in my pants pocket (which football uniforms don’t have, but anyway....) I frantically search for a hiding place while the game gets underway without me. I find one in the original rectory, in a drawer full of corked test tubes with blood inside. A madman rushes in & threatens me with a razor knife (box-cutter.) He wants one of the tubes! A crowd gathers. I knock the razor out of his hand, grab him by the shoulder & chin, & bash his head against a wooden column until he's unconscious. I’m quite pissed that no one helped me.

Death Star:
I'm a Sith Lord on board a space station (all right!) I have some sort of mission to protect a princess. After slashing up some pesky rebels, I take an elevator... & get stuck inside. Power is cut. Everything is dark. Damn it.

I’m on the surface of the planet. I go lucid for a bit & fly around. I see the princess again, being attacked by Rebel Scum. I swoop down out of the sky, scare the bejesus out of them, & slash them into rump roasts with my fiery orange-red light saber.

Guidance Counselor:
Jen, Joe, Mandy & I are at Ridge High. I’m checking out the television equipment for Mr. Spear (the TV teacher when I was in high school & a great one at that.) The kids have wandered off! I go inside & find (with all dream logic) that they're in the home of a friend, which has been converted into a fundamentalist church. I find Joe, but I’m still looking for Mandy. I go in the kitchen. A Russian teenage girl is there. Her name begins with an R. She seems nervous & afraid. The phone rings, & we hear Eddie Murphy's voice leaving a message on the answering machine. The girl has never heard of him. I tell her that he's the guy from Shrek, & a friend of mine & the house's previous owners (in the dream I believe this to be true.) She asks for my phone number, says she needs to talk with someone. I give her my email address instead. She looks afraid, as if abused. I ask who her teachers are, hoping to steer her towards someone more equipped to help her. She tells me, but I don’t recognize any of them. A teenage boy joins us & the two of them start talking. Happy she has a friend her age, I leave them to it.

Feel Free to Analyze.

TTFN
Tony

Sunday, October 08, 2006

There's No Way to Delay- Mo' Trouble Coming Every Day



If you're a parent of a young child who finds he or she is always in trouble, may I suggest listening to this clip from Robert Anton Wilson's lecture in Quantum Psychology (I'd suggest right-clicking & downloading:) nogood.mp3

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Illustration Friday: Quiet


I dunno, I seem to be in a mood lately.

While Bill Clinton is always good for a laugh, does anyone else think that the whole, “It’s not my fault, it’s his fault!” ranting that’s going on between Clinton and Bush is just a show to keep us distracted? Has such childishness ever happened between a sitting and an ex-president before?

Joe & I went to the Wired NextFest expo today. We had a lot of fun looking at dancing robots, singing (robot) bunnies, Virtual Reality, and a whole lot of awesome crap that I’ll never be able to afford.

I’m increasingly under the suspicion that I’ve lived my life, died, went back, and tried to do it over. Either that, or I tried to go back in time and program my younger self. Either way, I still cocked it up. Next time, I’m staying dead. Anyone else ever feel that way?

“Hip hip hooray, it’s Weasel Stomping Day!”

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Illustration Friday: Phobia


Here’s my variation on George Orwell’s 1984’s Room 101. (If you don’t get it, go read the book.)

Other phobias:

1) That the generation that thinks everything on the news is a lie but everything on the internet is true will be of voting age soon.

2) That there will be nothing on the television of the future but Law & Order and CSI seven nights a week. Whoops- too late.

3) That Hollywood will make even more crappy remakes of classic movies, such as Citizen Kane, Blazing Saddles, and Brazil.

4) That Microsoft, unhappy that a few programs over three years old still run on XP, will release even more Service Packs.

Feel free to add you own.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, September 15, 2006

Queens Wild Kingdom: The Big Butt-Ugly Spider


An example of Arachnidkus Buttuglius, right here on 160th Street.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memory...



(Me back in September 2001, working on the roof of the Trinity building, restoring power at ground zero.)

As with last year, the following is a letter I wrote to my friends & family in the days after 9/11. The only comment I'd like to make is that while at the time we were told the death toll was 6000, we now know it to be about 2700.

.............................................

I'm sorry that I've been distant lately. I'm sure you can all understand, some even more than me.

I've been scared. I don't like to be, much less admit it, but I've been scared. I was lucky and in Queens, not in Manhattan last Tuesday. No, I wouldn't have been THERE (Though at 2 am I remember that I was working on the roof of a building a block away a month before this happened.) When the towers went down, I walked to the LIE overpass behind the apartment house and stared at the smoke that was in the place of the towers on the Manhattan skyline. Even though I'm one East River away from the close-ups on TV, it was stomach twisting. I called my foreman that night, and he told me how they watched it happen from the windows, 30 blocks away, how 20-50 year-old tough-guy construction workers were shaking, some crying, because they thought it was WW3 and the beginning of The End.

On Thursday, back in Manhattan, I had to walk from 42nd and Lex to 23rd and 1st, because the #6 line was down. (They were afraid of subway vibrations bringing down more buildings) It's not really as long a walk as it sounds, but I passed the recovery HQ on 1st ave- Past all the TV vans, and past a block's worth of pictures taped to plywood sheets. As time has past, these hopeful "have you seen" pictures have become memorials, and they're everywhere. I can't talk on the phone without staring into photographs with tearful notes of hope underneath, knowing they were put there by loved ones who will never ever see them again. I call my wife, and my voice becomes a dull monotone. She asks why and I'm at a loss on how to explain.

One of my friends at work is 40 years old, and he's a kind, good man. Today he suddenly started cursing himself, muttering what a failure he is. When I asked him what was wrong, he admitted it was because he started smoking again after giving them up cold turkey for 10 years. He told me he feels worthless, because suddenly he can't live without them again. I tell him it's an understandable need, but I can tell that my words don't help. I realize the frustration goes deeper than a pack of Marbalo 100s

Again, I'm on a job 30 blocks away from "ground zero", and I can see out the window that what was once a symbol of achievement is still a smoldering hole in the ground. I know it's only been a week, but I wonder when the skyline won't have a haze that has nothing to do with pollution. I walk down the street and I see people that are scared and jittery, no matter what their profession or race. I buy a paper from an elderly Arabic man, who wears a "God Bless America" shirt every day, and shrinks down in his kiosk- which is draped in American flags- like a frightened rabbit every time I, or any other customer approach. I give the little smile I have, but I don't think it does any good. I wonder if he's so afraid, why he stays here, and I realize he probably has no one and no where else to go.

Our shop is working on restoring power to one of those buildings- the same one I was on the roof of not too long ago (The Trinity building, 111 Broadway for those of you with a love for geography)- and being a lowly apprentice I helped the truck driver deliver material yesterday. My drivers license was scrutinized by armed police and National Guardsmen, like I'm trying to get onto a military base, and they make me wait in the cab while they and the driver search the truck. The won't let the truck get closer than a few blocks away and we wind up rolling 3' diameter wooden reels of sj cord down the street. The smell twisted my stomach, when I realized that what I was smelling was death- the death of a great achievement, of that smug "nothing can ever happen to us" attitude we Americans had without giving it a second thought, and, most disturbingly of over 6000 bodies.

And there's this feeling that grips me, this feeling that there's nothing I could ever do to protect myself, my wife or my son (I know that's a MCP attitude, but I'm sure Jen feels the same way about Joey and me.) And I wonder every night if tomorrow some new insanity will strike. I jump every time a car backfires. I run 2 miles a night (yes, frightening but true. This started a while before all this happened and I'm down to a not-quite-slim-yet 225lbs, thank you very much) and every time a plane flies overhead I flinch. I watched President's Bush's speech on TV tonight, and every time the picture flickered a little (I don't have cable, so 2 is really the only reliable channel- the others are coming and going- for those of you not in NYC, the WTC had all the broadcast antennas for the area except channel 2, leaving those of us cable-less with only CBS ) I thought "oh shit, what's happening now?" Every time I hear a siren, I wonder what's happened. The QM4 bus got held up at the Midtown tunnel yesterday (connecting Queens to Manhattan) because there was an accident. Of course, everyone seeing a bunch of flashing lights and emergency vehicles as we approach a tunnel, we instantly look around like caged animals, wondering if stage 2 had begun.

I feel guilty. Part of me tells myself that I have no right to feel so hurt or so angry- my family and my friends are all safe, and I'm alive and healthy. I'm a civilian now, I don't have to worry like so many others do. Who am I to feel so much? There are some without homes, without jobs, without their wives/sons/husbands/dads/daughters/brothers/sisters/fiancées... oh, you get the picture. I feel like I'm just whining.

I can't help being angry. We have the freedom of religion, but we jump out of our skins if someone says a prayer before a graduation ceremony or a football game. We have the freedom to own firearms, but we curse any law abiding citizen who owns one, while passing more and more lenient laws against criminals who use them. We showed the world that our presidency is a joke, that we don't care about our own history, our pride. We have a popular culture that demands more and more freedoms, but damns those who give/gave their lives and personal freedoms to protect the ones we have. I watched the speech, saw Democrats and Republicans give up their petty bickering that's been tearing the country to pieces, for the first time since WW2. It gives me a boost of hope, and I pray the sentiment lasts longer than this week, and reaches further than military resolve- into fixing our school system, into caring more about our OWN country's welfare, into bringing back production into this country so people can have jobs and learn trades to feed their families. I hope our politicians will stop trying to convince group A that everyone in groups B, C, and Q hates them, just to get their block of votes, then running around like idiots and asking "why?" when that hate turns to violence. I hope we learn to accept and love each other because we're Americans, despite our preference/denomination/color/sex. God, two weeks ago, that statement would have sounded so corny, wouldn't it?

We're at war, but we don't really know against who. There's no clear enemy, no one knows who will attack or when. Will it be us or them? Will it be "Us" or some nut like McVeigh, thinking we'll blame foreign terrorists instead of domestic? I realize I live on an island, and the only way to the rest of the world is by crossing another island (either Staten Island or Manhattan) Am I going to worry over every bridge and tunnel I cross for the rest of my life? And if it's "them," what form will it take? Watching 6000 people die as the WTC go down in flames is one thing. Watching millions in a city die from Anthrax in our water supply is another.

I'm sorry if I see this as just an NYC thing. It's hard to grasp that this is affecting the whole country.

It's an uncertain time, it's become an uncertain world. I just want you all to be certain that I love every one of you.

Those of you who've been forwarding bits of editorials, news items, letters, etc. Thank you, but it's you who's opinion I'm interested in. Let me know what you're thinking & feeling, if you'd like- you're more important.

Love each other, stay safe, and live your lives, for yourself and for each other.

-Tony

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Illustration Friday: Safe


(Click above image to see higher detail.)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bloggin' on the MTA

The last remnants of August, clung to in desperation. Note to self: Happy Birthday, Paul.

The bus was already packed at my stop- the second one. I hated this V-train once, but I love it now; since everyone else in Queens still hates it, it's always empty. For a ten-minute delay, I’m guaranteed a seat.

I have to go to bed earlier. Six hours just doesn’t cut it anymore. I get caught up in looking up information on the internet or watching YouTube- or reading. Poor Joe can’t understand why Jen & I love to read so much. Maybe it's much harder for him than it was for us. I’m currently reading The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. It's an alternate timeline sci-fi story, specifically asking what would have happened if the Axis had won World War II. It brillaintly focuses on common people and the social situations they life in, showing what an American's life would be like in a Japan-occupied U.S. I've always held P. K. Dick in low esteem based on the lack of development of the brilliant ideas in his short stories, but his novels are fantastic.

I have to get off (or on) my ass & start writing again- really writing, at least two hours a day. I know the love-hate relationship writers have with actually writing is common, but that knowledge is not going to get me anywhere. It’s just that I come home too exhausted to really think, & I want to spend time with Jen, Joe & Mandy... Well, like Captain Kirk said, when something is important you MAKE the time.

3-day weekend coming up, & I know they’re going to ask me to work Saturday. Maybe I'll give it to them. George is a great foreman, & they're so few & far between in this miserable business. He treats us with respect, & a guy like that I should help out. Besides, it's good OT money, & I still get two days off.

My hat's off to Michael De Kort, the guy who used YouTube to blow the whistle on Lockheed-Martin & how it was screwing over the Coast Guard. The only thing that is going to save this world is the ability of people to get their information out to the public. I can’t stand people who whine that some of the things people say on the internet aren’t true. Some of the things on the news aren’t true, for Christ's sake! Too much info in the public's hands is better than too little. To treat people as if they aren't smart enough to figure out the truth for themselves is the most elitest bullcrap I can think of. Come to think of it, Google & Microsoft should both burn in hell for helping China grind its people into the dirt.

Here’s my stop.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Do Run Run Run, the Do Run Run


Pluto, god of Hades, woke up. He stretched. He contemplated brushing his teeth, but there was no one to impress, bar the Minions, and they should be trying to impress him, for Jupiter's sake. There were always the dead to play with, but they were as boring as a cheese sandwich on a hot day. He lay in bed, contemplating the cracks in the paint on the ceiling. He lifted his head as someone knocked urgently but reverently upon his door. "What?" he shouted. "What do you want?"

The door opened slowly. It was Nix, chief of the Minions. "Hey, Boss," Nix said, "We've got a problem."

"What?" Pluto demanded.

"It's the river Styx," Nix said, adjusting his nefarious uniform nervously. "It's not flowing anymore; it's about three-quarters low, and still falling!"

"What?" Pluto shouted. "It's that schmuck, Neptune! That overgrown plankton has been bitching that we've been leaching off of him for years!"

"Well, he is God of the seas, you know?" Nix said, and immediately regretted it.

"Get him on the screen," Pluto commanded, "I'll be right down!"

Five minutes later, Pluto was at his command station. The Minions kept their heads bent, trying to avoid his attention. "Come on, come on!" he shouted, as the sound of ringing echoed through the chamber.

"Mercury Online is down," Nix said, finally. "We can't get through. Phones and cable aren’t working either. It says your account is no longer valid."

"Great, just great," Pluto grumbled. "One convenient bill, my ass." He stormed out of his castle and walked through fields of the uncomplaining dead to the puddle Styx. He could see Charon stuck in the middle, his boat of fresh recruits run into the mud. "Brilliant, Charon, just brilliant," he muttered. "A+ for devotion to duty, D- for thinking." The ferryman waved at Pluto franticly. Pluto smiled, waved back, turned around, and returned to his fortress. The road was paved with the heads of the damned.

"Having trouble?" one of them asked, an old man with a scraggly beard and one eye. Pluto ground out the other one with the heel of his boot and continued to his castle.

"Nix?" he asked, once inside. "Any mail? You know, comes in envelopes, written on paper?"

"Actually, something came in from Jupiter yesterday," Nix said.

"From Jupiter," Pluto said. "A letter from the big guy. Yesterday."

"Yeah," Nix said.

"And I wasn’t told about this because..."

"Well, Hydra accidentally spilled some coffee on it, and when we tried to dry it off over the coal pits of torture, it kind of got burned up."

"Great," Pluto said. "Just great. No idea what it said, right?"

"Well it's your mail, boss, and-"

"Shut up." Pluto cocked his head. "Hydra, huh? That's a pretty... wet sounding name." He headed towards the elevator. "I’m going back to bed, now. Anything else happens, just shoot me while I sleep. Understand?"

"Yes sir!" Nix said, snapping to attention.

"And Nix..." Pluto scowled at his head minion. "Brush your teeth tonight. Five demerits."

"Yes, sir," Nix replied, crestfallen. Pluto entered the elevator and press the button for his private apartment. As soon as the doors closed, the lights went out. Pluto pressed all the buttons. Nothing happened.

"Fine," he muttered. He curled up on the cold metal floor, and went to sleep.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Match

Joe & I make the perfect match. All I can say is that I’m proud to be his dad.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, August 21, 2006

An Avant-Garde Film

Here is my latest opus: an Avant-Garde film, called, “An Avant Garde Film.”

Basically, it’s a faux art-film made with whatever toys were lying around the apartment at 2 am when I was stoked on Starbucks canned espressos. Enjoy!

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, August 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Capture


This took a bit of thinking. First, I had the idea of a bunch of people capturing God, showing that we've made him in our own image instead of the other way around. But my parents needed ceiling fan put in, so I didn't have all weekend to work on something good.

Deciding to do something cheap, I chose to draw a human soul being captured. But how? It's a lot trickier than they make it look in the movies. Then it hit me; there's only one thing left that sucks people's will to live, and that's TV.

Don't believe me? Right now, there's something on called "Wife Swap." I don't get it. These guys actually have another woman come into their home and tell them how to live their lives- but they don't get to sleep with them. What are they, nuts?

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Star Wars Fashion Questions

How come we've never seen anyone in a Star Wars movie wear a bow-tie? If they call Tie Fighters "Tie Fighters" because they're in the shape of bow-ties, then logically speaking, people should wear bow-ties- or else where did they get the name from?

For that matter, isn't it a little odd that a long time ago and in a galaxy far far away they used the Roman Alphabet- or at least an alphabet with the letters A, B, X, & Y, and in the same shape as ours…

…or am I just a geek with too much time on his hands?

TTFN
-Tony

Beyond Thunder-dumb?

OK, maybe as one of the goyim I just don't get it, but does anyone else out there not give a rat's ass if Mel Gibson is anti-semetic or not? I could understand all the fuss if he was an elected official, or if he had made these statements publicly instead of in a drunken ramble to a cop. Maybe it's just the Media, wanting to convince America that the opinion of celebrities matter. I just don't see that this idiot's point of view is worth mentioning on news programs daily for almost a week. Is it just me?

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

False Idols Clip #2

Here's another small sampling of False Idols. Getting done... slolwy...

A note to all 3dsMax users out there. If you're going to mix fog and volume fog, make sure to put the volume fog FIRST. I banged my head against the computer for a day trying to figure out why all my opacity maps were being ignored. Rendering in layers also saved a lot of time and headaches- much easier to do than focus effects. More info on False Idols can be found here.

Of course, if you want to see more of my modest work, check out my profile at Youtube.com. Enjoy!

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Opposites' Fatal Attraction



This was difficult to come up with. At first I played around with 3ds Max, making a planet that was half city and half water. As you can imagine, the result looked ridiculous. Then I was going to do (first with 3ds and then sketched) someone pulling his face in two opposite directions with his hands. Then this came to mind.

I've been called a "walking talking dichotomy." It must be so easy for those who have a clear idea of what they're doing and why they're doing it. Or maybe they just don't care why. I've also been diagnosed as being both left and right brained to the extent that I become easily confused about how to go about doing things. You'd think my brain would be kind enough to just mesh together, each hemisphere knowing what job to do and when, but no, that would be too useful.

As I'm sure I've blogged before, I have this annoying ability to see and accept multiple viewpoints. I know a lot of opinionated people, (I admit I was one, once,) and this makes them very angry, as I tend to see national and global problems as giant swirls of oil and water with all colors mixed in, rather just in terms of black and white. I once thought that the two-party political system we have here in America was a giant conspiracy to keep anything from being done, but now I think it's just human nature. We want opposites. We want an "us" to belong to and a "them" to be angry at. If we're unhappy, we can always blame the enemy. "It's all ____'s fault!" So much better than actually correcting the problem.

The doctor says I can go back to work, so I'll probably have a new job sometime in the next week. Everyone chant with me, "No driving, no Staten Island! No driving, no Staten Island!"

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ok, I Admit It

Ok, I admit it. He has to be, without a doubt, the stupidest life form ever to sit in the white house. I was annoyed earlier this week that everyone was making such a big deal about the eavesdropped conversation between W & Tony Blair, but this…



Think about it. One of the reasons W was elected was because of Clinton's legacy of getting a hummer in the oval office (and admit it, all you women out there screaming "sexual harassment" now, you were silent as mice during Monicagate & the Paula Jones fiasco,) so you'd think W would have some sort of professional demeanor to keep up appearances if nothing else. But if you just don't know NOT to touch a woman in an unwanted, intimate way… make that the head of a foreign government... during the G8 summit… in front of news cameras… just… Jesus, I can't even think of something witty to say! I'm just flabbergasted that anyone could be that freakn' stupid.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thoughts that Keep Me Asleep During the Day

Illustration Friday's word of the week is Sacrifice. About a third of the entries are related in some way to Jesus. (See post below.) A small fraction of the rest either joked about the seventy virgins suicide bombers are supposed to get in the afterlife, or sacrificing virgins to volcanoes. Is there some correlation here? Are the virgins tossed into the volcanoes the same virgins that are available to terrorists in the afterlife? (Yes, I DID mention this as a comment to someone's IF post.) Perhaps the way to end terrorism is to close the volcanoes, though I'm sure that would send the ACLU rushing to have them opened, briefcases at the ready. What environmental effect have sacrificed virgins had upon the mantle of the Earth?

Back to the virgins awaiting terrorists; what happens after their seventy ethereal cherries have been popped? (If you'll forgive the vernacular.) Are they cast, hymenless, into the void, or do they stay on to be in the suicide bomber's harem? Perhaps this is the fine print in the deal with the devil. Sure, you get seventy virgins, but the afterlife is an eternity. You can only be a virgin once, despite the "second virginity" shtick they tried convincing us Catholic teens of in high school. What does a terrorist do for fun once his virgins are used up? Take up macrame?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A friend of mine does work for a cartoonist, and is involved with the merchandising of his comic strip's characters. Wouldn't the ultimate merchandising be DNA mutation? Imagine if you could have your own Penguin that looked like Opus, your own real dog that looked just like Snoopy, or a cat that looked just like Mooch? For an extra hundred thousand bucks, you could get his meows to sound like the word "Yesh." (The trick is clipping the tongue just right.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The richest s.o.b. in the world would be the guy who invented a drug that would safely stop periods from happening. Maybe it was already invented, but Kotex had the poor bastard bumped off. A great slogan would be "Why be Manhattan when you can be New England?"

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, July 14, 2006

Illustration Friday: Sacrifice


Self Sacrifice is never as easy as it looks.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, July 10, 2006

Analyze Tony

I dreamt last night that I was working for some old, bald, mafia guy. He asked for a ham and egg sandwich. I made him one, but he said no- he wanted a loaf of bread cut lengthways, filled with hard-boiled eggs and slabs of ham.

Any ideas?

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, July 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Skyline


(click above for higher resolution)

Here's the view from my brain.

I had so much fun making my sticky-guy last week that I decided to melt him. He deserved it. Probably.

Sky line: Angel, your legs must be tired after running 'round heaven all day.

I want to make one of those anti-smoking commercials where someone is burning in hell for giving second-hand-smoke to innocent babies. Seriously- flames burning their rotting flesh and muscles off their skeletons & everything. As each anti smoking commercial becomes more and more an act of emotional terrorism, it's the next logical step. (Anyone outside the U.S. probably has no idea what I'm talking about.)

A skyline is wherever the ground (or an object on the ground) meets the sky. Ergo, you can have a skyline that's 1x10^-infinite millimeters across. It's all a matter of perspective.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Updated Childhood of a Geek


Megatron, in 1986's Transformers the Movie.

The Transformers teaser is finally online- a year before the movie's release. Interested as I am, I can't help being annoyed that the characters & storyline are going to be "updated." Every time someone "updates" an existing franchise (translated: re-tools it for the largest common denominator at the expense of long-existing fans) the result is some sort of formless goop that pleases no one, (i.e., the deservedly-bombed Aeon Flux movie.) Sure, Transformers the Movie was a critical disaster, but the fans loved it & it made money- so why mess with success? It's groovie that they're doing a live action/cgi G1 film, but why not keep the original characters and voices the same as they were in the 80s? Who knows, the movie doesn't come out till next year; hope for the best, expect the worst.

~~~~~~~~~~

Jen looked at my Photo Friday post and laughed. Then she squinted. "You're not thirty-four," she said.

"Sure," I replied. "I was born in '72."

"November, 1972," she corrected. "That makes you thirty-three."

"Oh yeah," I replied, and corrected the post. I honestly thought I was thirty-four. I lost a year, somewhere. I hope it was a good one.

TTFN
-Tony

Photo Friday: Happiness is...


I've decided to give Photo Friday a shot. The word of the week is Happiness. Happiness is being a 33 year old Doctor-Who-Geek without shame.

TTFN
-Tony

Yes, It's Another "Truth, Justice, & All that Stuff" Blog


I took Joe to see Superman Returns on its opening day. It's a lot of fun, & I love the fact that they did their best to make it fit in with the style of Superman I & II. (Let's just wipe 3 & 4 from our memories, ok?)

Then, of course, came the part that has already been bemoaned on a plethora of blogs and radio talk shows: Perry White is throwing out assignments, and he demands that his reporters find out if Superman still stands for "truth, justice, and all of that stuff." Unless you're twelve years old, you know that the line is supposed to be, "Truth, justice, and the American way." Even if the line was written into the television show for McCarthy-era reasons, it's been attached to the Man of Steel ever since.

The movie makers throw their hands in the air and claim they didn't want to offend anyone, they just feel that Superman is a global figure now. He doesn't belong to America anymore.

That sentiment is fine. However, the writers/director/whoever are full of shit, because if they merely felt a sense of global community, they just didn't have to use the line at all. I don't believe any of the other movies in the Superman franchise say it (correct me if I'm wrong) and no one would have thought of it if it wasn't included. By putting the bastardized version in the script, the moviemakers deliberately wanted to make a political statement and be noticed. Whether you agree with them or not- and personally, I don't- they're acting like the punks around here that spray graffiti on the walls. If you want to use the most powerful media in the world to make a statement- especially one that relates to what has been an American icon for almost seventy years- at least have the balls to admit your motives.

TTFN
-Tony

p.s. It's still a great movie. Go see it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right...


Illustration Friday this week is Sticky. Sticky sticky sticky. Is there anything worse than something sticky on you? Maybe sticky acid, I suppose. Keep in mind it can always be worse. Making the best of a sticky situation, as they say.

Beliefs are sticky. Religion is sticky. Religion is the ability to not only believe something in the absence of proof, but to insist that others believe in it (without proof) as well. Perhaps the lack of proof is the reason so many people angrily protect their beliefs.

If my blog has been obsessed with religion lately, it's because I've been obsessed with understanding my own beliefs, which have become all feklempt in the last half of my life. I have a lot of fun trying to get my son to understand his own belief system:

Me: (ala Mike Myers) Come, Mr. Bigglesworth!
Joe: I'm not Mr. Bigglesworth, I'm Joe!
Me: What does that mean?
Joe: I'm a boy, I'm not a cat!
Me: How do you know?
Joe: Cat's have fur.
Me: You have fur on the top of your head…
Joe: No! No no no… Cat's meow!
Me: They what?
Joe: ME-OW
Me: You just went "meow!" So you must be a cat!
Joe: NO NO NO!

We become stuck to our beliefs, we become stuck in our own behaviors. Gravity sticks us to the Earth's surface. I am rubber, you are glue. What ever you say bounces off me & sticks to you. Thbbbbt.

TTFN
-Tony

p.s. be sure to check out Joe's sticky pic on dARTh-joe!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buy a Token Now for a Ride that's Super Wow

Perhaps because it never fails to soothe the savage beast that is my three-year-old Mandypandy, I've had this song in my head all week:





For those too young to remember, this is vintage 1970's Sesame Street. What's so interesting to me is that not only does it have no educational value whatsoever, but it highlights all the problems of the subway rather than singing it's virtues. Quite odd for a children's show- maybe that's why they never show it anymore. But hey, it's got a bouncy beat and it's the honest truth!

TTFN

-Tony

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain



The Illustration Friday word of the week is RAIN. It's been a while since I've done some realistic CGI. Made with 3ds Max with Mental Ray rendering.

Rain… rain… it's raining now. Rain, weather, global warming… something else I'm supposed to worry about. Yep, Al Gore, the sky is falling. NYC could be destroyed by a hurricane… any… year… now… someday… whatever. Guess the panic-inducing-terrorist threats got old. There's also North Korea's supposed missile which supposedly would be shot down by our defense system, and Iran's supposed weapons buildup. Get with the times, people. The threat of supposed Nuclear War is so… 80s! Please stop trying to make me worry about something else I can't change, I have enough real life worries right now.

2:00 am. Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was stay up late? Then you grew up and said "what's the big deal?" Unless, of course, you found a social group that did human sacrifices at 1am. There's always ways to meet new people & have fun. Sadly, there's usually unlimited amounts of money involved. That's the trouble with the whole Carpe Diem thing. If you lived every day as if it were your last, wouldn't you get broke pretty damn quick? People say, "Well, think about your happiest moments. Now, was money really involved?" YES!

The American dream was summed up by Leo Bloom in the (original) movie, "The Producers:" I want everything I've ever seen in the movies!"

TTFN
-Tony

PS Kindly check out Joe's interpretation of Rain on dARTh-joe. Groovie.

PPS: Addendum, 6/24/2006

As someone's been kind enough to think this was a photograph, I thought I'd include a polygon/ wireframe rendering before the Archangeles of Illustration Friday start crying, "Foul!"

PPPS: Addendum #2, Clarifying:

I'm not advocating hiding our heads in the sand. Environmental problems are real, weather Al Gore uses them to keep his name on the news or not. But the sad truth is, it took 150 years of unbridled industrialism to pollute our air, and it's going to take millennia for nature to work itself out – if it ever does at all.

What I resent is the implication that it's something we could correct RIGHT NOW if we'd only _____. Of course, we should stop making it worse! However, my point is there is nothing I can personally do about it, (bar joining the Amish and never using anything electrical or combustive again,) so, as the alcoholic's prayer goes, it's something I should have the wisdom not to get my panties in a twist about.

The real problem is that as our entire consumer-based economy depends on advertising, the media does its best to keep us on the edge of our seats as if the news were just another movie. They WANT us to be worried, whether it's about terrorism, the environment, nuclear war, hurricanes, or an asteroid hitting the planet, because it keeps their ratings up, keeps people watching the news, keeps them buying newspapers! What's more, it keeps them buying useless comfort items: the latest CDs, DVDs, designer clothes, computer games, alcohol, cigarettes, and of course, comfort foods – after which we can spend our money on diet fads! And they wonder why our stress levels are so high!