Iconography

Lately, I’ve been taking part in online courses from the Adobe Education Exchange. My latest class, Graphics and Illustration, asked us to represent a movie using just four simple icons. Here’s my attempt:

This assignment was a lot of fun. At first I wondered what I could possibly make but then instead of worrying about picking a story that would be too hard to make icons for, I just thought of a story that I really liked and went for it.

I wanted to keep all of the line sizes the same but when I got to the dragon in the forth icon, I ran into issues with such thick lines in a small place and decided to have secondary lines at half the thickness. I like how it turned out.

Update: I was just recognized with a “Special Mention” award for notable artwork in this week’s class. I’m very excited because it’s something that I’ve been striving to achieve.

Adobe Weekly Winner icon

The Fight to Save America from Backmasking

Just in time for Halloween, a fantastic article by Bryan Gardiner on the history and belief in backmasking, The Fight to Save America From Satan’s Subliminal Rock Messages.

After circulating pamphlets with the “backward masked” declarations spelled out, that’s precisely what Assemblyman Phillip Wyman and panel witness William H. Yarroll II did. The relevant portion of the eight-minute classic was first played forward for committee members and then reversed. Here’s what Wyman claimed could be heard: “I sing because I live with Satan. The Lord turns me off. There’s no escaping it. Here’s to my sweet Satan.” Yarroll, who identified himself as a “neuroscientist,” noted that a teenager need only listen to “Stairway to Heaven” three times before these backward messages were “stored as truth.”

The Bad Review Revue

The Girl on the Train: “My advice: disembark.” — Mike McCahill, MovieMail

Masterminds: “It’s just smart people acting like dumb people in a dumb movie.” — Matthew Lickona, San Diego Reader

Blair Witch (2016): “Even if there were no witches in the world, these idiots would probably get taken out crossing a busy street.” — Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

The Dressmaker: “‘The Dressmaker’ is only sew-sew.” — Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News

Suicide Squad: “The result is not so much Suicide Squad as Death by a Dozen Disappointments Squad.” — Christopher Lawrence, Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Rebel in Me

Things are finally coming together in my teaching career. Last June I was hired to teach high school New Media at W.R. Myers in Taber, Alberta! This was my goal when I went back to school and I just have to say, now that I’ve started, it feels great when a plan comes together.

The Myers’ sports teams are known as The Rebels and while I’ll always be a MHHS Mohawk / U of L Pronghorn, I think working here kind of makes me a Rebel too.

Malletball

Yesterday afternoon in the park, we helped celebrate our friend Thomas’s birthday with a potluck and games. I played some chess, had my hand injured in a slack-line tightening incident (I’m fine), didn’t come in dead last at croquet, and ate some of the best devilled eggs and broccoli salad I’ve ever had. By all accounts, it was already a great afternoon, but then something amazing happened.

Thomas pulled out a volleyball and together with five others of us armed with croquet mallets, we spontaneously created the new lawn game and soon to be sensation, “Malletball”.

It was amazing how simple and yet complex the game was from the start. We cordoned off a small section of the park, using croquet gates to mark goal posts. We felt that it would be too difficult to score if one could just block with his body, but what would be the punishment if you did block? I came up with the idea that it should be a point for the other team if the ball touches you and Thomas added then that it would be five points for a goal. So quick; so perfect.

Probably the most amazing part was that despite swinging mallets at each other nobody got hurt. As long as Matthew’s smashed thumb doesn’t count as somebody. There were a few near misses. One time I raised my mallet up over my head to stop a flying ball, the end of the mallet unscrewed and came tumbling down nearly grazing my head… resulting in the birth of the no high-sticking rule.

Some other interesting developments, Thomas invented a way to juggle the ball in the air, I created a fairly inspiring “behind the back” maneuver, not to mention the ways we learned to flip the ball up to a teammate to try and hit it at an unsuspecting opponent. (Though it is easier said than done).

The teams were very even. We decided to finish at 100 points, and the final tally was 100 – 94. I can’t wait to try it again, perhaps with hockey nets next time.

Malletball

The Bad Review Revue

The Huntsman: Winter’s War: “The script lifts so much plot from Disney’s animated Frozen that it could qualify as a remake. No one sings “Let It Go,” but my advice to audiences is to do just that.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

The Boss: “Did they set out to make an even worse movie than 2014’s Tammy? Well, they did-crude, cruel, coarse and laughless.” Jim Lane — Sacramento News & Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: “The film’s only other notable ingredients, sadly, are the most rumbling soundtrack since Earthquake, a lot of jaw grinding by Ben Affleck, some narrative confusion remarkable even by director Zack Snyder’s standards, and… hours and hours of your time.” Stuart Klaxons — The Nation

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2: “Here’s an invitation to decline.” Linda Cook — Quad City Times

Meet the Blacks: “The movie as a whole is such an incompetent train wreck, you can’t look away, just to see how much worse it can get.” Christy Lemire — RogerEbert.com

Sascha

Today Andrea and I said goodbye to our lovely dog Sascha. She hasn’t been doing well and eventually the time came that the kindest thing we could do for her was to euthanize.

Young Pup Sascha

Andrea got Sascha from a women, who got her from a family, who got her from a shelter, who got her from a family. As in, Andrea became her fifth and final family, way back in 2006.

The story goes that the woman couldn’t really keep Sascha but she didn’t want to return her to the shelter because she had already been to the shelter once and, according to the woman, if Sascha went back, there was a strong possibility she would be put down.

Sascha with Andrea

When Andrea and I started dating, she explained to me that she and Sascha went for walks in the coulee everyday. They were returning from one of those walks when I happened upon them in April of 2013. So, in a way, I have Sascha to thank for meeting Andrea.

Sascha with Andrea and me

She was so lovely. She will be missed.