Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No word on whether it jumps over the Snake River Canyon

Six Flags St. Louis is opening a new, wooden roller coaster this summer called Evel Knievel. According to one of their promo coupons, “The 2,700-ft. ride experience begins with an 80-ft. drop at a 90-degree left turn angle, which is answered with a 55-ft. double down drop. Standing 82-ft. tall and traveling 50 mph, this intense rollercoaster crosses over itself an incredible 14 times while making frequent and tight directional changes.”

Keep in mind, the real Evel Knievel broke a record 40 bones during his career as a daredevil.

You know, I think I’d be crossing myself 14 times too.

1 Talked Back:

At May 4, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I saw Evel Knievel on TV when I was growing up.

That's a terrible likeness. Looks nothing like him.


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Sunday, April 27, 2008

I don't know if even a mother could love these faces

Today in my Internet surfery, I accidentally stumbled upon an old English tradition known as gurning.

According to Wikipedia,
A gurn is a distorted facial expression, and a verb to describe the action. A typical gurn might involve projecting the lower jaw as far forward and up as possible, and covering the upper lip with the lower lip.
Doesn't that sound fun so far?

Now, how about this:
Gurning contests are a rural English tradition and were once common at travelling sideshows, fairs and freak shows. They are still held regularly in some villages, and the contestants traditionally frame their faces through a horse collar - known as 'gurnin' through a braffin'. The World Gurning Championship is held annually in Egremont, Cumbria as one part of the Egremont Crab Fair. Those with the greatest gurn capabilities are often those with no teeth, as this provides greater room to move the jaw further up. In some cases the elderly or otherwise toothless can be capable of spectacular gurns covering the entire nose.

3 Talked Back:

At April 29, 2008 at 2:54:00 PM CDT, Blogger Scott said...

I work with a guy who looks like the second one from the top.


At April 29, 2008 at 10:03:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Your coffee breaks must be a riot...


At May 11, 2008 at 11:37:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

That is SO awesome!


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dreams are weird

Last night I dreamed that I went golfing. As in, literally walking right into the middle of the course, onto a random green, where two guys I’d never met were trying to putt, and just grabbing a club. And the guys didn’t seem to mind. One of them shook my hand, said his name was Hal.

Odd that the putter I selected was about 10 feet long, and I had to sort of hold it under my arm to use it.

Strange that I was trying to putt the ball into one of several one-inch holes on the green.

Curious that the missed ball rolled 20 feet, right into the middle of someone’s campsite. That’s right, I said campsite.

Perplexing that we were even out there at all, golfing and camping, right in the middle of a violent thunderstorm.

2 Talked Back:

At April 26, 2008 at 9:41:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

OFF TOPIC -- Stan, what happened to you 'ghost sign' blog, or was that part of this? Jim


At April 26, 2008 at 11:30:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

That must have been a while ago. I don't actually remember it. But that's not surprising...after all, I have started and abandoned a lot of blogs in the last three years!


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Hang ten on the keyboard

Yesterday I heard somebody say that they had been at home “surfing the Internet.”

Do people still call it surfing? I thought that died in the 90’s.

1 Talked Back:

At April 26, 2008 at 9:02:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Man, I'll tell ya ... I've lost more keyboards that way.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


When the Bangles’ song “Walk Like an Egyptian” hit the airwaves in 1986, just like every other song on pop radio, it was played to death. Also, the video was played non-stop on MTV (Kids, back in the 1980’s, there was only one MTV channel, and they actually played music videos all day long). And ever since the first time I heard Susanna Hoffs’ alluring, mischievous voice since the third verse, I always thought the words were: “Like being up street and you’re back, shift/you’re a man you pull it back/ Like Sergeant No (oh-way-oh)/ So strike a pose on a camel back.” Which always left me scratching my head, Egyptian-style, wondering who in the heck Sergeant No was, and why I had to shift when I came back.

So this morning, 22 years later, I had the song stuck in my brain, and I decided that enough was enough. I looked up the lyrics, and they actually make more sense now: “Slide your feet up the street bend your back/Shift your arm then you pull it back/Life’s hard you know (oh-way-oh)/So strike a pose on a Cadillac.”

Now if I can just get the song out of my head.

1 Talked Back:

At May 7, 2008 at 12:20:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

Good times... I loved Walk Like an Eygptian. Of course perspective is that I was in second grade at the time. I thought the Bangles were SO cool.


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Almost there...

When I sat down at the computer this morning, I didn't intend to overhaul the blog design.

It started when I was looking at fonts, and I clicked a link to a site I'd seen before: The Gotham font page on typography.com. When I saw the font of the paragraph text on that page, I didn't recognize it, and thought it must have been embedded somehow. I checked the source code and discovered that it was actually an 8.5-point Lucida Sans. I really liked it, so I opened up this blog's template page and tried it out.

I really liked the way Lucida Sans looked here - but when I went to clear the changes, I accidentally clicked on Save Changes. Whoops. Committed. So I decided to just run with it. I have been wanting to revamp this blog for at least a year now, and here was my chance.

So, as you can tell, I haven't finished the changes yet, but I'm pretty close.

3 Talked Back:

At April 20, 2008 at 8:51:00 PM CDT, Blogger Andrew Weaver said...

1. I dig what you've done with the place. I too, recently underwent a remodeling of sorts.
2. Also noticed you linked to my Flickr and site. Appreciate the love. I've enjoyed your Flickr and blog ever since I stumbled across them a while back. Keep it up!
3. I don't have a three. Just seemed pointless to number this if I only had two meaningful things to say.


At April 20, 2008 at 9:34:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I love the new header images. The jokes make me smile and the graphic approach seems kinda -70's-retro in a very cool and updated way.


At April 21, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

I think I do need to make one minor change, though, and that's the location of hosting of the new green sidebar header images. They never all seem to load, and I wonder what's up with that. I thought that uploading to Imageshack might be better than Flickr, but it's proving to be unreliable. So, I'll have to make that change tonight.


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Friday, April 18, 2008

Something's coming...

One time, my good friend Aron Noll and I were talking about life in general, and he said something about his then-current station in life that I will always remember. He said that at that moment, he felt like a big kettle of water that was being swished around and around in a circle, until the wave of water began to rise higher and higher around the lip, just ready to spill out.

Nicole is taking an art appreciation course this semester at Missouri Southern, and it’s different from most in that the students are actually required to create different forms of art in addition to learning history, so as to, you know, appreciate art. There was some procrastination as far as getting the projects and assignments done on time, and I helped her out last night to finish everything she needed to do. (And today, our bodies are reminding us how late we stayed up!) And it was quite fun, despite my sleepiness. Her big project was to construct a model of a chair, and while walking around the craft store looking for inspiration, she decided that she’d actually make one out of the letters C-H-A-I-R. To fit the wooden letters together, it required some chiseling and carving, which she enjoyed immensely (see her current blog description). I’m sure that she’ll be posting photos of the finished project on Flickr soon. She’s hooked on wood carving!

Her class also required her to visit an art museum or gallery, and write a report on two pieces of art. Two (or was it three) weekends ago, we drove over to Springfield and went to both the Springfield Art Museum and Keyes Gallery. At Keyes, we saw some splendid, bold, colorful paintings by Hugh Yorty that just took us both captive.

Also this semester, Nicole enrolled in a nighttime drawing class through the Carthage Technical Center, and she learned quite a lot about how to draw forms, and different media that’s available to work with. Even her very beginning drawings were very good, and there was strong evidence of natural artistic talent. She liked what she made, and so did I. My baby’s an artist!

On New Year’s Eve last year, I impulsively decided to begin a project where I would do something creative every day of 2008. I naturally settled on comics, since I have somewhat of a history creating comic strips, but that has expanded into Movie Grabs, which, although it doesn’t take a lot of effort or skill or time to make, is still creative enough to qualify. I’m woefully behind due to many different factors (moving to a new home being the biggest), and I hope to catch up to the present eventually, but I’m still in the creative vein. And I have to give huge thanks to Samuel John Klein, who has been so supportive of me since January first, and for also discovering the works of Scott Teplin, whose 3-D rooms and alphabet buildings I am completely geeked on. Thanks Sam and Scott!!!

So now, it appears, Nicole and I are on the cusp of something much larger than anything we’ve done so far. There’s been an infestation of art bugs around here lately, and both my bride and I have been bitten hard several times. We both have some new, big ideas to discuss over lunch break today, and I can’t wait. It appears that our kettle is about to spill its water.

Stay tuned.

3 Talked Back:

At April 20, 2008 at 9:32:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Wow. Should I get out of the way or just roll with it?

And if I'm rolling with it, is it the punches or the changes?



At April 20, 2008 at 10:20:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Well, Sam, considering your fortune as of late - big congrats on the logo assignment, by the way - I'd say you're already rolling with it!


At April 20, 2008 at 11:20:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Props to both of you for making the necessary space in your lives to let art "happen." I think it's great!


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Family factoid

My grandmother on my dad’s side, who passed away eight years ago, would have been 100 years old today.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Doritos scores with Spicy Sweet Chili

I just opened a small bag of these chips to try them out, and I have to say, wow. Each bite starts with an unmistakable taste of soy sauce (!) and then it kicks you with a bit of chili spice. I seriously want to buy a big bag of these, although I’m afraid I’d eat them all in one go.

I can’t imagine that these chips need anything to be dipped into; however, a light coating of ranch dressing might temper the cumulative spiciness after a while.

Hooray for Doritos! Now I can forgive them for last year’s atrocious X-130 flavor experiment (which was like eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger in crunchy chip form...so weird).

2 Talked Back:

At April 8, 2008 at 2:03:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

That sounds nifty, and no mistake. Must look for them out here.

Buzz is, however, that Doritos is coming up with Creamy White Bean Doritos.

Do you want some Creamy White Bean?


At April 9, 2008 at 3:55:00 PM CDT, Blogger Scott said...

I have not seen those up here yet, but they do sound good. Will have to go and see if I can find them.

I have started the blog again, let's see if I can keep it going this time.


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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Kings of Convenience - "Misread"

As usual, I'm sure I'm behind the curve on this - these guys have probably been on the charts forever, and I'm not really one to listen to Top 40 radio anymore. However, I am really loving this band's sound, and they're really worth checking out:


...and on MySpace

2 Talked Back:

At April 7, 2008 at 9:17:00 AM CDT, Blogger Andrew Weaver said...

They are indeed great stuff. They're pretty big over in the UK, but not so much over here. So consider yourself ahead of the curve (over here).


At April 8, 2008 at 4:44:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

I don't know that I love the song, but they looked like they were having so much fun at that park!


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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's nothing personal

I have an Internet browser on my phone, which is what I use when I don’t have any other access to the web. There are also a place where I can store bookmarks. And it definitely comes in handy for regularly checking the sites and blogs I like the best.

For some reason, there’s one bookmark that my phone keeps deleting off of the list: It’s Jim. I have saved the link for Jim’s blog at least five times, only to disappear after a week or so. There’s really nothing that I can think of that explains this. It’s been at the bottom of the list (due to being the most recent added) a few times, but sometimes I’ve added other bookmarks behind it...yet It’s Jim still vanishes.

2 Talked Back:

At April 2, 2008 at 7:13:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

reports of my death are greatly exa


At April 4, 2008 at 7:57:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Sure are a lot of people stopping by here on the way to the airport.


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