Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Anti-Suck Device

when on weekends
first rains fall and
a scratchy throat
takes hold while
my teams lose
and whole seasons
are in doubt--
there are
afternoon naps

Two new When paintings in the works. Hoping to have these done this coming weekend.

A happy discovery. By first mixing the overall tan color and then adding a bit of brown and white not completely mixed in, still in a swirl, then loading the brush, I was able to get this fairly believable wood grain look. I can't believe it's not butter!

A trick I borrow from working on music is the idea of different "takes" and culling different parts of different performances to create a composite, a collage if you will. Here, the sleeping cat was re-drawn for the When Reading painting. And the standing cat was reversed on computer then added to the When Wandering sketch.

A collabo sketch for Lisa. I don't have the images handy, but she re-drew this in Corel and went all crazy with it.

Ah. This is why I'm a packrat. This old sketch was in the same stack of papers. This tiny drawing was projected onto larger canvases for The Boom-Bap painting, currently used as this blog's banner.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Game of Footdown

I've been all about wingtip shoes for a stretch. It's a sign of getting older, I suppose, like building a townie bike. I found these Venturini wingtips last week and, well, I'd like to have them in my collection forever.

An old pair of cordovan wingtips from Deer Stags. These aren't resoleable, but I'd pick up another pair once they're thoroughly worn. I love the color of these, but the black ones are kinda ehhh. (Yes, this pic is the real reason I'm making this blog entry.)

Aww! Lisa's new Cutest Things Ever!


News from the shop: I'm discontinuing the canvas prints for the time being. Instead, the prints will be on highest-quality photo stock. I'm loving this medium nowadays. ... I am also tentatively planning a release of new items probably in late October, including larger poster-size prints and originals. More details as the date approaches.


Started reading Paul Auster's Hand to Mouth, which I've been meaning to read for a long while. I inherited it from a parting friend at work. Previously, I'd pick it up and think "Awesome, but just not in the mood just yet." And now? I must say I'm rather liking its plain-spokeness and strange combination of wistful-yet-funny tone. I'd read a critic's comparison to Bukowski and Fante, and I think that's just about right. Talk about mood, the opening:

In my late twenties and early thirties, I went through a period of several years when everything I touched turned to failure. My marriage ended in divorce, my work as a writer foundered, and I was overwhelmed by money problems. I’m not just talking about an occasional shortfall or some periodic belt tightenings — but a constant, grinding, almost suffocating lack of money that poisoned my soul and kept me in a state of never-ending panic.

Story of my life.... So, anyhow. Yeah. Harry Potter. Now I know.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling
Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, Jeff Chang
Positively False, Floyd Landis
From Lance to Landis, David Walsh
Ten Points, Bill Strickland

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rolling Contradiction

I like tinkering with them almost as much as riding them. This is about as much as I want to do with this bike. Once I find an old road frame to convert to a true townie this will return back to its track bike sexy nakedness:

After all the hub-bub about new saddles, the most comfy setup is still the old BMX Berserker saddle with padded shorts. A couple new wrinkles: 1) Planet Bike Freddy Speedez fenders just for looks and a 2) Profile Design Aqua Rack. (Heh, he said "rack.")

The fenders aren't full cover, intended as easy clip-ons for race bikes. With the track bike, there isn't much clearance under the front and rear brakes. These can do double duty on the Cannondale once training starts up again.

The double barrels. This frame also doesn't have water bottle mounts and I'd rather not carry water on my back. For shorter rides, the other bottle can be used to store items that would otherwise go into a saddle bag or jersey pockets. These will probably stay on this bike when it goes back to being fixed.

Obligatory chainline pic. Eh, straight enough. New freewheel cog, btw.

Going freewheel required that I put on the rear brake. These are the levers I found with the handlebars at the Bent Spoke in Berkeley. The grips are from Oury and are cushy enough to ride gloveless.

So far: It's been years since I rode with clips-and-straps. I'm still getting used to it, the pedal inefficiency. There is also a bit of toe overlap w/ the new pedals, exacerbated by the front fender. Toe overlap does not happen with my clipless setup on this frame, and is maybe the most nerve-racking thing to experience while riding. Alas, my future conversion will be on a larger frame for a more relaxed French fit, so hopefully that'll eliminate the problem. ... More tinkering needed.


In other bike-related activity, we installed a rear rack and panniers on Lisa's Bianchi Milano.

We are so wanting to go grocery shopping right now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ah, Yes, Indeed - It's Fun Time

The goodies are here!


Free, Fontella Bass
I'm Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, Yo La Tengo
Tonight I Burn Brightly, Bill Ricchini
Both Sides of the Gun (disc one), Ben Harper
Man With a Movie Camera, The Cinematic Orchestra
Languidity, Sun Ra
Sound Grammar, Ornette Coleman

Sunday, September 9, 2007

That Go: Bike Lust Stage 3

The challenge with this bike is that it has to be nice enough to inspire me to ride it, but not so nice that I'm paranoid of it being stolen. The point is having a bike I could just grab and ride without taking 30 minutes to get ready (then realizing I forgot something 30 minutes into the ride). A bit of a sporty scraper bike, really, something that doesn't need specialized gear -- particularly bike bibs and clipless pedals/shoes.

So the search is on for a budget spring-suspension saddle. I found this odd saddle while walking around REI:

It's not the best fit, so I ordered this from a lowrider bike shop:
Other goodies arriving in the mail soon: (Yes, I'm avoiding the Brooks bling factor. And, yes, I'm going to a freewheel with this one.)
Speaking of stylish yet functional active wear, I am all about these prAna Nemesis Knickers:
I'm also pretty happy with the Asics Gel Enduro 3s. I'm done with road running. My bod just can't handle it anymore. I'm sticking to the trails.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bicychael... Get It? Oh, Yeah!

Bike lust in Autumn. I've had these English roadster type handlebars sitting around since forever. Luckily, nobody bought them when I purged a whole bike's worth of components during my last move. So, with my "season" pretty much done, I figured I'd put them on my commuter/chill-ride bike. I rather like them. A lot.

I don't have many photos of the same bike with its bullhorns:

Indeed, that is a piece by Swoon at Balmy Ave. in The Mission.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Oh, Yeah. That's What It's Like

Well, what do we have here? Reason and keyboard making friends in the Safe Place? It must mean a new track is in the works.
Working title: "Who Got Da Hiccups, Yo?" Click here to preview.

Anyhow, I haven't spent much time mixing it at all, so forgive the odd levels and panning. This is just to set some direction and structure.


Pretty much done with the painting I started last weekend. Might give her a nose job, but I'm pretty satisfied:

These smaller paintings don't allow for too much fine detail. I've been trying to practice the engineer's mantra of "Don't let imperfection ruin the enjoyment of what works."

Just liked how this part of the process looked. I've done more paintings in this sorta un-finished style. Happy discovery.

But for this one, she gets the full color.

Some touch-ups needed. Maybe some highlights in the hair. Anyhow, this one needs to rest and breathe for a bit.