May 29, 2009

Make it up.

Alrighty. So the past few days have been interesting.

First things first. Went and saw Star Trek with Deb and Amanda a couple nights back. Gotta say, it was a pretty good movie. I usually am very picky about films and stuff, but that one didn't bug me. I was able to suspend disbelief for it. It all seemed feasible. Thank God.

Also, I know I know. "shutup Frank!" But I did love that they put in that omnidirectional forklift! It is a real piece of equipment that, while expensive as hell, is awesome and makes perfect sense for any forklift operations. There it is. Look for it in the background in the scenes while the cadets are being called up for their various assignments and put on shuttles.

The next morning, Deb and I went to Six Flags. Deb had a Season Pass from when Albert was here. My folks got me a season pass as well so that we could go down and run around. Good for getting out and walking around! And when the water park opens, all the better. Great early b-day gift I hadn't considered!

The place was nearly deserted. It was great! No lines at all! We nearly walked onto whatever we wanted to ride. The worst part was probably that the water park won't open until schools are let out. Ah well. We did ride a few coasters and a couple of other water based rides. Got fairly soaked at one point and Deb nearly tossed her nokia into the water at the bottom of the boat thing we were in.

The other cool thing was that we only saw him once, but he was fun to talk to. There was a Marine who certainly didn't look like your typical fighter pilot. When we were getting on the "Batwing" roller coaster that has you laying down in the seat, then flips you over so you're watching the ground as you race around he made mention that strapping in felt just like when he used to fly jets. I asked him what he flew. The immediate response was F-14s. Needless to say we talked about the new F-18s and how they retired the F-14. Pretty cool guy.

Anyways, we had a good time, but I think I slept on my neck wrong the prior night. After a few rides my neck felt stiff and sore. It had a little before we had even got there, but methinks I aggravated it somewhat. God knows it's hurt like a bitch since we got home. After going to bed to rest a bit, then I got the full brunt of it. I can't hardly move my neck aside from small swiveling. Any kind of motion that requires a large use of my left shoulder/neck or stuff like leaning or moving a certain way that requires tensing it is terribly painful. It feels nearly the same as when I was in OC a few years back and Liberty T-boned the fuck outta me going full throttle in a go-kart.

On a completely related note, SNEEZING SUCKS RIGHT NOW! Tenses up every muscle through the neck area and BAM! Jerks the head forward. Feels lovely.

The most amusing part of this was I jokingly told Deb as we left to go to Six Flags was "You know somethings going to happen and I'm gonna get called into work, just because we went out and did something on a Thursday, right?" Well I'll be damned if it didn't happen. Sure enough, when I got home and checked my email, there was one from Marcus asking me to be on station tonight at Roomstore. Good thing we didn't stay at Six Flags more than we did.

Of course, I don't really mind the OT at all. I kind of missed it. Ok I lied. I terribly miss the extra $. But knowing that I'm getting Holiday pay AND I worked Thurs? Mmmmm... That'll be a nice addition to the next check.

I keep forgetting to check out "The Lube Center". Its a oil change place in Columbia. I've seen em around and I'm wondering how they compare to Jiffy lube. I could probably. change the oil on my own, probably, but I don't have the ramps and stuff to do it. That and I'd rather have it so that I could go yell at them if something happened. Supposedly they do a good job though.

I also need to get some distilled water... The engine coolant is right around the L line, so I've gotta get that filled back up as well as the water for the radiator. Maybe I'll go try to do that now...

First things first though. Rent is due in a couple days. So is renters insurance. Gotta get those outta the way.

Gonna get frustrated not being able to do pushups or really jog at all with this neck thing and sitting in the car is uncomfy as all hell too... *grumble* Yea, I hate it. I actually told Deb "So this is how you must feel to a degree, eh?"

Haha. I'm all over the place now, so I'll stop here. Keep me unbored at work. Feel free to text or whatever!

May 25, 2009

Seriously want more downloads!!!

A site I attend regularly:

If you're looking for affordable tutorial videos from professional artists to start in digital, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this site! Just because I've purchased a couple of those videos and they're nice when you combine them with other studies. I think it helps to realize you CAN paint digitally by seeing it done without really adjusting many settings. I think it took me like a year and a half to learn... but participating in this site has made a difference!!

Check out the downloads here to see what kind of art/what kind of stuff is available out there:

I'll probably refer back to the site, I really do think it's one of the best art communities out there. You don't meet too many places on the internet that take themselves as seriously!

May 23, 2009

Sandy Point Album

All Frank's Sandy point pictures here, plus video!:

May 20, 2009

Sandy Point Beach

So I've been feeling kind of restless and wanting to go to a beach of some kind to take some pictures or something. Finally, I did! This morning, I got up at 5 AM, showered, gathered some things, and went to Sandy Point Beach. It's the last exit before the tolls for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Even better was that it only cost $3.00 per car to get in. That being the case, I paid my dues and started my little photo journey. Only about half of the pictures I took will be shown on here since Flickr decided to limit my upload. Boooooo!

So when I first got there, I sat down and had breakfast. I stopped into a Wawa and got a small sub and a liter bottle of water. Sitting there and watching the bridge and water from the picnic table, as well eating that sub while smelling the fresh breeze was lovely! I thought it was funny that the net was right in front of me as well and watching the birds trying to balance on it in the wind while I slowly ate my sub.

So after I ate I started walking near the concession stand which was closed, but had signs out proclaiming beach balls, chairs, etc for rent. As I was laughing at the signs so happily declaring these things on a desolate beach I turned around and much to my surprise, THIS was there! Holy crap! I haven't seen one of these since I was NYC a few years back! And I actually had a quarter to put in it! I looked at the bridge and the cars going over it, as well as some of the boats. I wanted to take a pic through the eyepiece, but it didn't really come out at all, so I just settled on looking through it naturally. It was fun though.

This is standing in the middle of the beach area, facing to the South and looking at the road leading onto the Bay Bridge. Lovely, clear day.

This is facing to the North. The sun was surprisingly high in the sky for how early it still was.

This surprised me. If you look from left to right at the sand, you can see 3 particular bands in the sand where the tide line rests. It struck me that it was so visible. I guess it helped that there was no one on the beach either.

Don't ask. These signs always amuse me. Moreso because I briefly thought about bringing a couple beers with me, but thought better of it.

BIG EFFIN BOAT!!!! No more explanation needed.

I LOVE this picture. I love how it came out! THAT is what I'd like to be doing in about 40 years. The feeling is right, the composition is right. It's just right. Relaxing, but still having a good time, just enjoying the fact that I'm alive, unbothered by the world around me, still kind of to myself, but sharing it with someone I love. That is probably my biggest goal in life summed up in a picture. That's where I'd like to end up some day. Heck, even the fishing part wouldn't be bad either! I don't know crap about fishing, but lately it seems more and more like something I might be able to enjoy.

I like this one just because of the way the sunlight comes across the image and sort of splits the area between the lighthouse and the boat.

I got lucky with this one. This is the wake from that big ship as it went by. I caught this image right when I realized if I didn't move IMMEDIATELY the water was going to be up to my ankles. I still think it was a pretty cool shot though. One of the best I've ever taken. Here's a link to the big version. It's more badass looking in that one.

I tried to get a shot of this bird a FEW times. Every time I got anywhere near it, it would fly further away. I ended up having to shoot it with the digital zoom, so it doesn't look as good. I actually think that this is closer to seeing it than I did in person! That bird was massive though. Huge wingspan! And tall. Easily nearly as tall as I am.

This buzzard was pretty funny. He sat on a fence and stared at me for a while with his wings half spread for a while. We watched each other before he finally flew up into that tree. once he was there, we just kind of eyed each other for a while. Yeah. You go, big bird.

Not much to this one. Just found a small wooded area that looked out onto the water and thought it was a neat view.

This is a little further back down that same trail. I liked it.

This made me laugh. Hard. I saw it when I down to the water after I came out of that wooded area. Basically, somebody took some small sticks and sand, then made a little fortress facing the Bay with cannons pointed towards any passing ships. They even put a that little white and blue thing up there as a flag and staked off the corners with other little sticks. Hehe... I actually had to lay in the sand to take the shot.

Just one of the rock groupings. I liked how it curved outward.

This was taken standing out on the end of that curved part of the last picture that seperates the fishing areas from one of the little reservation areas where they have cookouts and stuff.

This also made me laugh. I walked into one of the cookout area bathroom stations and found this. The fact that it is a Waterless Urinal didn't really make me laugh as much as the fact they felt the need to proudly proclaim that it most certainly, without a doubt, absolutely was indeed a waterless urinal!

Nearby they had a seatless toilet. Not even the things that hold the toiletseat were on this thing. It was just a ceramic bowl with water in it and that was it. Sadly that had no sign above it. Just a button for flushing. That said, it wasn't worth posting on Flickr, to me.

I'm not sure, but I think this is the old "Mezick" house that's out there by Sandy Point. I wasn't keen on going too close because I didn't know if anyone still lived there, but you could tell the house had been there for quite some time. Regardless, that'd be awesome to live down there in that house. I'd love it!

This is the South end of the beach from one of the first shots. There's a sort of path made of huge stone that you can walk out on that runs alongside the West running side of the Bay Bridge. There's also a boat launch nearby as well, so it's not uncommon to see boats coming out of there going into the bay. When I worked at the pool company and driving back home, I saw lots of people with fishing gear every few stones out there. This is about as close as you can get to the bridge on foot. For people who're curious, the boats name was "Tail Chaser".

As I was getting ready to leave, a got this shot of a few seagulls chilling on the beach. It was getting warm out and they looked pretty happy.

One of the last things I thought of when I was leaving was "Damn... That IS a big bridge!"

Now be it known there were a few more pics I would've liked to put up, but Flickr is limiting and I'm lazy after typing all that up.

One of them was of something that made me smile. A big family was piling out of their van with the little kids running across the beach to stand by the water while the rest of them hauled all the coolers, chairs, and blankets out to the waters edge. I watched them for a little bit before I got into the car, thinking that maybe years ahead later on they'd remember Sandy Point and go back just to walk around and see the place again. Just a thought that made me grin.

Anyways, that's it for now. I was hoping for something a bit more self-investigative, but it's not happening. I do know that I found my little trip therapeutic though and would like to go again sometime soon. Going by myself was nice, true. I did realize though that I like to share my enjoyment with other people. Having fun alone can be gratifying for me, but I also truly feel satisfied when I can share it with someone else. *shrugs* Whatever the case may be, I enjoyed myself!

May 14, 2009

Sleeplessness Redux

Of late, normally I get up on Thursday to see that there is an email telling me I'm off Thursday. That would've been great this week! Finally! A day to sleep!

Nein. No email today. When I texted the guy who usually works what was my OT night, he told me he was out of the state on a Marine FTX. Wait. Whaaaa? Needless to say, he's not going to be on site tonight.

Called the boss-man and asked if I was supposed to fill in or if he had a floater lined up. He was as surprised as I was apparently. That said, here I go to the rescue! *laughs* He thanked me for looking out for him. Not that I mind... As long as that OT is on that check, I don't mind. It's what I originally signed up for anyways.

I just hope I didn't end up throwing that Marine guy under the bus... That'd be sucktastic. Anyways, shower and quick dinner time!

Hello....? Verizon? Hello?

Ugh... So the lines were recently dropped in the area for FIOS. That's wonderful and all, but they only gave us a day or two of notice to completely clear a major closet area. Even that was fine....

No, what bothered me was the hesitant stalking towards my bedroom door by someone I didn't know. What also bothered me was not seeing any of the local maintenance folks with the guy. My first thought was "Who the hell is he?" followed by "Why is he here...?"

I'm sure you can see where this train of thought rolls on...

Sleep has been a rare thing around here lately. One of the neighbors moved out and the carpet had to all be ripped out and replaced. That said, all the slamming and banging that goes along with fresh carpet installation channeled right through the vents and into our room. It need not to have done that though. No, it was plenty loud without the help of the vents.

So here we are at about 10-11 AM every morning for the past couple days and I'm still up. I'm a little bit grouchy and groggy because of that.

On the bright side, at least I get paid today! I may also go to the folks home and get the laundry up and running. Deb's physical school semester is over as well, which means no more deciding if it's worth leaving the college for a couple hour nap in bed or staying in the parking lot. I also went to the Columbia East Branch Library while Deb was in class. They had a couple soccer fields, so I took it upon myself to walk, jog, and sprint around portions of it. It was pretty good and my knees don't really hurt all that much from it, so I guess the therapy exercise I was doing for my knees is having some good.

Poor Samantha... She's freaked out by all the power tools. Bad enough that she wants to get at the birds outside and can't.

I managed to get Company of Heroes installed, as well as the 2 expansions (for free!). The new game modes are pretty entertaining and I can't wait to get to the few additional levels to see what they've done, story-wise. I mean, there isn't much you can do and the game centers on "COMPANY" level maneuvers with SQUAD based Strategy. What makes this even better is the "realism" skin pack and "Bettersounds" sound mods. Wow. The tank camo looks right. The zimmermit can actually be seen. The uniforms are accurate to units in theater at the time. Just rounds out the whole thing very well.

Well... I had something more substantive than those planned for this update, but it would appear that sleeplessness won out this time. CURSES!

May 12, 2009

On the topic of art critiques...

Personal exerpt with some modification for context:

"A personal pet peeve of mine: People who don't read the captions with my work.

That's like if I got up in a room and started talking, said my bit, then sat down and then that person starts asking the same questions I just finished answering. I just end up ignoring that person's comment. I mean why did I even bother standing up? I'm not available for Q & A at your leisure. Socialize with somebody else. */rant*

That aside, I understand that's the real world. That's what an every man will do. Some people are assholes about it, but you know, they take the call of duty way too seriously. Knowing this is human nature though, as an artist, it is in your power to control what messages you send to the viewer. Make it obvious and doubtless. Which BTW, does require you use the fundamentals, take considerable care for your quality, choose a strong composition, etc. If your message is there strong and you're offering something, then who cares what people say. Your intended audience will get it. It takes a long time to improve, but I think people miss that for the trees. Even if your craftsmanship is questionable, your message/your composition/your goal for the piece is really what makes a different. Yeah, maybe you made a few errors here and there, but they go further the background when you accomplished your ultimate goal to convey that feeling/emotion/thought process/story, etc.

May 09, 2009

Love Tells Us Time

It is through our tears that we are brought together again,
Rejoicing like the letters sent between us in the past,
I've remained only to learn much more about your words

We've shielded ourselves from this reality,
But what is left to desire,
But the constant communication between us that is satisfactory

When I walk before you I can see now,
That it is not the fear or resistance that's in you,
With you there's a smiling face in your eyes that's rich to see

No eyes can match the unpaid gifts of time,
No one's eyes but yours can hold me in place while I ride,
While I ride the fates that climb and obscure me

I am happy to be unpaid,
Because with you,
All my time spent will eternally repay itself

May 07, 2009

May 03, 2009

Windows 7 Release Candidate... already?

Well, I guess I should be happy. I really hate Vista :/ I mean I only tried to reinstall XP over it and all.

Windows 7 Release Candidate Announcement

Thank you very much for your help in testing the Windows 7 Beta. Your feedback is invaluable in helping make Windows 7 a high quality operating system. With your help, we have reached the next major milestone on the journey to Windows 7: the Release Candidate (RC).

- On April 30th, the RC became available to MSDN subscribers and TechNet Plus subscribers.
- On Tuesday, May 5 (PST), the RC will be available to everyone via our Customer Preview Program. As with the Beta, the Windows 7 RC Customer Preview Program is a broad public program that offers the RC free to anyone who wants to download it. It will be available at least through June 30, 2009, with no limits on the number of downloads or product keys available.

So you don’t need rush to make sure you get your copy. When you’re ready to download the RC, it’ll be waiting for you.

May 02, 2009



But seriously. Deb's Mom is getting married. We are likely going to Houston for a little while around the end of summer time. I hope to save up some cash so we can stay for more than a couple days of me being off. 5 days would be optimal, methinks. 4 is acceptable too though.

Deb went to an art gallery thing with Amanda and her guy last night. I actually wish I could've gone. Based on some of the pics from her last entry and the link, I would've enjoyed it. That and I was intrigued by the concept of a church holding what was probably not a "Christ-centric" event.

Speaking of "Christ-centric", Deb must've offended the VideoGame Gods. We were playing Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance II and I jokingly said that some RPG's allow you to "buy levels" in Church's by putting cash in the offering plate and that she should. Well strangely enough, Deb was playing a Cleric. One of the options was to "Offer 2,000 Gold". After deciding to do it (since Gold is shared) we were commended for our offering which was used to build a home for orphans! Those orphans must've been happy because we each gained a level. We left and came back. "Offer 4,000 Gold". The town that was ransacked now got Church supported watch-towers! Everyone feels safer! 4,000 XP and another level. "Offer 8,000 Gold". Why the hell not? Ballistas on the battlements of the town, supported by the Church! 8,000 XP and another level!!! Well by now we're 3 levels stronger, but penniless.

After laughing at our good fortune and "buying our levels", we went to go complete the next quest. Loading screen... annnnnnnd nothing. Cleaned the disc. Nothing. Tried another PS2. Nothing. CURSES! THIS IS WHAT WE GET FOR BUYING OUR LEVELS!!!!

All is now well though. A trip to the local shop removed this curse by furnishing us with a new, but obviously used, shiny round talisman to replace our apparently damaged one. Hopefully the PS2 will accept this offering and let us continue our journey together in Baldurs Gate.

On another note of more importance though, there was discussion that I've slacked on some personal matters. My "humble pie" has never tasted so forceful. Not for a while at least. Humility is something I need to remember more of. That and the frustration that breeds within myself from tension that I should realize can't be immediately helped. Of course, there's more to it than that.

I haven't "forgotten" my faith. More that I have turned something of a blind eye to it and taken it for granted. Those things have a way of biting you in the ass if you ignore them. I never really completely meditated. I should do it in conjunction with working out though. I've read and heard amazing things about it. Again, though, I become frustrated with myself when I can't seem to focus on anything in particular. So far, the closest I have usually come is when I'm at the rifle range, focusing on the front sights of my rifle.

The breathing, the focus, the inclusion of your whole body holding the rifle, sitting still, waiting for just the right moment in the wind and carefully choosing the time to pull the trigger. Then the bang and the recoil ends that miniature session of meditation. Of course, it's very easy to resume, depending on bolt action or semi-auto, but it's still an interruption. I still feel like there's something to it though.

When I sit and try to meditate, I think of other things I could be doing. Little indulgences and all that. It's distracting. The shower does sometimes work, but after a while, the water going in your ears and at times, if I'm sitting in the tub while the water falls on me, up my nose doesn't really allow for much in the way of concentration. The plus is that the noise of the water falling does drown out most outside noise. It becomes a kind of white noise that is very easy to get lost in. I can't hear the TV usually. I can't hear music. I can't hear birds, cars, kids outside screaming.

I think that's why I want to live somewhat near the water for most of my life. I said this to Brad last night. Even though I've never sailed and I don't really like seafood, I feel like the oceans and other very large bodies of water have a very deepseated meaning to me. The sound and smell of it just feels right. Rivers don't really work, for some reason. The whole idea of the vastness of the ocean though and watching the occasional ship go by miles away from land just touches me. It's even deeper than that though. The words escape me.

I couldn't live out in a place like Oklahoma or Indiana. The only way I could do that is if I had a plane and a patch of land to make a small grass strip. That and I'd set up some targets out there. That's about the only way I could do it. Even then, I don't think I could do it forever though.

As for something a little more fun, Brad told me about Go at your own risk. It's a board where people can post without usernames. It's similar to a BBS I suppose, but moves very fast. There are many categories to choose from and there's always something new being said, no matter how dimwitted or intelligent it may be.

Met a friend

Went out with Amanda and her awesome boyfriend Arthur, and met someone I know from at Definition Gallery in B-more today. We also went to some live performance arts/visual arts show at Seventh Baptist Church across from MICA. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of it, the artist for the web comic, "Girls with Slingshots" was supposed to be signing there. We had to leave unfortunately, but it was still well worth going there for the live performances.

Me with Kelly Futerer

Some of her stuff (KellyX/Kelly Futerer)




Her boyfriend was also in the show. He uses this cool signature varnish technique. I knew it was digital, but had trouble deciding whether it was a real painting or not.


Some of the other work in the gallery.


Kelly McKernan

Kelly McKernan

If you like what you see, you can view some more of it here. A great exhibit: Quantum Exhibit

Flickr links:

Definition Gallery

Woman's Art Forum Thing (should probably figure out what it's named)