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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Fun with animated GIFs!

Seems like lately I've been feeling extra wacky and I've no idea why.  Maybe the twisted creature that is my id is retaliating against the general nastiness that seems pervasive too much.  So the best course of action is to go in the opposite direction and do what I can to make people laugh a little.

Perhaps that's why I've been playing around with GIF-making apps the past few days.  There've been a few that I've cranked out, so I figured I'd share them with y'all.

This first is a few seconds taken and edited from my first movie Forcery.  In hindsight this should have been done a WAY long time ago.  But in any case, here is Frannie telling her hostage George Lucas what she thinks about the "Han and Greedo shooting" thing:

Talk about toxic fandom!

Next up is a result of looking to see if this was already out there.  And it wasn't.  So I set out to fix it.  A few seconds from the Coen Brothers' 2001 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?  George Nelson ("Not 'Babyface'!!!") shooting a herd of cows with his tommy gun as he's being pursued by Mississippi's finest.  Tim Blake Nelson's "Oh George, not the livestock" delivery slays me every time I hear it!

And finally... for now anyway... okay, lemme preface this a bit.  In 1993 computer game company Infocom released Return To Zork.  It was a technologically cutting-edge (for early days of CD-ROM anyway) journey back to the Great Underground Empire that gamers had first visited via all-text adventure in 1977.  It had a live-action cast and for its time an extensive soundtrack.  It was also baffling beyond all mortal reckoning!  And completely unforgiving.  Make the slightest mistake and you were dead.  Or at least a mysterious guardian guy wearing what looked like strips of bacon would appear and take away all of your possessions and you had no choice but to begin the game all over again.

So at one point, when it's time to at last descend into the Great Underground Empire, the entrance to it is a trapdoor in a waterwheeled millhouse.  And sitting atop said trap door is a guy named Boos Myller: bearded, wearing a pizza restaurant tablecloth and drunk as hell.  It's up to you to figure out that you have to make Boos even MORE drunk, get him to give you the keys to his car and then drive him to pass out onto the floor and off the trapdoor.

Boos will forever be remembered for his oft-repeated line "Want some rye?  'Course ya do!" every time he pours you a glass of whiskey.  And I thought it was fine fodder for a GIF but again, an exhaustive search couldn't find one.  So I found that scene on YouTube and manufactured an animated GIF with it:

There'll probably be some more coming as I monkey around with this.  Hadn't made an animated pic since that weird one of my head spinning around when I was in college.  Using a film camera on a tripod, and eight shots of my head as I sat in an office chair and rotated 1/8th for each snap as I held the same face.

Telling you kids here and now: y'all have no idea what lengths we had to go through to cause mischief on the Internet back in the day...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Something I made a while back...

That's my little girl Tammy, in a photo made by my friend Tim Talley.

Just one of many things I have learned in the past few years.  And anyone who claims that a dog or cat doesn't have a soul, has obviously never owned one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

YouTube Video: Analysis Of The #WalkAway Movement

A few weeks ago on American Thinker, I wrote an article about how the Democrat Party is tearing itself apart.  And in all sincerity that's unfortunate, because I do believe there are good people within that organization (just as there would be in most political parties in America).  However the rising tide of bitterness, rancor, hatred and even suggestions of violence from many attached to the Democrat Party are destroying that party.  So much so that in the article I remarked that the Democrat Party as we have come to know it at the national level will not exist by the 2020 elections and and it may only barely survive past this coming Thanksgiving.

Time will soon tell how accurate that assessment is.  However at the time it was written I had not looked much at the #WalkAway movement.  And now that I have, I am compelled to revise my prognostication.  Because I now believe that the Democrat Party beyond the local and state level is disintegrating worse than most realize.

Instead of another article, earlier today I recorded some commentary to put on YouTube.  Here it is.  Maybe I'll try doing it again sometime.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Charles Kuralt's words of wisdom for journalism and social media

A quote from the great American chronicler of people, from a few years before his passing in 1997.  I guess it came to mind while musing on all the scandals erupting lately from things famous people put on Twitter years ago and are now regretting it.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Trailers for OVERLORD and GLASS

American soldiers fighting undead horror during the invasion of Normandy.  Maybe instead of Overlord it could have been titled The Longest Night.  Get it?  Get it?!  "Yes ladies and gentlemen I'll be here all week, try the salad!"

Just one complaint about an otherwise great trailer: the music.  Not very much fitting for a World War  II setting no matter it's unique conceit.  Could have been more suggestive of the era.  Nonetheless, I will be looking for this one.

And then there is the first trailer for Glass, that premiered during Comic Con yesterday.  Still haven't seen Split but I did hear about its tie-in with Unbreakable: a film I have loved since seeing it when I lived in Asheville years ago.  M. Night Shyamalan looks to be giving us a genre we don't deserve and didn't even know we needed: a "thinkin' man's" superhero shared cinemaverse.  I might be finally catching Split via iTunes later today.  In the meantime, here's the first look at Glass, which breaks loose this January. And to be honest, this is the first trailer for anything in quite awhile that has me stoked about seeing the movie...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Look! New article on American Thinker! Word you've never heard before within! Free toy inside!

Okay so truth be told, I lied about the free toy.  Maybe I was driven to madness by the bowl of Lucky Charms that I am currently enjoying.  Along with the orange juice and banana, everything that a growing boy... errrr, grown man(??) needs.  Anyhoo...

I am very grateful and honored that American Thinker, a commentary site that I have long admired and respected, has published the third article that I have written and submitted for their consideration.  "The Inthinkables" (I looked for that word on Google and couldn't find it already, honest) is about how too much of our society has yielded over its capacity for rational and critical thought and in its place has chosen an almost visceral and hair-trigger instinct toward reacting on the basis of "feelings" unfounded in logic and knowledge.

In short: too many aren't using the minds they were born with.  The rest of us are surrendering too much to them.  The real thinkers are being harassed from public venues and good people like John Schnatter are being driven from the very businesses they founded and nurtured through their own effort and initiative.

Critical and rational thought is being vanquished.  In its place is a Randian horror of mental surrender.  Orwell described Eastasia's dominant philosophy as "death worship," better translated as "obliteration of the self."  I can conceive of no more fitting phrase.  The academic world and the realms of entertainment and media have nurtured and encouraged too many to offer their minds as sacrifice to convenience and their souls to mass approval.  Most have happily complied if they have been cognizant of having a choice at all. 
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so it is that the obligation for reason is abdicated for the intoxication of emotion.  At last, there is no logic whatsoever.  There is only an instinctive response to sounds and sights that seduce or offend.  For some, the condition may be irreversible. 
So kindly allow me to introduce a new word into the English lexicon: "inthinkable."
If you're on the fence about clicking on over to read it, the op-ed invokes Blazing Saddles and Pat Sajak.  Among other things.  But you'll just have to find out yourself.

"The Inthinkables", only at American Thinker.  Load your copy today!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

This guy makes real knives out of ANYTHING (even chocolate and underwear)

It takes something TRULY impressive to make me subscribe to a YouTube channel.  But there's a dude calling himself kiwami japan out of... ummm, Japan I guess, who has earned the ultra-rare golden buzzer.  As the son of an accomplished knife maker I have been totally jaw-dropped by kiwami's work.  Because he is demonstrating that real and extremely sharp and perfectly usable blades can be made from practically anything.

So far kiwami has made knives from an Amazon cardboard box (seen in photo), from chocolate candy, from epoxy, from rice, from ice (bet you'll never watch Game of Thrones the same again), from Jello, and now in his latest video kiwami japan has made a deadly blade out of men's underwear.  kiwami japan is working with so many unorthodox mediums that your mind will barely stop reeling and your mouth might never stop watering.  With a minimum of tools (many might already be in your own kitchen or garage) you can follow his tutorials and make your own blades.  The one that is currently interesting me most toward attempting is the carbon fiber knife.  It seems the more practical, long-lasting and durable of the series so far.  Well, that and also because I suck at cooking anything in the kitchen.  It's also the one that I most easily envision Dad taking a stab at (pun horribly intended) in his knife shop.  And kiwami japan's YouTube channel is one I've no doubt Dad would be checking out every day... and he hated computers entirely.

Since I mentioned Dad and his own handiwork, I'm obliged to post some of what he made in his time on this earth.  Incidentally, he learned the art of making Damascus steel from Bill Moran himself.  He was the one who back in the Seventies rediscovered how to forge Damascus for the first time in several centuries.  Anyhoo...

Yup, Dad even made knives out of horseshoes and railroad spikes.  How many he made, I've no idea.  He would make knives for friends just for the heck of it without telling them, just to see the look on their faces when he gave it to them.  All of those you see in the pics above were for sale or commissioned works.  If you see "R KNIGHT" or "ROBERT KNIGHT" stamped on one, it's likely a knife he made.  I've got one in my possession...

...and no, you can't buy it.  Not for all the money in the world.

Friday, July 13, 2018

World Premiere: "Snoke Is Just A Gigolo"

It's Supreme Leader Snoke set to "Just A Gigolo" by David Lee Roth! You'll never look at your Star Wars action figures the same way again...

The idea has been accreting throughout my neurons since at least April. Guess I had no choice but to do something about it. Made on my iPad Pro, took about 11 hours not counting breaks for dinner and playing with Tammy the Pup. Finished just before 4 this morning.

Dear Dave and Disney: please don't sue me!!!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Haven't posted any new pics of Tammy in awhile...

Here she is this morning, not wanting to get out of bed:

That's her favorite blanket that's been pulled off from over her.  Dad would throw it over himself as he leaned back in his recliner and Tammy would jump in his lap then burrow herself completely under the blanket and they would nap together.  It's gone all over America with her.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Got a new article up at American Thinker

"Frankenstein's Body Politic" is about something I've been pondering for some time: that the two major parties have each in their own way been self-destructing these past few years. Except in contrast to my prognostication four years ago, the Republicans have avoided that fate (for now), while the Democratic Party is coming apart in drastic fashion.

An excerpt from the article:
Strangely, the bicentennial of the novel Frankenstein is witnessing a practical demonstration of Shelley's tale of promethean horror. A mishmash assemblage, long on borrowed time, is ripping itself to shreds at the seams. We will never know what agonies might have erupted from the throat of Frankenstein's creation as it struggled to rise. But of the vaster Democratic Party and its fellow travelers in media and entertainment, the death throes prevail across our screens. Those silicon bindings may not be enough to contain the rising lust for wrath.
I am very grateful to and honored by American Thinker for their publishing my second op-ed piece in a month.  Here's the previous article: "The Revolution Will Not Be Finalized".