Monthly Archives: September 2007

Mystery Pic #2


This one might be easier.  Still not photoshopped, but it pixilates quite nicely.  Good luck, and happy guessing.


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Third Question of the Day.


(Painting of Rian as Doctor Strange by Nina.)

It really seems like magick, this self-publishing wizardry we get to pump out of our heads with these computerboxes nowadays.

How would you like the next wave of technology to revolutionize human life?


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The Revolution I lived within.


It’s been twenty years, and the world has flipped inside out.  We did it.

Much like the printing press did for even older people, the machine you are using to dance through my babbling today has changed the human condition.  Drastically.  Not only did I live through it, but I gave myself completely to the revolution.

I remember wallowing in the mainstream media for my taste in hype with stuff like Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone.  Rolling Stone had some talented reviewers and one of them lit a fire in my desire with a dollup of hairy hyperbole about Husker Du.  When they came to town we dove in, followed by trips to Open Books and Records, the local “underground” shop for all things independant when it came to music.  I picked up a homegrown review magazine called Sound Choice out of Ojai.  It lit the fuse.

“We will tolerate no bitching.  If you don’t like something, create an alternative.”

Ours was called Alterior Facial Mandala.  We had to type stuff on a real typewriter and make copies for 25 cents a sheet.  We gave away the first issue at the R.E.M./Minutemen concert on November 24, 1985.  It mushroomed.

The little toadstool grew fruit through the US Postal Service, and the process called “mail art” blossomed.  There was a truly amazing thing called Factsheet Five, by Mike Gunderloy in Renssealar that reviewed every little scrap of Xerox he could get his brilliant little hands on and created a worldwide network of self publishing goodness that did not exist for us children of the seventies and even more historical figures.

In other words, we finally had a voice that could reach people beyond our local communities without selling out to the corporate media monster.

Alterior Facial Mandala got “big”.  I received a request from Whole Earth Review.  For all you youngsters, the Whole Earth Catalog was like the Academy Awards of hippieland.  It was another review vehicle, but there was no way you could ever buy your way in.  You had to produce something so good that the coolest cats on Earth valued it enough to share it with the world.  We sent them some of our stuff.  We got in.

Here is the crux of the matter.  Jeanne Carstensen wrote this about the self-publishing revolution that the photocopy machine was fueling.  She wrote it twenty years ago.  See if it sounds familiar.  See if it seems like she is describing this blog, and the millions like it.  Jeanne said:

“Deep down, I think we all believe we’re the smartest hunks of flesh to ever walk the planet. Admit it. You know the real truth and want to publish it. You are destined to write, edit, design, draw, and cartoon your ideas into the psyche of this raging nation (this nation’s raging psyche?). If only you had access to the presses . . .

So start your own magazine. Engage the best writers and artists (you and your friends) and distribute it to the most influential opinion leaders (you and your friends). Exercise your right to rave. After all, that’s what professional writers do. They just get paid for it. You can do it too. “‘Zines” are wildly partisan small magazines of the fanatic, or devoted, depending on your view of the subject matter. They’re unabashedly noncommercial – true labors of love and don’t seem to conform to any standard of quality except their own. ‘Zines rave about special interests: hobbies like play-by-mail games, science fiction, “fringe” political groups. punk bands, comics, mail and xerox art , underground cassette music distribution , or that most special of special interests – the writing and art of one editor/writer/artist/designer.

Sometimes the raving is obnoxious, petty, or mediocre. Self-importance and incompetence can come together with unfortunate results in a ‘zine with no criticism to monitor it. The art can be bad, the writing worse. But at least it’s the raving of people who are dedicated to their concerns. It could also be called “passion. ” And sometimes passion joins with competence in an unusual way no mainstream publication would publish.”

Yep, it sounds a lot like the blog scene to me.  I love it.  In twenty years we have gone global in a way that none of us realized we could at the time.  That’s the beauty of time.  It gives us a mirror that remembers.

Speaking of collective memory improvements, I actually have a link for the original Whole Earth article.  An old man like me needs to pinch himself all the time when he can put his finger on stuff like this with the click of a button. 

Here’s your trip down memory lane, with her take on AFM:

Every day I put on pants to go out of the house, wishing I didn’t have to. 

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Mystery Pic #1.

Mystery Pic #1.

Time to start another tradition.

Guess what this photograph is.  During these contests, no Photoshopping will ever be included.  Straight shots, every time.  Each pic will get about three days of guessing.  Then I will reveal the source and the true identity of the object.

Ready… Set… Guess!


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Last night we had a draft.


(Card by Upper Deck Entertainment, art by Georges Jeanty)

Often these posts will revolve loosely around the Trading Card Game called Vs. System.  It is cardboard paradise for those of us who adore the modern myths of comic book cosmology.

Last night we had a draft at the Hobby League of Miami, with the new Marvel Legends set.  Drafting in games like these is a total gas.  You open a sealed pack, pick one card, and pass it to the left to the left.  Then you get the pack from the person on your right and pick a second card.  Eventually that pack runs out and you open a second set of unseen weapons, picking and passing the other way.  Then a third and final pack, back to the left to the left.  Too much fun.  We did it again last night at Villains, the comic book shop a mile from my house.  It was squirrelly and scrambled, at least when it came to my deck.  I ended up with a scattered smattering of Fantastic Four and Marvel Knights.  The character abilities were pretty strong, I had two different versions of six separate characters, and managed to grab three team-ups.

Then came Mr. Sinister. 

He.  Is.  Nasty.

The best laid plans of mice and men turned to mist.  I got rocked.  We had a brand new player, and he knocked me out of contention by removing my character abilities as if he had an ink eraser.  Cool.


Filed under Vs. System

A Slamdance, at a Wedding.


(Photo by My Dad.)

No, seriously.  I forget what song it was.  Maybe The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.”  My stepbrother’s wedding.  That’s me in the dragon shirt, getting squashed by my son-in-law and my nephew.  Nina is obviously the one under the flowing braids.

It is always 3:33 pm somewhere.  If you are here for the naked pictures, you must realize one thing.  We are all naked under our clothes, all the time.

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Second Question of the Day.

Quantum Switching.

(Digitized Self-Portrait by me, used in Nick Herbert’s Nobel Prize presentation to illustrate quantum merging.)

There is a barrel of background information on this question inside the post under this if you want to make an educated decision…

If you could switch bodies with anyone, or any thing, what or who would you want to be?


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