Strange times, eh?

I had an E-mail from Taco Bell yesterday morning when I woke up.

I didn’t even know Taco Bell had my E-mail address, or where they would have gotten it. It was written by Mark King, the CEO of the company. He assured me that Taco Bell is taking great strides to… do… something. I guess I’ve forgotten. It wasn’t especially memorable, or well written. I think he mentioned that dining rooms at some locations will be closed for the time being.

Other companies, too, have “reported in”.

I don’t mean to cast doubt on their intentions, but I admit, I sense an air of desperation in those seemingly well meaning messages.

“Please don’t forget us.”

Yes, yes… I know Taco Bell, I know…

Friday night I got out of my car… and accidentally left my lights on.

So, Saturday morning… I had a nasty little surprise. My fault, obviously. While there were numerous options, from AAA to asking for a favor, the quickest solution was to remove the battery myself and walk it down to Autozone to be re-charged, which they’ll do completely free of charge.

Simple. Quick.

On my little jaunt to Autozone, to the left of the sidewalk, was a half eaten donut.

Why someone would toss a perfectly good donut to the wind like that is beyond me. I mean… what circumstances would warrant that?

I can imagine myself dropping a donut in shock if I was kidnapped in broad daylight, or if someone shot me through the head at random.

…but even then, even with a hole through my head, there may still be enough of me left to ensure those last few bites happened.

What a waste.

What a villain.

High crimes, friend.

High crimes, indeed.

And no… I didn’t eat it.

Have you seen that data model of two protons colliding from CERN?

I love the colors:

Now and then I’ll set the image to full screen and just look at it for awhile.

I see it as… accidental art.

It wasn’t intended or designed to be pretty, and yet… it is.

Somehow, it is.

Some of the most beautiful things in life are misfires and anomalies… skewed circumstances which cool, then harden into glittering wonders.

And if you know where to look, there’s such beautiful sounds to be heard as well. If you sit still long enough, and quiet enough, you can hear something more than wind passing through the trees: you can hear life itself rolling and tumbling through the world. My fourth grade teacher chastised me again and again for looking out the window and day-dreaming.

My mind flits from subject to subject, faster than I can reel it back in.

I still haven’t made tried a recipe for corn flake covered chicken strips I saw recently.

You’re familiar with Corn Flakes, right? White box on the cereal aisle, with a big green fuckin’ rooster on it?

Right. Well, see… I eat a lot of corn flakes. They’re filling, and they’re simple… and they’re actually really good. On the back of the box, there’s a recipe for what they refer to as “Corn Flakes Crispy Chicken Tenders”:

I’m hesitant to try them, though. It seems like a recipe for disaster. Corn Flakes are brittle as fuck already. I imagine the counters, floor, and sink all riddled with debris, and the ensuing ‘knee time’ involved in the aftermath.

This week, though, I’m eating Corn Chex, rather than Corn Flakes, because… well, that was all I could get my hands on.

This morning I tried a recipe for scrambled eggs and corned hash.

It was crunchy, and surprisingly filling.

The last time I was in Oklahoma I had calf brains and eggs near the stockyards.

Without variety, life grows stale.

Have you seen this little fellow/lady yet?

A friend sent me the picture above. It’s a Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher.

Lovely. Right?

And, in case you’re not sold already, besides Pink & Magenta, he/she also comes in Royal Blue & Cyan:

Today’s artwork, seen far above, is a hodge-podge mash-up of a scattering of different images currently sitting on my hard drive. I always like to keep you on the back foot, and guessing, but that particular cluster is… I think, maybe… fifteen images?

The end product, personally, reminds me of seeing layers of wet newspaper stacked on top of each other, with all the ink and fluids bleeding downwards.

At least a dozen of the images were from concept art printed to transparencies, layered, then photographed in direct sunlight. Two, I believe, were renders of different models. One, though…

…the last in the sequence, and the top layer… is a photo!

A photo of… *gasp* …me!

Oh. And that doe-eyed expression?

Well, upon exiting the bathroom, one would not expect to be photographed… and yet…

As often as possible, I try to find a use for things.

When sizing objects and environments in a graphics engine, there are certainly systems of measurement and scale to rely on. That being said, things do not always fit together quite as perfectly as envisioned. It’s often a complex and altogether cumbersome process to effect proper scale when juggling all manner of assets haphazardly brewed into a graphics engine’s innards.

For instance, maybe a doorway, or a table, simply looks out of proportion in some intangible way. To some extent, it distantly reminds you of something you’d see in a dollhouse, and increasing it’s scale exactly 107% immediately ‘fixes’ the sense of wrongness.

But see, that small change might mean some part of the object’s mesh is protruding through a wall, another object, or into the floor itself.

Fuckin’… damnit.

Now you’ve got to double back and re-think things, and your solution.

Larger objects, like a big ass neon sign, are even worse. You can quickly drive yourself crazy trying to affect proper scale on an entire city block.

Trust me on that one.

Despite that, it is possible to get a quick sense of scale and dimension in even the most challenging circumstances… providing you can drop a point of reference your own mind has some specific link to.

No matter the circumstances, the stupid look I have in that picture is, itself, intangibly linked to my sense of proportion and scale. And, like I said, with a single familiar reference point, I can eyeball the placement of everything else with surprising precision. And, time permitting, I can define exact coordinates where absolutely necessary.

I guess that’s enough gallivanting today, friend.

We’ve discussed birds, protons, transparencies, graphics engines, corn flakes, corned hash, car batteries and good ol’ Taco Bell.

Are you full?