Sunday, September 14, 2008


[I don't know why this didn't show up for a month. Some screwing around with Blogger fixed it though. Except almost all the photos are gone. I can't seem to fix that. I'll certainly post them if I can.]
For the first time since March, a second post during the same month. Wow, I need to update more often. I'm getting along with the webcomic I've been working on, I should be ready to post the first batch of pages in a month or so. I'll link to it when it's ready.
But, in more important news, yesterday I was the competitor in IRON ARTIST 2008! This, my friends, is one extremely insane Portland contest. It's funded by SCRAP, a local reuse and recycling center, and basically the goal is to create (with your team of 5-10 others) a sculpture, based around a certain theme, in four hours. This year the theme was alchemy. Your materials are random pieces of used junk (they try to give each team similar items) like bicycle wheels, computer parts, several hundred yards of ribbon, etc. You don't get to hear the theme until 20 seconds before the contest starts, and you can't look at your materials until it starts, so there's really no way to plan ahead. It's on the spot creativity, so there's a lot of spontaneity.
Once the competition gets going, it's basically a no-holds-barred rush to make the most awesome sculpture. The patrolling referees, dressed in a bizarre mix of completely random black and white clothing, will give teams demerits for anything from too many people working at once to ugly usage of pom-poms. At the same time, teams can earn extra points by bribing the judges in various ways, and it's perfectly legal to cheat--if you can get away with it. At one point, the refs caught us with our entire team working on the sculpture at once, and we all had to go in the "Penalty Box", essentially a giant cage with ribbon wrapped around it. We had to moonwalk to get out. O_O
Admittedly, I wasn't too happy with the outcome. We came dead last. Yes, it's true, out of eight teams, we got the least votes for our sculpture(see above pic). Frankly, I think it was pretty ugly too. Someone had suggested we mosaic the base, which took way too long and ended up looking like crap. Not very alchemical either. If we'd had more time, we could have worked harder on the more kinetic elements of the sculpture and actually GOTTEN THE DAMN WHEELS TO TURN. Oh well. We still won the award for "Best Collaboration", whatever that means, and I had a hell of a lot of fun anyway. I'm going to do it again next year if I can! Woot!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

End of summer...

On the last day before school started (Tuesday) I went to the Portland Japanese garden. I haven't been there in almost four years and it was nice to finally go back. I took a few nice photos, although my camera's getting older and my 1gb memory card is gone, so I had to use my crappy little 64mb one that only holds about 20 pictures. I'm going to have to get a new camera soon if I want to keep taking good pictures. Anyway, here are a few of them.
Koi. The reflection looked cool here.
Buddha statue along the path. It was really easy to miss; unless you were right next to it it just looked like a rock.
I also happened to run into the poorest cosplaying ever. What these three were doing here dressed as Naruto, Kiba, and Sai from Naruto I don't know, but I found the sheer randomness of it hilarious. Kumoricon, Portland's big anime convention, ended the day before, so there was really no explanation.

In other news, school started the next day and I'm now a sophomore, whoop. I have a good lineup of classes--all the easy ones on one day and all the nasty ones on the other--and I'm taking guitar, advanced video, and Elements of Art as electives. They've all turned out as pretty decent classes but not very exciting.
My political views are generally leftist, but to be fair, I watched John McCain's acceptance speech Wednesday night. He went on and on about how he was a POW and how he came to love America and all that. People say he'll be a great president because he survived a prison camp in Vietnam, but really, how does being a prisoner give you the experience to lead a country? I sympathize a little, because it would suck for anyone to have to experience something like that, but being a POW forty years ago doesn''t automatically give you the credentials or the skills required to be the president of the United States. It makes no sense, and I really, really hope the guy doesn't get elected. The last thing we need is a Bush clone. Just a little political commentary on my part.