Book It, Pops!

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I’m taking a few days off of the computer to enjoy my family and a few good books. I’ll get back to posting next Wednesday (June 23). In the meantime, I wish all you fathers out there (including my own plus me Hubby) a Very Happy Father’s Day! And I’ll leave y’all with this morning’s freebies – two original images sized to print out at 2” x 7” each, at 300 dpi (high resolution). Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art/Bookmarks of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Downloads are 2″ X 7″, 300 dpi, in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Proust Groucho

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Bogus Bogey Boogies Tonight!

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Black and White film have always been my favorites. For some reason, they seem to pull me into their movie world so that I feel apart of the scene and able to gaze out beyond the cameras scope and glimpse what lies beyond. The lighting of the old black and white films from the 1930’s-1950’s seems far more dramatic to me and far more effective at focusing my attention to the screen. But my son grew up in the era of color: color television, color computer monitors, color video games, color photographs and color movies. When Rob was a young child, I had created a number of games for him to play using HyperCard (a nifty little application that came installed on the early Mac’s.) My monitor in those days was grayscale (which I thought was the greatest thing – so much more exciting than the 1-bit monitors that PC/DOS users were stuck with) – but it wasn’t color like our TV, so like any other red-blood American kid in the late 1980’s, Rob just could not understand why I spent so much time creating games that had no color and fairly crude animation as compared to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on VHS. So I tried to keep my enthusiasm to myself and shifted my attention to things other than designing games on my trusty MacPlus.

Zoom ahead a decade now and perhaps you can imagine my delight when Rob came home after his first year at college and was going on and on about these great movies he had discovered by the director, Alfred HItchcock, which were in black & white! Well, that opened up the floodgates for Hubby and I to introduce our newly enlightened prodigal son to all of our favorite films, like Citizen Kane, Metropolis, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. Terwilliger, and of course, all the great Humphrey Bogart films like “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”,”The Maltese Falcon”,”Petrified Forest”, and “Casablanca”. Although those films are 50-75 years old now, they still hold up due to the superb art direction, lighting, writing, directing, and acting,

High-Definition and even 3-D television and movies, as cool as those are, seem like an entirely different medium as compared to the old B&W classics. If you’re too young to remember the “old days” and haven’t yet discovered these on DVD or Blu-Ray, make yourself a bucket of popcorn, turn all the lights out, and switch on Turner Classics on the next rainy afternoon and tell me what you think. Am I right?

Ironically, after all that rambling about the glories of black and white, I have for you tonight some experimental artwork I created inspired by a still-shot of Humphrey Bogart - in color! (The devil made me do it.) ;-)

Enjoy!

*Note: If you follow the link above for “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. Terwilliger” there are a few video clips there of the film, and you’ll probably wonder what the heck’s wrong with me because those clips are in Technicolor. True enough. But just like in the 1939 Judy Garland classic, “The Wizard of Oz”, was B&W for all the scenes taking place in Kansas while Oz and Munchkinland were in color, so too does Dr. T intertwine both black and white scenes in among those in color.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Bogie

Bogie At NightBogie Nights

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Cleveland Indians & Art Deco Icons

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This time of year always puts me in a nostalgic mood. Remembering walking to school in the mornings while it still was dark and being spooked by the sounds of the neighborhood waking up; freezing my buns off at the after-school football games because mini-skirts were far more important back then than keeping warm; and going through the roller-coaster emotions wondering whether my city’s home team, the Cleveland Indians, were finally going to make it into the World Series. The latter memory has been a perennial obsession for most of us in northeast Ohio. We want to believe so much in our team but just about every year, the team’s owner’s do their best imitation of Lucy to the fans’ Charlie Brown by stealing our chances away. I’m not a gambler but for those of you who are, here’s a tip. Watch the Cleveland Indians for the first half of the season and whoever is the best player, our best chance of making it to the Big Game, not only can you count on that player being traded away before the season’s over, whichever team they are traded to is a near-perfect predictor of at least one of the teams that will play in the World Series either that year and/or the next. This is not my imagination nor, of course, am I the first to notice this phenomenon. This year, it’s C.C. Sabathia who’s now a Yankee and our old coach, Charlie Manual, who’s brought the Philadelphia Phillies to the Series. I am by no means an expert sport’s analyst, but with a long pattern like this, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Indian’s are in fact not a major league team but rather the world’s best AAA-baseball team rewarded by being allowed to play with the majors but never taken seriously by their owners. As Charlie Brown would say, “AAUGH!”

Well, enough moaning and moping. Tonight I’ve decided to catch up with the rest of my Fox Spokane icon series (copper-toned art deco). If you haven’t already got the previous entries, check them out here and here. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, images are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Fox Spokane - pkg 1 - Preview

Fox Spokane - pkg 1 Preview - CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Fox Spokane - pkg 2 Preview

Fox Spokane - pkg 2 - CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Fox Spokane - Servers

Fox Spokane - Servers - CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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Diagalev

“Escher Sketch” Redux

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Back around 1986 when I was playing around with my beloved Mac-Plus (that I had just upgraded to have 4 whole MB of ram!) and a 2400 baud modem (think of “Inch Worm” to get an idea of that connection speed), I came across a website that had some monochrome desktop pictures that could be downloaded for free. This was one of my very first encounters with the generosity of the early software and digital graphics pioneers. Not only were they offering the fruit of their labors for free to anyone stumbling upon their site but they would share with you their tricks and techniques, brainstorm with you on a new concept of your own, and introduce you to others with similar interests who may be of help. While I grew up in a family of extremely successful entrepreneurs going back several generations and consider myself to be a deeply ingrained capitalist at heart, my parents also taught me by example, how important it is to share your knowledge and skills as well as the fruits of your labors with those first starting out and hungry to learn and with those who simply have no where else to turn. So while the sentiment of the early freeware-shareware movement wasn’t foreign to me personally, it was a bit of an anomaly among the rest of the Me Generation when, according to the media, “everyone” was out for themselves and “Greed is Good” was their motto. I think this is one of the major reasons that I am proud to be a Geek. If it were not for this generous community, I would never have had the opportunity to learn as much as I have over the years nor have been encouraged to try my hand at skills that others outside of that online community told me were beyond my ability and that it was ridiculous to even try.

So, back to that first website I mentioned. It was one of those hosted by CompuServe(one of the earliest portals for us mere mortals with personal computers and not mainframes) and there was a desktop picture I came across that I thought was the most creative, clever concepts ever that was an Art Parody which merged the work of M.C. Escher and the popular toy by Ohio Art, the Etch-A-Sketch. While it was executed quite expertly, because of the state of the technology I owned at that time (limited to 2-bit graphics) it was incredibly crude compared to what can be done these days with 32 or even 64-bit graphics and millions of colors. Unfortunately, I cannot recall who had originated the concept of the “Escher-Sketch” to give him or her their proper due (if any of you knows, please put it in a comment to this post!). In honor of that anonymous wizard, I’ve created an updated version which makes a perfect backdrop for my Chiquita Series of icons. So without further ado, here’s tonight’s late night snack,..

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Peel & Insert MonkeyMonkeyFldr

Chiq_Family Fldr

BananaBananas

Carmen_bevel

Chiq_WorkGroupJust A Banana Fldr

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Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1600px X 1200px)

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Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1920px X 1200px)

Blankies, Bananas & Bears, Oh My!

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Have you ever noticed how little kids will latch on to a favorite hat, or shirt, or pair of socks that they just HAVE to wear every day and act as if it’s the end of the world if you suggest they skip a day so you can put the beloved piece in the washer? I’ve never done a study on this but I’m guessing that this phenomenon it’s probably one of the stepping stones to becoming independent (weaned from their mother’s breast, consoling themselves with their own thumb, parenting their teddy-bear in the ways that they learned, and now, gingerly taking those first steps out in the world as a “big kid”, where lugging your stuffed animal or blankie everywhere you go is no longer socially acceptable.) Looking back to when my son began that phase brings such a smile to my face as he was just so enthusiastic about everything . Rob’s particular obsession was in wearing this jacket I had made for him out of an old pair of blue jeans that had a secret pocket on the inside to hide the treasure maps he had made. At recess, he’d pull them out with a flourish and lead the other kids around the playground “capturing after bear”. What a grand time he had and I admit not feeling the list bit guilty for conspiring with him to figure out a way he could get past the unreasonably strict principal who forbid the kids from taking anything outdoors to play with.

I wasn’t nearly as creative as my son when I was that age, but I did have a fixation for a while on always wearing a little white sailor hat (after I saw a picture of my Dad in the navy) and created tattoos for myself (an idea I got from Popeye, not my father!) by plastering my arms with those little blue oval stickers that came on fresh bananas in the early 1960’s from the Chiquita Banana division of United Fruit. If you’re as ancient as I am, you probably remember and can still sing the happy-go-lucky jingle sung by a Carmen Miranda-inspired character pitched by that eras “Mad Men”. It was all fun and innocence in those days, before the Banana War in South America and before we realized such abuse existed in our own country on the farms in California. As painful as it was to face the truth and to make strides towards ending (or at least no longer condoning) such practices, I can’t say that I long for the “good old days” of socio-political naivety. I do still enjoy though every once in a while, humming that happy little ditty to myself and wondering whether or not my son ever caught that elusive bear.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews of all clip-art included in the linked-to zipped archive. Simply right-click (or control-click) on any of the previews below to save the complete set to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Chiquita Series Part 4 Preview

Chiquita Clip Art Series - Pt 2 - Preview

Chiquita Pt 3 - Preview

Chiquita Pt 4 - Preview

The Moral Chorale

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The other day, Ali Ersen Erol, posted a comment to my earlier post, “Thoughts on Truth and Justice” which lead me to recall a bit of an old quote about legislating morality. At the time, I could not recall the full quotation and so tonight I got around to looking it up. Turns out it was from a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. in which he stated:

“Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m wondering: If playing too many violent video games can desensitize kids to violence, if viewing fast food commercials late at night can make you hungry, if regularly going to porn sites can blur the lines between passion and debasement, and if frequent exposure to shopping malls and e-bay can lure even the most frugal to be more willing to spend, then why are we human beings not as easily swayed by positive messages and role models?

Why is it so much harder to convince people to strive to be kind, loving, forgiving, and honest than it is to entice them to be greedy, gluttonous, shallow, callow, vengeful and selfish? It seems that either you’re born with an understanding of honor and morality or you’re not. Not to say it’s not important to teach our children right from wrong but I do wonder whether such education and role-modeling has any positive effect at all unless an individual has the ability in the brain to receive those messages, which are apparently far more subtle and esoteric than their negative counterparts. Am I wrong about this? Or are we forever doomed only to be able to preach to the choir?

A few more words on the subject of morality from men and women far wiser than I…

“It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.” - Edmund Burke (Irish statesman and orator, 1729-1797)

“There is no readier way for a man to bring his own worth into question than by endeavoring to detract from the worth of other men.” – John Tillotson (English prelate, 1630-1694)

“You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” - Abraham Lincoln (16th U.S. president, 1809-1865)

“Tell the truth, and so puzzle and confound your adversaries.” – Henry Wotton, Sr. (English author and diplomat, 1568-1639)

“The man who fears no truth has nothing to fear from lies.” – Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. president, 1762-1826)

“Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.” – Dwight David Eisenhower (34th U.S. president, 1890-1969)

“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves.” – Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

AppellateJudgesDiversity on the Bench

Deco_Law-7

Mrs. Hudson & Sherlockian Icons

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My cousin, Flo, is one of the most brilliant and talented women I know. Intensely passionate about her work as the head of a successful I.T. consulting group, Excalibur I.T., when she doffs that cap it is most often for the other major passion in her life as a member of an elite international community of “Sherlockians“. Flo’s alter-ego, Mrs. Flora Hudson not only hosts her own website but also has designed and maintained a number of other sites for members of the Sherlockian Web-Ring and is a sought-after lecturer on, amongst other topics, “The Art of Poisons”. Yet in the midst of all her own commitments and interests, she took the time to drive 500 miles from her home to mine in the middle of a storm one night to care for me, my family and our home at a time when I was undergoing a third round of chemo and was completely dependent on the assistance of others for the most basic of human needs.

There is no adequate way really to thank someone for their spontaneous love and well-intentioned efforts that went beyond the call. I admit to being entirely inept when it comes to the formal manners of “good breeding” and society and am well-known amongst friends and family as one who never (or at least very rarely) initiates a phone call, while at the same time, will drop everything and listen for hours on end and do whatever else that I can to assist those who reach out to me and don’t take my quirks as a personal affront.

And so, the real point of this post is to publicly acknowledge my appreciation and love for my cousin, Flora Spector, and to share with the rest of you, some of the artwork I created inspired by Flo’s passion for Mr. Sherlock Holmes (and all things Victorian).

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Sherlock-SteelEtchdReader

Doc Watson's Bag

Watsons-bag-closed221B-Address-Plate-2

Pathologist Rudolf Virchow-2