dimanche, mai 31, 2009

European silver devil

Why do you think I am holding this beast with thick working gloves?

Because, otherwise I will be dead in seconds only because of a slight contact with its deadly skin. Let alone if it bit me!
Just kidding. The little fellow is a harmless blindworm. This morning I was working in the garden. When I was tearing out some bushes, I found it asleep in the warm earth. I catched it and took this photo. It reminded me of a scene in the JFK story "the horses of Narragansett" where a Cuban barkeeper tried to fool people by pretending that a blindworm he kept inside a bottle was a very toxic snake.

By the way, you can read the whole story here

I released the blindworm in a warm place with stones and it slipped away, while I took this last photo:

Other than moving blindworms, I did other things today. I went on a cycling trip again. There was a heavy wind and it was not so easy. But still, a blue sky and plenty of sunshine. I picked up a lot of wild flowers in the fields and also found wild strawberries which I will eat with jogurth this evening.

mercredi, mai 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Today is one of the most sacred days in my personal year: JFK's Birtday.

He's 92 today. Okay, he probably wouldn't have lived that long, even without the assasination.

Anyway, the old man is my muse and spirital compagnon, therefore I naturally celebrate that day.

There are some nice happenings tied to May 29. When I bought my house, I received the official ownership document from the notary a few months later. It was dated to may 29. This was without I asked for and even before I tied up with JFK.
Later, on another May 29, I discovered little lilly-like flowers that grew wild along our house wall. I never saw them before. White Lillies were one of JFK's favourite flowers.

I took care of those plants and they multiplied. This year they began to bloom also in time, for may 29:

I picked up a few and gave them to him.

For me, May 29, marks the beginning of the "midsummer days" I do love so much. These days are long and endless and the light will increase until June 21, the solstice, or Litha. There is a wonderfull lightness in this season. No longer the imature spring, not yet the heavy hot summer, just a mellow dream of immensity, blue sky and growing flowers.

JFK sure choose a good time to be born, just as symbolical as the dark moon of the death and fog when he left.
Happy birthday, Darling!

Going's a bit tough, but I get going

Boy, today I feel really ill. I made a long trip on the bicycle yesterday with lots of upward roads and now have a big bodyache. But that's not all. I probably catched up some sort of gastro-intestinal crap whatever. I feel like throwing up within the next few minutes.

A photo taken during the yesterdays cycling tour:


I am also pissed off because yesterday, I accidentally smashed my new forsythia I planted near my housewall some weeks ago and which used to grow so well. I had to move a big stone in order to plant some other things when the stone slipped from my hands and crashed flat on the forsythia, breaking all its twigs. My neighbour said that it will grow new twigs and that it is in no way destroyed for real. Let's hope he is right. Because this is really painful for me. I loved that forsythia.


Due to my illness I cannot advance in artwork as much I hoped I could today. I am finishing a new scene of the Bêtes des Vosges Film, with JFK on the runaway horse. I take a lot of pleasure making these Scenes, especially since I can work with Anime Studio, which is a real cool programm to make animated movies. However, I do not draw the characters in it, since the programm is too limited for my taste when it comes to make figures turn in 3D space. But no doubt, the programm is great when it comes to animate decor elements, such as leaves, trees and so on. Therefore I have a mixed workflow, using several different programms until the finished result.
On this screenshot one can at least apreciate the facial expression of JFK. In the film he jumps away so fast, that one can't barely see that.

mardi, mai 26, 2009

Honks!

Beware! This is a regular rant and may offend you! ;-)
I am talking about the use of the automobile horn, also called Klaxon. Did you ever notice that, geographically, the deeper you go south, the more the use of the Klaxon gets inflationary? Honks are scarce in Germany or Switzerland and almost everywhere in Athens or Cairo.

France is in-between. Of course, the horn is not blown as often as in those southern countries, but more common as in Germany or Switzerland.

The Klaxon is supposed to be used in a situation, when you have to warn others of your presence. In other terms: A potential dangerous situation. Such a situation is NOT when you get impatient because the driver in front of you did not realize within 0,0000002 Milliseconds that the light has turned green. It is also NOT meant to tell the car in front of you that it is too slow for your taste, although you both are already at least 200% faster than the local speed-limit.

But most of all, it is NOT meant to just tell the world that you are there.
Klaxon is noise. A fucking nasty kind of noise! If you use it without a real need, you are getting on people's nerves. So do your fellow citizens a big favour: When arriving at the house of a friend or relative, stop the car, turn off the motor, shove your slacking ass OUT of your clunker and go to the door to tell your friend / relative that you have arrived. Because nobody else wants to know. Really. You are not that important.

Just as a big flame-shaped sticker bumped on the side of your old rattletrap doesn't make a sportscar out of it, no matter how much time you spend grooming your shit on wheels, hitting the Klaxon every time you come into a new street, doesn't make you look cool. People will NOT think: "Wow!". They DO think: "Asshole!".

I am person who doesn't care for cars. I have mine to move me from a place to another. That's all. I don't mind if anyone takes a special pleasure in cars, we all have our likes. But your freedom ends where mine begins. And it begins at my right to not being annoyed by senseless noises you make just because you are into celebrating yourself. So if there is no real dangerous situation, keep the fucking Klaxon shut!

dimanche, mai 24, 2009

Hacide

Sometimes, things end up in a different way than you expect. Fortunately it is not always for the worse.

last Sunday, My mom and I went in Xertigny, a little town not far away from my village. There was a Farmer's fair and we hoped to find some rabbits to buy.
At the first sight, the fair didn't have much to do with farming. There was a flea-market and the usual sellers of cheap, China-made toys and all those real unhealthy sweets, stuffed with chemics sold at high prices. Pretty disappointing. We finally found the farming section with some cows and horses tied down in a row, as well as goats and pigs. But no rabbits.
We decided to visit the flea market and found some little items to pick up, so we were happy anyway. Then we came by a young man who produced sort of big adhesives with a cutting machine and a computer installed in the trailer. We talked to him and it came out that he was a graphist, living in the town next to my village. I remembered having seen his buissness card sticked on the window of a gasoline station. It was pretty amazing to find another person who is into graphic design and art so near to my location. Kind of letting feel you ashamed you do know so less about your own area, after all.

Here is his website: Hacide

As you will see, the site is really well designed and has a lot of features, altough it is in no way overloaded or clumsy. One of the few web-designers I know who doesn't do those deep dark sites but just go for light-white. If you need a graphist or web-designer, get in touch with him. He also works on international level.

vendredi, mai 22, 2009

Zazzle

I finally got it managed to work with the Zazzle panel. It was a bit difficult to understand the interface. At least for me.
Below are my first zazzle products. I used to be mainly on Spreadshirt where I sell pretty well my designs on the marketplace. Wonder ifa similar income is possible on Zazzle.

The main difference between Zazzle and Spreadshirt is that Spread basically works with vector graphics. Full color Graphics "Digital designs" were only available as print on white shirts - what looks a bit cheap as if it was done by your local copy-Shop. They are now starting offering digital prints on dark shirts, too. But it is still on Beta-Testing. At Zazzle it sems that full color on dark shirts have a longer tradition.


make custom gifts at Zazzle

mercredi, mai 20, 2009

Pond of stones

Today, early in the morning I made a little bicycle-trip to the Etang des cailloux ("pond of stones") near the neighbour village La Haye. I am ashamed to admit that I have never been there before, even tough I am living here for 10 years now. The years went by in physical weakness and serious illness. I am just re-entering into life these days and have a lot to catch up with.

I had been told that near the pond there was an old quarry where beautiful round stones can be found to decorate the garden. And since I do look for such stones, it was about time to go there.

The wheater was just lovley . The only trafic I had on the meadow-roads was a herd of cows driven to their pasture by the farmer:

The roads went up and down and I noticed that I did not have the same fear from rolling downward as I used to. I make progresses!

I finally went to the qyarry. It was impressive red stone and sands, with all those fine little polished stones all around. I took as many as fit in the basket on the bicycle.

Then I went to the pond. A real peacefull place with a lot of wild flowers. I saw two fucking frogs and tried to take a photo both they jumped away before I even preparded the camera. Again, it is a real shame I wasn't here before.

mardi, mai 19, 2009

Very strange dream.

Last night there was at least no bicycle-accident dream, but another, VERY odd one:

I dreamt I was with JFK in my kitchen. It was in the night and a big storm was blowing outside in the dark. I could not close the window, because something was broken. JFK climbed on a chair und tried to fix it. He finally got it done. The window gave me a mirror image of my face and suddendly this picture began to change. It showed me the face of a young male!

I touched my chin and cheeks and could feel an early beard. I was shocked. I checked out my entire body - especially the relevant parts. I don't want to be rude, but well... no doubt, I had turned into a man. I told JFK to look at me. He seemed to be shocked too. In fact, he was so shattered that it concerned me because I suddenly feared he would dislike me now. I begann to cry. After a while he came to me and said, he doesn't care and that nothing would change between us. I looked again at the mirroring window and there I saw that I was a woman again.

Pretty odd, isn't it? The kind of dream one don't have often.

I was in the garden almost the entire morning. Things grow so quickly now, it is hard to keep up with planting and cleaning. Beppi has grown also a bit, here is the pic I took of him yesterday:



lundi, mai 18, 2009

Joséphine the Chimp

I really wish I would stop having weird dreams about being involved in a bicycle accident. It's starting to get annoying. About time I can buy me a biking helmet, so maybe then, those dreams will stop. I do hope it is just psychological shit and not a premonition. I used to dream of my car accident years before it happened in reality. Well, at least I hope that I will not be flatten by a car while riding my bike before my new disability insurance takes effect.

As for my work, I progress well with both movie projects, Thyla and Bête des Vosges. At "Thyla", I am currently in the middle of the scenes where Joséphine the Chimpanzee appears. It was kind of tricky first, because I never drew much monkeys and apes in my life and pretty unused to do them. So I had do some studies first. But now I think I "got it". It is fun to animate this silly but sympathetic character.


Joséphine fooling around in her cage, right before slipping on the banana-skin

dimanche, mai 17, 2009

Eurovision Songcontest

I know that probably every seccond blog will write about this subject today, so do I.

Considering the real tremendous victory of Norway, I assume that Alexander Rybak's "Fairytale" is real popular among a lot of people. Therefore I hope that no one will be offended when I say that, personnally, I didn't like the song. Or better, I disliked the way it was performed.
In my ears, the boy seemed in the middle of his voice change and missed several pitchs, especially in the refrain. Since there where a lot of great voices in the show, I never thought he would made a good place.

Well, he won and this was kind of a surprise for me. Maybe it was because he is "young and sweet" and may have appealed to a lot of 11 year old girls who voted for him with their cell phones under the bed blankets. He may also have been a favorite of old, dirty half-pedophiles who liked the "fresh meat". But I admit that these aspects do not explain a victory this huge. So there must be some other reasons that are beyond me. It's always a freaky feeling to be so much outside the common taste.

Let's say a few words about France and Germany, both being of interest for me as French-German. I was very pleased that after a while, France finally started with a good song again. Patricia Kaas is of course one of the most famed french singers and a brillant one. Her song was great and it deserved a far better place than it got. But at least, it was under the top ten.

Since years now, Germany struggles against the fate of being always under the worst rated. Someone should tell them that if they'd enter into the show with a bit less shitty song, their chances would be far better. Instead, they prefer to nose anti-German feelings all around Europe as the cause. Of course, yeah.

Hell, what do they expect? This years entry was as usual: meanignless without a proper rythm or melody. Weird looking sort of Art-Deco Nazi Dominas in short bavarian skirts, dancing with riding crops. Probably illustrates a male masturbation-fantasy. That's okay, but please don't expect this stuff being suitable for a larger public.

It was said that the show was the most expensive of all Eurovision-Shows so far. Well then, it is a good example on how a lot of money spent doesn't necesserly mean "good". I found it one of the dullest shows ever.

Nevertheless, some good new songs discovered. My personal favourite was Sweden.

samedi, mai 16, 2009

Ancient Woodrow Wilson


This is a portrait of Woodrow Wilson - the one in my series. I am currently writing an article about him on the Weltenbibliothek. I could have used one of the public domain photos of him, but since in my world, he lives about 200 years earlier than JFK, I felt that he should be dressed differently than in the usual suit. So I tried to dress him in a more "old fashioned" way. It was a funny experience.

Today I was out on the bicycle very early. The rain had stopped during the night and on the road I picked a lot of flowers for a bouqet. And shot some pictures. The Photo below is a bit deceptive though, because the roads here are rarely this flat. The picture was taken on the high plateau. But most of the time you either go up or down when moving in our area.


The shape of the country makes it not very easy for a beginner-cyclist. At least, it does the job for exercising. I have to say that I do a lot of exercising now.

vendredi, mai 15, 2009

I wanna ride my bicycle


Yesterday I finally bought a new bicycle. Its the one on the photo. Well, it is not "new" in terms of "out of the factory": I got it from a woman in Epinal who advertised her bike online.

It has been 10 years since I last rode on a bicycle. I used to cycle a lot when I was younger and now, I quite felt I missed it, since the warm days are here again and there is so much delight to be out in the fresh air. I have only a little budget to spend, so checking the private ads was the way to go. Since the seller was located in Epinal that is about 40 kilometers from my village, I decided to visit her yesterday.

Altough I lost the paper where I wrote down the instructions on how to find her, I found the way from memory.

When I was there, I met a very sympathetic lady who said that she bought the bike at new 8 years ago but did not take much delight in cycling since.
She offered me to test it right on place. Of course, I was a bit anxious, because I haven't been on a cycle this long time. It felt strange on the very first meters, but also very great. I quickly become swifter and after only 2 minutes, I wished I never had to climb down.
I paid the lady and then put the bike into the car. Later, I stopped at a big Do-it-yourself mall and bought me a big and fine water collector for the garden. It was indeed a great shopping day!

At home I of course tried out the bicycle. While I am still not as secure with it as I should, I had a great ride. But today a real big bodyache! So it was fine, that today it rained all day long. I set up the water collector in the garden and went on rest otherwise. Tomorrow is another day.

samedi, mai 02, 2009

New Film La bête des vosges


I decided to start a new little Film Project. It will feature JFK travelling trough the Vosgian mountains and then meet the Vosgian beast.

The vosgian beast is somewhat a local myth of the country here. It was about 30 years ago, when several sheep were killed by what was reported by eye wittnesses as "an enormous wolf". Theories about what kind of animal acutally the beast really was, got wild. Some said it was just a big German sheperd who went lost and got a taste for fresh mutton. Others believed it was indeed a wolf and others even thougt it was a werewolf. I don't remember exactly if they ever found out the true nature of the beast.

Well, whatever it was, it will be funny to animate it and bring it to life.