samedi, octobre 31, 2009

Samhain



Samhain, the most important holiday in many pagan traditions will begin at sundown. I carved my pumkins and made a lot of soup out of their flesh. This is always a somewhat special ceremony. After all, I raised those pumkins since the middle of april, watched them grow accross our house-side, harvested them when they were ready  - all for the purpose  of this special day.

I have to say that we split the festival in two: October 31 is more the  "Halloween" kind of day, with the pumkin carving and the occasional trick-or-treat kids at the door. And tomorrow, November 1, is the regular Samhain day when we will go to our little cemetary to bring offerings and candles. Between is  the special night, a night open for both worlds to meet. A night easy for JFK and me to communicate and trade new inspirations. A night, perchance filled with prophetic dreams and visions.
I will prepare little offerings such as Milk and apples to be put on the stone outside



More Photos and thoughts tomorrow.

A blessed Samhain to all of you!

jeudi, octobre 29, 2009

JFK calendar

Finally! The new JFK calendar is out!
2 things. It is in French. I used to make german and english Versions in the past years, but since these didn't sell well, I made myself a favor and created just the french one, because you know, it is a HUGE work and I hate doing it for nothing. Still, the calendar can be enjoyed by non-french speakers, too. After all, it's first images and dates.



You can keep track of all  minor and major pagan festivals throughout the year. At least those celebrated in JFK's world.  12 very fine drawings and a lot of little details to discover.
I got my copy today and must say that the colors and print are very fine. The calendar is ready to be put on the wall, but you'll have to make the suspension-whole yourself.



If you are looking for something really different, then this will be your choice!

lundi, octobre 26, 2009

Weird Food - Part three

Another Turn of our little tour into the world of disturbing food.
From my guessing, I would say that most of the products that will at least not match anybodys taste are to be found in the range of  of cold cut products. The Processing of body parts up to level only a forensic expert could find out what it was before, literally invites the industry into processing nearly everything.

Let's begin:

4 Cold Cut specialties
Found at: Auchan, Ecomarché
Country:France
Type of food: Pure Shit. (sorry!)




Museau de boeuf = Beef Muzzle. And it's just that: The mouth of a beef minced and
scliced and cut and stamped and compressed and then drowned in cheap Vinegar.
With a lot of E-Numbers added, the right dish for lowlifes and alphabets.




Fromage de tête: =Head Cheese. It's Pig head and pig tongue minced and 
scliced and cut and stamped and compressed and then cooked down in some jelly. 
An Alsatian specialty which is also called « Presskopf » sometimes, (« Squeezed, compressed head »)



A french sausage-specialty with the name of « andouille ».
Thing to know is that « Andouille » is a french insult-word meaning « idiot » or
« dumbass ». You sureley have to be an idiot to eat this shit. Ingredients as it reads:
Chaudin et estomac de porc: (large intestine and stomach of pork) gorge de porc
(Pig Throat) boyeau naturel (natural bowels) and of course the Usual E-whatever conservation Crap.
Understand well: Not only the skin is made of Intestine, there's also plenty inside!




Another goodie for cannibals or catholics to whom the oblate-changing-into-Christ's-Flesh thing
doesn't do the job. This Cold Cut is named « Jesus of Lorraine ». 

All these Products have been made out of Pork meat. But there are exceptions:




Miscellaneous Cold Cut and sausages
Found at: Migros
Country: Switzerland
Type of Food: Cold Cut

Recently, I noticed this "No Swine" Logo on several Salami and other Cold Cut products on sale at the Migros market, Switzerland.  This « banned pig » raises some questions.  I mean, it was very clear that these products are not made of Pork, because they were labeled « turkey salami » or «poultry sausage », So wtf? It also wasn't some halal or kosher product. This is usually indicated differently. Where's the deal with that sign on almost every non-pork sausage Product, all of o sudden? Only explanation: The fear of Swine Flu! 
Although it's well known that you can't get infected by eating pork, apparently the Retailer wants to make money with of the dumbest fears.


Speaking of Pigs: In Auchan France, I saw this one:


Look at the red arrow to spot it. In the rear row you can see an entire young pig, its eyes still open, apparently killed by a flame-thrower after it became victim of a weird bondage rite. One thread goes right trough its mouth. Gives the word « hot babe » a new meaning. For Torture-lovers and people who like it, when their meal look at them.



dimanche, octobre 25, 2009

Anime Studio 6

Really, I was too tired yesterday for the Spread-Design of the week, which is supposed to be displayed on saturday. That's why you see it on a sunday:



 Aaw Crap!






Aaw Crap!


Other than this, I was pretty busy and finished Scene 21 on la bête des Vosges. I also bought the newest Version of Anime Studio. This was a big deal for me, because it's very rare I can afford me new software. Anime Studio 6  has a lot of new features and it will take some time until I discovered them all. But workig is really nice with it!
Next will be scene 22 in which I can try out some of Anime Studios 3D features.

vendredi, octobre 23, 2009

Weird Food - Part two



Here we go with part two of our little look at funny - or let's say at least slightly disturbing -  food.
You can't talk about about french food without talking about snails. Snails and frogs are the typical kind of dishes that French are supposed to see as particular specialty, all while making other people say : "eeew,  yuck!"






48 Escargots
Found at: Auchan
Country: France
Type of Food: Traiteur Products

Said specialty is usually associated with a certain Lifestyle, not to say noblesse. Just like expensive wine. You would assume that acording to that image, the product itself should be presented and packed in the same noble and distiguished way.
Well, not at Auchan. There, you can find packages of 48 snails, stocked next to the Pizzas by the dozen. On the packing, a young woman looks at the potential buyer with a lusty smile, biting her fingers in pure greed and well - the kind of primitive and dumb smile only the cheapest porn-bitches have.  I'm really not a moralist, but my eyes feel dirty after this. The slime of the snails may match the slimy look of the "model" but honestly: I doubt that this will attract anyone other than old farts in need of sex.
To add to the allover cheap and gross imagery of the product, it is written: "belle grosseur" which means something like "Pretty fat morsels".
Oh hell, yes! That's important! Who wants tiny snails? So say it in the direct and unveiled language even the most retarded, illiterate idiot understands: Big, fat snails are in this box!
Interesting and disturbing: Not the usual euphemistic language to describe a potential repulsive product, but on the contrary, adding to the grease with a style as primitive as possible...

Still wonder if the target group they obviously aim at, is into snails.

jeudi, octobre 22, 2009

Teaser

Finlly, the Teaser for La bête des Vosges is ready!
The text reads:
You think that the Vosges mountains are quiet?...Think again.


mardi, octobre 20, 2009

Affouage

In Spring, I ordered 10 stères of "affouage". Affouage is fire wood out of the communal forest, sold at a special price to local residents.
It was ready on early september and had just to be delivered. That was where the trouble started. Mayor's office said that they will call the communal worker as he shall bring me the wood. I waited and waited, but he didn't came.
I called the Mayor's office several times and they always said "we informed him". Days and weeks passed. I was really upset, because all the wood still has to be cut. And since september was dry and sunny, it would have been perfect for that job - if only  I had the wood!
At the end of September, I finally met a garden-neighbour who actually knew who the worker in question was and promised to get in touch with him. Next day, said worker was at my door. He said, the mayor's office didn't contact him...
Well, at least he was here now. He delivered the wood. 10 stères of finest European Beech logs!
Still, it has to be sawed before I could cut it. This had to be done by yet another worker. I called him and he said he would come in the next days. He didn't. To make a long story short, we waited 2 other weeks, until he finally came and sawed that wood.

In the meantime, weather got worse and I am now under the pressure to cut that whole pile between rain-showers and in bitter cold. Shit! and during all those past weeks weather would have be perfect! This makes me mad!!

So now I am cutting the wood with my axe, day after day.


The sawed pile, waiting to be cut.


My working place


The finished wood, ready for the oven.

At least all that work does the job for exercising. I'm burning a hell of a load of calories these days! :-)

samedi, octobre 17, 2009

Weird Food - Part one

Some time ago, I discovered this blog about "funny foreign food" and offered the admin that I would take my camera with me next time I was on shopping tour trough French Supermarkets. I did so, and, indeed,  found some "notable" products here and there. Apparently, it seemed not to be what the Blogger looked for, because he never answered my mails. No harm done. I'll share my discoveries with you, here!  So this is part one of a little series of Blog-entries  on actual food products.

Pom' Potes
Found at: Auchan
Country: France
Food Type: Childern's Food





"Pom Potes " is a stupid pun made out of the words « Pomme » (apple) ,
compote (compote) and « pote » (buddy), so the Product name is  something like «Apple buddies ».
The compote is filled in a tube that looks out of its packing with two vicious eyes.
The packing says: 1 Tube = one portion of fruit. 

Okay. We all know that we should eat lots of fruit. The Pom'pot packing reads: "it's recommended to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day". 
How thoughtful. A product that raises awarness for healthy nutrition.

But why must the "fruit" in question be processed up to a level it can't be recognized as such anymore?  Bet there's more useless packing stuff on this product than compote inside. 
This thing raises a question I often think about:  What the hell is wrong with a normal, simple apple? 
Do today's children really only eat things that have at least a deranged cartoon printed on a multi-plastic, multi-edged designer-packing? Is this the only way to make them eat a fruit?


And sice it's saturday, its also time for the Spread-Design of the week:



 Hund und Knochen




Hund und Knochen

mercredi, octobre 14, 2009

Good Guidance

Yesterday, I went on a meetng with a Counselor of Alexis, which is an institution for helping and assist in the creation of new businesses and the support of young entrepreneurs. This was arranged as a part of the help programm for people with little revenue, I'm in. The counselor was very nice and the meeting somehow gave me new hope and motivation.

When I arrived in Epinal, the Capital of our département where Alexis is located, I first lost the way a bit.
I don't like driving to Epinal anyway, because I don't know the city very well and there are lots of one-way streets and dead-ends. I knew that my destination was located near to the hospital, where both I and my mom already were incarcered two times. So I decided to drive to the hospital first, park there and then search the address on foot.
The Hospital is on a hill and can't be missed. But when I was there, I somehow didn't spot it. Strange. So I just followed my instinct, a thing I always do when I'm lost.
This method drove me into a quiet street where I could leave the car. The street was named...Avenue John F. Kennedy. 
Well, whereever I was, It was probably not wrong! "This quarter is made for me" I thought. I walked down the JFK avenue and found my destination on the next street's turn!
Thanks darling for guiding me!

dimanche, octobre 11, 2009

Book revisted

I finally got my bicycle fixed. 2 new tyres and its like travelling on clouds! So I went on a good cycling tour yesteday and on a hike in the forest today. It is getting colder, the fog is thick and the trees are changing their colour.


As for the movie, I finished Scene 20 and am now at Scene 21. I sent what I have done so far to Wolfgang Mittendorfer, the Film-Music Composer. It was a relief to read that he liked it a lot. Normally, he only works for big productions and it was kind of a big Opportunity that he decided to work on la Bête des Vosges anyway, because he liked it.

I also entirely re-worked the german version of "Empire of Darkness" and published it as a big hardcover book at Lulu. Check it out. It is a 72 pages(!) long adventure of JFK in a fictive European country. It features the clash of cultures between a pagan and a fundamental christian society.
This Book will also make a great gift, since it is very beautiful all over.





vendredi, octobre 09, 2009

The Hamburger-Nightmare


When I arrive at Basel, I must go on with all the things I planned, like shop for my Drawing tools and all the special  tasks I do there and seldom elsewhere.
No time to relax or eat until late afternoon. But going in town with an empty stomach? This isn't good either. So when I arrived at Basel this week, Mom had a surprise for me:
She handed me over a Hamburger. A regular Big Mac!

I didn't had a burger for more than a year now. My Diet, you know. So this was rather weird.  Ever thought about the calories that thing is stuffed with?

Since Mc Donalds now displays the energy-value of their products, I had a look at the side of the box: 499 cals. Holy crap! Bet its 500 anyway, they just thought that 400-and-something sounds better than 500.

I never really was addicted to burgers like some others are, but I used to gorge them very quickly when, occasionally, I had one in my hands.
What seemed so normal back then scares the hell out of me now. « Eat it. You won't wake up tomorrow and weigh 130 kilos » said my mom.

Hell, of course I will.
The dark side of successful weight loss: The thinner you get, the more paranoid you become.
« Eat it, it won't blow up your diet! » Yeah. It starts with one burger and it ends with 10 burgers and five pounds of chocolate a day.
A Burger for a dieting person is like a big bottle of Whiskey for a dry alcoholic.

But the struggle was far more complicated than that. I mean, me and a Hamburger – this doesn't fit.
It may have once, with Diana R. Sassé, who didn't care much about her image or style, since nobody liked her anyway – but it definitely doesn't go with Diana Kennedy, who just built up some self-esteem recently.

Strange, how a little box stuffed with a piece of Junk-Food can cause an Identity Crisis.
Who am I? Who do I want to be? Can I eat that shit safely or will it cast me back into somber times I better don't want to recall? Is this Satan testing me?
So what to do? Go hungry into town or eat it?
I asked JFK in my mind.
"Eat that shit and then forget it" he said.

I ate it.

It tasted far lesser good than I remembered it would. The beef had a heavy, greasy and fatsy backtaste. Hell, first beef I ate in almost 2 years! Really don't miss it. All while eating, I got angry over myself for wasting 500 calories for this nasty stuff.

Later in town, it all of a sudden looked to me like they are some fast-Food Restaurants at every corner. I never noticed them until that day, because they were not part of my life. Now, I felt myself trapped in some sort of Burger-Siege!
One fast Food shop even had an “all you ca eat” offer. How gross!
They probably can do this only because Rush Limbaugh lives on the other side of the ocean and won't come over to ruin them. In order to profit from “All you can eat” offers, You have to eat at least two big burgers. So this literally tempt people into gluttony! Disgusting!

I thought to myself: With so much fast-Food even in little towns like Basel, it's no wonder that People get fatter. In the other hand, there are lots of thin Folks visiting these Restaurants, too. Either it's their first time and they will weigh the double in six months, or its their annual visit and they will perform a hardcore sports week in a boot-camp afterwards.
Maybe there's also something wrong with the theory, that fast-Food will make you fat.

All while I walked trough the street and had those thoughts, I never missed a Shop-Window in which I could mirror myself, in order to check if I was still thin. When people looked in my direction, It was like a lightning striking me: They can see it! They see that I ate a Burger and now think that I am a gross, fat, junk-food gorging bitch! It was so horrible.
back at home I went into the bathroom and examined my Body at the mirror. Are these bones I spotted this morning still there? Or already covered with fat again? Fuck, I was so happy because I was starting to have real skinny shoulders and now?
I didn't dare to climb on the scale since. Not before I had a week of hardcore Cycling to get that damn Burger out of my body!

Long running Diets may do your body good, but it certainly has high risks for your mind.

mardi, octobre 06, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 07

Today we come to part 7 of our little insight tour.
I finished all the animations for this scene : 350 single drawings were done!

The Figures now run trough the scene and do all what they are supposed to do. But we are not finished yet! When somebody runs trough a forest, he usually hits a lot of branches and herbs and these parts of the decor will move. In our Scnene, the whole background remains stiff and still, therefore it is now time to change this.


First step is to provide each background element with "bones", a feature native to Anime Studio that enables the morphing of vectors and bitmaps. The above picture shows a plant with two bones. below is a blue bone and above a red one. The red colour indicates that this bone is actually activated. Of course, the bones will be invisible on the finishd movie.
On the timeline, I can now set the exact point when these bones will start to move the plant and when the movement will end. This will of course be every time when one of the actors collide with the plant.

To add still more life to the decor, I add a few dead leaves to the scene when the beast hits the bush: leaves that will fly around from the impact.

Now the Background reacts to the actions of the JFK and the beast.

But still, there is something wrong. Indeed, the whole scenery is somehow too bright. After all, the previous scenes were more darkened and the followiong will be even darker. No problem. I created a pretty simple bitmap with dark brown and yellow areas, supposed to be sun rays:



Adding some blurr smoothens the whole thing. Then, this bitmap is imported into Anime-Studio as a layer on the top of all other layers. Setting its transparency to 35% will create a soft light of the setting sun.



Now, the time has come to compile the Scene into an AVI-Video. We have now a beautiful footage of 420 frames. But it is still...mute! So the next step consists of adding the soundtrack.

There will be a music added to the finished movie, created by the Film-Composer Wolfgang Mittendorfer, but this will come later. For now, I have to ad the current sound-effects for this scene. I wrote a post about Sounds in Films some time ago. There you can read how such sounds can be found.
First thing to do is to load the scene into Premiere Pro, the Video Editing Software. Premiere Pro has the advantage of  advanced soundtrack features which allows you to add various bits of sounds in a very precise way.
I have a very huge Library of sounds bought on a lot of platforms and several effects could already be found there. But on each new scene, I usually have to look for additional sounds to buy, because none of the tracks in my archive matches my ideas. For scene 19 I had to buy 9 new sounds.



Once all sounds are there, I export a single wav-file that contains all these sounds. After this, I can import the AVI file Scene 19 and the matching Audio File Scene 19 in the main Premiere Pro Film Project.

And here is the result. I added the prervious Scene 18 too:


lundi, octobre 05, 2009

Dreambook

The last part of the year is approaching. Time for me to finish next-year related projects, such as the calendar.
Also is there a personal "Dreambook" in where I can write down, day after day, my dreams and whatever  I feel is important to me or fits it. A very intimate and personal book. 2009 Book had a JFK-Collage title and 2010 will be just the same. I finished the collage in question:


The Dreambook 2009 was the first project of this kind and became a powerful asset all trough the year. Its really interesting to read about dreams I had months ago, to see how some themes were repeated and what happened when in the year. Since I also wrote down the progress in weight loss, its encouraging to see where I started and where I am now. I also kept track of  the progress in art-projects and here its good to see what was achieved. Although that there is the bitter recognition that I worked a lot and yielded - nothing, so far.

In order to have the 2010 issue ready to be started on January 1. I must finish it within  the next weeks.

samedi, octobre 03, 2009

A better day.

Gribi woke up a lot better that morning. Except from a few moments of disorientation he was very calm, slept, ate and purred a lot. The said moments of confusion could be caressed away very smoothly. So we had a pretty nice day.

I could draw a lot and I am almost done with Scene 19. JFK has kicked the beast away and all that is left to do now is showing him climbing out of the pit. I can't wait to compile the whole thing and show it here.

Well, its saturday, Time for the Spread-Design of the week:


 Ratte zeigt Stinkefinger




Ratte zeigt Stinkefinger

vendredi, octobre 02, 2009

A difficult day

With Gribi. After some time of pretty good stability, Gribi woke up very  bad this morning and threw up. He meowed all the time and so I decided to take him to the veterinarian to see what happens. Gribi really hates to be bagged in the cat-carrier and then travel to the the vet. While driving, he almost became completely nuts.

Thje Vet said he has probably heavily nausea which comes from his kidney problems.She gave him a lot of medics and handed me other pills to give him later.

When we arrived at home, Gribi wouldn't calm down. He yelled endlessly and drove me to tears. He was disoriented and full of fear. As the Vet and I assume, he does have well...a form of age-related dementia. It happens to cats too. And with 16 years -almost 17 he is really old.
Unfortunately, I had to leave him alone the afternoon, because I had to bring the car to the mechanic. What if he continued to yell while I am out? Luckily, after 3 hours of  constant complaining, he got a bit calmer. So I went out of the house.
On that trip, I stopped at the drugstore and asked for Sedatives suited for cats. Because what Gribi really need, is sleep. He is so anxious he can't sleep and the lack of sleep make his mental disorientation even worse and the worse it gets, the less he can relax and sleep.

I came home and discovered Gribi quit calm. He still has a very fearful look and is not well, but he calmed down. I will give him the sedatives as soon as he starts to yell out again. I just opened the sedatives box. Holy Shit! These "pills" are almost an american inch big! WTF? The box says: 1 pill for 15 kilo of weight. Hey! I have a cat not a Saint Bernard Dog! Will have to cut these bombs into little peaces. Gee...

Anyway, the coming days will show where things are going. I know that the dark day is coming closer. And that is real hard.